As embarrassing as bad breath is, there is good news for sufferers. Bad breath can be controlled and prevented by proper dental care and a few good home remedies.
Bad breath, also called halitosis, can be caused by a number of factors such as smoking, dry mouth, gum disease, gastrointestinal issues, and sinus infections. But probably the most common cause of bad breath is ordinary, everyday bacteria. It’s normal to have bacteria in our mouths, but problems arise when they escape regular cleaning by hiding in between our teeth and on our tongue.
Don’t Forget to Brush Your Tongue
It is sound advice to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, but you don’t hear advice to scrape and brush your tongue quite as often. The tongue is a place that odor-causing bacteria love to hide. The tongue is covered with hair-like projections called papillae. Under a microscope, the tongue resembles a field of mushrooms where bacteria get trapped and proliferate. As the bacteria multiply, they release foul-smelling sulphur compounds leaving you with stinky breath that lingers until the bacteria are removed.
To remedy this situation, move your toothbrush at different angles over your tongue to loosen bacteria and wash it away. Alternatively, commercial tongue scrapers or a spoon can be used to scrape away odor-causing bacteria.
Other Home Remedies
For centuries, people have been trying to come up with ways to deal with bad breath. Medical documentation from 1500 B.C. included treatments for bad breath, many of which are still in use today. Here are a few bad breath solutions that have stood the test of time:
- Chewing clover, cardamom seed, fennel, or anise seeds after meals. These spices can combat even garlic and onion breath.
- Mix the juice of ½ lemon into water and drink after meals. You will see the difference immediately.
- Cut down on the amount of sugar you eat. Bacteria that reside in your mouth feed on sugar.
- Eat parsley. Don’t throw the garnish on your plate away. Eat it. The chlorophyll in parsley is proven to kill bacteria, as well as detoxify your entire system.
Mouthwash can be a convenient way to rinse when you can’t brush, but do you know that some commercial mouthwashes can cause more problems than they solve. They contain high concentrations of alcohol which can dry out your mouth and add to your bad breath problem. Gargle with your own mouth rinse using this simple recipe:
2 oz of water
½ teaspoon of baking soda or sea salt
2 drops of pure peppermint oil
If halitosis hangs on for more than a day or two without an obvious cause, it is advisable to get it checked out by a physician. Bad breath can be indicative of a more serious condition like diabetes, liver or kidney conditions, or even certain types of cancer.