Bad Breath Can Give You A Headache


Bad Breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, is more than just the smell of funk exhaled when you forget to brush your teeth. It’s the result of literally billions upon billions of microscopic bacteria working around the clock to break down organic waste and food debris. Most of the more than 600 documented strains of bacteria found in the average human mouth are beneficial, even critical, for the digestion process and overall equilibrium of a healthy, happy oral community. However, as with any large extended family, there are a few bad apples. Rothia mucilaginosa and Haemophilus parainfluenzae, in particular, are especially prolific generators of noxious odors. But that’s not all; recent research seems to indicate that these harmful germs may also be responsible for causing skull-crushing migraines. As it turns out, bad breath can give you a headache.

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Willow Pass Dental Care is known as the Leading Dentists in Concord, CA

“68% of people think an unhealthy mouth could get in the way of getting hired.”

From May 1-10, 2015, 1,064 Americans were interviewed using GfK KnowledgePanel. This online survey took an avg. of 16 min. to administer. This margin of sampling error was /-3.3% for the total weighted sample and is higher for subgroups.

Do microbes cause migraines?

According to researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, those who regularly suffer from migraines also hosted many times the average number of nitrate-reducing bacterium in their mouths. Nitrates, which can be found in a variety of foods from processed meats, to wine and chocolate, are broken down by these bacteria and converted into nitric oxide. Unfortunately for sommeliers, chocolate connoisseurs, and bacon-lovers everywhere, nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator. It causes blood vessels in the head to expand, and in doing so, can trigger migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches. The more nitrate-rich foods you consume, the more fuel for nitrate-loving microbes, resulting in more nitric oxide in your blood. Scientists suspect that oral bacteria may be the culprit behind not only bad breath but also headaches (and migraines) too.

Watch your health by washing your mouth

If microbes such as Rothia mucilaginosa and Haemophilus parainfluenzae are truly to blame for nitrate-induced headaches, it stands to reason that the best way to control the pain in your head is to control the germs in your mouth. Regular and rigorous dental hygiene goes a long way towards curbing unwanted microbes in check.

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Diet also appears to play a critical role. Those susceptible to headaches would benefit knowing the nitrate content of the foods they are eating.

5 Food That Boost Nitric Oxide

  1. Chocolate
  2. Wine
  3. Bacon
  4. Hot Dogs
  5. Leafy Greens


Chocolate bar - best denist in concord ca

Tips to Stave Off Headaches

  • 1

    Chewing gum can be one way to control halitosis or bad breath. Not only do the minty flavors help freshen breath, the act of scraping off plaque and promoting saliva production all help control bacterial populations which, in turn, leads to fresher breath.

  • 2

    Use SinuClenz to help prevent obstructed breathing while sleeping.

    SinuClenz is a natural nasal wash powered by potent spice extracts. These powerful extracts are combined with pure sea salt in a spring water base, the ideal natural wash and inhalant to support healthy nasal membranes and sinuses. Research conducted at Mayo Clinic demonstrated that fungal infestation is the major cause of chronic sinusitis as well as allergic rhinitis. 

  • 3

    Keep the humidity below 45%.

  • 4

    Avoid dairy and processed foods which reduces phlegm.

  • 5

    Make a new habit by taking about a dozen slow, deep breaths each hour.

  • 6

    Sleep on your back or side and consider using Breathe Right Nasal Strips

  • 7

    Eliminate the caffeine and sugar.

  • 8

    Eat a sleep friendly dinner.

    Try to stick with veggies, lean proteins, beans, and complex carbohydrates. These foods call the body and increase serotonin levels.

  • 9

    Exercise and drink water

    Consult with your physician to ensure the right exercise regimen based on your health. 

Dr. Reza Khazaie

Willow Pass Dental Care - Concord, Walnut Creek, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Lafayette, Mococo, Clayton


DDS. Prosthodontist

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