Do you always have to carry gum or candy with you because you’re worried about your breath?
Are you scared of speaking to people because of your breath?
No matter how much you brush, you can’t seem to shake the bad breath?
Bad breath can ruin your day and chronic bad breath can ruin your social life. Many people suffer from this problem and it can create psychological and self-esteem disadvantages. Bad breath is usually caused by something going on inside the oral cavity.
Causes of Bad Breath (Halitosis)
The biggest culprits of bad breath are usually caused by a coated tongue, cavities, poor oral hygiene, gingivitis, odor causing foods, periodontitis, or a combination of any of the above.
Other common causes of bad breath are malnutrition, diabetes, chronic dry mouth, stress, certain medications, infections and a decreased immune system, and gastrointestinal disorders.
When your body does not get the proper nutrients, it breaks down fats into ketones, which causes a fruity odor. The start of digestion begins in the mouth, by your salivary glands. A decrease is saliva causes bad breath because saliva carries antimicrobial agents.
Our mouths produce about 3 pints of saliva everyday. The job of saliva is to aid in digestion, carry essential calcium and phosphorus to build strong teeth, and to fight against harmful bacteria that cause gum and periodontal diseases.
Certain foods, spices, drinks, and chemicals can cause temporary bad breath. Onions, garlic, curries, alcohol, coffee, cigarettes are popular offenders.
What is Halitosis?
The medical term for bad breath is called Halitosis.
According to a study published in the OA Dentistry journal, gum and periodontal disease affects 92.9% of the worldwide population. Halitosis within the general population affects 22-50%.
Taking care of your oral problems is important because it can ruin the quality of your life.
The mouth is home to hundreds of different kinds of bacteria. Certain harmful bacteria can cause odors. As our saliva starts to digest the food that enters our mouths, several noxious substances arises, leading to halitosis.
Odors arise from the overgrowth of proteolytic, anaerobic gram-negative bacteria that hides inside the crevices of the mouth and tongue.
Home Remedies & Cures for Bad Breath
There are many different causes of bad breath. That is why it is important to find out what is actually causing your condition. Whatever the cause is, there are natural ways to get rid of it.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar has many anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties that can kill odor-causing bacteria. It can also break down plaque that harbors many bacteria that cause bad breath.
Bad breath can be caused by GI diseases, such as ulcers, heartburn, lactose intolerance, and gluten allergies. ACV is a great natural remedy for gastrointestinal (GI) diseases.
Method: (Gargle) Mix 1 teaspoon of ACV with 1 cup of pure filtered water. Swish mixture around the mouth for a few minutes, then gargle. Be sure not to swallow the mixture.
(Drink) Mix 1 tablespoon of ACV into a large glass of pure filtered water, drink. For added health benefits and enhanced taste, add 1 teaspoon of ceylon cinnamon and raw organic honey.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Organic, Raw, Unfiltered
- Honey – Pure, Raw, Unfiltered
- Cinnamon (Ceylon) – Organic
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda (also known as Sodium Bicarbonate) is another quick fix for bad breath.
Baking soda contains anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties that makes it hard for harmful bacteria to stick around.
Sodium bicarbonate is also great for whitening teeth, but it can cause corrosion if left on for too long. Always rinse baking soda off after use. Baking soda is also good at neutralizing the pH levels in your body and aids in faster digestion.
Method: (Gargle) Mix 1 teaspoon of sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 cup of warm filtered water, gargle.
(Drink) Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with pure filtered water, drink. Do this every other day, for a month.
(Brush) After brushing normally, add a little baking soda to your toothbrush. Brush for 2 minutes, then rinse out your mouth.
3. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are widely used in India for freshening the mouth. Fennel contains anti-microbial properties that fights against bad breath. It is also used to aid in digestion.
Fennel contains a compound called Anethole, which relaxes the stomach and prevents spasms and flatulence. Fennel water is also often used in colicky babies.
Method: (Tea) After a meal, try some fennel tea — make by seeping crushed seeds in hot water.
(Chew) Chew 1 teaspoon of whole seeds slowly after your meal.
