Bad breath, or ‘Halitosis’ as its called in medical terms, can be caused by many different factors including: genetics, unhealthy lifestyle habits or poor oral hygiene.
Following a simple oral care schedule at home will greatly assist with preventing odor-causing bacteria and plaque from forming, and prevent infections resulting in more serious health problems. In addition to a regular tooth brushing routine, there are many home remedies that can be taken to create sweet smelling breath and prevent bad odors from occurring. Read our post below to find the best natural home remedies for bad breath.
Foods That Prevent Bad Breath
Proper diet is one of the most important factors in keeping your breath fresh. When food particles lodge between your teeth they cause the bad odor as proteins are broken down throughout the day. Maintaining good oral hygiene in most cases will prevent the embarrassing smell, but there are also several food choices that will reduce the compounds which are the major cause of bad breath.
- Cheese and Yogurt: Couple servings of each will effectively halt the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Active cultures contained in yogurt reduce the plaque accumulation and lessen the risk of gum disease.
- Tea: Both black and green teas are beneficial in fighting halitosis by reducing the levels of hydrogen sulfide in your mouth. The advantageous properties of tea include compounds that neutralize the smell and stabilize the chemistry of the mouth.
- Herbs Basil and parsley are well known as most effective methods of warding off bad smells including halitosis. They effectively decrease the odor of garlic and onions when eaten in the same meal.
- Fruit: Citrus foods, such as oranges, lemons and grapefruits, contain high amounts of Vitamin C known to combat the adverse effects of bacterial growth. Additionally, apples contain polyphenols that can banish foul breath. Cherries decrease the odor of methyl marcaptan, an odorous scent produced as the food is being digested. Avocado fruit destroys the bacteria contained in the intestinal tract preventing the bacteria from further replication.
Natural Remedies for Bad Breath
About 30 percent of the worlds population suffers from embarrassing bad breath. However, depending on the cause and the severity of the condition, halitosis in most cases can be successfully treated with natural remedies described below in addition to regular tooth brushing.
• Drink plenty of water, especially after each meal to flush out the debris and prevent the fungi from magnifying.
• Follow with tooth brushing, or if unavailable, chew sugarless gum.
• Consider using baking soda instead of regular toothpaste to brush your teeth and tongue. The baking soda will help to level the acidity and alleviate bad breath.
• Clean the tongue twice a day with a toothbrush, dental scraper or spoon to remove the bacterial film.
• Use alcohol-free mouthwash or baking soda mixed with water to rinse your mouth several times per day. Alcohol-based mouthwashes provide temporary results, but are not recommended for prolonged use to reduce bad breath.
• Incorporate plenty of parsley, mint, basil and cilantro in your diet to reduce the amount of odor-producing microbes.
• Consume raw crunchy food, such as apples, celery or carrots, in between the meals to stimulate production of saliva.
• Avoid smoking and excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages which greatly contribute to bad breath.
• To quickly freshen your mouth, rinse with a mix of water, lemon juice and salt.
• Brew fennel tea and sip after meals. The antimicrobial properties of tea will accelerate the metabolism and help to expel the smell-producing bacteria from the body.
• Drink a glass of apple cider vinegar mixed with water before large meals. The vinegar will help with digestion and fight halitosis.
Best Toothpaste for Bad Breath
The freshening toothpastes presently available on the market provide an array of benefits including removal of halitosis. Low abrasion formulas that contain mint compounds are most effective as they reduce the bacteria and freshen the breath without scratching the surface of the enamel of the teeth.
• Arm and Hammer Sensitive Freshening Toothpaste: Deep cleans, whitens and removes bacteria responsible for bad breath.
• Arm and Hammer Advance White Toothpaste: Freshens the oral region while gently whitening teeth.
• Arm and Hammer PeroxiCare: Contains high levels of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda beneficial for healthy teeth and gums. The mixture of baking soda and peroxide results in natural foaming effect allowing the formula to penetrate the crevices of the dentition and soft tissues in the mouth.
• TheraBreath Toothpaste: One of the best oral care products available today, this formula contains components vital to keep your breath fresh and bacteria free. Continuous use enhances the production of saliva essential to healthy mouth. This toothpaste also contains chlorine dioxide which creates oxygenated environment in the mouth and eradicates the growth of bacteria.
• Desert Essence: Manufactured from all natural ingredients, this formula contains baking soda, tea tree oil and is gluten free. It does not contain artificial flavors, abrasives or sweeteners. Additionally, it is naturally anti-septic and flavored with organic oils only.
• BreathRx: Along with whitening abilities, BreathRx targets and neutralizes the odors. It contains extra fluoride, tartar control compounds as well as mint for fresh breath and healthy smile.
Halitosis resulting from poor dental care can often lead to additional health problems including gastrointestinal issues. Proper care should start with the visit to the dentist for full exam, ex-rays, cleaning and nutritional counseling. If definite diagnosis cannot be made, the patient is referred to other specialists who will work closely with the dental provider in efforts to create an effective treatment plan. Common dental conditions, such as dry mouth (xerostomia), lactose intolerance, ulcers and sinusitis can all cause bad breath, but once detected, the dental therapy can be combined with medical treatments and hinder the progression of this condition.