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Very Odd Cure for Bad Breath

Drink tea.

Researchers from the College of Dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago say compounds in tea can slow the growth of bacteria in our mouths, which is the primary cause of bad breath. The magic ingredients are antioxidants called polyphenols, and they are found in both green and black teas.
It's the bacteria that live on the back surface of the tongue and in the deep pockets between the gums and teeth that make our breath smell bad. The bacteria "make horrible, smelly stuff," lead study author Christine D. Wu explained to Reuters in an interview. "That's why we get bad breath."
Wu and her colleagues showed in earlier studies that black tea can slow dental plaque formation and help your toothpaste work more effectively. Her latest laboratory experiments have shown that tea's polyphenols not only inhibit three species of bacteria that cause halitosis, but also stop an enzyme that causes the formation of hydrogen sulfide--the ultimate culprit for rotten breath.
But here's the catch: Tea won't sweeten your breath. So don't throw out the mouthwash just yet. "All we can say is that a cup of tea will produce more than enough of these active materials to affect the bacteria," she said. "Remember, this is a lab study. In the mouth, bacteria are protected by all sorts of things."


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