What is bad breath?
A person with bad breath may be offensive without realizing it, as all the advertisements for breath mints, mouthwashes, and toothpaste are so quick to point out, Unfortunately, most people who offend in this respect are completely unaware of their problem.
Bad breath usually originates from the mouth, and the intensity or severity of the problem may vary during the day depending on the type of foods consumed. Certain foods like garlic and onions or red meat and fish can severely aggravate the problem, and smoking or alcohol consumption can also aggravate it greatly.
Bad breath is the third most common cause of a visit to a dentist after tooth decay and gum disorders.
Bad breath can also be caused by dryness of the mouth which is why individuals who do not consume adequate water may suffer from halitosis. Very often the problem may be present only in the morning because the inactivity and lack of oxygen in the mouth during the night could cause the odor to worsen.
It generally reduces after rinsing the mouth or brushing the teeth. It’s therefore quite hard to prevent bad breath in the early morning or for that matter even when fasting. Chronic bad breath is, however, a persistent problem that should be treated with medical care.
Causes of Bad Breath
Bad breath is one of the worst medical problems people are suffering from all over the world. The causes of this embarrassing and at the same time discouraging disease are poor gums, non-chewed food trapped between teeth, eating greasy and garlic, onion-rich food, diabetes, and sometimes constipation.
Poor gums or dental problems like the cavity in a tooth results in pus in the gums, and thus a poor bad smell comes from the mouth.
Doctors also say that if a person has a poor digestive or respiratory system, he suffers from Diseases like sinusitis, chronic disease; intestinal disease such as constipation have a major role in producing. Respiratory disease cause thick layers on a tongue, which produce a foul smell.
Types of Bad Breath and their Causes
Types of bad breath
Halitosis is major of two types:
Delusional halitosis (pseudohalitosis): In this case, a person complains of a foul odor from the mouth, but it is not felt by others or its diagnosis cannot be made objectively by a professional.
Genuine halitosis: This is a condition where a person suffers from bad breath, and the same can be experienced by the opposite person or a professional.
Cause of bad breath
Bad breath reasons can be divided depending on their cause and origin
Depending on the cause:
Physiological: It is a condition of transient bad odor from the mouth after waking up in the morning, and there is no pathological cause associated with it. Reduced secretion of saliva and bacterial activity at night while sleeping causes mouth odor after waking up.
Physiological halitosis can also be due to exogenous causes like consuming food that release chemical with bad odor after consumption or upon digestion like onion, garlic, smoking, and alcohol.
Pathological: In this case, bad breath is a result of an underlying health condition that can be oral or non-oral. These conditions are described below.
Depending on its origin
Oral: 90% causes of bad mouth odor are oral in origin. Bacterial activity in the oral cavity due to reasons like poor oral hygiene, tooth decay, oral infection, and gum disorder is the major cause of halitosis. As mentioned above, bacteria in the mouth release various chemicals that have a foul odor.
Another factor that triggers malodor in the mouth is the reduced production of saliva and plaque (naturally occurring bacterial film on the teeth) formation. There is also a direct relationship between bacterial load on the dorsum of the tongue and halitosis.
Poor Oral hygiene, food impaction, soft diet, fungal infection (candidiasis), dry mouth, and using dentures are some of the causes for a bad breath of oral origin
Extraoral: Common reasons for extraoralhalitosis are:
- Diet: A diet rich in sugar and protein content is seen to cause bad breath. Moreover, reduced water intake results in dry mouth and hence bad mouth odor.
- Medications: Halitosis can be observed while consuming certain medications like chemotherapy drugs, chloral hydrate, and phenothiazines.
- Certain health conditions: Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis, postnasal drip, acid reflux, liver, and kidney disorder are commonly associated with bad mouth odor.
Bad breath is a quite common problem faced by both genders and across all age groups. Bad breath solution depends on the underlying cause. Some of the common solutions are brushing and flossing regularly, tongue cleaning, mouth rinsing, consuming enough water, avoiding food items causing bad breath like onion and garlic, and regular dental check-up.
Prevention of bad breath
- Chewing mint leaves will soon freshen up the breath and is a simple home remedy for bad breath.
