You may be working in a job profile and would not have eaten garlic in any circumstances to avoid bad breath. However, do you know there are many instances, when even after having clean teeth and following dental hygiene, you can still suffer from this ailment? There are two factors that contribute to good breath – one is oral hygiene and overall health of the body. A nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle brings about the second one. In this article on Causes For Bad Breath And Getting Relief By Home Remedies information will be given on the causes, symptoms and easy method by which you can get relief from this ailment.
Bad breath is known by other terms such as ‘malador’ and ‘halitosis’, but, on the contrary, it will be an embarrassing situation that the person you want to converse with makes a face on account of the odor coming from the mouth.
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The reasons or cases could be many such as smoking, medical conditions such as sinus, dry mouth and gum disease. However, it has been found that the main reason is the harmful bacteria population that has carved a home on the back of the tongue or between the teeth.
Food – as anybody can easily guess, this factor can be known as the best source of bad odor from the mouth. If you include in the diet, onions, garlic, spicy foods, cheeses, some spices, fish, coffee, they can have a lingering smell on the mouth. These foods can be termed as short-term factors that give temporary mouth odor.
There are other foods such as meat, wherein a tiny piece of bone or flesh might get lodged in between the teeth. The area becomes a foundation for growth of bacteria.
If you indulge in low carbohydrate diets, you can have ‘ketone breath.’ The low energy diets make the body burn fat and the end product is ketones. When you exhale the air, you can feel the fruit-type acetone similar odor.
Tobacco products: Chewing tobacco and smoking practices will leave chemicals in the oral area. These habits can contribute to gum as well as skin diseases in the mouth giving rise to foul odor.
Dental Hygiene: If you do not floss regularly or brush properly, food can remain in the mouth or in-between the teeth, causing rotting and smelly odors. Plague buildup can bring about periodontal diseases. The first initial stage is gingivitis and then the second stage can lead to periodontitis.
Health Problems: Some of the health factors associated with this condition are tonsil stones known as tonsilloliths, bronchitis, diabetes, lactose intolerance, pneumonia, sinus infections, sore throat (pharyngitis), acid reflux. You can also suffer from bad breath because of liver diseases and kidney problems.
Dry Mouth: The condition is known as ‘xerostomia’ where the body is incapable of producing saliva and the result – bad breath. The causes might be connective tissue disorders known as Sjögren’s syndrome, breathing through the mouth and salivary gland problems.
Mouth Infections: Gum diseases or cavities or broken teeth can also lead to this condition.
Braces or dentures: If you use braces or dentures, improper cleaning might cause the food to become lodged in between the iron leads. They can then rot and give rise to bacteria – the result – bad odor. Kindly note, if the dentures are loose, you can suffer from infections or sores that can contribute to bad odor from the mouth.
Medication: If you are prescribed the diuretic or antihistamine medication, they can cause dry mouth leading to bad breath.
Morning Breath: Your mouth becomes dry during the night, and this condition may make the bacteria grow in the mouth causing bad odor.
Pregnancy: Hormonal changes, eating various foods because of craving, nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy can cause bad breath.
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Symptoms can be dry mouth, unpleasant taste in the mouth or bad odor or white coating on the tongue. The easiest way to find bad breath is when others maintain a large distance between conversation.
Oral health is vital for control of body diseases. The regular activities are brushing of tooth, tongue scraping and using floss.
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Cleaning the teeth after a meal by water can make the area clean. The food particles stuck between the teeth will become loose and you do not need to study the options of remedies.
1. Fennel Seeds
Known as a mouth freshener for controlling bad breath, do you know that fennels have antimicrobial properties?
You can take a tablespoon of fennel seeds and chew them.
The action will stimulate production of saliva and freshen the breath.
You can also drink fennel tea several times a day. This method requires you to steep three teaspoons of these seeds in a small bowl containing water for ten minutes.
How Does It Help?
Phytoestrogens and phytonutrients like anethole (anti-cancer), camphene, fenchone, flavonoids and carotenoids are found in fennel seeds. They also contain oil compounds such as limonene, pinene, chavicol, cineole and minerals such as iron, copper, calcium, selenium, manganese, zinc and magnesium.
These components along with other minerals make fennel seeds to be used for ailments such as flatulence, indigestion, IBS, premenstrual syndrome, sinus congestion, bad breath, low libido, chronic cough etc.
Since the fennel seeds can resolve digestion problems, they solve the second reason for bad breath. The other digestive problems they assist in solving are acid reflux and burping. The chewing of these seeds assists in stimulation of saliva glands. The important anti-oxidants found in these seeds are quercetin and kaempferol. These two offer immunity against any infection and cancers.
In case of diarrhea, usage of fennel seeds can help in reducing the symptoms because of an amino acid (histidine) as it assists in getting the digestive system back to normal.
Not Good, If:
- You are breast-feeding a baby. Infants have been known to experience damage to the nervous systems.
