Bad breath is not going to kill you. Neither is it going to kill your neighbor, though he might not quite believe that! However, it is terribly unpleasant and can make people turn away from you. That makes it embarrassing and uncomfortable as well. More importantly, it makes you self-conscious and unnatural in your interactions.

It is definitely worth exploring the different bad breath remedies out there. What causes bad breath?

Bad breath, also called Halitosis in dental jargon, occurs because of various factors:

  1. Cavities
  2. Gum disease
  3. Dry mouth (effect of snoring, speaking, drinking alcohol, using medication and so on)
  4. Poor oral hygiene
  5. Improper digestion
  6. Inadequate consumption of water
  7. Coated tongue – white deposits on your tongue
  8. Habits such as chewing tobacco or smoking

Chronic or intermittent issue?

Bad breath may be chronic or intermittent. If it is intermittent, it is possible to cover it up with some mouthwash or by chewing gum. Sprays can also do the trick in emergencies.
However, for chronic bad breath, you may want to consider intrinsic changes rather than just cosmetic cover-ups. After all, in the long run, it would be a good idea to tackle the problem at the source. Bad breath cures should ideally include changing some habits and practices in your daily life.

Let’s look at some natural remedies for bad breath. Some changes to your diet can make you more pleasing to the olfactory senses.

Natural remedies for bad breath

1. Include more probiotics in your diet. Eating curds and yogurts at the end of your meal can help cleanse your mouth. This will also help you stock up on calcium as well as help cool your body. If you have conditions such indigestion or irritable bowel syndrome, gases form in the stomach. These exit through the mouth, leading to bad odor. Curd helps flush out toxins and also helps digest your food better.

2. Drink plenty of water: Funny how that simple fluid is such a panacea of sorts! Water helps flush out toxins from the mouth. When food substances linger in the mouth, they decay and cause the build up of sulfur-producing bacteria. They tend to deposit at the posterior of the tongue causing the foul smell in the mouth. Water helps push food particles down the food tract.

3. Eat saliva-producing food: An apple a day keeps the bad breath at bay! Fruits like apples and pears and vegetables like celery help produce saliva, keeping the mouth moisturized. Saliva kills the bacteria that is causing the stink in your mouth. It also keeps your mouth from drying up, a major cause of bad breath.

  • Eat fresh-smelling food at the end of your meals. Chew on an orange or a lemon at the end of your meal. This will not only ensure you get your Vitamin C supplements but also keep you smelling fresh. Peppermints can also have this effect; however, since they, generally, contain sugar, they are not a healthy daily routine. You can, however, try mint tea; it also aids in digestion. Well-digested food will also assist in keeping your breath fresh.
  • Include spices like cloves and cinnamon to help neutralize your breath. Cloves and cinnamon sticks contain oils that help fight bad breath. Chew a little bit or add it in your beverages. Its anti-microbial properties will go a long way towards keeping your friends and family near you! So, you should consider including them in your list of bad breath cures.

Bad breath is like body odor. It is something you read in the behavior of others rather than know on your own. This can be embarrassing. Like a first impression, you may not get a second chance with some interactions. So, follow these healthy practices, in general, even if you are not specifically looking to get rid of bad breath.

Pro quick tips to get rid of bad breath

  • Rinse your mouth after every meal and snack. You may use a herbal solution like a Triphala decoction.
  • Brush your teeth twice every day. You may consider using a toothpaste with natural extracts in it.
  • Clean your tongue using a metal (like copper) scraper to clear food particles that stick to the tongue – this is where microbes tend to deposit and cause odors.
  • If you wear dentures, remove them every night and clean them.
  • Substitute coffee with green tea; it will help prevent tooth decay.
  • Keep your diet vegetarian and suited to your body requirements.
  • Some yoga postures and pranayamas can also help you get rid of bad breath.

Finally, your breath is a reflection of what you put in your mouth. So, ensure you keep away from unclean habits such as tobacco-chewing, smoking, alcohol, and drugs. Pungent-smelling food such as onions and garlic, sweets and fried food also cause odors. So do yourself and your partner a favor. Exercise your head and neck as you signal a resounding NO to these non-friends of your mouth! That may be the best bad breath remedy you can adopt!

Stress can also lead to bad breath. Overloaded schedules lead to poor and irregular eating habits. This can lead to flatulence and other symptoms that cause bad breath. Yoga is an effective tool to counter both stress and bad breath. The Art of Living’s Sri Sri Yoga program is a blend of asanas, breathing exercises and meditation. You will find that it leaves you with a sweet scent in your mind and mouth!

This article was written with inputs from Dr. Sharika Menon, Ayurvaidya, Art of Living Ayurvedic Hospital