10 Treatments for Bad Breath

The Problem

25 to 30 percent of the world’s population suffer from halitosis--chronic bad breath. Having a foul odor constantly emanating from your mouth isn’t a medical emergency, but it can repulse people around you. Chewing sugar-free gum is always an effective halitosis-killer (and good for your teeth) but if you are looking for a long-term solution to chronic bad breath, here are some home remedies to kill your bad breath for good (with some preliminary explanation).

Understand the Source

Dental cavities, gum disease, poor oral hygiene, a coated tongue (a white or yellow coating on the tongue, usually due to inflammation) are among the most common sources of chronic bad breath. Bacteria on the tongue, below the gum line, or in pockets between gums and teeth (created by gum disease) creates sulfurous smells.

Other causes of bad breath include malnutrition (fat breakdown gives your breath a fruity odor), uncontrolled diabetes, and dry mouth (saliva has an antimicrobial effect). Sore throat, sinusitis, or intestinal disorders (heartburn, ulcers, and lactose intolerance) also result in bad breath.

Most people experience bad breath when they eat garlic, onions, coffee, or alcohol, and bad breath following the consumption of these types of food does not indicate halitosis. Whether you suffer from bad breath as a chronic problem or intermittently, here are some tried-and-true home remedies for stinky breath.

10 Treatments for Bad Breath

  1. Scrape your tongue each morning with a tongue scraper or spoon to decrease the bacteria, fungi, and dead cells that cause odor. Hold the tip of the tongue with gauze to pull it forward in order to clean the back of the tongue.
  2. Chew a handful of cloves, fennel seeds, or aniseeds. Their antiseptic qualities help fight halitosis-causing bacteria.
  3. Drink plenty of water and swish cool water around in your mouth, this works really well for “morning breath.”
  4. Brush after every meal and floss twice a day.
  5. Replace your toothbrush every two to three months.
  6. Arrange regular dental checkups and cleanings.
  7. Chew a piece of lemon or orange rind for a mouth freshening burst of flavor. (Wash the rind thoroughly first.) Citric acid stimulates salivary glands and fights bad breath.
  8. Chew a fresh sprig of parsley, basil, mint, or cilantro. Chlorophyll, as found in these green plants, neutralizes odors.
  9. Mix a cup of water with a teaspoon of baking soda and (if possible) a few drops of antimicrobial peppermint essential oil. This will change the pH level in your mouth and fight odors. Do not swallow, recipe yields several rinses.
  10. Raw crunchy foods clean the teeth. Additionally, apples contain pectin which helps control food odors and promotes saliva production. Cinnamon is antimicrobial. Active cultures in yogurt help reduce odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. Chewing celery, carrots, and nuts will naturally scrape the build-up of plaque on the enamel.