Bad breath or foul breath or mouth odor is also known as halitosis in medical terminology. This oral problem can affect anyone regardless of his/her age. According to the studies, one in every four people have this problem, it means twenty five percent of world population is dealing with bad breath. This problem can be a real cause of embarrassment especially when you are interacting with others. Many people think that they don’t have this problem. The easiest way to check for Halitosis is to lick your wrist with the back of your tongue. Wait for two to four minutes until the liquid dries. Now, smell it, if the smell is unpleasant, it means that you are affected with this condition.
Generally there are two types of halitosis. The first one is transient or temporary and the other one is known as Persistent or permanent or chronic bad breath. You can easily get rid of temporary type of halitosis by following good oral hygiene, dental care and making some alterations in your lifestyle and by using home remedies. Permanent or chronic bad breath is a serious condition which is usually treated after diagnosing the root cause.
Reasons behind Foul Breath | Bad Breath Main Causes
Food and Beverages
Certain foods and beverages are said to be responsible for bad breath from mouth. Examples of these foods include onion, garlic, spicy dishes, certain spices, fishes like anchovies and tuna, low carb diet, acidic beverage like coffee and so on.
Smoking and chewing tobacco
Bad habits such as smoking, chewing tobacco, are also said to be responsible for foul mouth odor. These habits are also accountable for other causes of halitosis such as gum disease and oral cancers.
Not following Oral/Dental hygiene
Apart from food and bad habits, poor dental hygiene is the biggest reason of foul breath. If you are not brushing and flossing on daily basis then it means you are giving bad bacteria a good chance to increase their population. These bad bacteria thrive on accumulated food particles and releases foul smelling gas. Moreover, lack of dental care can lead to plaque buildup, which in turn is responsible for gum diseases.
Dry mouth or xerostomia medically is another reason behind foul smell from the mouth. You know saliva helps keep the mouth fresh by cleansing the mouth. Enzymes and antiseptic effects of saliva help kill bad bacteria thereby keeping bad breath at bay. Dry mouth condition is caused by variety of reasons such as salivary glands issues, medication, dehydration, connective tissue disorder, dieting or fasting and mouth breathing.
Consumption of alcohol is known to cause dehydration and digestive problems, which in turn cause mouth odor.
Dentures or braces
Trapped f ood particles in your dental appliance can rot and give rise to foul smell. Loose dentures may cause sores and infections, which can cause halitosis. Not cleaning dentures on time is also responsible for bad breath.
Several medications such as antihistamines and diuretics can cause dryness in mouth and you clearly know that dry mouth is a possible reason of halitosis.
Hormonal change, eating variety of foods, dehydration, nausea and morning sickness are some reasons which are responsible for bad breath during pregnancy.
Mouth, nose and throat problems such as throat infections, oral thrush, sinusitis, sore throat, tonsilloiths or tonsil stone, cavities, chronic inflammation, gum diseases, post nasal drip and other mouth, nose and throat problems might cause bad smell in mouth. Moreover, acid reflex, lactose intolerance, gas, indigestion, constipation, liver disease, and other gastro-intestinal problems are also said to be liable for halitosis.
Health problems like diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, pneumonia, bronchitis, respiratory tract infection, lung disease may also be associated with foul breath.
Home Remedies for Bad Breath | How to Treat bad breath naturally
Here is a collection of popular natural home remedies to get rid of bad breath the natural way. I am sure these remedies will solve out your problem instantly or within few days (days why? because cure of the problem depends on its severity). Given below is a long list of home remedies solutions for you. One can choose the best remedy for himself/herself according to the availability of ingredients and your need.
1. Cubeb or Kabab Chini or Tailed pepper
According to the ayurvedic encyclopedias, cubeb is highly beneficial in oral cleansing and as an aid for curing wide variety of dental problems. The essential oil present in kabab chini possesses anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, healing, antiseptic and infection fighting properties. You can easily deal with oral problems like yellow plaque on teeth, cavities, gum disease, bleeding gums, and bad breath by using this spice.
Mix three to five drops of cubeb essential oil in a cup full of warm water. Use it as a gargle to cure variety of oral problems including foul smell. Use this remedy twice or thrice daily. Another option to use cubebs is to make an infusion with water and swish with it twice daily.