- Brushing teeth after every meal will prevent bad breath.
- Gargle with baking soda dissolved in warm water. It can also be used for cleaning the tongue. This remedy is one of the good home remedies for bad breath.
- Drinking a hot cup of unsweetened tea will help to cure bad breath.
- After meals chew some sunflower seeds and drink a glass of water. This is a good natural remedy for bad breath.
- Eating yogurt for 6 weeks will completely remove bad breath.
- A good natural remedy for bad breath is tea made from Fenugreek (methi) seeds.
- Chewing one clove after meals daily will help to deal with bad breath.
- Squeeze a lemon in a glass of water and gargle frequently. The good home remedy for bad breath
- Drinking pineapple juice will soon vanish the foul smell from the mouth and act as the natural remedy for bad breath.
- Eating apples daily is also good for mouth purification as it removes the bacteria causing bad breath.
- Chew cardamom seeds to sweeten your breath as the aromatic flavor of cardamom acts as a breath freshener. This remedy is also a good home remedy for bad breath.
- Mouthwashes containing, dyes and alcohol should be avoided as they only provide temporary relief.
- Eat parsley to reduce bad breath.
- Rinse juice of half a lemon with a glass of water after every meal. This is one of the effective home remedies for bad breath.
- Intake of food products that are rich in zinc prevents bad breath as it keeps the check on the anaerobic bacteria in the mouth.
- Chewing cardamom seeds also sweetens the breath.
How to cure bad breath coming from the stomach
Hydrogen peroxides for bad breath
Before brushing use hydrogen peroxides to rinse the mouth. Take an acidophilus and bifidobacteria supplement daily to establish and maintain favorable intestinal flora and healthy digestion.
If you are allergic to milk, select a dairy-free product. If you suspect bad breath related to poor digestion, try supplementing your diet with digestive enzymes.
There are some over-the-counter products available that use natural enzymes—bromelain (from pineapple) or paper n (from papaya)—which may be helpful. Follow the dosage directions on the product label. Sometimes bad breath is a result of poor stomach function.
To strengthen the gastrointestinal tract, you may want to try taking duodenal extract with vitamin A as directed on the product label.
Herbal Based toothpaste for bad breath
Choose an herbal-based toothpaste or tooth powder formulated without sugar. If this type of product is not available in your local drugstore, check a health-food store. Merfluan is a baking soda-based tooth powder that is very popular in Europe. It comes in several different flavors.
The Chinese patent medicine Fare You is a cabbage extract that helps to heal and strengthen the stomach lining. If bad breath originates from compromised stomach function, consider trying Fare You. Follow the dosage directions on the product label.
Chew Parsley for bad breath
Chew on a small sprig of parsley to freshen your breath. Parsley is rich in the natural deodorizer chlorophyll and also sweetens the digestive tract.
If bad breath is an occasional problem related to poor digestion, typically accompanied by an upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, or a lot of burping, sipping a cup of peppermint tea after meals should help to ease digestion. Or try taking a cup of ginger tea twice a day, with meals, to enhance digestion.
Guava for bad breath
Guava is one of the most liked fruits. It is not only good in taste, but also is very healthy and nutritious. Guava and its leaves are some of the best medicines. Guava contains some useful chemicals like oxalic acid, malic acid, and minerals like calcium, manganese.
All these chemicals are helpful for gums and teeth, avoid, make teeth strong, and prevent them from bleeding.
Apple for bad breath
Apple – Similarly, Apple is also a very important fruit. Chewing it after the meal, will keep the mouth fresh, and take out all the trapped foods lying between teeth.
Fenugreek Tea for bad breath
Tea made from fenugreek (methi) seeds – This is one of the oldest and most effective home remedies used to get rid of. Take a 1/2 liter of water and put to boil add a teaspoon of fenugreek seed to it and boil at the medium or low flame for 10-20 minutes. Strain away all the seeds and take this tea 3-4 times a day. This is one of the best home remedies for bad breath.
Avocado for bad breath
Avocado or Makhanphal is a very useful fruit. It clears the harmful materials stored in the intestine due to improper digestion and other diseases, and thus prevent the formation in the mouth.
