Have you often realized that people tend to step backwards while talking to you or they try to cover their nose seemingly casually but yes they do! If yes, then you might be suffering from halitosis- the technical term for bad breath. It’s not that bad breath which you have in the morning due to those bad bacteria in your mouth who got the chance to feed on the food debris in your closed mouth all through the night. It is that smelly breath which is with you for the whole day to embarrass you as well as others who try to communicate with you. Some of you might get relief by using toothbrush, floss and mouthwash but that proves to be a temporary solution. For permanent treatment of bad breath, you must resort to certain home remedies!
Before going for any home remedies for bad breath, you should check with your doctor to rule out the possibility of any gum disease or tooth decay as well as other conditions such as respiratory or sinus infections, bronchitis, diabetes or malfunctioning of the liver or kidney. These medical conditions may be the actual culprit behind your halitosis.
Natural Remedies for Bad Breath
Keep your mouth clean
This is no home remedy, it is a necessity. There are roughly 700 kinds of bacteria that flourish in your mouth. The smell from you breath, of course comes from the by products released by these bacteria when they digest their food. You better clean the food debris and every other thing in your mouth that may prompt your mouth bacteria to have a feast!
- Brush your teeth twice a day and keep the process going for at least 2-3 minutes. It should not just be for namesake.
- Floss your teeth once a day to clear the food tapped between your teeth and gum line if you don’t want these areas to be the feeding ground of bacteria.
- Clean your tongue with either tooth brush or a tongue cleaner. This will eliminate any micro substances attached to the rough surface on your tongue like food particles, dead cells etc. However, be gentle on your tongue not only because it gives you taste and is very sensitive but also because there are certain good bacteria on your tongue- right on the top, close to your throat- which in fact, prevent the foul smell of breath. The only problem is that till now no scientific research has been able to categorize the good and bad bacteria of your mouth. Thus, the need to clean your tongue too.
Keep your mouth’s saliva active; drink water
Why do you think you’ve got saliva in your mouth? Is it a useless feature? No, not at all. Saliva is natural antibacterial solution which not only controls your mouth bacteria but also washes away food debris from within. The moment your mouth gets dry, your breath starts stinking. While your body is fully capable of producing enough saliva, it’s your duty to keep it hydrated so that it can perform its function properly. Drink lots of water through out the day. Certain food items and herbs etc. are also helpful in producing saliva about which we’ll know later in this article.
Have Natural Mouth Fresheners after Meals
If you face the problem of bad breath only after having meals, culprit can be the foods you like the most and have often and in plenty. Sometimes though having lesser foods, especially, carbohydrates, may also lead to bad breath (now you know why your mouth stinks when you are on crash diets!). Anyways, rinsing your mouth with plenty of water after meals is always desirable. You can also take help of certain natural mouth freshening ingredients that can instantly combat your bad breath. Some of them are liquids while others spices or herbs. So, drink them, chew them or have them in whatever way they are meant to be taken.
- Green tea - its antibacterial compounds fight off the germs in your mouth
- Cardamom - one whole cardamom or a few seeds of it work fine
- Fennel seeds - chew a pinch or two of the fine ones
- Fresh mint -just a leaf or two will do
- Clove- only a pod is too much
- Anise seeds- chewing them will help in digestion too
- Cilantro, coriander or parsley- they contain chlorophyll- the well known breath deodorizer; if you can’t chew them, spread some leaves on to your salad, yogurt or any other food!
In fact, you can prepare a delicious mouth freshener by roasting fennel seeds, coriander seeds and adding little cardamom seeds, clove pods and few dried leaves of mint. This homemade mouth freshener can be stored in a handy container to be kept with you everytime. Whenever you have your meal- wherever you are- just have a pinch or two of this mouth freshener and keep your bad breath at bay.
Eat yogurt everyday
It’s established now, the age old habit of having yogurt everyday after lunch (it’s a common dietary habit in many Asian countries) is good for eliminating bad breath. A recent study has suggested that when you have yogurt daily, you may enable yourself to keep odors at bay. As little as 6 ounces or roughly 170 gm of yogurt daily is enough to treat your halitosis. Why yogurt? Because researchers found out that yogurt can reduce levels of odor causing compounds in mouth such as hydrogen sulfide. Not only bad breath but yogurt can also keep the risk of plaque and gingivitis, the common gum disease at lower levels.
Make your own gargling water
As you don’t know exactly where are those bad bacteria that cause bad breath in your mouth, it’s better to keep your whole oral cavity clean. You take enough measures to clean your teeth, gums and tongue but throat remains a concern. Sometimes cough trapped in throat too give rise to bad breath. So better clean it with gargling. And when you are doing it to eliminate bad breath, use some refreshing ingredients or herbs do make your gargle water.
- Put a few drops of wild oil of oregano in water. After cleaning your mouth, gargle with this water. The oil that you are using should have at least 80% corvical- the active ingredient within the oregano oil.
- Add a teaspoon of ginger juice in a glass of warm water. The temperature of the water should be more than lukewarm nearing a little hotness that may kill the bacteria in your throat.
- Simply gargle with barberry tea.
- This is an Ayurvedic remedy. Take equal amounts of the following powders.
- Bakul (Mimusops elengi)
- Khadir (Acacia catechu)
- Betel nut
- Mayaphal (Quercus infectoria)
- Cumin seeds
- Vidang (Embelia ribes)
- Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia)
- Black Pepper
- Kulinjan (Alpini galanga)
Mix all the above powders and store. Now mix a teaspoon of this powder in water whenever you want to gargle with this herbal decoction. What’s interesting is this that you can even use this mixture for making your mouthwash. You can even brush your teeth with it. Ayurvedic practitioners make tablets out of this mixture which can be held in mouth to freshen up breath or to prevent tooth decay as well as to treat gum diseases.
- Yet another Ayurvedic remedy for bad breath- gargling water made with Yastimadhu (Glycerrhiza glabra), Sariva (Hemidesmos indicus) and Turmeric powder. This medicated water cleans and reduces the bacteria in your mouth and throat.
Use Myrrh oil for your bad breath
This aromatic resin of a thorny tree, Myrrh has compounds called terpenoids that can effectively control the harmful bacteria causing bad breath. Not only this myrrh can also give you healthy gums as indicated by the Dental Research Center and Department of Periodontology at the University of Tennessee reports which say that myrrh oil may help reduce redness and swelling accompanying unhealthy gums. You can use 5-10 drops of myrrh oil to make your mouthwash. You can even add its drops to a herbal tea and gargle with it for an aromatic treat to your mouth and throat.
Tree tea oil also helps you to eliminate halitosis
Tea tree extracts are one of the widely used ingredients for dental products. Why can’t you then use it naturally to control your bad breath! Researchers at Switzerland’s Institute of Preventive Dentistry and Oral Microbiology at the University of Basel have reported that tree tea oil decreases bacteria causing halitosis. Here are some ways to use this oil for your bad breath
- Add 3-4 drops of tree tea oil in a cup of warm water and gargle with it twice daily.
- Mix 3-4 drops of this oil in water to use it as mouthwash. Remember to never swallow the solution.
- Dip your dental floss in tree tea oil before you go floss with it.
- Use it as toothpaste. To make it a little less stronger, mix it with your regular toothpaste.
The mantra to keep away your bad breath is to not allowing the bacteria in your mouth survive for long. Also regular cleaning on your own self and a regular visit to a dentist for advanced cleaning of tartar is a must. Keep visiting your dentist every 6-8 months and keep bad breath as well as other gum diseases at bay!