2. Mango Ginger (Curcuma amada)
Mango ginger is a spice of ginger family but its taste is a way different to as that of ginger. It has a taste of raw mango (aambi). This plant is commonly found in southern parts of India. It can be used in various ways to treat bad breath. You know, stomach problems like indigestion, gas, constipation and nausea are some common causes of bad breath. You can consume mango ginger roots to get rid of these all stomach problems. A root decoction of mango ginger is said to be beneficial in treating bad breath effective. Make this decoction and gargle with it twice daily.
3. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is not that commercial pain relieving balm but it is a plant of mint family. It is effective in treating myriad dental problems like toothache, gum problems and bad breath. Chewing stem and leaves of lemon balm will cure foul odor from mouth very easily. All you have to do is to pluck a leaf or two, wash and chew them.
4. Guava Fruit (Amrood) and Leaves
Vitamin C content, astringent effects and infection fighting properties of guava are helpful in treating and preventing gum diseases, bad smell from mouth, toothache, oral infection and other dental problems. Moreover, unripe fruit of guava is blessed with minerals and compounds that help cure foul breath and gum diseases. Eating unripe fruit is said to be a sure shot remedy for halitosis and bleeding gums. One can also chew its tender leaves to get rid of smelly breath. Likewise, gargling with a decoction of guava leaves is also a great remedy for smelly mouth.
5. Dill Herb (Anethum graveolens)
Dill herb or savaa (in Hindi) is an annual herb of celery family. Compounds present in dill herb are helpful in curing bad breath. Chew half tablespoon of dill seeds daily to keep mouth odor at bay. Similarly, you can prepare dill leaves tea and have it on daily basis. This tea will not only treat your breath but also it prevents root causes of foul breath such as gas, constipation and flatulence.
6. Clean Your Dental Appliance Everyday
Do you wear dental appliance like dentures? If yes, then make a habit of cleaning then on a daily basis. Regular cleaning will help you get rid of trapped food particles, debris, bacteria buildup and plaque buildup. Here are few tips for those who wear dentures.
Never ever sleep with your dentures.
Remove them after every meal for brushing. Brush them both inside and outside.
Don’t forget to clean the tissues on which your dentures rest. Clean those areas with a soft cloth or a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Soak your dentures in water containing disinfectant overnight. You doctor will tell you about that disinfectant. This step is essential to get rid of those bad microscopic microorganisms which are responsible for causing bad smell in mouth.
7. Maintain Good Oral/Dental Hygiene Habits
Oral hygiene is of utmost importance, when it comes to bad breath prevention and treatment. It is true fact that you cannot get rid of bad breath without following a good dental care habits. Follow the below given points for maintaining better oral health.
Clean your teeth by brushing them after lunch and before bed by. Brushing will help using a good quality fluoride toothpaste. Brushing will help you get rid of trapped food particles, bacteria and yellow layer of plaque. Plus, don’t forget to use floss or interdental cleaner every morning. Brushing and flossing will help prevent periodontal diseases and other possible reasons of foul breath.
It is essential to clean your tongue as well. Use your toothbrush or a quality tongue cleaner to remove debris, fungus, dead skin cells and bacterial buildup, which are known to cause bad breath.
Try to change your toothbrush every two month or after an illness.
Try to visit your dentist regularly. He will help you achieve fresh breath and a healthy smile.
8. Tea Tree Oil Mouth Freshener
Tea tree oil is fraught with anti-bacterial, infection fighting and antiseptic properties. This oil is capable of killing odor generating bacteria in mouth, thereby relieving bad breath problem efficiently. According to the Swiss researchers, this oil is quite effective in decreasing the bacterial colonies that causes foul breath. Similar study was conducted by the Brazilian scientists and they found that tea tree oil is way more effective than garlic and antiseptic solution in dealing with harmful oral microorganisms. Given below are top three ways to use tea tree oil for relieving mouth odor.
- Mix one to two drops of tea tree oil with your toothpaste and use it to brush your teeth twice daily.
- Add two to three drops of tea tree essential oil in one cup of warm water. Use the resultant solution as a mouth wash.
- One can also buy tea tree oil based herbal tooth paste.
9. Sage Herb
Sage has a long history of therapeutic uses and it has lot offer when it comes to preventing bad breath. Brazilian researchers conducted a study in order to know the efficacy of sage extract and they found that sage is highly toxic against microorganisms that cause bad breath. Sage is loaded with disinfecting and odor neutralizing effects. Chewing two or three sage leaves helps fight foul mouth odor. One can also make sage breath freshener tea by boiling one tablespoons of chopped sage leaves with two cups of water for few minutes. Strain the liquid and drink it sip-by-sip.
