There are few things worse in an office or social environment than opening your mouth in front of others and inserting your foot. Foot-in-mouth disease, though, has a close rival in oral halitosis, otherwise known as “bad breath.” In some circumstances, it can be bad enough that the stench escaping your mouth via your breath can resemble yesterday’s dirty socks stuffed inside. Bad breath is not only embarrassing but can also destroy your confidence, whether you are among co-workers or among friends out on a social occasion.
Where Does Bad Breath Come From?
There are a number of sources of bad breath, running the gamut from smoking and dry mouth to eating odorous foods (garlic, anyone?) and gum disease. They all have one thing in common – they can contribute to a buildup of bacteria at the back of your tongue or in between your teeth, per effectiveremedies.com [https://effectiveremedies.com/home-remedies-for-bad-breath/], resulting in stinky breath.
The message is clear: consistently practicing good oral health is not only important for the health of your gums and teeth, it is also key to preventing bad breath. It begins with consuming a healthy, balanced diet and then brushing your teeth after every meal, flossing at least once a day and, yes, scraping your tongue with regularity. Regularly drinking water during the day helps as well.
When brushing your teeth after a meal is not practical, swishing water around in your mouth after the meal in a nearby rest room can help loosen food particles stuck between your teeth, and give you one more layer of protection against bad breath. Left unchecked, the growing accumulation of bacteria in your mouth can eventually produce a thin film of the bacteria known as plaque that builds up on your teeth. That produces a foul odor and can even lead to tooth decay, which compounds the stink, per top10homeremedies.com.
8 Remedies for Banishing Bad Breath
If the extent of your bad breath gets to the point where a renewed commitment to proper oral hygiene as described above isn’t enough to overcome what damage has already been caused, and added measures are needed, we present eight home remedies to consider adding to your repertoire. Your goal should be to restore the inside of your mouth to a proper standard of health and cleanliness. It’s also worth a candid discussion with your dentist next time you make one of your bi-annual visits; if you don’t bring up the subject, either your dentist or hygienist will – because they will notice your halitosis even without a peep from you:
- Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar’s antibacterial properties, provided in large part by the vinegar’s malic and acetic acid, make it a welcome addition to the list of compounds that can assist in counteracting halitosis and enhancing the pH balance in your mouth, per effectiveremedies.com.
- Baking soda. Baking soda is an ingredient found in some toothpastes because of its usefulness in battling bad breath. It can also help balance the pH level in your mouth and, as a bonus, aid in removing stains from your teeth. Be careful not to use too much concentrated baking soda as over time it can contribute to the corrosion of your teeth.
- Cinnamon. Cinnamic aldehyde, a component of cinnamon, is an essential oil that can mask bad breath while ridding some of the smell-inducing bacteria found in your mouth, per top10homeremedies.com.
- Fennel. A member of the carrot family, plant-based fennel works well as a mouth freshener. It also has antimicrobial characteristics that fight mouth bacteria, per top10homeremedies.com.
- Fenugreek. Fenugreek contains properties that can heal conditions related to bad breath. In tea form it is effective for counteracting bad breath caused by catarrhal infections such as the common cold and flu, per effectiveremedies.com.
- Parsley leaves. Parsley contains chlorophyll, which has antibacterial properties. Additionally, parsley can stimulate the flow of saliva in your mouth, thus helping to combat foul-smelling sulfur compounds in your mouth, per effectiveremedies.com.
- Tea tree oil. This compound offers natural antiseptic properties that are potent fighters in fending off fungi and bacteria trying to set up residence in your mouth. Two studies cited at effectiveremedies.com bear this out, suggesting that tea tree oil can reduce halitosis-causing bacterial colonies and can be more effective than garlic or a chemical antiseptic solution when duking it out vs. harmful microorganisms
- Zinc. Zinc salts are an ingredient found in some mouthwashes. Zinc has been shown to work in counteracting bad breath by reducing the amount of sulfurous compounds in your breath, per healthline.com.