Suffering from bad breath? Or, do you avoid social gathering because of your bad breath? If yes, do not worry. You are not alone. Almost 50% of the population worldwide is seen to suffer from bad breath. Bad breath or halitosis is a condition of malodor from the mouth. It is the third most common reason for visiting a dentist after tooth decay and gum disease. The cause of bad mouth odor can be physiological and pathological or oral and non-oral in origin. Maintaining oral hygiene prevents bad mouth odor in most of the cases. The below mentioned bad breath remedies can come to your rescue:
- Warm salt water rinse: It is seen to prevent the build-up of bacteria in the oral cavity. The acidity of salt water prevents the alkalizing environment, which favours bad breath causing bacteria.
- Parsley: It is rich in chlorophyll and has a fresh scent, which gives a deodorizing effect. Parsley is also seen to fight sulfur compounds responsible for bad mouth odor. Chew on fresh parsley leaves after a meal for this effect.
- Water: Dryness of mouth is often associated with bad breath. Saliva plays a very important role in keeping the mouth clean by flushing out the bacteria. The production of saliva is reduced while sleeping, thus breath is worse in the morning. Consume water to keep the body hydrated and to trigger the production of saliva. Consume at least 8–12 glasses of water per day.
- Yogurt: It is rich in healthy bacteria known as lactobacillus. These bacteria aid in fighting bad bacteria present in various parts of the body, like the intestines. It also combats bacteria responsible for bad mouth odor. Consuming yogurt for 6 weeks is seen to reduce bad breath in 80% of the individuals suffering from it. Probiotics in yogurt also reduce the severity of foul odor. Consume one serving of plain, non-fat yogurt to fight bad breath.
- Fennel seeds: They have aromatic essential oils that give the breath a fresh odor. In India, roasted fennel seeds are commonly used as a mouth fresher to deodorize after-dinner breath. Even plain fennel seeds can be used.
- Oranges: As mentioned above, hyposalivation is one of the causes of bad mouth odor. Vitamin C in oranges increases the production of saliva, which flushes out the bacteria responsible for bad breath.
- Zinc: It reduces the number of sulfurous compounds in your breath that are responsible for the foul odor. Zinc salts are added in chewing gum and a few types of mouthwash to counteract bad breath. It is seen that rising with a solution containing zinc can reduce bad mouth odor for at least 6 months. Alternatively, zinc supplements can be used to fight foul mouth odor.
- Milk: Drinking milk can deodorize some offensive breath odors like those from garlic and onion. Consume a glass of low-fat milk after a meal to combat foul odor from these strong-smelling food items.
- Green tea: Polyphenols and antioxidants in green tea have antibacterial and deodorizing properties. Mint has similar effects and mint tea is considered as an ideal breath freshener. Brew two cups of green tea and refrigerate it overnight. You can sip this tea throughout the day.
- Apples: Compounds in apple have a powerful effect against bad mouth odor. They are seen to neutralize foul-smelling compounds in food items like garlic. Apples are especially useful in individuals whose garlic breath lingers, as it neutralizes the compound in the bloodstream rather than just deodorizing the breath.
Halitosis is a common condition. There are various home remedies that can combat bad breath. However, bad breath prevention is better than cure. Moreover, if your bad breath does not subside even after trying these remedies, consult a dentist.