You lean over to whisper something to your friend and you can tell by the look on your friend’s face that something is up. Could it be your breath? Maybe you shouldn’t have put extra onions on your hamburger at lunch. What’s a person with smelly breath to do?
The good news is that bad breath happens to everyone once in a while. Also known as Halitosis is usually not a serious issue, but can lead to significant embarrassment and self-consciousness. In rare cases it can be a sign of a more serious problem in which case you should seek out the advice of a doctor or dentist.
The most common causes of bad breath, aside from eating a sandwich loaded with onions or that garlic bagel, is bacteria on the tongue. This bacteria can build up as a result of poor oral hygiene and a lack of flossing.
Triggers of bad breath may include:
- not eating breakfast
- food high in protein
- antihistamines and other medications
- sinus problems
- mouth sores
- tooth infections or gum disease (aka gingivitis)
- significant talking
- zinc deficiency
- gastrointestinal disorders (such as indigestion or stomach issues)
- Serious illness such as cancer, tuberculosis or syphillis
Home Remedies and Natural Cures for Bad Breath
- Apple Cider Vinegar. My grandmother used to take a teaspoon of this a day to help boost her immune system as well. Mix a 1/2 tsp. with water and use as a gargle for 10 seconds at a time.
- Baking Soda. Buy a toothpaste with baking soda in it or add your own to your toothpaste and brush with it regularly. The baking soda neutralizes the bacteria. Be sure to brush your tongue as well.
- Tea Tree Oil. Use as a toothpaste additive. Add a drop to your toothpaste before you brush. or create a Tea Tree Oil mouthwash by adding 3 drops of the oil to a cup of warm water. Gargle 2-3 times per day after each meal.
- Mint Leaves. Get yourself some fresh mint leaves and chew on them for a while. Swallowing them is fine or spit them out when flavor subsides.
- Sunflower Seeds, Cardamom Seeds or Cloves. Grab a handful of one of these babies and munch away. Then gulp down a glass of water. An enzyme in them helps break down odor causing bacteria.
Usually, there’s a less complicated reason for a bad breath then health issues — like what you had for lunch. So keep up with your brushing and flossing and you should be breathing easy — and odor free!