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Regrettably, over 80 million people (or 1 among 4 individuals) globally experience bad breath as a general health condition. There are a number of reasons of halitosis, but in most cases, poor dental hygiene is the major culprit.
Bad breath however, might sometimes mean something different than poor dental hygiene and it might be an indication of other health issues. Chewing gums and mint stuff are go-to solutions only. And such solutions don’t eradicate the problem from the root.
It’s imperative to end the problem to avoid worries, embarrassment, and anxiety while talking to others.
The good news is that regardless of the cause of halitosis, the treatment is more than feasible and relatively easy.
In this article, we have summed up all information including what halitosis is, causes, natural solutions and the best available store-bought products to get rid of bad breath for good.
What is halitosis?
Halitosis is a common health condition that is very much related to psychological distress.
In the medical world, halitosis is also known as stomatodysodia, fetor oris, and ozostomia.
Anyone can suffer from bad breath. It mainly roots from gums and tongue. It gets fixed after brushing, flossing and rinsing with a mouth freshening product. But if it doesn’t improve even after following these routines, it might require something more than that.
As mentioned above, the major originators of bad breath are tongue, throat, and tonsils due to the breeding of sulfur-producing bacteria in these areas. These bacteria are anaerobic, which means these do not require oxygen to live. These bacteria grow naturally in the mouth. You would be surprised to know that these bacteria are important as these breaks down proteins into amino acids and aid in food digestion.
As sulfur compounds are released in our mouth, the bacteria expel worthless hydrogen sulfide and other odorous compounds known as volatile sulfur compounds. Until the time you take care of the causes of bad breath, these bacteria keep on feeding on proteins and expelling waste sulfur compounds in the form of bad breath making it worse and worse with time.
What causes bad breath?
Your mouth may smell unpleasant for any of the following reasons:
- Tobacco Products: Smoking tobacco causes tobacco particles to linger in the lungs, hence creating a stale smell in the smoker’s breath. Chemicals found in tobacco also contribute to halitosis.
- Food: Food is the primary source of the foul smell in a breath. Food items like garlic onion, fish, coffee, spicy foods, and acidic beverages cause a short-lasting smell in the mouth. On the other hand, when food particles in teeth give room to plaque and bacteria, it causes a weird smell. Low carbohydrate diet may cause A Fruity acetone-like odor as we exhale.
- Improper Dental Hygiene: If you don’t brush properly daily, it causes a sticky, colorless film of bacteria on your teeth. These bacteria cause plaque inside all over the mouth and under the tongue producing odors.
- Xerostomia or Dry Mouth: Saliva cleanses our mouth to remove halitosis-causing bacteria. Dry mouth condition can cause bad breath. This condition occurs naturally, especially while sleeping and worsen the condition when you sleep with your mouth open.
- Mouth Infection: Surgical wounds, cavities, and gum diseases may cause bad breath.
- Other Disease: Some health problems like nausea, cancer, common cold, influenza, chickenpox, sinus infection, diabetes, thrush, lactose intolerance, indigestion, allergies, other liver diseases and kidney disease may be associated with halitosis.
- Medication: Most of the medication cause dry mouth condition that further leads to halitosis. Besides these, some medications get dissolved in our body releasing chemicals whose smell can be carried on your breath.
- Halitophobia: Halitophobia is a psychological condition in which people start believing that they the behavior and comments of other people are suggesting they have bad breath. People suffering from this condition keep on chewing gums, brushing teeth and using mouth fresheners.
- Foreign Body: Especially in children, bad breath can be caused by a foreign body in their nasal cavity.
How to know if you have bad breath?
Some people start believing that their mouth smells excessively even if they have little or no bad breath. On the other hand, people who have unbearable bad breath fail to find it out by themselves. Asking a friend or colleague is not a good idea unless you’re more than just good friends.
If you have halitosis, another person will notice it before you do, and s/he will soon bring it to your notice if they feel comfortable talking about it with you.
One of the best ways to diagnose whether you have a bad breath problem or not is to lick the inside of your wrist for five seconds, wait for a moment and then smell it. If it smells weird, then you might need to turn attack mode on -only against bad breath.
Other signs and symptoms of halitosis include a sour taste or change in taste, dryness in the mouth, and thick saliva.
How to cure halitosis (How to get rid of bad breath)?
Since poor food habits and lack of dental hygiene are the primary causes of halitosis, it’s good to review both. However, if proper oral hygiene doesn’t help you, you might want to see a doctor to find the cause and cure of the problem.
