We all know that bad breath is no good. It’s embarrassing, unsettling and can even stop us from having a meaningful conversation with someone. No matter how much we are loathed to admit it, the only thing people who suffer from bad breath seem to think about is what could be causing it and how to get rid of it. Bad breath sometimes has less to do with dental hygiene but more to do with our lifestyle choice. The mouth emits odours constantly as saliva and bacteria mix and works their way through the teeth, gums and tongue. So, if your dentist says there’s nothing wrong with your gums or your teeth, this could be because you have an infection elsewhere in the body which will require a different kind of treatment altogether.
There are many causes of bad breath, some more common than others, but regardless of what is causing it, good dental hygiene can only go so far. However, when conventional methods for curing bad breath don’t work, you need to change the way you live in order to get rid of it. Here are 11 natural remedies that will help you cure bad breath without having to rely on anyone else.
1) Mint leaves
The menthol in mint is effective at killing bacteria and giving off fresh breath. You can either use dried mint leaves or make your own natural mouthwash by adding some peppermint oil with water. Just boil two cups of water, remove from heat and add 5-6 drops of essential peppermint oil, stir well and then let it cool down completely before drinking. This recipe will last for 2 weeks when stored in the fridge; alternatively, you could also try chewing on fresh mint leaves if desired.
2) Lemon juice
Lemon juice also kills the bacteria that cause bad breath and helps bring freshness back into your mouth. It works by suppressing oxidation in saliva which would otherwise give off odours when mixed with bacteria. Lemons contain Vitamin C which reduces inflammation in the gums and prevents tooth decay too. Another great thing about lemon juice is that it doesn’t need many; all you have to do is put a few drops on your toothbrush and brush as normal.
Cinnamon is an effective home remedy for bad breath because it kills the bacteria in the mouth responsible for giving off foul odours. It also helps reduce inflammation in the gums, making them gums healthy and strong. All you need to do is add a teaspoon of cinnamon powder into a glass of water and drink it once or twice a day until you notice an improvement. You can also add one teaspoon of honey if desired, but make sure to let it cool down completely before drinking it. If you decide not to use cinnamon, try using cloves instead which have similar benefits. Cloves contain eugenol which has been found to be almost equally as effective at reducing bad breath.
4) Basil seeds
Basil seeds are commonly used in Indian cooking to make lassies which are essentially spicy, tangy drinks made with coconut milk and spices. They can also be added to water or eaten on their own after soaking overnight in warm water. The high fibre content in basil seeds helps them swell up within the digestive system stimulating saliva production while their cooling properties help refresh your mouth. You won’t find this one too difficult to do; just soak a tablespoon of basil seeds overnight and then drink it the next day.
5) Cardamom powder
Cardamom has been used for its medicinal uses for over 2000 years now and is even recommended in the Ayurveda diet. It has anti-inflammatory properties which help with gingivitis and tooth decay while its antibacterial properties kill off the bacteria in the mouth responsible for bad breath. As well as drinking cardamom water after meals, you can also make your own small balls of cardamom powder and chew on them whenever you feel like having something to freshen up your mouth.
Parsley is loaded with chlorophyll which reduces inflammation in the mouth, making your gums healthier than they originally were. The high fibre content in parsley also stimulates saliva production which neutralises odour producing acids in the mouth. You can use parsley either fresh or dried; just add some parsley to your meals or just chew on it whenever you need a breath freshener.
Garlic contains allyl methyl sulfide which gives garlic its sharp taste and smell. This compound stimulates saliva production making your mouth clean and fresh within minutes. It also kills the bacteria in the mouth responsible for giving off foul odours. The best way to use garlic is to crush it into a pulp and place directly onto the tongue or just eat it. If you don’t want to do either of these things, garlic can be taken in supplement form but make sure there’s no alcohol in the product as this will prevent your body from absorbing all its benefits.
Ginger works wonders on halitosis because it stimulates saliva production, neutralising odour-causing acids in the mouth, making sure your mouth smells clean and fresh no matter what time of day or night it is. The best way to use ginger as a home remedy for halitosis is by boiling some grated ginger with water, adding sugar if desired, and drinking this mixture twice a day until your breath smells better.
9) Fennel seeds
Fennel seeds have antibacterial properties which make them effective at fighting bad breath causing bacteria, while their high fibre content helps stimulate saliva production ensuring fresh smelling breath all the time. All you need to do is chew on fennel or add some crushed seeds into warm water before drinking it daily. This will freshen up your mouth in no time!
10) Peppermint leaves
You can use peppermint either dried or fresh, and just chew on them whenever required for very effective results against bad breath. The menthol in mint has antibacterial properties which help kill off bacteria responsible for causing halitosis; plus, its high fibre content ensures that odour-causing acids in the mouth are neutralised so you always have pleasant-smelling breath. You can either chew on dried peppermint leaves or add some fresh leaves to your meals to avoid bad breath.
11) Baking soda (Bicarbonate of Soda / Sodium bicarbonate)
Baking soda is a cheap natural remedy for halitosis because it neutralises odour-causing acids in the mouth and absorbs moisture which causes bad breath; plus, its high alkaline content helps kill off any bacteria present in the mouth that may be responsible for causing bad odour. All you need to do is add half a teaspoon of baking powder into your toothpaste before brushing twice daily, or add one full teaspoon into a glass of water and drink it once daily until you notice an. This solution will last for a month after which you’ll have to make a fresh one.
PRECAUTIONS: If you are prone to toothaches or gum bleeding, then you need to consult a doctor before using baking soda as a remedy for bad breath. Baking soda is strongly alkaline and can be potentially harmful if consumed or swallowed.
A quick reminder
Remember, it is important to keep all your teeth clean and your gums healthy. So make sure you eliminate sugary snacks from your diet; brush at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste; floss daily, and avoid smoking as this will only worsen the problem. Get checked by a dentist on a regular basis (at least twice yearly) so any problems can be detected early on for better results.
Bad breath can be embarrassing and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. There are plenty of natural home remedies available that can help you get rid of bad breath quickly and easily. We’ve listed some of the most effective ones above, so try out a few until you find the one that works best for you. Keep in mind that everyone’s body is different, so what may work for someone else may not work for you. If all else fails, consult your doctor or dentist to see if they can recommend a treatment plan specifically tailored to your needs. So don’t let halitosis hold you back from living your life to the fullest; try out one of these remedies today and say goodbye to bad breath for good! If you found this article useful, why not check out some of our other articles on health-related subjects. Thanks for reading!