No one likes to come down with a case of bad breath. But the truth is that bad breath, or “halitosis” as it is called in medical language, is an extremely common affliction. And, contrary to popular belief, bad breath is not just something that “happens” to a few unfortunate people. There are all sorts of reasons that someone can suffer from halitosis. Some of these reasons are relatively benign and are easy enough to remedy. Other causes of halitosis stem from something quite serious and are much more challenging to treat. Alcohol and tobacco, dehydration, sinus infections, certain foods, and milk intolerance can all contribute to a case of bad breath.
Recently, researchers have found a strong relationship between bacteria and bad breath. Good bacteria help to keep your stomach and intestines working efficiently. Food is broken down, nutrients are used throughout you body, and waste is removed. When you are overrun with bad bacteria, however, the good bacteria cannot help your body to function properly. Yeast overgrowth and fermentation can happen in your gut, causing bad breath further up the line.
In a recent study that reviewed treatments for halitosis, probiotics were found to be beneficial in curing both periodontal disease and bad breath.
Here are some other treatments you can try using ingredients straight from your kitchen cupboards. Apple cider vinegar, for example, is a traditional folk remedy for bad breath. Take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before each meal. You can mix the vinegar in a glass of water if you like. Apple cider vinegar could help your digestive system.
Baking soda is considered a great way to keep bacteria in check in your mouth. Put some on a toothbrush and clean your teeth and tongue. Baking soda is alkaline and could help to reduce the acidity in your mouth. The more acidic the conditions in your mouth, the more likely harmful bacteria will thrive.
You could clean out your sinuses and clear up infection by gargling with salt and water. A salt and water mixture could help to eliminate bacteria around the tonsil area and the back of the throat. Gargling with this simple solution could also help to rid your mouth of mucus and food particles that can feed chronic, low-grade infections.
Anise seed is another folk remedy that has been used for centuries to freshen breath. Anise seed has a distinctive licorice flavor. It is believed to have a natural ability to kill the bacteria that causes odor. Cardamom, dill, or fennel seeds are all believed to have similar abilities to control or mask bad breath.
When it comes to dental health, make sure you go for regular check-ups. A dental hygienist can remove plaque before it builds up a layer of tartar that can harbor bacteria.
Vitamin deficiencies, especially vitamin C and niacin, are the cause of some gum diseases and tooth decay, so make sure you are getting enough of these vitamins through your diet. Keep an eye on your vitamin B6 levels, too. Vitamin B6 is necessary for oral health. Many people are deficient in B6 without realizing it.