A number of ailments can affect our mouths. From canker sores to chronic dry mouth, many of these issues are coupled with a more obvious problem: bad breath. Fortunately, many oral issues and bad breath can be remedied by similar treatments, with one of the more popular in today's culture being the use of probiotics. While oral care probiotics are a great way to boost the good bacteria in your mouth, adding a few probiotic-rich foods to your diet will give your mouth issues a one-two punch. Here are a few of the best.
Made from goat's milk and fermented kefir grains, kefir is a delicious dairy product that is high in both lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria. Chock-full of probiotics as well as antioxidants, this is one super-healthful food item that most individuals should always stock in their refrigerator. However, be careful with picking out a suitable brand - some versions of kefir have high amounts of sugar or high fructose corn syrup, both of which can cause further detriment to any oral health maladies.
Pickles and Sauerkraut
If you're lactose-intolerant, look to pickled and fermented vegetables like pickles and sauerkraut. Kimchi, a spicy Asian style of sauerkraut, is also a great source of probiotics. Both are great sources of live cultures and so-called "good" bacteria, and many people use pickle juice to help remedy canker sores. So, next time you're at your local sandwich shop, don't be shy about asking for a few extra spears - your mouth (and breath) will thank you for it!
Tempeh it up
Made from soybeans that have been fermented, tempeh is an excellent vegan option for anyone suffering from sour breath or other oral maladies. Tempeh is made by adding a tempeh "starter" containing the rhizopus oligosporus fungus to soybeans. After a few days, the fungus and soybeans create a cake-like structure that has a delicious nutty flavor. Full of vitamin B12 and probiotics, tempeh is also low in salt, making this the perfect food to add to any low-sodium diet.
Have your dessert
Although sweets are usually a no-go for people looking to improve their mouth issues, most individuals will admit they crave a little bit of sweet every once in a while. To get your probiotics and sweets in one sitting, you can eat a few squares of dark chocolate. Packed with probiotics and antioxidants, dark chocolate will leave your stomach, mouth and breath happy. Who could ask for more?