Bad breath or halitosis is an embarrassing condition affecting one fourth of the world’s population. Its causes include poor oral hygiene, dental diseases and other medical conditions. It can also result from some foods, dentures, alcohol consumption and smoking.
If you suffer from halitosis, it is advisable that you find out its cause. This way you will know the best option to deal with it. A visit to a dentist or healthcare provider is recommended. Once you know the cause of your problem, you can get relief by using the natural remedies to cure bad breath presented below. But first, let us learn more about bad breath.
What Causes Bad Breath?
As we have seen, bad breath has a number of causes. It may also be intermittent (on and off). For these reasons it can sometimes be difficult to address. Following are the main causes of bad breath or halitosis:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Dental cavities and other oral diseases
- Foods such as onions, garlic and alcohol
- Improperly cleaned dentures
- Respiratory tract infections
- Digestion problems such as belching, heartburn and lactose intolerance This natural ingredient could help your digestion.
- Physiological issues such as menstruation
- Medicines such as sulfur medications
- Fasting that leads to fat breakdown
- Stress, depression and anxiety
- Medical conditions such as liver disease and uncontrolled diabetes
Some types of halitosis such as those caused by food items, fasting, menstruation and uncontrolled medical conditions such as diabetes will normally stop once the agent causing the problem either gets out of the body, the condition has been addressed or the body reverts to its ordinary status.
Symptoms of Halitosis
While the most well known symptom of bad breath is the foul smell of the breath, a closer observation will reveal other signs. These include plaque on teeth, stained teeth, swollen or bleeding gums, tongue and mouth dryness, stuffy nose, sore throat, whitish tongue, lymph node swellings and smelly belching. This ingredient may surprise you with its many benefits.
Natural Remedies for Bad Breath
As we have seen above, in order for you to effectively manage the problem, you need to know what causes it. Get professional attention for any medical condition and see that it is put under control. Once this is done, it’s time to try natural remedies to cure bad breath.
There are several types of natural remedies for bad breath, including hygiene, food and herbs.
Personal hygiene is important for the maintenance of fresh breath. Brush your teeth and clean your tongue after every meal. If you smoke, consider quitting, but meanwhile clean your mouth after smoking. Use mouthfuls of cold water throughout the day to clean your mouth by swishing and spitting out. Water dissolves some of the acids and other materials causing the foul smell. Other hygiene essential practices include:
- Replace your toothbrush after every 2 – 3 months
- If you wear dentures, clean them and sleep without them to reduce bacterial buildup in your mouth.
- Coconut oil is an effective treatment for bad breath when used in a process called oil pulling involving swishing one tablespoon of coconut oil for 5 – 20 minutes before spitting it out. These foods will help you boost your immune system
Foods to Cure Bad Breath
Avoid foods that cause bad breath and eat foods that fight or mask the problem.
Foods to avoid
- Refined foods
- Sugar, feeds bacteria in the mouth
- Excessive onions
- Excessive garlic
- Over indulgence of dessert
Foods to eat
- Consume lots of water (at least 8 glasses) throughout the day to keep you body hydrated. Water also helps to cleanse your body by carrying toxins from the blood stream and cleaning the gut. This reduces the foul smells caused by toxins within the digestive and circulatory systems.
- Fiber-rich foods such as vegetables and fibrous fruits help to remove food particles within your mouth. They also improve digestion, provide surface for growth of friendly bacteria and absorb toxins in the gut for excretion. This reduces digestion disorders and gas in the stomach.
- Fruits such as citrus provide vitamins A and C as well as antioxidants which support good oral health and reduce inflammation. Citrus also stimulates saliva production and kills bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Consume green or black tea to benefit from the antioxidant properties that reduce inflammation and reduce bad breath.
- Probiotic foods such as kefir, sauerkraut and natural yogurt provide good bacteria which are necessary for good digestion, reduction of harmful bacteria that produce foul gases in the mouth and gut, and for improved immunity. Swishing the probiotics in your mouth before swallowing will improve the numbers of good bacteria as opposed to bad bacteria within the mouth.
Herbs to Cure Bad Breath
Herbs have been in use for treatment of various diseases for thousands of years. Herbs that are good natural remedies to cure bad breath include:
- Apple cider vinegar
Gargle a mouthful of apple cider vinegar for 10 – 15 seconds then spit it out. Repeat this treatment two times a day.
- Baking Soda
Baking powder is alkaline and provides an unfavorable environment for bacteria to live or grow thereby reducing foul smell produced by the bacteria. Place some baking powder on your tooth brush and use it in place of your regular toothpaste. Alternatively, mix one teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water to make your own mouth wash.
- Citrus fruit rind
Wash the rind of a lemon or orange and chew a piece for a minute or two to stimulate increased saliva production leading to reduction of bad breath.
Chewing a few clove buds for one or two minutes gets rid of bad breath.
Chew on a sprig of fresh parsley to neutralize the bad mouth odors.
- Peppermint oil
Peppermint is used in many toothpastes and mouthwashes because of its deodorizing properties. Use one to three drops of peppermint essential oil daily to freshen your breath and kill halitosis.
- Tea Tree oil
Many studies conducted on tea tree oil have shown that it has toxic effects on harmful bacteria including Solobacterium moorei and Candida, which are associated with bad breath. Use one or two drops daily to freshen your mouth.
Sage kills bacteria responsible for halitosis including streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans. Use a drop or two daily.
Eucalyptus oil is used in the treatment of many conditions. For halitosis, use two or three drops in your mouth rinse to keep bad breath away.
Cardamom has a fresh smelling flavor that works perfectly to stop bad breath. Chew on a few seeds one to three times daily.
- Sunflower Seeds
Chew a few sunflower seeds after a meal to rid yourself of bad mouth odor. Be sure to take some water afterwards.
Try several of these natural remedies to cure bad breath and tell us what you think.