Some people are convinced they have mouth odor when their breath is completely neutral. Others have terrible breath and don’t know it. It can be hard to smell your own breath, let alone judge its odor. Ask someone you trust to give you an honest opinion sometime in the middle of the day, and not right after polishing off a tuna sandwich with extra onions. If your suspicions are confirmed and your breath is problematic, don’t worry. There are many home remedies that can eliminate bad breath. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
Origin of Mouth Odor:
Bad breath typically originates in the mouth, where bacteria are ever present. When you eat, bits of food get caught in your teeth. Bacteria grow on these bits of food, releasing foul-smelling sulfur compounds. The most common cause of bad breath is poor dental hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss often, the bacteria in your mouth continue to grow, and a thin film of bacteria known as plaque builds up on your teeth. When plaque isn’t brushed away at least twice per day, it produces a foul odor and leads to another smelly process, tooth decay.
All foods get stuck in your teeth, but certain foods like onions and garlic more commonly lead to bad breath. Digestion of these foods releases sulfur compounds into your bloodstream. When the blood reaches your lungs, it affects your breath, although more than ninety percent of mouth odor cases originate in the mouth, occasionally the source of the problem comes from elsewhere in the body. It may be a result of acid reflux, which leads to the partial regurgitation of foul-tasting liquid. Other possible causes include infections, diabetes complications, and renal failure.
Ways of Tackling Mouth Odor
- Keep good dental hygiene:
According to studies, poor dental hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath. Preventing plaque buildup is the key to maintain a healthy mouth. You should brush your teeth using a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes at least twice per day (morning and night).
Some people find that brushing after every meal is necessary to prevent decay and bad breath. To prevent bacteria from growing on bits of food stuck in your teeth, floss at least once per day. Bacteria can also accumulate on the tongue, causing a foul smell. A practice known as tongue scraping can help you remove this thin layer of film. Using your toothbrush or a specialized tongue scraper, brush or scrape your tongue at least once per day.
- Floss and brush regularly:
Plaque, the sticky buildup on your teeth, collects bacteria that cause bad breath. Trapped food also adds to the problem. Brush your teeth at least two times each day, and floss at least once. If you’re concerned about your breath, do both a little more often. Don’t overdo things, though. If you brush too hard you can wear down your teeth, making them vulnerable to decay.
Parsley is a popular folk remedy for bad breath. Its fresh scent and high chlorophyll content suggest that it can have a deodorizing effect, studies (not done on human breath, however) have shown that parsley can effectively combat foul sulfur compounds. To use parsley for bad breath, chew on fresh leaves after each meal or buy a parsley dietary supplements.
Zinc salts, an ingredient in certain mouthwashes and chewing gum, can counteract bad breath. Zinc works to decrease the number of sulfurous compounds in your breath. Research has shown that regular rinsing with a solution containing zinc can be effective in reducing bad breath for at least six months. Try a zinc chewing gum designed for people with dry mouth.
- Green tea:
Green tea is an effective home remedy for bad breath, research shows that green tea has disinfectant and deodorizing properties that can temporarily freshen the breath. Mint has similar effects, so a cup of green mint tea may be an ideal breath freshener.
Brew two cups of tea before going to bed and refrigerate it overnight. Pour your cool tea into a water bottle and bring it to work. Slowly sip on it throughout the day.
- Eat healthy:
It’s common knowledge that certain foods like raw onion or garlic cause bad breath. Such foods, when ingested and excreted by the lungs, cause halitosis. But avoiding acidic foods (like vinegar) or high-fructose foods (like sugary cereal) cuts down on bad breath too. Both acids and sugars increase production of bacteria and bad breath. Instead, choose a diet that curbs intestinal upset and odor-causing bacteria.
- Pineapple juice:
Many people believe that pineapple juice is the quickest and most effective treatment for bad breath. While there is no scientific evidence to back up this theory, anecdotal reports suggest that it works. Drink a glass of organic pineapple juice after every meal, or chew on a pineapple slice for one to two minutes. It’s also important to remember to rinse your mouth of the sugars in fruit and fruit juice afterward.
Research shows that mouth dryness often causes bad breath. Saliva plays a very important role in keeping your mouth clean. Without it, bacteria thrive.
Your mouth naturally dries out while you sleep, which is why breath is typically worse in the morning. Prevent dry mouth by keeping your body hydrated. Drinking water not caffeinated or sugary drinks throughout the day will help encourage saliva production. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day.
- Fennel seed:
Since ancient times, fennel and anise seeds have been used to freshen breath. In parts of India, roasted fennel seeds are still used as “mukhwas,” or mouth fresheners, to cleanse after-dinner breath. They taste sweet and contain aromatic essential oils that give the breath a fresh scent, fennel and anise seeds can be eaten plain, roasted, or coated with sugar.
Oranges not only make for a healthy dessert, but they also promote dental hygiene.
Many people have bad breath because they don’t produce enough saliva to wash away foul-smelling bacteria. Research shows that vitamin C helps increase saliva production, which can help eliminate bad breath. Oranges are rich in this vitamin.
Most mouth odor originates in the mouth and can be treated with improved dental hygiene. In some cases, however, bad breath is a sign of a more serious condition such as diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney failure, or an infection. If your bad breath isn’t improving with home treatment, consult your doctor