Halitosis, or bad breath, is something all people struggle with from time to time. We have put together a list of multiple home remedies for bad breath. Whether your dinner was especially pungent or you have a medical condition causing bad breath, there is hope for you. Up to a quarter of the population can suffer from bad breath.
What is Halitosis? – The main cause of bad breath is from bacteria in the mouth giving off a foul odor. This can be from the gums, teeth or tongue. If you get food stuck in your teeth or have bad oral cleaning habits, you can suffer from bad breath.
Why Does My Breath Smell Bad?
If you brush your teeth regularly, there are many reasons for bad breath. Certain foods can be detected on your breath even several hours after eating, such as coffee, garlic, and onions. When onions are digested, the odor can show up again through the lungs.
Do you get morning breath? It’s very common, and it happens because saliva production slows down at night. Saliva keeps everything in the mouth moving, cleaning out bacteria and food. When you wake up in the morning, you can have bad breath because of the lack of saliva. Eating and brushing your teeth can usually make it go away.
Bad breath can also be a sign of tooth decay or gum disease.
Medical causes of bad breath include diabetes or a malfunction of the kidneys or liver. Diabetes can cause halitosis because something called ketones is produced in the body due to a lack of insulin, and ketones trigger bad breath.
Some people also suffer from dry mouth, sometimes caused by radiation therapy or smoking. The lack of saliva is a big problem.
Smoking, in general, can cause bad breath as well.
Different Kinds of Bad Breath
If your breath smells like garlic or onions, the chances are that was what you ate to make your breath smell. But other scents might point to a different problem.
Breath with the odor of feces might be an indication of a problem with your bowels. If it smells of ammonia, that might be a symptom of kidney problems, especially kidney failure. If diabetes is causing your halitosis, your breath will smell fruity.
How to Know If You Have It
Unless someone tells you that your mouth odor is offensive, it can be hard to tell if you have bad breath. You can ask someone, such as your partner or a family member, about your odor, but if you don’t want to subject them to such a question, there are a few ways to tell for yourself.
Sometimes you can feel the bad breath. If you have lingering tastes in your mouth, particularly things like coffee or garlic, chances are the scent is lingering too. If your tongue feels dry or you have that stale, gross morning feeling, your breath might be bad.
If you want to do a test to find out for sure, there are a few ways:
- Lick your arm and smell the area after it has dried for a moment. An unpleasant odor will give you a clue about your breath smell.
- Another way to tell is to use floss or a tongue scraper and sniff them after use.
- If you still can’t tell for yourself and suspect you have bad breath, you can always bring it up to your dentist, who will not only tell you the truth but can help you figure out what is causing it.
Getting Rid of Bad Breath
Oral hygiene is the number one defense against halitosis. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing can have a huge effect if you suffer from bad breath. Flossing gets all of the food particles and bacteria between teeth that brushing can’t get to. Brushing your tongue helps remove bacteria as well.
If you have a retainer, dentures, a mouth guard or any other device that goes in your mouth, make sure you clean it thoroughly and properly very often.
Schedule regular dentist and hygienist appointments to make sure that you’re doing a proper job of cleaning your mouth. They will provide a boost to the cleaning you’re doing at home and can help you determine what exactly is causing your bad breath.
A change in diet can also help with bad breath, particularly eliminating extra sugar from your diet. Sweets can contribute to bad oral hygiene. Avoiding smoking and caffeine can also help.
Mouthwash can help with bad breath. Some mouthwashes may only mask the odor, however, so you want to get mouthwash that will kill bacteria. Be careful of alcohol-containing mouthwashes, as alcohol can dry out your mouth and make halitosis worse.
Any toothpaste will help with bad breath since it means you are cleaning your mouth, but some might work better than others to kill odor-causing bacteria.
Baking soda is found in a lot of toothpaste, it balances the acids in the mouth and also kills bacteria.
Home Remedies For Bad Breath
Drinking more water can help a lot of halitosis issues. Water is one of the simplest home remedies against bad breath and helps to rinse the mouth of food particles as well as keeping the mouth from getting dry.
Eat More Vegetables
Eating vegetables helps the body produce saliva. Herbs such as mint and parsley can also help you eliminate bad breath. The chlorophyll found in parsley works to fight bad breath, and you can get the benefits simply by chewing on fresh parsley.
Fennel against Bad Breath
Fennel also helps freshen breath as it is antimicrobial. Chew fennel seeds or drink fennel tea. Tea, in general, can also help with bad breath thanks to its antioxidant content preventing bacteria from growing.
Peppermint Oil / Baking Soda vs Bad Breath
Try minty oils like wintergreen or peppermint to fight halitosis as they will stay in the mouth longer than mouthwash. Or add another home remedy and make your mouthwash out of the water, baking soda and peppermint oil.
In addition, you can just swish a bit of low percentage hydrogen peroxide in your mouth for a few seconds and it will kill bacteria and germs.
Cinnamon Water Mouthwash
Water boiled with ground cinnamon can also be a good natural mouthwash. The oils found in cinnamon fight bacteria.
Lemon Water against Bad Breath
Water and lemon juice can work as well since the acid in lemons doesn’t let bacteria grow. Plus it has a strong natural odor.
Apple Cider Vinegar Mouthwash to fight Bad Breath
Another natural mouthwash is apple cider vinegar in water. You can drink it before eating or use it as a mouth rinse.
As you see you have a large variety of remedies against bad breath. With a little discipline and constant observation, bad breath can be minimized and become a thing of the past.