10 . Yogurt (curd)
Yogurt is one of the most health friendly food stuff which commonly found in almost every kitchen. Researchers call it “an antidote for bad breath”. Yogurt is loaded with antibacterial properties. Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus bacteria of yogurt helps neutralize the odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. Moreover, yogurt helps correct wide variety of stomach complaints. So it is beneficial in dealing with bad breath due to gastro-intestinal problems such as gas, constipation, indigestion and so forth. Eating six ounce of yogurt daily is said to have positive effects on overall oral health.
11. An Apple a Day
According to the Journal of Dental Research, apple is rich in polyphenols that help defeat bad bacteria by inhibiting their genetic activity. Apple is a natural cleanser plus it helps stimulate the good bacteria in the intestine and hence it is beneficial in curing bad breath due to digestive problems. Moreover, apples are rich in teeth friendly vitamins and minerals hence eating this fruit regularly will improve your dental health. So, eat an apple daily to have a fresh breath naturally.
12. Aniseed or Anise ( Choti Saunf)
Aniseed is a natural mouth freshener and hence it is used in various mouth freshening recipes like banarsi pan. Presence of Anethole (an aromatic organic compound) and antibacterial properties of anise are helpful in acquiring fresh breath. The best way to use aniseed for smelly mouth is to simple chew a teaspoon full of these seeds after every meal. You can also make anise tea and have it twice daily. Another way is to make an infusion and use it as a mouthwash.
13. Fennel seeds (saunf)
People of India and other Asian countries use fennel seeds to correct their breath and digestive problems. Like aniseed, saunf is also known for its mouth freshening effects. It helps stimulate saliva production in the mouth. More saliva means no more bad bacteria and dry mouth. Chewing half to one teaspoon of fennel seeds after meal is said to be beneficial in preventing stomach problems like acid reflux, constipation and burping, which are known causes of bad breath. You can also try saunf tea to get rid of mouth odor and digestive issues. Simply, steep one to two teaspoons of seeds in a up of hot boiling water for ten minutes. Strain and have it.
14. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits such as orange, strawberries, lemon, lime, sweet lime etc. help stimulate the saliva producing glands to produce more saliva. You know our saliva is a great cleanser and antibacterial agent. Saliva helps cleanse the mouth, kill bad bacteria and neutralize the bad breath. Acid content of these fruits help prevent the growth of smell causing bacteria. So, include more citrus fruits into your diet to have a better oral health.
Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice and little table salt in one cup of water. Use this mixture to rinse your mouth. Combine action of salt and lemon juice will kill bad bacteria instantly. You can also use sweet lime juice for this purpose.
Chew a piece of lemon or orange skin for an instant mouth freshening.
Drinking a glass of pineapple juice is also a sure shot remedy for halitosis.
Eat cranberries to get rid of stinky mouth naturally.
15. Cardamom (Choti elaichi)
Small seeds of cardamom are loaded with aromatic, breath freshening, anti-microbial and saliva stimulating properties. One can get rid of Halitosis by simply chewing one or two pods of cardamom. These small pods are also useful in dealing with problems like tooth decay and gum diseases. Besides chewing, you can also make tea from cardamom seeds. Just take few pods of choti elaichi, pound them and use them to prepare a tea. Have this tea after your meal.
16. Coriander (Dhania) Leaves and Seeds
Coriander has been successfully used as a traditional remedy for halitosis or foul breath. Seeds and leaves of this plant are effective in suppressing mouth odors. There are many ways to use coriander to get rid of halitosis like:
Take fresh leaves of dhania, wash them and chew them.
Take one teaspoon of roasted coriander seeds and eat them to have a fresh breath.
Boil few ounces of dhania leaves with two cups of water for a few minutes. Strain the liquid and use it as a tea or use it as a mouth cleanser.
17. Cloves ( laung)
Oil present in cloves is known to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, pain reducing and soothing properties. According to the latest studies, antimicrobial properties of cloves help kill bad breath causing microbes. Cloves are also beneficial in dealing with tooth decay and gum diseases, which are responsible for foul breath. The instant cure (temporary cure) for mouth odor is to chew one or two cloves thoroughly after meal. Another option is to make clove tea. For this, boil half teaspoon of groung clove with one cup of water for ten minutes. Strain the liquid and drink it or use it as a mouth wash.
