Bad breath or halitosis is a common problem in general population. Lets admin it, bad breath is really embarrassing and at some point or the other many of us suffer from bad breath. The good news is that there are several natural remedies for bath breath, it can be treated with proper dental hygiene and avoiding foods that causes it.
What causes bad Breath ?
There are more than 50 different conditions that could give rise to bad breath. Among them it could be due to local cause, dental cause, problems in the neck or nose region, diseases of the lungs, liver, kidney to the stomach and intestine. Basically, any problems between your lips to the anus and tip of your nose to the end of your lungs including disorders such diabetes or acute appendicitis could give rise to bad breath.
The cause of bad breath can be temporary and chronic. Temporary or transient is mostly due to accumulation of food particles, alcohol, smoking, dehydration(less water intake), hunger or even stress. These can be readily solved. Chronic bad breath could be due to varieties of problems. The majority of the problems arise in the mouth region can be due to:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Tooth decay/abscess
- Gum diseases
- Dry mouth
- Mouth breathing
- Mouth ulcers
- Chronic constipation
The main culprit for bad breath is millions of bacteria, fungus and their friends which reside in our mouth. The main reason for the bad breath is bacteria dirtying the place leaving volatile Sulfur compounds that are caused by munching away leftover food and debris in our mouth. While we talk or exhale, it is this sulfur compound which mixed with air causes foul smelling rush of air.
Natural remedies for bad breath:
Brushing and flossing each and every nook and corner of the mouth including the tongue, where there could be leftover food and debris. Let us focus on not leaving any leftover food for the bacteria to munch on. Brushing for at least 3-4 minutes is recommended. Most of us tend to brush for less than a minute. Flossing in between of our teeth is a must. Just brushing and not flossing is like having a bath, but leaving the underarm unattended. Brushing can make our mouth only 70% clean, the other 30% is done by flossing.
Cleaning the tongue helps a great deal in reduction of bad smell. As bad breath causing bacteria are known to hide in the deep crevices of our tongue, cleaning the tongue effectively is a good way to minimize the smell. A brush can be used to gently rub the tongue surface. Care must be taken not to do it vigorously and damage the delicate taste buds that are present in the tongue.
Drinking plenty of water not only keeps us healthy but also helps to produce more saliva in the mouth that keeps bad breath under control. By drinking water, we tend to increase the flow of saliva and wash away leftover food making the area inhospitable for bad bacteria. Any activity that makes the mouth dry, such as the use of prescription medication including antihistamines and decongestants, excessive taking, exercising, dieting, drinking alcohol or smoking should be complemented with drinking water.
Chewing sugarless chewing gums further helps by increasing the salivary flow and removing food and debris from mouth. Eating food or any drinks also stimulates the salivary flow. Staying hungry prevents that flow. Caffeine inhibits the flow. Saliva is the best thing that can happen to our mouth and helps a great in reducing bad breath.
Use of mouthwash on regular basis is not recommended, since these tend to only give transient relief. Further, they mostly contain alcohol which adds to the problem by drying the mouth. They may also alter the micro flora of our mouth killing even the good bacteria that keeps these foul smell causing bacteria in check. Dentist prescribed mouthwash such as chlorhexidine help in getting the bacteria level down, but their long term use is not recommended. Besides these measures one should always visit the dentist on regular basis to find out that if there are any underlying causes such as decayed teeth, diseased gum or any other problems. Referral to concern specialist may help in minimizing the problem.