Whether you've just eaten a meal laced with garlic, or a foul odor has just started emanating from your mouth with no known provocations, bad breath is something that everyone must deal with at one point or another. Understanding what causes bad breath, or halitosis, is essential in identifying the most effective method of remedying the issue. In addition to the food you consume, there can be other culprits that cause a stinky aroma in your mouth, the most obvious one being poor dental hygiene. However, lack of saliva production, certain medications and medical conditions can also contribute. If you're committed to flossing, brushing, tongue-scraping and visiting the dentist and your doctor regularly, yet still find yourself shielding your mouth when you talk, take a look at these natural remedies for banishing bad breath.
1. Stay Hydrated
Lack of saliva is one main contributor to bad breath. Saliva serves many purposes, including keeping your mouth lubricated and washing away odor-causing bacteria that may lurk between your teeth, gums and on your tongue. When you don't drink enough water and become dehydrated, there is nothing to protect your mouth from the offensive odors that bacteria can emit. Make sure you refill your water bottle frequently throughout the day to purge bacteria.
2. Chew Sugarless Gum
Gum chewing is another method of stimulating saliva production. However, make sure that you choose a sugarless gum
that utilizes a natural type of sweetener like stevia or xylitol. The act of chewing naturally kicks saliva manufacturing into high gear in preparation for swallowing food and beginning digestion.
3. Munch on Herbs
Parsley, spearmint, eucalyptus, rosemary and others can all pack a powerful punch in the fight against halitosis. Parsley contains chlorophyll, which produces antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help neutralize odors temporarily. While it may seem a little awkward at first to pull out a handful of herbs and start crunching on them like a farm animal, you can also steep these herbs in hot water as a tea to naturally incite mouth freshening and fight nasty odors.
4. Take a Fish Oil Supplement
Surprisingly, taking a fish oil supplement won't necessarily cause your breath to smell like you just spent a day at sea. Fish oil
is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that are known to help reduce inflammation and bacteria that may be contributing to your halitosis. Try taking an unscented fish oil capsule or even liquid fish oil if you aren't apt to incorporate fish into your daily diet.
5. Drink Black Tea
contains myriad antioxidants, called polyphenols, that can deter plaque and harmful bacteria from hanging around on your teeth, tongue and gums. These antioxidants can help keep bad breath at bay by halting bacteria growth before it begins and truly starts to cause damage in the form of halitosis or other dental and oral problems. Steep a hot cup when you feel like your breath could use a pick-me-up and also when you need a boost of energy.
6. Alter Your Lifestyle Habits
Alcohol and tobacco products are known instigators in causing bad breath, so try giving them a rest. Tobacco is never a good choice, but even alcohol can make your breath killer--and not in a good way. Pass up the beer, wine and cigarettes when you know you're going to be in close proximity to others who will likely be able to detect your breath.
7. Introduce More Veggies into Your Diet
While everyone knows it's a good idea to eat vegetables in order to improve your overall health and nutrition, veggies can also combat halitosis. Celery can keep your breath fresh while red bell peppers and broccoli can contribute to extricating food particles from in between your teeth, cleaning out odor-causing bacteria and boosting your vitamin C
8. Fight Bad Bacteria with Good Bacteria
Eating yogurt can help regulate bacteria in your mouth. Japanese researchers discovered
that consuming yogurt twice a day for six weeks may be able to help reduce sulfide compounds in your mouth that can cause halitosis. In addition to encouraging the growth of healthy bacteria while fighting the bad, yogurt can also boost your vitamin D and provide other health benefits.
While having someone point out your bad breath can be very embarrassing, it only helps you to know that you have a problem that can be fixed. If going to the dentist regularly and being checked out by your doctor for possible medical causes still doesn't yield answers to your halitosis mystery, these natural remedies may be able to provide some relief.
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