The bad breath syndrome, also known as halitosis, although not a serious condition, affects 25 to 30 percent of Americans. It can either be a permanent condition or an intermittent one and the damages coming from it are mostly psychological, as it affects the way we perform in public, the way in which we relate to and interact with others and, most of all, it affects our self-confidence. Adults, children and pets are all prone to halitosis. Luckily for us, the solutions and remedies for bad breath are mostly natural, can be easily procured and you probably already have some in your pantry.
Who will get bad breath?
Unfortunately, no one is immune to halitosis. Having bad breath is something that can start as early as childhood. Even infants may suffer from it, although not common. Typically, babies who are breastfed will not fall victim to bad breath. But once they start ingesting solids, you may see bad breath appearing sporadically.
Not brushing after eating
One of the main culprits of bad breath can be as simple as not brushing your teeth. This is something that young children are notorious for. Because of this, not brushing and keeping up with proper dental hygiene is one of the main reasons why young kids typically suffer from bad breath.
When you do not brush your teeth, a buildup of bacteria can cause your mouth to emit a foul odor. By brushing your teeth regularly, you will help to get rid of this bacteria. Be sure that you are also flossing also, as your toothbrush may not always be able to get into the nooks and crannies between your teeth.
Tonsil stones can be another cause for bad breath. Tonsil stones will collect bacteria that will also emit a foul smelling odor.
To check if you have tonsil stones, all you will need is a mirror and a light. Standing in a mirror with a light shining down the back of your throat, check to see if there are any white spots. These white spots are usually going to be located on the side of your throat, on your tonsils. If you do have tonsil stones, be sure to visit your doctor as they will be able to help you get rid of them.
If you have an oral infection, then bacteria buildup can also result in bad breath. You will often know if you have an oral infection because there will be some sort of pain associated with an oral infection.
If you are suffering from a sort of oral infection, you may need to visit your dentist so that they can help you heal.
Eliminating the causes
The first step in fighting bad breath is to try and eliminate the causes that are responsible for it, which can be divided in three main categories – bacteria, nutrition and odorous foods.
Bacteria are a present entity in your oral cavity and live on your tongue, teeth and in the gaps between. If the mouth is not subject to a thorough cleansing every day, the bacteria multiply and also let out sulfurous smells, which cause halitosis. Therefore, the simplest solution is to make sure you brush your teeth and floss every day, twice a day, preferably immediately after your meals. Don’t forget to clean your tongue as well. Apart from that, bacteria are also encouraged by dry mouth. Saliva is antibacterial and when there’s not enough of it, bacteria multiply. Therefore make sure you always eat right and drink plenty of water.
Nutrition is another cause for bad breath as not eating properly may lead to a dry mouth or to stomach problems, which will reflect by letting out bad odors through the oral cavity. Eating unhealthy food is also prone to give one a bad breath. Fatty and sugary foods, as well as carbonated drinks stir up the acid in the stomach area and relieve bad smelling gases.
Intermittent halitosis is caused by odorous foods such as onions, garlic, coffee and alcohol. Since it’s not possible to eliminate these foods and drinks from your daily diet, this is where fast acting remedies for halitosis come in, which you can find more details about below.
Other causes for bad breath include smoking, infections such as sore throats, sinusitis, heartburn, diabetes, ulcers and lactose intolerance. Your tonsils, if they are infected or if you have tonsil stones, can give out bad smells, which means that tonsillitis is another cause.
Home remedies for bad breath
There are two types of home remedies that help our cause against halitosis. One refers to longer term solutions, which are also related to prevention and the other type represents on-the-spot remedies.
Long term solutions
#1. Change your toothbrush every two or three months. Part of the bacteria that we scrape off our teeth when we brush remains lodged on the toothbrush, therefore, in order to avoid oral diseases or putting that bacteria back in your mouth change it regularly. Also, clean it every few days with antibacterial solution, as long as your doctor hasn’t advised you otherwise and try keeping it covered. The bathroom is normally covered in germs, coming mostly from the toilet, which easily get latched to the toothbrush.
#2. If you wear dentures, never forget to take them off at night and clean them thoroughly, so that you remove leftover food and bacteria, which otherwise rot and give out unpleasant odors.
