Bad breath (halitosis) is an oral health problem where the main symptom is bad smelling breath from the mouth. In most cases finding the cause of the bad breath is the first step towards treating this preventable condition. It may be caused by the food a person eats, poor oral hygiene or other health conditions. Bad breath (halitosis) can occur occasionally or it could result into a chronic condition, bad breath (halitosis) is an issue we’ve all encountered at one time or another, it is a problem most people hope to avoid. Thankfully, rather than doing out embarrassing apologies of foul-smelling breath, there are several ways to prevent and treat bad breath (halitosis).
Causes of Bad Breath (Halitosis)
There are many causes of bad breath (halitosis) that can occur to any one and even the heathiest people. Here are some causes of bad breath (halitosis).
- Dry mouth: Also called xerostomia, dry mouth can cause bad breath. Saliva helps moisten and cleanse the mouth and when the body does not produce enough saliva, these may result to bad breath. Dry mouth may be caused by salivary gland problems, connective tissue disorder, medication and breathing through the mouth instead of the nose.
- Bacteria: Bad bacteria can happen any time thanks to the hundreds of different types of bad breath causing bacteria that naturally lives in the mouth. The mouth also acts like a natural hot-house that allows these bacteria to grow. When you eat bacteria feed on the food left in the mouth leaving a foul-smelling waste product behind that can cause bad breath.
- Foods: The kind of food we eat are linked to our oral health, including our breath. Food such as garlic, onions and any other food are absorbed into the blood stream, until the food leaves the body it has a potential to affect our breath.
- Poor oral health: Without the right routine of brushing or flossing food remain in the mouth if not wash properly. This is a breeding ground for bacteria, food collected in the teeth, gums and tongue may rot and these can cause an unpleasant smell and taste in the mouth.
- Health condition: Bad breath (halitosis), may be a symptom of any of the following heath conditions. Note see your health provider for a clearer diagnosis;
- Respiratory infections
- Infection of the nose, wind pipe or lungs
- Chronis bronchitis
- Post nasal drip
- Chronic sinusitis
- Gastrointestinal disorder
- Liver to kidney disorder
- Smoking: Smoking cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and snuff, stain the teeth and put the body at risk for many diseases. But they also help cause bad breath (halitosis). Tobacco users are also at a high risk of the following;
- Gum diseases
- Loss of ability to taste
- Irritated gums
- Oral cancer.
Natural Remedies for Bad Breath (Halitosis)
- Chew on fennel seed: Wondering how to get rid of bad breath using only a spice from your kitchen cabinet? Chew on a handful of fennel seeds, it contains antiseptic properties that limit bacteria growth in the mouth. Fennel seeds scent helps to cover up stinky breath.
- Eat saliva-producing food: An apple a day keeps bad breath at bay, fruits like apples, pears and vegetable like celery help produce saliva in the mouth, keeping the mouth moist. Saliva kills the bacteria that causes stinky smell in the mouth, it can also keep your mouth from drying up, a major cause of bad breath.
- Make your own alcohol-free mouth wash: Did you know that alcohol dries out the mouth? And did you also know that over-the-counter mouth wash contains alcohol? dry mouth is associated with bad breath that’s why over the counter mouth wash does not work for everyone. Sometimes when you use over the counter mouth wash and you decide to stop, you will discover that your breath smell becomes more stinky than before. Try making your own alcohol-free mouth wash at home with the following recipes;
- 1 cup of warm water
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- Juice of two lemon
- 1 and ½ teaspoon of honey
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and pour them into a container and us on a daily basis, this DIY mouth wash will stay good for up to 2 week.
- Drink water on regular basis: One of the ways to get rid of bad breath is drinking water on a regular basis. The more lubricated your mouth is, the easier it will be to wash away bacteria that causes bad smell from the mouth. Sipping on water throughout the day is a great way to maintain your overall health and also keeps bad breath at bay. This is especially effective if you have a tendency to wake up with morning bad breath.
- Chew on mint leaf: Mint leaf is often use for cooking sauce or making mint tea, but it can also be used for bad breath. Mint leaves are often quite small, so they’re easily pop up in your mouth and place underneath your tongue, you don’t need to chew on the mint leaf, just leave it under your tongue for a few minutes and take it out. It makes your breath fresher and you’re likely to produce more saliva. You can equally grow your mint leaf at home.
- Baking soda: If you have baking soda at home mix it with a cup of water and use it as a mouth wash you will be impressed by the result, it doesn’t taste great though but it will do the trick. The PH level of baking soda helps to neutralize the acid in your mouth resulting to a fresher breath.
- Chew on Clove: Clove is another ingredient in our pantry that can help get rid of bad breath and swollen gum. Its antibacterial properties reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth and reduce the risk of other dental issues like bleeding gum and decay tooth. You can just put a few pieces of clove into your mouth and chew them to get rid of the bad breath problems.
- Cinnamon: The sweet tasting cinnamon bark can also help you get rid of bad breath just like cloves. Cinnamon contains anti-bacteria properties that can reduce the growth of bad breath causing bacteria in the mouth. All you need to do is to put a cinnamon bark into your mouth for a few minutes and then remove it, then rinse your mouth with water.
- Practice good oral health: Stop nasty bacteria from building up in your gums and teeth, oral hygiene includes regular dental cleaning with floss, it will help prevent bad breath. Brushing your tongue regularly help you remove bacteria that is on the top side of the tongue. If you can see the white coating on your tongue, you need to remove the debris with a tongue cleaner or your tooth brush, this is because they can cause bad breath.
- Use salt water to rinse your mouth: Salt water solution neutralizes the PH level in the mouth and cleanse it as well, it is also antimicrobial in nature. All you need to use is;
1 teaspoon of table salt
A glass of lukewarm water
To make a salt water solution, use it to rinse your mouth at least twice daily as these will freshen your breath.
Bad breath (halitosis) is a common condition everyone experience at one time or the other, and there are many causes. Most causes maybe due to the presence of too many bacteria in the mouth or the kind of food we eat. There are various natural remedies you can try to take care of bad breath.