Do you suffer from bad breath? It can be quite an unpleasant situation at a first date or a job interview, and there’s nothing you can do except grimace inwardly. Read this article to know how to get rid of bad breath easily to avoid such embarrassing situations the next time.
Halitosis, as it is medically known, can be embarrassing and can make a person withdrawn and very self-conscious. It is a common myth that bad breath originates in the mouth and ends there. It can also be caused by different conditions in the tongue, nose, gums, tonsils, digestive tract, stomach, and even some systemic diseases.
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. This article has a plethora of simple solutions to help you combat bad breath.
Before we proceed to the remedies, let us understand the causes of bad breath.
Halitosis, when not caused by any underlying physical condition, is best tackled by eliminating the trigger from your lifestyle. Here are some common triggers of bad breath:
The chances of bad breath due to an underlying disease are very low. However, if none of the home remedies given below seem to work, it is wise to consult a doctor.
Let us now look at the different remedies that will help you bid goodbye to bad breath.
Home Remedies For Bad Breath
Do this in the morning and also before going to bed.
Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that help greatly in reducing halitosis. It restores the pH balance in the mouth (1).
Use activated charcoal 2-3 times a week until the bad breath problem is cured.
Activated charcoal absorbs the impurities in your mouth and kills harmful bacteria. It is also good for whitening your teeth (2).
Continually chewing 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 odor-free breath for hours.
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
Repeat this every day until the bad breath is gone.
Coconut oil swishing is a popular technique used to keep the mouth healthy and bacteria-free. This oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties (3).
Mix the salt in the water and gargle with this.
Do this every day initially. After a while, do it every alternate day.
When it comes to toxin removal, Epsom salt is the most remarkable ingredient. It also has natural antibacterial properties that fight oral bacteria and eliminate odor in the mouth (4).
Repeat this once every day until you get relief.
Eucalyptus oil exerts a bactericidal effect on different types of bacteria. It also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that will alleviate any pain or swelling present in your mouth (5).
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Chew on the fennel seeds and ingest them.
Use this remedy as and when required.
An intrinsic part of Indian culinary culture, fennel is effective in resolving halitosis issues very effectively. It freshens your breath and also takes care of any infections that may be causing bad breath (6).
Do this after your meals initially, and then, once every few days to keep bad breath at bay.
The antimicrobial properties of ginger help to eliminate bad odor as well as different types of oral and throat infections (7).
Have 1-3 cups of green tea every day.
Having green tea early in the morning instead of tea or coffee with milk can take you a long way in your war against halitosis. The phytochemicals in green tea are naturally antibacterial and will wash away and eliminate the odor-causing bacteria (8).
1-2 drops grapefruit seed extract
Repeat this every day, and you will notice a difference in a week.
This citrus extract deodorizes the mouth and also eliminates any bacteria that may be growing in there (9).
A few fresh parsley leaves
Chew the fresh leaves directly or add them as a garnish on your food.
Include parsley in your regular diet.
Parsley not only makes digestion effective and easy, but it is also a good home remedy for halitosis. The chlorophyll in parsley acts as an antibacterial and helps in eliminating the odor-causing bacteria from the mouth and the throat (10).
Use this remedy as and when required.
Repeat this once a week.
Baking soda balances the pH levels in the mouth and brings down the acidity as it is a natural antacid (13). Along with the antibacterial properties of lemon juice, this remedy makes for a potent combination to remove bad breath.
Do not use this remedy too often as excessive use of baking soda can damage the tooth enamel.
Make some salt water with the ingredients and use it as a gargle.
Repeat this once or twice a day.
Do this every day in the morning.
Like coconut oil, sesame oil thoroughly cleanses your mouth and improves dental health. An added benefit of using this remedy is that sesame oil also whitens your teeth (16).
You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to your toothpaste before brushing.
Repeat this every day until the bad breath is gone.
Tea tree oil is a powerful antioxidant and antibacterial agent. It works against different types of bacteria and kills them (17).
Eat this fruit anytime during the day. You can also cut it into pieces and sprinkle some salt and black pepper powder on it for flavor.
Eat guavas a few times during the week.
Loaded with vitamin C, tannic acid, malic acid, and oxalate, guava is an apt remedy for bleeding and diseased gums, bad breath, and sensitive teeth. Chew on this wonder fruit to improve your overall oral health (18).
1 cardamom pod
Whenever you have had a meal with garlic and onions or any other food item that has a strong odor, pop a cardamom pod into your mouth after the meal.
Cardamom has been used since forever in India after meals. It acts as an aromatic freshener for your mouth and reduces bad breath by acting as a deodorizer. It masks the bad odor with its fragrance (19).
Do this in the mornings after brushing your teeth. Use it intermittently through the week for best results.
Hydrogen peroxide is a potent antimicrobial solution that can easily get rid of bad breath caused by bacteria (20).
Do not use this remedy repetitively every day as hydrogen peroxide can damage the teeth and gums on excessive exposure.
You can store the remaining cinnamon mouthwash in the airtight container for future use.
Repeat this every day for a few days.
Cinnamon and honey both possess antimicrobial properties that will disinfect and cleanse your mouth (21, 22). Lemon also contains acids that have a bactericidal effect on the oral flora while balancing the pH in the mouth.
It is very easy and convenient to treat bad breath at home with the simple home remedies listed in this article. 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. Pick a remedy that will work best for you. We have also listed some tips you can follow to keep your breath smelling fresh always.
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 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 clean the gums gently.
Though millions of people choose not to floss or are unaware of its existence, it is still a very important part of a good oral care routine. Fine food particles stuck between the teeth and at the gum line can trigger moderate to severe bad breath. So, make sure you floss regularly and not just when you get food stuck between your teeth. Regular flossing can be just what you need to eliminate bad breath.
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.
A good pH-balanced and 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 it is used to rinse the mouth after every meal, it works as well as water does in washing away food debris and odor-causing bacteria.
It is common knowledge that foods like garlic and onion cause bad breath, and 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.
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 for halitosis as it dries up the mouth. A mouth devoid of saliva always tends to develop bad breath.
Keeping the mouth underworked for long periods can promote oral dryness, which in turn promotes the build-up of odor-causing bacteria. Do not skip meals.
Did you ever experience 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.
It is not for nothing that herbs are 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 refresh the oral cavity, and when you swallow them, you give them the chance to kill harmful bacteria in the digestive tract.
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 also difficult for the body to break down.
If you have been suffering from bad breath, 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 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.