How many times have you find people moving away from you while you were talking? Did you realize you might have bad breath? Ever your boyfriend or girlfriend complained of bad breath while kissing? Does smelly breath turns your foreplay into foul-play? A large percentage of the population suffers from the embarrassing problem of bad breath or halitosis. Stink breath can spoil not only professional and public interactions but also private relationships. Halitosis can have a negative impact on your personality and confidence level. It is very important to maintain proper dental hygiene in order to get rid of bad breath.
What causes bad breath? Poor oral hygiene, dental cavities, gum disease, dry mouth, eruption of wisdom tooth, etc are some of the causes of bad breath. Sometimes bad breath can be a temporary problem caused by the intake of food items such as onion, garlic or beverages like coffee. However, the main cause of bad breath is the buildup of bacteria between your teeth or on the back of your tongue. Some other causes also includes improper digestion, acid reflux, dry mouth causes due to fasting or dieting, gastric infection, respiratory or sinus problems. About one in ten cases of bad breath, problem lies beyond oral cavity and often associated with esophagus, sinuses, lungs, throat or stomach.
How to get rid of bad breath
Here are some measures which one ought to follow on how to avoid bad breath:
- The first and foremost method of controlling bad breath is to maintain proper oral health by regularly brushing your teeth, flossing and scraping your tongue. Brush at least 2 times a day. Brush your tongue gently and with side motions to remove any bacteria present on it. Brushing also mends morning breath. Replace your toothbrush in every 2 months as the bristles become ineffective over a period of time. Floss at least once a day.
- Avoid smoking and drinking
- Drinking plenty of water daily is another important thing to keep in mind in order to keep your breath clean and fresh.
- It would even be good if you could brush your teeth after every meal. However, brush immediately after you eat food with raw onions and garlic
- Eat at regular intervals to avoid bacterial build up.
- Regular visit to a dentist (at least twice a year is recommended).
How to cure bad breath at home? There are also several easily available home remedies that you can try to eliminate bad breath. Given below are some of the remedies for bad breath:
Cinnamon is a good commonly available bad breath cure. It is rich in an essential oil known as cinnamic aldehyde that helps in eliminating bad breath by reducing the number of bacteria present in your mouth. Boil a teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a cup of water. Strain this solution and use it as a mouthwash to freshen your breath. Use this remedy at least twice a day.
Fennel is cheap alternative for bad breath remedies at home. It shows antimicrobial properties that help in fighting off the bacteria in your mouth. It stimulates the production of saliva and also acts as a great mouth freshener to remove bad breath. To get rid of bad breath, you can simply chew a tablespoon of fennel or drink fennel tea few times a day. To make fennel tea, all you have to do is to steep two teaspoons of fennel seeds in a cup of hot water for about 10 minutes.
Cloves too have antibacterial properties that help freshen up your breath by getting rid of the bacteria that cause bad breath. Just like fennel, you can use cloves by either chewing them or by drinking clove tea made by boiling a teaspoon of clove powder in a cup of water for about 10 minutes. You can also use this tea as a mouthwash.
Cardamom can be used in halitosis cure. It is an aromatic spice that is excellent for curing bad breath. It is known to be very effective in neutralizing the oral bacteria responsible for bad breath. Just chewing on a single pod of cardamom for a few minutes can help in getting rid of halitosis.
Fenugreek has been long used as bad breath remedy. The benefits of this spice can be taken advantage of by drinking fenugreek tea. To make this tea, boil a handful of fenugreek seeds in a cup of water and strain the solution. Drinking this tea regularly will help prevent bad breath.
Guava is lesser known for its bad breath cures. It is full of nutrients like phosphoric acid, tannic acid, mallic acid, and oxalic acid, all of which are beneficial for oral health. It also strengthens the teeth and gums. Eating guava fruit or chewing the leaves of guava is both helpful in eliminating bad breath.
Eating apples daily is another effective way to remove bacteria and bad breath. According to a study published in the Journal of Dental Research, the polyphenols found in apples have the ability to slow down the genetic activity of bacteria in the mouth. Apple also has astringent properties and it helps remove the food particles and bacteria accumulated in the mouth. Apple helps to keep the teeth clean, thus preventing infections and oral health problems.
Apple cider vinegar
The natural acids such as acetic acid and malic acid found in apple cider vinegar are effective in reducing the bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath and also makes one of the best mouthwash for bad breath. You can prepare a mouthwash by adding a half a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water. Rinse your mouth with this solution for about 10 seconds. You can also drink this solution before eating your meals. Not only does it cure bad breath, but also help in digestion.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that is obtained from the leaves of tea tree. It is found to be a very useful remedy in eliminating bad breath because it contains compounds that can destroy the bacteria that cause bad breath. Researchers who studied the efficacy of tea tree oil against bad breath have discovered that it reduces the bacterial colonies that cause bad breath. There are several oral care products available in the market that uses tea tree oil. You can either purchase and use these products or add a few drops of the oil to your toothpaste.
Parsley contains certain chemicals that can help in providing fresh breath. It is rich in chlorophyll that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Chlorophyll helps in neutralizing the toxins that get accumulated in your body. It is also recommended by experts as a great remedy for temporary bad breath. You can reap the benefits of this herb by either chewing a small handful of it or by drinking its juice.
Mint is a great mouth freshener and so chewing on mint leaves can get rid of bad breath. You can also eat mint candies that are available in the local stores.
