Usually caused by oral bacteria, bad breath (halitosis) is a problem for countless people. Here’s how you can combat this common issue using home remedies backed by scientific research.
Made from the Camellia sinensis plant, green tea is an antioxidant-rich drink with all sorts of potential health benefits. According to research is can also have a positive effect on oral gum tissue. Researchers say the tea contains a natural chemical called Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) which causes gums to release antimicrobial compounds that target a type of bacteria that causes halitosis.
Commonly caused by gingivitis and plaque, bad breath is often a sign of an over-accumulation of harmful oral bacteria. According to at least one study, participants experienced significantly reduced levels of oral bacteria when they rinse with a mixture of basil, cloves and tea tree oil. In addition to reducing halitosis, the rinse also appeared to reduce plaque and gingivitis.
A popular folk remedy for halitosis, parsley has a high chlorophyll content and fresh scent that gives it a deodorizing effect. Research also indicates that parsley can help combat volatile odor-causing sulfur compounds in the mouth. To use parsley for your bad breath, purchase a dietary supplement or try chewing fresh leaves after every meal.
Drink plenty of water:
A mountain of research has shown that dry mouth is a significant cause of halitosis. Your mouth naturally dries while you are sleeping, which is why you tend to have bad breath in the morning. Combat dry mouth by drinking at least eight glasses of water every day. Since many medications can also cause dry mouth; talk to your doctor or dentist about potential alternatives. You can also try chewing sugar-free gum, which can promote increased saliva production.
Eat more yogurt:
Studies suggest yogurt could be an effective way to reduce bad breath. After six weeks of consuming yogurt, eight in ten subjects experienced a reduction in halitosis. Researchers believe the high amounts of probiotics were responsible for the positive outcome. If you have bad breath, try adding yogurt to your diet.
When to Seek Help
Although most bad breath is caused by odor-causing bacteria, certain health issues can contribute to the problem. Sometimes halitosis can be a sign of gum disease, tonsil infections, postnasal drip, respiratory infections, blood disorders, sinus problems, liver disease, kidney issues and diabetes. In rare circumstances, chronic bad breath could even be a sign of serious metabolic disorders or cancer.
With this in mind, it’s important to visit your dentist if you experience chronic bad breath that won’t seem to go away despite dietary changes and good oral hygiene.