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According to Ayurveda, because the mouth is governed by the kapha dosha, bad breath, or halitosis, is a kapha disorder.  However, because digestion is governed by the pitta dosha, pitta is also indirectly responsible.  When the digestive fire, or agni, is not functioning properly, our digestion is off, which could lead to bad breath.  Bad breath is caused bacteria in the mouth decomposes the residue of food and releases sulfur.  The sulfur is what smells bad.  Bacteria can live in the spaces of the teeth, or on the tongue.  What to do?  Ayurveda recommends that after we clean our teeth (after every meal or at least twice a day), that we also clean our tongues by using a tongue scraper.  This is a U-shaped instrument, usually made out of stainless steel, that helps to remove bacteria from the tongue.  Clove is commonly used in dental treatments.  Because of its pungent taste, it is great at balancing kapha, which helps to fight bad breath.  Tulsi, or Holy Basil, can also be used to treat bad breath.  Just chew a few fresh leaves right off the plant.  To prevent bad breath, flavor foods with cardamom and clove.  Drink lots of water throughout the day.  If you can’t brush and floss after every meal, at least brush twice a day, and gargle after eating.

Tongue Scraper from The Chopra Center Store

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