Doctors have approved that eating two to three pieces of makhana is far better and much more effective than any other mouth freshener.
Fresh vegetable for bad breath
Fresh vegetable and fruit juice – Eating unhealthy food, eating less food, drinking less water or fluids are some of the reasons. With a busy schedule, we tend to eat less. However, one should always take lots of water or other fluids like freshly prepared vegetables and fruit juice.
These fluids keep the mouth wet and gums soft. Thus, there is less formation of an accumulation of bad-smelled sticky materials on the tongue.
Mint leaves and cloves for bad breath
Mint leaves and cloves – A person suffering from may chew mint leaves, cloves, etc. This keeps the mouth wet and fresh. Other than this, the patient may also chew sunflower seeds. It is a wonderful remedy for avoiding.
Coffee and tea for bad breath
- A cup of tea or coffee is one of the easiest ways to keep away.
- Rinsing the mouth with the mixture containing parsley leaves.
- Take 1-2 glasses of water and add finely chopped parsley leaves to it.
- Boil it for 15-20 minutes.
- Add 3-4 cloves to it and boil it for some time with constant stirring.
- Strain it and bring it to lukewarm temperature and rinse your mouth (gargle) two to three times a day. This has come out as an effective remedy for the treatment of bad breath.
- This is one of the useful home remedies for bad breath.
Lemon water rinsing for bad breath
- Rinsing the mouth with the mixture containing the lemon extract.
- Take 1-2 glasses of water and add one tablespoon of freshly prepared lemon juice to it.
- Rinse your mouth with it 2-3 times a day.
- This will keep you fresh and avoid. This is one of the important home remedies for bad breath
A nutritional and healthy diet
Stress and wrong food habit are some of the major causes. A person suffering from this should always eat proper food and at a proper time.
Make a diet chart that includes all the essential, nutritional food items like green vegetables, fruits, carrots, celery, grams, less oily food, cereals. Avoid junk food, apart from severely affecting various parts of the body like the heart, lungs; it also produces in the mouth.
Brush Your Teeth
Stating the obvious somewhat, this is the best place to start your battle against halitosis. The biggest cause of bad breath is the build-up of plaque, but this is nullified if you brush regularly and correctly.
Brush at least twice a day and spend 2 minutes on the task at hand. You should also floss once a day because this will remove the food particles between your teeth. If you feel like you should be doing this more often, just go ahead, just try not to brush too aggressively as this can harm your enamel.
Get some baking soda and trickle some onto the palm of your hand, now get your toothbrush and run water thru it, now simply dip the brush in your hand to get a good lathe of baking soda and brush your teeth with it. You will be amazed at how clean your mouth will feel and fresh your breath will smell.
Your tongue can harbor a lot of bad-smelling bacteria, and you can remove this using your toothbrush gently over the surface area. You can also try using a tongue scraper, this is purpose-built for smelly germ removal.
Avoid Garlic, Onions, and Spicy Foods
The substance contained in these items enters your bloodstream and you eventually breathe them out of your lungs. If you know you are going to be at an important meeting, or have a hot date lined up, avoid eating these until the next day if possible!
If you drink at least the recommended six to eight glasses of water per day you are actively flushing out the bacteria from your mouth.
Another important aspect of this remedy is that you can keep your mouth moist. By preventing your mouth from drying you are preventing bad breath.
Fruit Juice Eating fruits or drinking the juices coming from fruits is another real remedy, especially if you take in fruits with strong acidic content.
Cranberry juice and orange juice are all good remedies to dissolve the hardened pockets of plaque,
Especially behind the back area of your teeth where the brush may not have reached. whether you eat the fruit or drink the juice it makes no difference as long as you intake the fluids that will work their wonders on the plaque.
Salt Water Rinse
Gargling or rinsing out your mouth with salty hot water is one of the most tried and true bad breath remedies that dentists highly suggest to their patients.
The salt content is good to help heal damaged gums and teeth and it is a better, stronger mix than any mouthwash you can find in the store.
It will dissolve plaque but it may not be enough to flush them out and so you’ll have to brush your teeth before or after rinsing.
