Home Remedies For Halitosis
Are you or someone you know suffering from bad breath? It can be quite an unpleasant situation when at a first date or job interview, you are blasted with a dose of bad breath and there’s nothing you can do except grimace inwardly. Halitosis can be embarrassing and chronic bad breath can make a person withdrawn and self conscious.
Many people suffer in silence and put off going to a doctor, while many don’t even know which type of doctor to approach. Others depend on a simple brushing and flossing routine to keep bad breath at bay.
Origin of Bad Breath:
It is a myth that bad breath originates in the mouth and ends there. Bad breath can also be caused by different conditions in the tongue, nose, gums, tonsils, digestive tract, stomach, and some systemic diseases.
Causes of Halitosis:
Halitosis, when not caused by any underlying physical condition, is best tackled by eliminating the trigger from your lifestyle. Here are some common triggers for bad breath:
- Improper brushing
- Food debris in the teeth and tongue
- Dry mouth
- Gum disease
- Foods such as onion and garlic
- A low carb diet
- Tobacco and cigarettes
- Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease
- Lung infection
- Certain medications (Anti-allergic medicines, Tricyclic antidepressants )
The chances of bad breath being caused due to an underlying disease are very low. However, if none of the home remedies given below or medical treatment seem to work, it is wise to consult a doctor.
Home Remedies for Halitosis:
It is very easy and possible to treat bad breath at home with simple home remedies. All these remedies are easy to follow and work for most people. There are some that eliminate bad breath entirely while others help you curb chronic halitosis.
1. Brush, Brush, Brush:
Three places to be properly brushed at least two times every day are the teeth, the tongue (on top and underneath) and the palate (there is a reason why food is called palatable… that is because the palate plays an important part in chewing of food and can also harbor bad breath for the same reason.) While brushing, take great care to gently clean the gums as well.
2. Floss to Toss Bad Breath:
Though millions of people choose not to floss or have no awareness of its existence, it is still a very important part of our oral care routine. Fine food particles stuck between teeth and at the gum line can trigger moderate to severe bad breath. So make sure that you floss regularly and not just when you get food stuck between the teeth. Regular flossing can be just what you need to eliminate bad breath.
3. Eat, Rinse, Freshen:
It is not possible (or advisable) to brush after each meal of the day as doing so can wear down the enamel of the teeth. The next best and most feasible thing is to rinse your mouth properly whenever you eat anything. As soon as you eat, food debris gets deposited in your mouth. Bacteria begin to collect in the mouth to feed off this debris and give off that foul mouth odor. Proper rinsing washes away most of the food debris and reduces the feeding ground for bacteria.
4. Invest in Mouthwash:
A good, pH balanced, refreshing mouthwash is your ticket to halitosis free days. After brushing and flossing, use a good mouthwash that will bring down the acidity in the mouth and act as an antibacterial to reduce halitosis effectively. Even if used to rinse the mouth after every meal, it works as well as water does in washing away food debris and odor causing bacteria.
5. Shun the Culinary Culprits:
It is common knowledge that foods like garlic and onion cause bad breath. It makes sense to avoid these foods in their raw form. Most Indian dishes are served with a side salad of onions and radishes and you walk away from these meals with a strongly pungent odor in the mouth. If you must eat these foods, try including them in the recipe rather than eating them raw.
6. Non-alcohol Based Mouthwash:
Not all mouthwashes will solve your halitosis problem. Look specifically for one that contains very low or no alcohol at all. The alcohol acts as a trigger to halitosis as it dries up the mouth. A mouth devoid of saliva always tends to develop bad breath.
7. Eat at Regular Intervals:
Keeping the mouth underworked for long periods of time can promote oral dryness, which in turn promotes the buildup of odor causing bacteria. Do not skip meals. Even if you eat a simple salad or a bowl of fruits—do keep the mouth working!
8. Baking Soda:
Surprisingly, baking soda is an effective remedy for halitosis as it can balance the pH-level in the mouth and bring down the acidity. Add some baking soda powder to your daily toothpaste and you will feel immediate effect. You can make this a daily routine and reap the benefits of this simple remedy for life.
