Oral health is as important as general health. The problem of bad breath has been around for centuries and is also one of the most common amongst humans. A lot of people have bad breath, but may not know it, which makes it difficult to arrive at the statistics associated with this condition.
However, research(1) suggests that the majority of cases of bad breath starts in the mouth with only a few starting below the tonsils. Those that originate below the tonsils are either related to the respiratory duct or gastronomical issues.
The human mouth is home to millions of microorganisms, and poor oral health can lead to systemic body conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Did You Know!
|The medical term for bad breath is Halitosis.|
Therefore to be able to treat bad breath, it is important to understand what causes it.
Causes of Bad Breath
1. Poor Dental Care
Proper oral care is of utmost importance. This includes the basic rules of brushing your teeth twice daily and rinsing your mouth post meals. If these are not performed daily, food particles remain in your mouth, causing bad breath.
2. Dry Mouth
If your mouth feels parched at most times in the day, then it is not producing enough saliva. Saliva acts as a washing agent and regularly cleanses all the bacteria in the mouth. Insufficient saliva will lead to bacterial formations on the teeth resulting in a foul smell.
[Also Read: Homemade Mouthwash For Dry Mouth]
Certain types of food, such as onion, garlic inherently carry a smell that aggravates on eating them.
4. Gum Diseases
The continuous presence of bacteria in your mouth can cause the formation of plaque leading to gum disease and foul breath.
Chewing and smoking tobacco dries your mouth and results in bad breath.
Each one of us, at some point, has dealt with this problem. The easiest and fastest solution to it is home remedies for bad breath discussed in detail here.
Home Remedies for Bad Breath
1. Tea for Bad Breath
Black tea contains chemicals called polyphenols that have antimicrobial and deodorant effects. These chemicals wash out the odor-causing bacteria giving you fresh breath.
How to Use?
- Brew tea on the stove for a few minutes and get it to a boil.
- Add lemon or honey for taste. Consume twice a day.
[Read: Natural Remedies for Bad Breath]
Chewing mints increase the production of saliva in your mouth. The saliva acts as a cleaning agent and scrubs out the bacteria.
How to Use?
- Chew sugar-free gum during the day for odor-free breath.
- Altoids, Icebreakers, Breath-savers are amongst the best mints for bad breath available in the market.
3. Coconut Oil for Bad Breath
Coconut oil contains lauric acid that removes the bacteria present in the mouth which are responsible for the foul odor.
How to Use?
- Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it in our mouth for 15-20 mins.
- Spit the oil in a paper towel and throw it in the trash can.
- Make sure you do this procedure every morning on an empty stomach before brushing your teeth.
- This is an ancient Indian practice called Oil Pulling(2) and is very good for bad breath.
[Also Read: Health Benefits of Oil Pulling]
4. Baking Soda for Bad Breath
Baking soda is a natural antacid and helps maintain the pH levels. It also has antimicrobial properties that kill the bacteria in your mouth.
How to Use?
- Add ½ teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of warm water and mix well.
- Gargle with it for about a minute.
- Repeat this once a week for faster results.
[Read: Treat Garlic Breath Naturally]
5. Apple Cider Vinegar for Bad Breath
Apple cider vinegar is rich in malic and acetic acid that kill the bacteria present in the mouth. It also has a rich nutrient constitution, which is good for overall oral health. Lastly, apple cider vinegar is not only good for bad breath but also for overall digestion, which is one of the causes of bad breath.
How to Use?
- Add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of cold water and mix well.
- Drink this every day after meals to aid digestion and to do away with the bad breath.
6. Salt Water for Bad Breath
Saltwater is good for eliminating bad breath because it helps in neutralizing the pH levels of the mouth and is also antimicrobial in nature.
How to Use?
- Add a teaspoon of salt to lukewarm water and mix well.
- Rinse your mouth with this solution for about 30 seconds twice a day for removing bad breath.
Like parsley, there are certain other foods that help with bad breath and should be included in your daily diet. Some examples are mentioned below.
1. Crisp Vegetables
Vegetables like broccoli and red bell peppers that are rich in Vitamin C are good for bad breath. They are even better when eaten raw because their crunchiness is corrosive and helps get rid of the trapped food particles.
Yogurt has probiotic properties that aid digestion. The good active bacteria present in yogurt restore the balance in your oral cavity and also helps fight odor-causing bacteria.
Cucumber is high in fiber and increases the saliva production in your mouth. The saliva washes down the bacteria, helping get rid of the bad breath.
[Read: Cucumber Juice Benefits]
Parsley acts as a natural deodorizer and is great for clearing out bad breath. It also has antimicrobial properties that help in terminating the bacteria in your mouth.
How to Use?
- Chew some fresh parsley leaves post meals or add it as a garnish to your meals for great results.
Bad breath is a common condition, and in most cases, can be treated effectively by sitting at home. Almost all the home remedies mentioned above are hacks and easy to perform. With some lifestyle changes like maintaining good oral hygiene, taking care of your digestion, you may be able to prevent bad breath altogether.
A quick consultation with the doctor is advised in cases where the continuous use of these remedies have not helped, to rule out any chronic conditions.
[Read: Stupendous Parsley Benefits]
1. Is Green Tea Good for Bad Breath?
Yes, green tea is as good for bad breath as a black tea because both kinds contain phytochemicals that suppress the growth of bacteria.
2. Can Coconut Oil Be Consumed Directly for Bad Breath?
Coconut oil is good for bad breath, but it can not be consumed directly. The technique of oil pulling is used to cure bad breath.
3. Can Baking Soda Be Used Daily to Treat Bad Breath?
Baking soda is good for bad breath, but it’s not advisable to use it daily as it can cause damage to the tooth enamel.
4. Is Bad Breath a Result of Poor Dental Hygiene or It Could Be Something More?
While 90% of the times bad breath is a result of something in your mouth – whether it is improper oral hygiene, untreated cavities or gum disease, about 10% of the times it also the result of systemic body conditions like diabetes and it is advisable to consult a specialist if the problem of bad odor persists.