Kiss Me Never: Natural Remedies To Fight Bad Breath
Afraid of opening your mouth to speak in case the person in front runs away? Jeez, don’t be so dramatic. Let these remedies work their magic.
There’s no two ways about it – bad breath is embarrassing. Whether at work or in a social situation, there are few things that can leave you as red-faced. Hell, it’ll embarrass you even if you’re with yourself!
Bad breath, or halitosis, is caused mainly by bacteria in the mouth, especially on the tongue. Other reasons include smoking, gum disease, a dry mouth, and medical conditions such as diabetes, sinus etc. In people who are lactose-intolerant, consuming dairy products can also cause halitosis. These bacteria break down the proteins in the mouth, and produce volatile sulphur compounds, or VSCs. That brushing regularly and overall good oral hygiene is imperative for fighting bad breath is a given. Alcohol-free mouthwashes and breath mints are other tools that can help with halitosis. However, if you are looking for natural remedies to fight this monster, read on.
Water – Keeping yourself hydrated will not only ensure you don’t have a dry mouth, but will also remove the food particles stuck between your teeth, especially if you swish and rinse post each meal. This will mean less food for bacteria, and hence, lesser bacteria in the mouth.
Fennel or aniseed – Not only are fennel and aniseed breath-sweeteners, they also encourage the production of saliva. The antimicrobial properties of both help in getting rid of the bacteria. Chew on them, or add them to your tea.
Fenugreek – Use these seeds to combat bad breath from sinus, or nose and throat-related issues. Simply boil with water, and strain to drink.
Cloves – Cloves contain eugenol, which has antibacterial properties and hence, is an effective natural remedy for halitosis. Chew by themselves, or make clove tea. Cloves are also effective in providing relief from toothaches.
Cinnamon – The cinnamic aldehyde present in cinnamon helps kill bacteria in the mouth, while also sweetening your breath. Have with boiled water, or add to tea. You can also add cardamom to the water or the tea.
Parsley, mint, basil, or cilantro – The chlorophyll present in these herbs helps neutralise bad breath.
Lemon or oranges – The vitamin C present in both lemon and oranges increases the production of saliva, which helps eliminate bacteria. Chew on lemon or orange rinds (post washing them well); or have lemon juice, to drink or to gargle. Since lemon is acidic before being ingested, that also helps in getting rid of the bacteria in the mouth.
Tea tree oil or myrrh oil – The antiseptic properties of tea tree oil help in combating odours in the mouth. Mix with water to use as a mouthwash, or add a few drops to your toothpaste and brush. Myrrh oil contains terpenoids that control the growth of bacteria in the mouth, and help combat problematic gums. Add to water, and use as a mouthwash.
Apple cider vinegar or baking soda – Both ACV and baking soda have pH balancing properties, which aid in combating halitosis. Baking soda also helps kill the bacteria in the mouth. Add raw, unfiltered ACV to water and drink, or gargle. You can mix baking soda with warm water to gargle, or brush with it.
Teas – Green and black teas contain antioxidants that can prevent bacteria in the mouth, and can fight the sulphur compounds.
Other natural ways of reducing bad breath are eating apples, as it helps produce saliva; and yoghurt, whose active cultures help reduce oral bacteria.
If you suspect other problems, especially of the mouth, throat, or nose, consult your doctor.