When it comes to curing halitosis, you have two options:
- try getting rid of bad breath with natural remedies that you can even find at your home or
- go for store-bought solutions.
Let’s have a look at both options.
Natural remedies for Halitosis
Say goodbye to halitosis and embrace oral health benefits with these natural remedies:
1. Lemon Juice and Yogurt
Antibacterial components found in lemon juice remove the odor-causing bacteria. Similarly, yogurt helps to balance the natural flora of oral cavity.
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon plain yogurt
- Combine and mix both ingredients well.
- Massage it on your teeth and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Rinse off your mouth. Repeat it every day after dinner.
2. Baking Soda And Lemon Juice
Being a natural antacid, lemon maintains the pH level in the mouth and brings down the acidity.
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Mix both ingredients to make a coarse paste.
- Rub the paste on your teeth and gums gently.
- Leave it for 2-3 minutes and then rinse the paste off with water.
- Repeat it every day for the best results.
3. Gargle With Salt Water
Salt water gargling is an age old remedy to get rid of halitosis. It neutralizes pH level in mouth and cleanses off bacteria using its antimicrobial properties.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 glass water
- Make salt water by combining all ingredients.
- Gargle using this combination once or twice a day to maintain odor-free breath.
Cloves are aromatic flower buds of a tree and possess both antimicrobial and antibacterial properties making it a great spice for treating odor.
- The easiest method is to chew 2-3 cloves and eliminate bad breath in a few minutes.
- You can also try clove tea. Just boil a teaspoon of clove powder in a glass of water. Drink it or use it as mouthwash twice a day.
5. Hydrogen Peroxide Mouth Rinse
Hydrogen Peroxide is another antimicrobial solution that eliminates halitosis.
- 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide solution
- 1/2 cup water
- Dilute hydrogen peroxide solution in water and rinse your mouth with this mixture.
- Brush your teeth, gums, and tongue well to remove all debris and build-up.
- Rinse again with plain water.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
The pH balancing property makes apple cider vinegar another wonderful remedy for bad breath. Try it in any of the following ways:
- Stir one tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink before every meal. It helps in digestion and preventing bad breath.
- Gargle every day with a mix of apple cider vinegar and water.
7. Tea Tree Oil
Use this oil as a toothpaste additive. It works against halitosis because of antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
- Simply add a few drops of tea tree oil on your toothpaste and brush your mouth properly. Use this every time you brush your teeth.
- You can also create a mouthwash by combining the oil with a cup of warm water.
Besides these, other kitchen ingredients like guava, sesame oil, parsley leaves, grapefruit seed extract, fennel seeds, Epsom salt, Eucalyptus oil, and activated charcoal to treat halitosis.
How to get rid of bad breath naturally?
Besides trying the above home remedies, you can follow these ways to get rid of bad breath naturally:
- Drink More Water: Water stimulates the saliva production process. So, drink as much water as possible to ward off bacteria that are responsible for causing bad breath.
- Zinc and Fiber Supplements: Zinc possesses antimicrobial properties that aid in the elimination of harmful germs. So, include zinc supplements, fruits, and veggies in your diet.
- Take Probiotics: Eat probiotic-rich food like kombucha, fermented sauerkraut, etc. might be another natural way to ward off halitosis.
- Eat Sugarless Gums: Sucking sugarless candies or chewing sugar-free gums help to keep your breath fresh for longer. It stimulates saliva flow within your mouth that washes away all debris and bacteria that cause bad breath problem.
- Chew Seeds: Seeds of fennel, dill, anise and more helps combat the bad breath and refreshes your mouth.
How to prevent it?
It’s true that there are many ways to get rid of bad breath. But this is the case only when the odor is short-lasting. Unfortunately, combating long-term halitosis can be tricky and take time. So, it’s always best to take preventive measures as prevention in every case is much easier than the cure.
By developing right oral hygiene and food habits, you can prevent halitosis up to a great extent. Take the following measures to prevent bad breath:
- Take Fiber-Rich Diet: Fiber-rich veggies and fruits produce saliva in the mouth, keep it moisturized and prevent plaque buildup. Avoid processed foods like cakes, cookies, sweets, etc. that contain a high amount of refined carbohydrates.
- Brush Your Teeth Twice Daily: Develop a habit of brushing your teeth once in the morning and once before going to bed at night. It will remove plaques and bits of food stuck in your teeth.