#3. As part of your cleansing routine, scrape your tongue every morning with a special tongue scraper or spoon. This will dislodge the bacteria, fungi and dead cells built up on the tongue that cause bad breath. You can see them with the naked eye because, when the tongue hasn’t been properly cleaned, it has a white or even yellow build-up on it.
#4. As part of your daily diet routine, if you suffer from halitosis, it might be best to stay away from foods that cause it, such as coffee, black tea, dishes that have high quantities of onions or garlic and, of course, very strong cheeses, such as Camembert, Roquefort and blue cheese. Pickles, as well as some types of fish, like herring and anchovies, are known to give one bad breath too. It might be difficult at first to eliminate them completely, but you need to make sure you get rid of all the sources of the problem. However, if you can’t give them up, try replacing them. For example, instead of black tea you can drink herbal tea.
#5. As a remedy for chronic bad breath, introduce new foods in your diet that will cure bad breath on the long term. Eat a bit of yoghurt every day, as the active cultures in it will help reduce the bacteria in your mouth. Eat an apple every day, because it too will cleanse out the bacteria, as well as reduce the acidity in your stomach that might be causing bad breath. This also helps if your dog has bad breath. Dogs suffer from halitosis just like humans do and a few slices of apple or some yogurt will help them get rid of it in a natural way.
#6. Discuss with your doctor whether any medication you are taking at the moment might be causing you the bad breath and, if so, if there is anything you can do about it. There are certain types of pills, especially over-the-counter ones that have halitosis as a secondary effect. We can include here antihistamines, decongestants, diet pills and almost all the pills prescribed for depression and high blood pressure. If the drugs you are taking are making your mouth unnecessarily dry, then that is your first sign they are guilty for your bad breath.
There are some situations when bad breath is a non-acceptable ailment, which you have to fix immediately. Even if it was caused by bacteria or by eating a dish made of smelly foods, there are ways in which you can eliminate the resulting halitosis quickly.
#1. Water can turn into your best friend. As shown above, one of the main causes for halitosis is dry mouth and bacteria buildup. They can both be taken care of by rinsing the mouth with plenty of water before you have to speak with someone, for example. However, you must know that this is only a temporary solution.
#2. Another home remedy for bad breath is to eat some parsley, basil, mint or cilantro. Not only do these herbs have a specific taste and smell strong enough to cover the rotten odors in your mouth, but they will also fight the bacteria causing them, because they have antiseptic properties. Remember to eat them fresh, not dry or in the shape of seeds.
#3. Turn to the spices shelf, as you will find a number of home remedies in there, guaranteed to help cure your halitosis in a matter of minutes. Cinnamon is the first on the list. However, don’t eat cinnamon powder, as it can burn your tongue and your taste buds. Instead, chew on a cinnamon stick for a while. It’s delicious and you will smell good after it. Cloves have high eugenol content, which is a strong antibacterial. Be careful, it might burn a little so keep the clove moving around your mouth. Some other great seeds are fennel, dill, cardamom and anise. The latter taste like licorice and kill the bacteria on your tongue.
#4. Eat some lemon or orange rind. Their strong smell will mask the foul stench thoroughly and the citric acid will force your salivary glands to produce more saliva. As shown above, this will rinse or hydrate your mouth and clean away the bacteria, as saliva is antibacterial. Remember to wash the rind very well, as it has chemicals and dust on it.
#5. If you carry around a toothbrush with you, you can easily brush your teeth to get rid of the smell. Try using compact size tea-tree oil based toothpaste which you can find at your local pharmacy. Tea-tree oil is a natural disinfectant.
#6. Make your own mouthwash rinse as a bad breath remedy, following a very simple and quick homemade recipe. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of water and then pour in 2 or 3 drops of antimicrobial peppermint essential oil. Mix thoroughly and rinse your mouth for thirty seconds, but do not swallow. The baking soda will change the pH in your mouth and get rid of the odor and the peppermint oil will keep your mouth fresh for a much longer time. Apart from that, unlike most store bought mouthwashes, this one has no alcohol.
In order to overcome bad breath, you can try homeopathic drugs as well, such as Borax, Calc carb, Carbo veg, Cinchona, Chelidonium or Graphites. These are great as home remedies for bad dog breath or even for a cat, because they are natural.
Here are the best 12 bad breath remedies for home use, simple, quick and easy. Halitosis is a real condition and fighting against it can become a burden. However, by following these steps, you can improve it considerably and never have to worry about it ever again.