Your garden is a likely place to find breath freshening herbs. Cardamon, parsley, rosemary, eucalyptus, tarragon, oregano, spearmint, and coriander are excellent herbs to combat bad breath. You could either make a tea from these herbs or just chew them raw.
You can easily get hold of chewing gum or some mints, they’re both a good option. Get the sugarless kind of gum. Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva which helps wash away the bacteria and plaque that causes bad breath.
Drink More Water
It seems almost funny that drinking more water helps with issues from weight gain to stress, but it is indeed true. In the case of bad breath – yes, dehydration is one of its causes. How do you fight dehydration? By increasing your water intake.
The bacteria in your mouth feed on food particles that get loose, and as we mentioned before, this results in a bad odor. Do you know what fights the bacteria? It’s saliva, and the body cannot produce enough of it if you’re not drinking enough water.
Saliva, as an oxygen-rich fluid, helps to fight the bacteria because they thrive in an environment that’s low in oxygen. So stick to your bottle!
Welcome Herbs in Your Daily Routine
Heavy tea drinkers already do that; but even if you’re not one, it’s good to know that polyphenols, compounds found in green and black tea, may stop the growth of the bacteria in your mouth responsible for bad breath, or prevent the existing bacteria from producing the smelly compounds.
Apart from those, stinging nettle tea is said to be good as this herb may purify the blood and eliminate toxins from the body, as it stimulates the lymphatic system and increases the excretion of uric acid throughout the kidneys.
Apart from this, you can also use herbs to freshen your breath. Fresh rosemary, mint, tarragon, or parsley are good for chewing. Do it for about a minute.
Take Care of Your Tongue
You probably brush your teeth at least twice a day. But do you take care of your tongue as diligently? If that’s not the case, you should start. Food particles can also stick to the tongue, as well as dead cells and bacteria, and this can form a thick coating responsible for bad breath.
Remove it by using a quality tongue scraper, a special instrument that doesn’t cost much, but it’s essential for your oral hygiene. Cleaning your tongue every day will ensure no unwanted guests stay there and cause trouble.
Sometimes halitosis occurs because the body lacks the mineral zinc, whose role is to help maintain a clean, bacteria-free mouth. So what you can do is take zinc supplements and also eat zinc-rich foods, such as pumpkin, cocoa, organ meats.
Some mouthwashes also contain zinc as an active ingredient, because it will neutralize sulfur compounds and thus improve breath.
Use Mouthwashes Regularly
Especially those containing zinc, as we previously mentioned. Besides those, some of the mouthwashes that will deal with your problem directly are those containing essential oils. In comparison with conventional mouthwashes, mouthwashes with essential oils, such as tea tree oil, lemon oil, or peppermint oil, have been shown to reduce the level of sulfur compounds.
Nevertheless, whichever mouthwash you opt for, make sure it doesn’t contain any alcohol, because it can dry out the mouth, which, as we discussed previously, contributes to bad breath.
Snack on the Good Things
Similar to using a tongue scraper, some foods can do something similar. It’s crunchy foods, such as carrots, apples, celery. Eating more of those can help scrape out the plaque build-ups from teeth and tongue. But let’s not forget that those foods are also rich in fiber and other immune-boosting nutrients.
It’s never a bad idea to get them, as they can help with overall health, but more importantly here, they help trigger an increased production of saliva inside the mouth, which is a great thing when it comes to fighting bad breath.
Although the majority of causes of bad breath are located in the mouth, sometimes halitosis happens due to poor gut health. If your digestive tract is full of toxin build-up, if your dietary habits are just bad, or if you suffer from some of the digestive system issues, you can easily develop bad breath.
These conditions create a lot of gas in the body and guess what – the gas has to exit, so sometimes it can happen through the mouth. The solution to this can be taking probiotics, which can help replace the bad microbes causing odor with beneficial varieties.
Take a probiotic supplement, or just add probiotic-rich foods to your diet. There’s plenty to choose from yogurt, pickled vegetables, kombucha tea…
Realizing that you suffer from bad breath can be an awful discovery, because it will prompt you to think of all the social situations where you might have been too close to someone while talking.
Oops! But with these natural remedies, you can solve the problem pretty quickly. But keep some mints in your pocket, just in case. Good luck!