13 Natural Remedies for Neutralizing Bad Breath
Have you ever been nearly knocked over by someone’s extremely bad breath? Nothing repels us more quickly and obnoxiously than a foul odor. The person may have something very important to say, but the fetid stink coming from their mouths is so repulsive we can think of nothing else but to flee!
Americans spend an estimated $10 billion per year on oral hygiene products and breath fresheners, so bad breath is no minor issue! In fact, as many as 50 percent of Americans may have “dragon mouth.”
When it comes to bad breath, God forbid that we should ever be the offending person! And many of the causes of bad breath indicate that it can be far more than merely a superficial concern. So how do we prevent and remedy bad breath and avoid those embarrassing and even career-threatening situations?
Causes of Halitosis
The first line of defense against bad breath is to try to identify its cause. In most situations, what’s causing the foul odor is simply a dirty mouth. This can result from plaque buildup, decaying food between the teeth, a cavity, or gum disease. Any of those issues promote foul-smelling bacteria.
Other causes point back to what we put in our mouths. This produces temporary bad breath. Foods like garlic, onions, coffee, and alcohol leave nasty odors that can linger and offend. Smoking and chewing tobacco are also blatant offenders.
What we didn’t put in our mouths can also trigger bad breath. No doubt you’ve experienced “morning breath”—the phenomenon of stale breath when you wake up in the morning. After seven or eight hours of sleep, we’ve had nothing to eat or drink that might flush our mouths of bacteria. Similarly, fasting can leave one with bad breath.
A dry mouth also leads to fetid odor since saliva helps digest and wash away nasty food particles. Thus, dehydration is often the cause of halitosis. Also, our mouths are usually drier after a night’s sleep. Sleeping with one’s mouth open is also linked to bad breath. Dentures left in the mouth overnight can also lead to dirty mouth causing bad breath.
Bad breath can also signal something more serious going on in our bodies. Systemic causes of bad breath can include: a sinus infection, a deficiency in zinc, toxins in the body, gum disease, lactose intolerance, or poor gut health. Type 1 diabetes sometimes causes one to emit a sweet-smelling, alcohol-like, or chemical odor through the mouth.
13 Natural Remedies for Bad Breath
Chewing gum, sucking on a mint, and using mouthwashes or sprays may help if the cause of the bad breath was merely a pizza with lots of garlic. But if bad breath is the result of one of the other causes, then we’re only masking the problem rather than dealing with it.
Depending on the cause of the bad breath,sugar or alcohol found in those remedies may actually worsen the problem. Prolonged use of alcohol-based mouthwashes may also lead to cancer.
1. Remove the cause.
The first natural remedy for bad breath is to remove the cause if possible. In some cases, this is as simple as establishing good dental hygiene. In other cases, it may involve the need to quit: smoking, chewing tobacco, or eating foods that are known offenders.
2. Brush and floss regularly.
Brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day will help prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria and keep your mouth clean. Replace your toothbrush every two-to-three months.
3. Drink lots of water.
Freshwater is one of the best cleansers. Water also helps supply much-needed saliva for keeping bacteria at bay. Drinking water flushes the mouth and hydrates it, neutralizing bad odors.
4. Munch on raw fruits and vegetables.
Apples, carrots, celery and cucumbers are especially effective in providing fresher breath.
5. Chew on aromatic seeds.
Clove, cardamom, fennel and anise seeds all provide a fresh taste and have antibacterial properties.
6. Supplement with zinc.
A deficiency in zinc can lead to halitosis. Zinc has known antibacterial properties and helps neutralize germs that cause bad breath. Zinc is found naturally in foods like pumpkin and gourd seeds, cacao, and organ meats. Zinc is also available in supplement form.
7. Treat with herbs.
If you discover that your bad breath is the result of toxicity due to heavy metals or other poisons, the herb stinging nettle can help purify the blood and eliminate toxins from your body. Stinging nettle comes in either supplement or tea form.
Additional helpful herbs include: alfalfa sprouts, parsley, peppermint, dill, fennel, sage, licorice, dandelion, golden seal, Echinacea, wild yam, myrrh, lemon, basil, mint, cilantro, and chlorophyll tablets.
8. Take probiotics.
Sometimes poor gut health is the culprit causing bad breath. If you know this to be the case, taking probiotics can help put your digestive tract back in good form and eliminate the nasty breath.
9. Gargle with salt water.
Salt is a natural inhibitor of bacteria. Combine a half-teaspoon of salt in one cup of water and gargle the solution, but don’t swallow it.
10. Drink green tea.
Green tea possesses antibacterial and breath-freshening properties. Drink 3-5 cups per day to reduce bad breath.
11. Make your own mouthwash with aloe vera.
Aloe Vera has been shown to reduce plaque and help heal the mouth. Boil some water and let it cool. Then add aloe Vera gel to it. If you like, place one or two drops of peppermint oil into the solution for flavoring and additional breath freshness.
12. Breathe through your nose.
When you breathe through your mouth, you’re actually depriving your body of oxygen, which can cause bad breath. The nasal passages release nitric oxide increasing the blood flow and oxygenating the cells.
13. Exercise regularly.
When you exercise regularly, you increase your circulation and oxygen intake. This serves to improve and maintain a healthy mouth.
Armed with these 13 natural remedies for neutralizing bad breath, we now have no excuse for being an offender. Gang up on your bad breath and attack it with one or more of these remedies. Which one’s will you try first?
If you’d like to read more helpful information on this topic, or you have a chronic problem with halitosis, I encourage you to purchase Barton Publishing’s The Bad Breath Remedy Report.
Joe Barton provides 24 all-natural, fresh breath secrets with the promise, “You’ll have better breath than your dentist!”
Speaking of oral health, here is an all natural toothpaste recipe to brighten your smile and 7 self-dentistry steps to regenerate gums, saliva and teeth.