- You can suffer from an allergic reaction if you are allergic to carrot, celery or mugwort.
- You are having a bleeding disorder problem. The blood clotting might become slow.
- You have a history of hormone-sensitive conditions such as ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and breast cancer. Fennel seeds act as estrogen.
- You are under medication and taking ciprofloxacin or other fluoroquinolones because fennel seeds might decrease the reaction symptoms.
2. Take Probiotics
An improper lifestyle and irregular eating habits might have put your digestive system in shambles, you can take probiotics to set the record right.
Kindly note, bad breath can also be a sign of underlying medical condition such as indigestion, constipation etc. Indigestion causes the stomach to develop gas in the body and a large percentage of it is eliminated through the mouth.
You can supplement with probiotic foods such as fermented sauerkraut, yogurt or kombucha tea as a remedy.
A study conducted in 2011 has clearly specified that probiotics such as the Lactobacillus salivarius attack harmful bacteria in the mouth as well reduce the compounds (Sulfur) – the main reason for bad breath.
How Does It Work?
Pro-biotics rich in Streptococcus salivarius K12 and M18 has been found to restore oral health by regulating concentrations of cytokines (inflammation linked with diseases in gums). They also prevent the cariogenic as well as periodontal pathogens from making a mark.
S-k12 creates three types of agents (anti-microbial) such as Salivaricin 9, Salivaricin B and Salivaricin A.
Usually, bad breath is caused due to the release of VSCs or volatile sulfur compounds and by the rising number of harmful bacteria in the oral cavities. The Sk12 and M18 produce proteins or bacteriocins that can reduce this kind of VSC symptoms. They make the pH levels in the mouth go alkaline, inhibit the growth of plaque and attack the cause of periodontal disease and gingivitis.
Not Good, If:
You suffer from stomach pain or diarrhea. Stop using similar probiotics immediately.
3. Apples in the diet
The inclusion of the above mentioned fruit can be beneficial in the long run as they are crunchy and have fiber. Biting on these fruits can assist in scraping the plaque out of the mouth and add immunity to the body. This process is carried out through increasing the number of bacteria-eliminating saliva in the mouth.
The texture of this fruit can mitigate bad breath or odor because they are high in fiber. The fiber also assists in cleaning out the intestines, preventing toxins from building up and contributing to bad breath.
How Does It work?
Apples contain a component called as pectin that regulates odors from food and enhances production of saliva. Also, the polyphenols in apples can break down the sulfur compounds.
Herbs For Bad Breath
Use Herbs Daily
Bad breath can also be the result of food in the stomach – causes – yeast overgrowth. It is mandatory then the toxins in the digestive system have to be flushed out.
You can have stinging nettle tea to eliminate mouth’s bad odor. Also, the herb enhances the removal of uric acid from the kidneys, stimulates the lymphatic system and promotes the production of adrenaline hormone (in a stress situation).
Many of the toothpaste have peppermint as one of the content and the reason – the chemical compound can offer the mouth a good, clean and fresh feeling.
You can wash two or three peppermint leaves and chew them in your mouth to get relief from bad breath.
How Does It Work?
A research has clearly showed that the oil in peppermint assists in reducing bad breath because of medicinal components such as menthol. The other components such as methyl acetate and menthone assist in giving relaxation to the muscles. However, kindly note the strong flavor and antibacterial property of menthol are vital for curing or healing bad breath. The germs causing this ailment are killed and the breath comes out fresh!
Also, peppermint leaves also contain iron, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin C and pro-vitamin A.
Not Good, If:
- You are suffering from diarrhea. You could suffer from anal burning.
- You are a diabetic. Check with your doctor before you use this remedy for stress.
- You are taking medications such as cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune).
Known from ancient times as one of the healing herbs, Sage has gained credibility for its bad breath fighting ability against Streptococcus mutans, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Candida albicans.
You can take one tablespoon of sage (chopped).
Mix the chopped sage with two cups of water in a bowl and boil.
Drink the mixture slowly.
How Does It Work?
The volatile oils and flavonoids such as diosmetin, apigenin, luteolin as well as phytochemicals in sage assist the body in fighting off bad breath. The important phenolic acid is called as rosmarinic acid. The other acids contained in sage leaves are ursolic acids, carnosic acid, caffeic acid, flavones, glycosides, oleic acid and estrogenic substances. In addition, other oils such as borneol, cineol, camphene have been found to have stimulant, diaphoretic and astringent properties.
Not Good, If:
- You are pregnant. One of the chemicals, by name thujone can bring miscarriage.
- You are breast-feeding a baby. Thujone might reduce the milk.
- You are a diabetic. Your blood sugar levels have to be monitored carefully. Refrain from using sage two weeks before surgery. It can interact with diabetes medication such as rosiglitazone (Avandia), glipizide (Glucotrol) etc.
- You are suffering from high blood pressure or low blood pressure. The pressure levels have to be monitored.
