Bad breath, or halitosis is caused by bad oral hygiene, strongly flavoured foods like garlic and onions, smoking, medication and sometimes by medical conditions like diabetes, bronchitis, sinusitis and ‘dry mouth’ (xerostomia).
While regular visits to the dentist, as well as proper, consistent oral care are pivotal in fighting bad breath, there are some quick-fix remedies to improve your breath and put your mind at ease:
This is the simplest and most important way to curb bad breath. The main cause of halitosis is odour-causing bacteria building up in your mouth. A dry mouth is the perfect breeding ground for them.
It’s particularly important to stay hydrated during and after exercising because fast breathing can reduce the moisture in your mouth, leaving you with a dry mouth that’s more vulnerable to bacteria.
Lemon juice ice cubes
If you want to take a step further than just drinking water, make lemon juice ice cubes. In addition to moistening the mouth, they will encourage saliva flow because of the lemons’ sourness and the sucking action.
If this sounds like too much effort chewing on lemon or orange peel can give your mouth a fresh burst of flavour. The fruits’ citric acid encourages your salivary glands to produce more saliva, solving your dry mouth problem.
Herbs like parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary and sage, as well as bean sprouts have been proven to be great remedies for bad breath. The chlorophyll found in many leafy greens, including these herbs, is a natural deodoriser. Also, chewing on cardamom or fennel seeds, both known for their antiseptic properties, right after every meal is one of the oldest and most effective ways to fight halitosis.
While a commercial mouthwash is sufficient for oral health when used in conjunction with your regular brushing routine, many experts believe that a natural mouthwash works better. Make your own by adding a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a few drops of peppermint oil to a cup of apple cider vinegar.
If you don’t have these ingredients handy, gargling and rinsing with salt water will effectively eradicate most odours.
Fruit and vegetables
Apples can do a lot more than just keep the doctor away! One benefit of apples, carrots and celery is that they can curb bad breath. Fruit and vegetables that have a bit of crunch and which are rich in fibre actively remove plaque by rubbing against your teeth as you eat them, scraping the plaque away.
Did you know: Halitophobia, also known as delusional halitosis, is the fear of having bad breath. People who suffer from halitophobia think their breath smells worse than it actually does. They can be helped with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.