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Can yogurt fight bad breath?

The solution for bad breath may be in the dairy isle at the local supermarket, according to a study by Japanese microbiologists.

In a small study partly funded by a Japanese yogurt maker, researchers found that a diet that includes two 3-oz. servings of plain, sugarless yogurt each day may attack bacteria that breed on the tongue. As these bacteria process food particles, they can release unpleasant odors which are then exhaled through the mouth.

Yogurt-eating participants showed an 80 percent decrease in their levels of hydrogen sulfide-a bad breath-causing compound-on their tongues and in the air inside their mouths after six weeks of eating yogurt.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential to keeping your mouth healthy and your breath fresh. Most types of bad breath can be controlled by brushing twice a day, including the tongue, with a fluoride toothpaste and using floss or an interdental cleaner to clean between teeth daily.

Schedule regular dental visits for professional cleanings and checkups. Discuss health problems, such as recent surgeries or illness, and medications you take with your dentist.

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

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