- You are taking medication for seizures in the form of anti-convulsants.
Though cloves bring a stinging sensation in the mouth, they have antibacterial properties.
You can put three pieces of cloves in the mouth and chew them properly.
You can boil a cup of water.
Add one tablespoon of cloves to the mixture. Heat the bowl and let it simmer for five to ten minutes. You can either drink the mixture or use it for rinse-wash.
How Does It Work?
The main medicinal compound is eugenol, a vital antibacterial agent. Kindly note, the aromatic oil can bring a burning sensation in the mouth, so after munching the cloves thoroughly, spit the juice out. The salivary glands get stimulated and more saliva is produced.
It improves a condition known as peristalsis in which the food is made to remain in the stomach and acid is prevented from going high to the throat.
The bioactive compounds derived from cloves are eugenol, hexane, flavonoids (kaempferol & rhamnetin), methylene chloride, thymol as well as benzene. These compounds have been known to exhibit health beneficial properties such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial and hepato-protective properties.
The digestive system is provided ample support by secretion of important enzymes. Simultaneously, cloves also prevent the growth of oral pathogens, responsible for various diseases. The important medical component other than eugenol is known as B-caryophyllene.
Some of the other medical components are:
Oils – crategolic acid and vanillin
Tannins – methyl salicylate (pain killer) and gallotannic acid
Flavonoids – eugenitin and eugenin
Triterpenoids – stigmasterol, campesterol and oleanolic acids.
Not Good For, If:
You are suffering from hemophilia as eugenol has the properties of blood thinning agent or if you are taking medications with anticoagulants, do not ingest cloves. Also, do not use the method if you are to undergo surgery in few days.
You have low blood sugar levels; cloves can decrease the amount of sugar in the blood stream. Refrain from using clove supplements if you are planning to get pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.
You are administering the clove oil by yourself to a child. It can lead to disastrous situations such as fluid imbalances, damage of liver and seizures.
This method has been found to be effective for bad odor from the mouth or halitosis.
You can take a tablespoon of eucalyptus leaves and one small bowl of water.
Mix the two together and bring them to a boil.
Steep the mixture and drink the tea slowly.
You can also use the mixture for steam inhalations if you suffer from cold or headache.
How Does It Work?
The volume of sulphur in the mouth (reason for causing bad breath) is reduced considerably.
The chief medical components are b-pinene, a-pinene, limonene, piperitone, terpinen-4-ol, globulol etc. When the oil is diluted, you can take orally for any discomfort such as sinus pain and inflammation etc. Also, it also contains the compound, eucalyptol that has various health properties. When used on the mouth in a diluted form, the oil eliminates the odor causing bacteria.
Not Good, If:
- You experience vomiting, nausea, stomach pain etc.
- You are administering to children by yourself. Children below the age of two should be not applied this oil near the nose and face.
- You have asthma. The symptoms might worsen.
- You have diabetes. Blood sugar levels should be monitored.
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If you give a long gap between having food, the mouth can become dry. The area becomes a perfect breeding place for bacteria. Have meals regularly. Extreme fasting and low carb diets can lead to foul smell breath.
Kindly replace the toothbrush every three months. Learn how to brush even the tongue.
A dental check-up has to be done every six months for tooth decay.
Do not drink fluids rich in caffeine.
Reduce your consumption of alcohol. It can lead to dry mouth.
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You should speak to the dentist if you suffer from bad breath but also have painful swollen gums or loose teeth. Kindly check for the following symptoms:
Post nasal drip
Discolored nasal discharge
Cough which produces mucus
It can be useful to pay a visit to the dentist even if you do not face the above mentioned symptoms. In case you are having diabetes, chronic liver, kidney disease or gastroesophageal diseases, kindly check the reason for bad breath.
Preparing for the day
Usually, morning appointments are preferred by dentists for these cases, as they believe the foods eaten during the day can hinder the process.
Refrain from having snacks, breakfast or any other food, do not chew gums and avoid smoking three hours before going for the appointment with the dentist.
Avoid wearing perfume, scented lipstick, scented lotions or lip gloss before the appointment, as these practices can mask any odors.
In case you have taken antibiotics for the last month, have a chat with the dentist to see if you need to reschedule your appointment.
The questions you can expect from your dentist are:
When was the first symptom experienced?
Is the bad breath an occasional symptom or continous?
Can you tell about your lifestyle habits such as cleaning the teeth or dentures?
Kindly give the contents of your regular diet and the medications. Any idea on what causes your bad breath?
Natural Remedy Vs Pharmacy
Some of the over-the-counter remedies for bad breath are Mentholatym Cherry and Listerine. Both of them contain eucalyptus oil. You can also look for mouthwashes containing zinc chloride, chlorine dioxide, hlorhexidine to eliminate bacteria.
You can also opt for sugar-free sweeteners such as xylitol. It assists in prevention of tooth decay.