Medically called halitosis, bad breath causes can be related to a variety of reasons, including poor oral health, food choices, or other health issues. Aside from being embarrassing, it’s important to get to the underlying cause to rule out any serious health concerns that may be causing your bad breath. If anyone has ever told you that you have bad breath, try some of the home remedies Icard & Strein Family Dental recommends below to combat stinky breath in between dental visits.
Learn Bad Breath Causes and Find A Home Remedy
Use a Tongue Scraper
Bacteria, fungi, and dead cells accumulate and become trapped on your tongue throughout the day, resulting in bad breath. Invest in an inexpensive tongue scraper and use it after brushing in the morning and evening to remove much of the bacteria. This small step can be a huge help in eliminating bad breath.
Avoid Foods that Cause Bad Breath
Foods like garlic and onion are well known to cause bad breath, thanks to the 33 different naturally occurring sulfur compounds. Other foods like stinky cheeses, fish, coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods can also result in offensive smells on account of smelly compounds that linger in your mouth and are absorbed into the bloodstream.
Eat Foods that Fight Bad Breath, Instead
Crunchy raw vegetables and fruits can also combat bad breath because they help clean your mouth of food particles that can remain after meals. Consuming more foods like celery, apples, and carrots can sort of act as a natural way of brushing your teeth when you’re away from home by scraping off the plaque buildup on teeth. Cherries and lettuce are also said to eliminate methyl mercaptan, one of the bad-breath causing gases released by bacteria.
Foods high in chlorophyll, such as parsley, basil, mint, spirulina, and chlorella help neutralize the breath and act as a natural deodorizer. Pair basil with garlic (as in pesto!) and you’ll be ok to chat during and after dinner. Alternatively, you can add spirulina in powder form to your smoothies or juice. Bonus, these foods work great for your pup’s bad breath as well.
Smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco products leaves a lingering foul odor on your breath that’s tough to get rid of, even with many of the remedies listed here. Tobacco users are also linked to higher rates of gum disease, which is another cause of bad breath. Once you quit smoking, the bad breath will eventually dissipate over time.
Take a Zinc Supplement
Dental studies have shown that bad breath is often linked to zinc deficiency. Zinc helps stop the buildup of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) linked to bad breath. Upping your zinc intake, whether by taking a daily supplement or using a toothpaste or mouthwash with zinc can help reduce foul odors in the mouth. You can also eat your zinc by consuming more foods like pumpkin seeds, asparagus, and zucchini, which contain high amounts of zinc.
Manage Your Gut Health
Poor gut health can cause constipation and yeast infections, which can result in bad breath. If you have been suffering from bad breath and can’t seem to figure out the cause, it may be lurking in your belly. A daily probiotic or digestive enzyme can help improve digestion and generate good bacteria in your gut. Eating fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha is another way to make a happy digestive system.
Gargle with Warm Salt Water
Just like when you start to feel the tickle of a sore throat, gargling with salt water can help you fight bad breath. One of the most simple remedies for bad breath, simply gargling with salt water for a minute or so each day can reduce bad breath by expelling bacteria in the throat and mouth.
Drink More Water
Since bad breath is caused by the food build up in our mouths throughout the day, drinking water is another quick and easy solution to keeping our mouths clean and prevent plaque buildup.
Moreover, dry mouth is a cause of bad breath, so regular water intake keeps the mouth from drying out. Saliva cleans our mouths by clearing away food particles. When the body does not produce sufficient saliva, bad breath comes as a consequence.
Water helps clean the mouth of leftover foods, reduces dry mouth, and increases saliva flow.
Drinking water first thing in the morning can reduce morning breath.
Regular brushing and flossing eliminate food particles from remaining in the mouth that rots causing bad breath. Over time, poor dental health leads to gingivitis and gum disease, caused by plaque build up on the teeth, which also results in bad breath. Brush twice daily and floss at night and you’ll be doing a huge favor to both your breath and your overall oral health.
Talk to our Dentist in Harrisburg NC
If you have concerns over bad breath, give our friendly team of at Icard & Strein Family Dentistry a call at 704.455.5003 so we can help determine if your bad breath is an oral issue or caused by another condition.