Mouth odor or bad breath, medically known as Halitosis is a medical condition that is caused by poor dental health and sometimes it can be caused by microbes and an underlying health problem.
Unhealthy lifestyles like poor dental hygiene and smoking and a bad diet can worsen this condition; the digestion of foods starts in the mouth, foods with a strong scent like garlic, onions, and others worsen the condition and will persist until the food passes through the body.
Poor dental hygiene like not brushing your teeth, or brushing your teeth and not scrubbing your tongue or not cleaning your dentures properly can allow the growth and activities of bacteria in the mouth and this can lead to Halitosis. These microbes stay between the teeth; on the tongue and around the gum causing bad breath.
Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco products stains the teeth and causes bad breath; it also affects the taste buds on the tongue thereby affecting the sense of taste and it irritates the gum.
Other causes of bad breath are dental cavities, yeast infections of the mouth, and dental appliances that are poorly fixed.
Xerostomia also known as dry mouth is a medical condition that can also cause bad breath; it is characterized by less amount of saliva in the moth which can be caused by problems with the salivary glands, side effects of medications or breathing through the mouth continuously.
Saliva helps to keep the mouth hydrated; it neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth that forms plaque, it removes dead cells on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If saliva is not sufficient to do all these; there will be bad breath.
Kidney problems, respiratory tract infections, liver problems, diabetes and chronic acid reflux are other medical conditions that can cause bad breath.
Chronic or persistent bad breath is a sign of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease and this is a risk factor for heart disease; it is characterized by the buildup of plaque on the teeth and if left untreated, it can damage the jawbone and gum.
Effective Home Remedies for Mouth odor
There are natural things that can be taken or applied to help combat mouth odor and we will be looking at the ten most effective home remedies for mouth odor.
This herbal remedy has been used to treat bad breath for thousands of years; its rich antimicrobial properties and acidic content prevent the growth and activities of bacteria in the mouth. It also has a nice scent that masks unpleasant odour.
Juice half a lemon and mix it with an equal part of water; use it to rinse your mouth, this will fight bad breath and prevent dry mouth. Do this once daily.
This herb is a natural mouth freshener and it fights Halitosis; it has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties which prevent the growth of microbes and bad breath.
Chew a teaspoon of fennel to stimulate saliva production and to make your breath fresh. You should also try and take fennels tea many times daily; steep 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds in a cup of water for 10 minutes, then you drink it when cooled.
Parsley is rich in chlorophyll which is effective in neutralizing mouth odour. To freshen your breath, chew fresh parsley sprig; it can be dipped in vinegar and chewed.
The fresh leaves of parsley can be juiced and the juice is taken at intervals to refresh the mouth and also boost digestion.
Cinnamon has a powerful compound called cinnamic aldehyde; it has bactericidal properties, this helps it kill and reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth. It also masks bad breath.
Take cinnamon tea daily by boiling a teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a cup of water; strain the solution and drink it when cooled, you can also use it as a mouth rinse.
They have antibacterial properties that kill mouth bacteria and they also help to freshen your breath and reduce mouth odour. Chew few pieces of cloves daily; it will clear off mouth odour in few minutes.
You can also take clove tea; boil a cup of water and add a teaspoon of ground cloves and let it simmer for ten minutes. Let it cool, and then drink the tea. Do this twice daily till you see improvement.
This helps in both the prevention and treatment of mouth odour; it prevents the formation of acids in the mouth by neutralizing it, it fights bacteria that cause plaque and bad breath and it also helps to whiten the teeth.
Pour a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and use this solution to rinse your mouth many times daily until you get the desired result. Try brushing your teeth with baking soda twice weekly to remove plaque deposit, to reduce acidity and to prevent bacteria from accumulating on the tongue.
Do not use it every day as excess baking soda on the teeth can destroy the enamel.
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Tea tree oil
The antiseptic properties of this herb fight microbes and bacteria that cause bad breath; it is a powerful natural disinfectant and it keeps the mouth clean and fresh.
Add few drops of tea tree oil to your toothbrush, add your regular toothpaste and use it to brush your teeth and scrub your tongue; you can also add it to a cup of water and use it as a mouth rinse.
This is effective against mouth odour caused by catarrhal infections; take fenugreek tea at least twice daily. Boil a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in a cup of water and strain it; drink it when cooled.
Drink lots of water
Dehydration and dry mouth can cause mouth odour; drink lots of water, it helps to clear food particles that the bacteria feed in the mouth, it also clears the bacteria from the mouth and keep it moisturized.
Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV can treat bad breath caused by acidity in the mouth; it has the ability to balance pH and its antibacterial properties fight the microbes responsible for mouth odour.
Add a tablespoon of raw, unfiltered ACV in a glass of water and drink it before meals; you can also gargle with it or use it as a mouth rinse. This is an effective cure for mouth odour.