18. Fenugreek seeds (methi)
Fenugreek is another useful ingredient for curbing foul breath from mouth. Fenugreek is a great remedy for those who are suffering from halitosis. You can also prepare that tea by boiling one teaspoon of methi seeds with a cup of water for a few minutes. Strain and add little honey to make it tasty. Drinking this tea on daily basis will gradually diminish your problem. Eating fenugreek sprouts with lemon and black salt is another good home remedy for bad odor. It will not cure your breath problems but also give you a good dose of health friendly nutrients and help stave off digestive troubles. It is also a good remedy for acid reflux. In short, you’ll get better health and no more bad breath due to stomach problems.
19. Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
Baking soda is another sure shot remedy for halitosis. It is loaded with cleansing, disinfecting, and anti-microbial properties and hence it is useful in getting rid of germs, buildup and other toot and gum related problems. So, no need to splurge your hard earned money on those costly chemical based mouthwashes. You can prepare your own instant mouthwash by dissolving half to one teaspoon of baking soda in one glass full of warm water. Gargle with this solution twice daily. Brushing teeth with baking soda is also another good way to get rid of smelly mouth.
20. A Salty treat
You can also use simple salt to treat your oral problems including bad breath effectively. Salt is blessed with healing, antibacterial and infection fighting properties. Everyone knows the benefits of gargling with warm salt water. This solution helps cure bad breath by preventing halitosis causing factors such as gum diseases, throat infections, sore throat, tonsillitis, and so forth. All, you need to do is to mix half to one teaspoon of salt with a glass of warm water and use this water for gargling purpose. Use this remedy twice or thrice daily to get rid of mouth odor permanently. You can also use salt for brushing your teeth. If you feel that salt is too drying then add two drops of mustard oil in a pinch of salt and apply the mixture on your toothbrush and brush your teeth. I am sure this will help cure your all oral problems very effectively.
21. Neem or Margosa
Chewing neem twigs (datum) in the morning is a time tested home remedy for bad breath and other oral problems. The liquid released from twigs when mix with saliva form a powerful antibacterial solution that is capable of killing bad breath causing bacteria. If you want to get rid your problem permanently then use neem twig every morning on empty stomach and in evening after your meal.
22. Yerba Santa Herb
Take some yerba santa leaves and roll them in ball shape. Keep these balls under the sun for few days. Chewing sun dried leaf ball will give you an instant relief from bad breath.
23. Sunflower Seeds
Seeds of sunflower can also be used to cure halitosis naturally. There is no rocket science behind the use of these seeds and all you have to do is to chew some seeds and drink water. Use this remedy after your meal especially after having a non-vegetarian dish.
24. Eucalyptus leaves
Eucalyptus prevents bad breath by cleansing the mouth, by removing sulfur causing compounds and by killing bad bacteria. The simplest remedy for halitosis is to chew some leaves of eucalyptus twice or thrice daily. You can also make eucalyptus mouthwash by boiling leaves with water.
There are many used of myrrh in traditional medicine. Myrrh is a potent natural remedy for bad breath as it helps cleanse the bad bacteria and also prevent those conditions that encourage their future growth.
We all know about the mouth freshening effects of peppermint. This is a wonderful breath freshener and that’s why it is used in wide variety of mouth freshening products like chewing gums, toothpaste and so forth. It. Drinking peppermint tea after meal is a surefire way to get rid of embarrassing symptoms of halitosis.
27. Basil Leaves
Basil or tulsi plant is a popular herb which is known for its medicinal properties. Leaves of basil plant can cure various oral problems including infection, bacterial growth and stinky breath. In order to use these leaves all you need to do is to pluck five fresh leaves from the tulsi plant and chew them. Do this every morning to have fresh breath all day long. Basil tea can also be prepared and use as a mouthwash.
28. Betel Leaf
Use of betel leaf is another good remedy for halitosis. Chewing one leaf after meal is said to be beneficial when dealing with stinky mouth. Make decoction of betel leaf by boiling three leaves in two glasses of water for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid and use it to rinse your mouth. Remember, excessive use of these leaves may cause oral cancer. So be careful!
