Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is embarrassing and can take a toll on your confidence level. Bad breath can be due to a number of reasons such as eating odorous foods, smoking, dry mouth, medical conditions, gum disease, and sinus conditions.
The origins of bad breath are not mysterious: dental cavities, gum disease, poor oral hygiene, coated tongue (a white or yellow coating on the tongue, usually due to inflammation) are among the most common. Hundreds of bacteria live in our mouths and some of them—on the tongue or below the gumline or in pockets created by gum disease between gums and teeth, for example—create sulfurous smells. Other causes may include malnutrition (fat breakdown gives your breath a fruity odor), uncontrolled diabetes, and dry mouth (saliva has an antimicrobial effect). Infections such as sore throat or sinusitis, or intestinal disorders, such as heartburn, ulcers, and lactose intolerance, also result in bad breath.
Maintaining good oral health is essential to controlling bad breath. This includes regular tooth brushing, flossing and tongue scraping.
Along with water, you can also treat bad breath with the help of some readily available ingredients from your kitchen cupboard.
- Saunf (Fennel) — acts as an excellent mouth freshener that helps control bad breath. It also contains anti microbial properties that fight the bacteria in the mouth.a) Slowly chew a tablespoon of saunf (fennel) to freshen your breath and stimulate the production of saliva.
b) Drink Saunf (fennel) tea a couple of times a day. To make this tea, steep one or two teaspoons of fennel seeds in a cup of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes
- Cinnamon — Cinnamon contains cinnamic aldehyde, an essential oil that not only covers up bad breath, but also reduces the amount of bacteria in your mouth. To treat bad breath follow this remedy twice daily.
a) Boil one teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a cup of water. Strain the solution and use it as a mouth rinse to refresh your breath.
- Fenugreek — Fenugreek tea is highly effective when bad breath is caused by catarrhal infections.a) Boil a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in a cup of water.
b) Strain and drink this tea once daily until you get rid of the problem.
- Cloves — Cloves help freshen your breath and also have antibacterial properties that are very helpful in getting rid of bad breatha) The easiest method is to pop a few pieces of cloves into your mouth and chew them thoroughly. This will eliminate bad breath in a few minutes.
b) You can also make clove tea. Boil a cup of water, add one teaspoon of ground cloves and allow it to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Drink the tea or use it as a mouthwash twice a day.
- Parsley — Parsley contains chlorophyll that can help neutralize bad breath.a) Simply chew on a fresh parsley sprig to refresh your breath. You can also dip this herb in vinegar and then chew it thoroughly.
b) Another option is to put parsley leaves through a juicer and sip the juice anytime you need to refresh your breath. It will also aid digestion.
- Lemon Juice — The acidic content in lemons prevents growth of bacteria in your mouth. Plus, its strong pleasant smell helps mask the bad odor) Just stir one tablespoon of lemon juice into a cup of water and rinse your mouth with it. You can also add a bit of salt to it and then use it. This remedy will help to solve the problem of dry mouth which is one of the main reasons that contribute to bad breath.
- Apple cider Vinegar — Due to its pH balancing effects, apple cider vinegar makes a wonderful remedy for bad breath. You can try any of these remedies depending on your preference.a) Stir one tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar into a glass of water and drink it before eating your meals. The vinegar will help in digestion as well as cure bad breath.
b) Gargle with apple cider vinegar mixed in a cup of water.
- Baking Soda — Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda, is another great solution for getting rid of and preventing bad breath. It helps balance the levels of acid that contribute to bad breath. Plus, it fights oral bacteria that cause bad breath.a) Mix one-half teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of warm water and use it as a mouth rinse once daily until you are satisfied with the results.
b) Brushing your teeth with baking soda will also help reduce the acidity in your mouth and prevent bacteria from building up on your tongue.
- Green Tea — The antioxidant polyphenols present in green tea can stop the growth of bacteria responsible for bad breath.a) To make this tea, steep one teaspoon of dried sage in a cup of hot water for five minutes. Strain and drink this tea several times a day to keep your breath fresh.
I’m Dr. Malini Bhat MD (Ayu); an Ayurvedic Doctor and a health blogger. Follow me on social media to get daily health tips which you can easily adapt to a healthy lifestyle.