Herbs are aromatic, nutritious, flavorful, and contains chlorophyll. Chlorophyll in green plants is a powerful and natural deodorizer. Chewing on herbs helps stimulate bacteria-fighting saliva.
The effects of chlorophyll as a deodorizer do not last long. Herbs as a natural odor killer is a good remedy if you are looking for a quick fix.
Method: (Chew) After meals, chew on fresh peppermint, rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, basil, mint or cilantro leaves, instead of gum.
Lemons and other citrus fruits are great at combating problematic odor-causing bacteria, due to their strong anti-microbial properties.
Lemons (especially the rinds) contain acids and vitamin c that keep the growth of bacteria under control. They prevent the colonization of bacteria and excess mucous from forming on your tongue and gum line.
Method: (Chew) Chew on a piece of lemon or a clean orange rind. Eat after meals or throughout the day for a burst of freshening flavor.
(Drink) Squeeze fresh lemon into a large glass of pure filtered water. Drink every morning, upon waking.
Cinnamon releases essential oils that are great at killing harmful bacteria. This spice is found to contain a component called aldehyde, which is great at keeping noxious bacteria at bay.
Some other benefits of cinnamon include: antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, controls blood sugar, improves colon health, protects against heart disease, and boosts brain function. Another benefit of this spice is that it is naturally sweet and low in calories!
There are two different kind of cinnamon: Cassia Cinnamon (cheap and can be toxic if taken in large amounts – found in most supermarkets) and Ceylon Cinnamon (pure, sweeter, more nutrient dense).
Method: (Drink) Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to your favorite drinks (water, coffee, tea).
7. Oil Pulling – Coconut Oil
Oil pulling has been used for thousands of years and originated from ancient Ayurvedic medicine. Oil pulling is basically a detoxification of your mouth.
Oil pulling is performed by swishing a tablespoon of oil around in the mouth for 20 minutes. This process sucks out toxins that are buildup in the mouth, and creates a clean environment.
This oil practice is usually performed with sesame or coconut oil. Organic, raw, unfiltered coconut oil has strong anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.
Coconut oil is effective at reducing effects of gingivitis, cavities, plaque buildup, yellowing of teeth, and odor-causing bacteria.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid and produces monolaurin when digested. Both lauric acid and monolaurin are powerful agents against harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
- Swish 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil in your mouth, as soon as you wake up.
- Make sure to oil pull before you eat, drink, or brush.
- Slowly swish for 15-20 minutes, without swallowing any of the oil.
- Spit out the oil into a garbage can (not the sink).
- Rinse out your mouth with warm water. For added antimicrobial effects, try rinsing with sea salt water or pink himalayan salt water.
- Brush your teeth like normal.
- Repeat process 2-3 times a week.
8. Raw Fruits & Vegetables
Raw fruits and vegetables are nature’s natural toothbrush. They contain antimicrobial properties that naturally kill bad breath.
They also contain fibrous particles that scrub and clean your teeth surfaces.
Method: (Eat) Carry some raw fruits and veggies to snack on, or to eat after meals.
9. Brush Properly
Your tongue harbors hundreds of odor-causing bacteria. Make sure you rigorously brush the yellow or white coating off the top of your tongue. This nasty film is usually caused by inflammation and infection.
When brushing your teeth, make sure you also get the inner and outer sides as well. Don’t forget to brush the roof and sides of your mouth afterwards.
If you have dentures, always remove them every night. Clean your teeth, gums, tongue, and the roof and sides of your mouth.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), it is a good idea to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed.
Toothbrushes can house numerous microorganisms. These organisms can cause oral or systemic infections. Allow toothbrush bristles to fully dry before transporting, and try not to use covers if possible.
Once a week, soak your brushes in hydrogen peroxide to kill off excess bacteria. Never share toothbrushes, even with your family.
These remedies are all natural and safe in treating bad breath. Repeat them regularly and feel free to mix and match remedies.
Finding the cause of your condition is always more important than treating individual symptoms. Get a teeth cleaning by your dentist every 6 months. Also, don’t forget to brush and floss at least twice a day.