- Drink Green and Black Teas only: These teas contain polyphenols that vanish off sulfur compounds and reduce bacteria.
- Get Regular Dental Check-Ups: Oral health is the primary factor contributing to bad breath. Make sure you pay regular visits to your dentist and get a thorough cleaning of your mouth, gums, and teeth that will spontaneously reduce the chances of bad breath.
- Don’t Smoking: You always habit two choices: live with bad breath or quit smoking. Studies show that smokers are at the higher risk of developing halitosis.
- Inhale through Nose Instead of Mouth: Address snoring and sleep apnea that could affect your breath.
- Cut down Dairy Products: Many people are intolerant to Lactose found in dairy products, resulting in bad breath.
- Chew Herbs and Spices: Certain spices and herbs like raw parsley, cardamom, and fennel seeds help keep your breath clear and fresh.
- Mouth Rinse after Every Meal: Rinse your mouth using a mix of water and essential oils like peppermint oil, or using store-bought mouth rinse after every meal. You can even rinse your mouth with plain water. The main point is giving a thorough rinse to your mouth after every meal to remove off bits of food you have eaten.
What kind of products is the best to cure bad breath?
If you don’t have enough time to execute home remedies, don’t worry. Thankfully, there exist a few quick fix store-bought products that will help you combat halitosis.
Oral-B Pro 7000 Electric Toothbrush
Unlike your regular brush, Oral-B Pro 7000 electric toothbrush remove more plaque. Its intelligent Bluetooth technology acts as your personal dentist by tracking your brushing habits and also provides entertainment while brushing.
Download the Oral-B app on your Smartphone and connect with Bluetooth every time you brush. The app will alert you when you are putting excessive pressure on your teeth and gums, thus preventing over-brushing.
Change the brush head every 3-4 months, or when bristles get damaged. The Oral-B electric toothbrush is also compatible with a wide range of brush heads.
Plackers Tongue Cleaner
No more plaque and bad breath! This Sunstar tongue scraper allows for complete plaque removal and treat halitosis.
The scraper is shaped so well that it fits the tongue’s frame and helps in deep cleaning. Durable brush bristles will help bring out debris on the surface of the tongue. Use the scraper to remove the germs that are causing bad breath.
This scraper is very easy to clean after every use, so no residue or gunk build-up on the product. Small rubber handles on the handle allow a comfortable grip.
Twin Lotus Active Charcoal Toothpaste Herbaliste
Dental researchers and development team of herbal and natural experts worked jointly to manufacture this amazing halitosis-fighting toothpaste specially designed for bad breath fixation. This paste comes with tripe formula: to kill and remove bacteria, remove malodor and mask malodor.
Its new active carbon charcoal content helps to remove a bad breath. Advanced herbal extracts not only leaves your mouth with a refreshing feel but also offer additional oral benefits like strong gums, removed plaque and teeth-whitening.
TheraBreath Dentist Recommended Fresh Breath Oral Rinse
Dentists and pharmacists are continuously recommending TheraBreath toothpaste to those who are concerned about a fresh breath and healthy mouth.
We had the chance of trying it out some time ago and we found it to be as one of the best toothpaste for bad breath out there for two reasons. Both because of effectiveness and fresh feeling in your mouth after using it.
This product is based on a formula that uses Oxygen to penetrate below the surface of tongue and throat and removes halitosis causing bacteria. This comes with a Mild mint flavor and is free of dyes, perfumes, and other harsh additives making it good to use every day.
Acidity in the mouth causes enamel erosion and sensitivity in the tooth. TheraBreath is manufactured with PH level that helps reducing acidity in the mouth. It’s recommended to repeat the rinse mouth one minute with one capful after every 8-12 hours.
Listerine Cool Mint Pocketpaks Breath Strips
Listerine cool mint breath strips are not designed for long-term effect but are great when you need an instant burst of breath freshness.
Every pack has 24-strips flavored with cool mint that helps instantly killing 99% percent of halitosis-causing bacteria in our mouth and fill it with clean and fresh feeling. Just slip this compact pack in your pocket and use easily after your morning coffee, or before a meeting.
Halitosis is not fun and you shouldn’t accept it. You don’t want people to ignore you because you smell bad as you open your mouth.
For treating halitosis, you have three choices: prevent it, go for natural ways or use some high-rated products for killing bad breath. However, if improved oral hygiene and natural remedies don’t work, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to pay a visit to your doctor and get rid of bad breath effectively.
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