9. Citrus Blast:
Do you ever notice relief from bad breath after eating an orange? That’s because the citric acid present in this tangy fruit promotes salivation. Saliva is your body’s way of maintaining a healthy pH balance, removing bacteria and keeping the mouth hydrated. So, add citrus fruits to your diet to keep halitosis at bay.
10. Tea Tree Oil:
Tea tree oil is a powerful antioxidant and antibacterial. Add 1-2 drops of tea tree oil to your toothpaste while brushing or use it as a gargle by adding a few drops to a glass of tepid water. Gargle with this effective remedy for 3-5 minutes at bedtime or in the morning for fresh breath.
Not only does parsley make digestion effective and easy, it is also a good home remedy for halitosis. Chewing the fresh leaves directly or adding them as a garnish can be of help. The Chlorophyll in parsley acts as an anti-bacterial and helps in eliminating the odor causing bacteria from the mouth and the throat.
12. Take the Herbal Road:
Not for nothing are herbs chewed in different forms around the globe. From parsley to mint, rosemary to spearmint, tarragon to basil, all these herbs can give you fresh breath instantly. They freshen up the oral cavity and when you swallow them, you give them the chance to kill harmful bacteria in the digestive tract.
Unripe guava is a magical fruit for halitosis sufferers. Loaded with vitamin C, Tannic acid, Malic acid and Oxalate, it is a truckload of remedies for bleeding and diseased gums, bad breath and sensitive teeth. Chew on this wonder fruit to improve your overall oral health.
14. It’s all in a Cup of Tea:
Switching to black or green tea early in the mornings instead of tea or coffee with milk can take you a long way on your war against halitosis. The antioxidants in green and black tea are naturally antibacterial and will wash away and eliminate odor-causing bacteria.
15. Fenugreek (Methi seeds):
An intrinsic part of Indian culinary arts, fenugreek is effective in resolving your halitosis issues very effectively. You can either soak 20-25 fenugreek seeds overnight in a small bowl of water and drink this water in the morning or take a few seeds and boil them till it makes a ‘tea’ and sip it. Though it will taste mildly bitter, the fruit of this remedy will be sweet in the form of fresh, odorless breath.
Used since forever as an after-meal, chew in India, cardamom acts as an aromatic freshener for your mouth. It reduces bad breath by acting as a mild anti-oxidant but if it fails to do so for you, at least it will give you a beautiful fragrance to cover it up!
17. Sugar-free Gum:
Continually chewing on sugar free gum can cure halitosis by promoting and maintaining a healthy flow of saliva in the mouth and throat. Most sugar free gums also contain mouth freshening flavors like mint that give you an odor-free mouth for hours.
18. Reduce Complex Carbs:
Complex carbohydrates promote bad breath as they give the bacteria in the mouth a lot more to break down, resulting in more odor. Try reducing your intake of white bread, refined sugar, white rice, and fine flour (Maida). These foods not only cause bad breath, but are difficult for the body to break down.
19. Common Salt:
When it comes to antibacterial benefits, common salt is most remarkable. To cure your halitosis, make it a habit to rinse or gargle with a lukewarm saline solution at least once a day. Common salt has natural antibacterial properties that fights oral bacteria and eliminates mouth odor largely.
20. Apple Cider Vinegar:
If commercial mouthwashes don’t seem to solve your halitosis issue, try this: take 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of cool water and use this solution as a mouthwash and gargle solution. Doing this for about 3-5 minutes at bedtime or early in the morning will eliminate bad breath effectively. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that help greatly in reducing halitosis.
Almost all of these home remedies are effective for everyone suffering from halitosis. Don’t lose hope and confidence. There is help right there in your kitchen and bathroom shelf. Open your mind to these home remedies and you will be able to smile, talk and laugh openly in all situations without any fear or embarrassment.
Have you tried any of these home remedies? Did they work for you? Do share your experience with us in the comments section below!