Rinsing your mouth with lemon juice is another age old remedy for curing bad breath. It has a strong and wonderful smell that helps to cover the bad smell. Furthermore, the high amount of acid found in lemons curtails the growth of bacteria in your mouth. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to a cup of water and rinse your mouth using this solution. This is also a good remedy for dry mouth, which is considered to be one of the main factors that lead to bad breath. Slice of lemon with pinch of salt can be rubbed on teeth after meal, especially if you have onion or garlic in meal. Adding lemon to drinking water of dogs is considered home remedy for bad breath in dogs or cat bad breath. Lemons may be basic but effective in treating bad breath.
Pineapple juice is also a wonderful natural cure for bad breath. Drinking pineapple juice on a regular basis is an effective and fastest way of getting rid of the foul odor from the mouth.
Baking soda or bicarbonate of soda is helpful in halitosis treatment. The bacteria responsible for bad breath thrive in an acidic environment in the mouth. Baking soda helps in balancing the levels of acid and in fighting off the bacteria that cause bad breath. Mix half a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of warm water and use it to rinse your mouth daily. Brushing your teeth with baking soda is also effective in lowering the acid content in your mouth and in preventing the buildup of bacteria.
One of the easiest home remedies for bad breath is Tea. All types of tea contain high amounts of polyphenols that have strong antioxidant properties, which helps in protecting the cells of the body from free radical damage. These antioxidants also inhibit the growth of bacteria that causes bad breath. According to studies, black tea is beneficial for oral health as it suppresses the bad odor compounds that these bacteria produce.
Avocado is an amazing fruit that offers plenty of health benefits, one of them being the elimination of bad breath. Chewing its creamy flesh helps in cleaning your mouth because it acts like a natural toothbrush and gets rid of the food debris and bacteria accumulated in the mouth. Avocado can be eaten as a fruit or can be made into a juice.
Yogurt probiotics for bad breath
According to a study, a daily dose of yogurt may help keep your breath fresh by eliminating foul odors. Researchers suggest that the regular consumption of 6 ounces of yogurt causes a reduction in the levels of odor-causing compounds in the mouth because the active bacteria in yogurt, such as Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus destroy the odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. Moreover, the levels of plaque and the gingivitis were found to be significantly lower among people who eat yogurt regularly.
Eucalyptus oil is a main ingredient in many oral care products such as mouthwashes. Laboratory studies have confirmed that eucalyptus oil contains compounds that kill bacteria. Eucalyptus oil is rich in a compound known as cineole, which is an antiseptic that kills bacteria that cause bad breath. The use of eucalyptus oil along with other essential oils has been shown to help prevent dental problems such as plaque and gingivitis.
Triphala churnna is mixture of three powerful Ayurvedic herbs including powder of Amla or Indian Gooseberry. Triphala powder has strong astringent effect and antimicrobial in nature. Rinsing mouth with triphala powder helps get rid of bad breath causing bactreria. One clinical study found that Triphala was comparable with popular Chlorohexidine mouthwash. In another study with over 1431 participants, Triphala had better inhibitory effect on oral bacteria than Chlorohexidine.
Milk or Buttermilk
Sulphur is one of the bad breath causes. Fatty acids in milk or yogurt neutralize sulphur in food which often results in bad breath. Drinking yougurt / buttermilk after meal may not only be refreshing but also prevent bad breath. Milk is also good way to treat toddler bad breath.
Baking Soda / Salt water Gargle
Try baking soda for bad breath. One can make home made mouthwash with baking soda and water to fight bad breath. Alternately, one can try brushing teeth with pinch of baking soda. It helps regulate pH level in mouth and fight bad breath. Gargling with salt water is also good way to eliminate bacteria in mouth and throat. Himalayan salt or rock salt is also effective cure for halitosis. Saline water has natural antibacterial properties.
Many people try chewing hazelnuts as remedy for bad breath. It is believed that hazelnuts can absorb bad breath.
In some cases, gastric or throat infection leads to bad breath. Neem has strong antibacterial properties and its extract is often used in toothpastes and mouthwash. Brushing teeth and gums with neem twig is traditional practice of oral hygiene and good for bad breath treatment. Ingestion of one or two fresh neem leaves is good way of treating gastric bacteria.
Miswāk (siwāk or sewāk) twig is traditionally used in parts of Asia and Middle East as natural tooth brush. Various studies have found effectiveness of this traditional practice. Miswak has anti bacterial properties and serves as good bad breath remedy by getting rid of bad breath causing bacteria.
Yoga and Pranayam (breathing exercises)
Bad breath could be also result of malfunction of respiratory cavity. Hyeracidity, indigestion, respiratory, sinus problem are some non oblivious causes of bad breath. Practice of Yoga and breathing exercises of Pranayam can help cure such disorders. Regular practice of Pranayam can be good way of preventing bad breath and healthy well being. Practice them and never ever think of how to stop bad breath.
Bad breath is an unfortunate condition that can make your social life uncomfortable and miserable. Depending on cause one can decide how to treat bad breath. Regular dental care, flossing and the use of toothpastes, and mouthwash can help to relieve the symptoms of bad breath. Along with proper oral care, the use of the above mentioned home remedies can help keep halitosis at bay. If bad breath persists even after trying out these natural remedies, it is better to consult a dentist as there may be other serious underlying problems.Image Credits: Flickr - Isabel Garconi