29. Apple Cider Vinegar
Use of ACV or Apple cider vinegar for bad breath is another famous folk remedy. Acv helps prevent plaque and bacteria buildup in the mouth. Here are some ways to use this natural ingredient for stinky breath.
Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with half cup of water. Gargle with this solution thrice daily.
Taking one tablespoon of ACV before and after foods is said to be helpful in curing bad breath. This remedy helps aid digestion thereby alleviating foul breath due to poor digestion.
30. Mint (Pudina) Leaves
We all know about the mouth freshening effects of mint leaves. Mint leaves are aromatic and contain compounds that helps prevent and cure foul odor from mouth. Chlorophyll present in these leaves helps cleanse your mouth effectively. One good thing about mint is that you can easily grow it at your home. So, avoid those costly mouth fresheners and chew some mint leaves whenever you want fresh and odor free breath. Take dried and powdered mint leaves and use them to brush your teeth. You can also make mint leaves decoction for gargling purpose.
31. Parsley (Ajmoda) Leaves
Parsley is said to be immensely helpful in relieving bad breath. Leaves of this plant are loaded with chlorophyll that helps combat bad bacteria and neutralize bad mouth odors. Here are some ways on how to use parsley for stinky breath.
The first way is simple and all you have to do is to chew fresh parsley leaves after every meal. One can also dip these leaves in vinegar before chewing to increase the effectiveness of this remedy.
Use juice to extract parsley juice from the leaves. Have a small quantity of juice to improve the quality of your breath. This remedy is also good for digestion.
Boil chopped parsley leaves and quarter teaspoon of clove powder in a cup of water. After some time, strain the liquid and gargle with it.
32. Cinnamon (Dalchini)
Cinnamic aldehyde, an essential oils present in cinnamon not just help masks the bad odor but also decreases the colonies of bad bacteria in the mouth. Here are some remedies using this wonderful spice.
Boil five grams of powdered cinnamon in a cup of water. Add some bay leaves and cardamom seeds powder to make this remedy even more fruitful. Wait for five to ten minutes and then strain the liquid. Once cool, use it to rinse your mouth.
Make a popular cinnamon mouth wash recipes for bad breath by combing juice of two lemons, three fourth teaspoon of baking soda, half tablespoon of cinnamon powder and one cup of warm water. Store this mixture in an airtight bottle. Use one to two tablespoon of this mixture twice daily.
This delicious fruit can also help you to get fresh breath by cleansing your mouth of trapped food particles, plaque and bacteria. It also helps correct digestive issues which are known to cause stinky mouth. So, eat this fruit to have a better breath and dental health.
34. Stay Hydrated –Drink More Water
You know water is the best cleanser, detoxifier and hydrating agent. You also know, dryness of the mouth is also a biggest contributing factor to bad breath. Bad bacteria thrive better in dry mouth. So, staying hydrated will not only help eliminate the harmful toxins from your system but it also prevents dry mouth condition. You also know, saliva is helpful in mouth cleansing as well as in killing bad bacteria. So, drinking more water will increase the production of saliva. So, from now make a habit of drinking at least six to eight glass of water daily.
,35. Avoid Smell Causing Foods
People dealing with halitosis should avoid certain foods like
– smell causing foods like onions, garlic and fishes like tuna and anchovies.
– Foods that promote the growth of bad bacteria like refined sugars.
Lastly, say no to smoking, alcohol, tobacco products, coffee and dehydration causing substances.
Few more natural Remedies
Here are some natural remedies that people often use to solve halitosis problem at home.
- Make a mixture by combining one teaspoon each of olive oil and lemon juice. Have this mixture every morning on empty stomach.
- Chew a small piece of citron peel to relive your problem.
- Keep one teaspoon of sesame oil (til ka tel) in your mouth for five minutes and then swish with water.
- Gargling with hydrogen peroxide and water solution is also a famous home remedy for stinky breath.
- Boil one teaspoon of carom seeds (ajwain) and four cloves in a cup of water. Strain, cool and swish with it thrice daily.
- Brushing teeth with activated charcoal is another good home remedy.
- Steep the root of marshmallow in a cup of water for ten minutes. Strain and swish with it.
- Mix one teaspoon of spirulina powder in half glass of water. Rinse your mouth with this mixture on daily basis.
If you still have bad breath after following aforementioned home remedies then the best way to get rid of your problem is to visit your GP as soon as you can. There may be a medical issue that need proper diagnose.
Have a healthy smile – good luck!