I love marinara sauce. But without fail, 24 hours later, my lip-glossed mouth could make a small child cry and have the family pet running for cover. The culprit in my case is garlic. Sure, I’m not alone, but halitosis is a real turn off. Research has proven that among some culprits are:
- Garlic – is absorbed into the bloodstream and secreted by the lungs. While not everyone is affected, I certainly am
- Bacteria – volatile sulfur compounds (VSC), such as hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan, harbors on the teeth, gums and tongue
- Food particles – become lodged between teeth
- Plaque – on or below the gum line
- Dieting – to excess may cause ketoacidosis, the breakdown of chemicals during fasting, which smells awful
- Smoking – dries out the mouth and contributes to periodontal disease
- Diseases – such as lung infections, kidney failure and chronic reflux of stomach acids produce odors
- Milk Intolerance
20 Natural Ways to Keep Your Breath Fresh
If you’re not ready to drop $2,000 on a Halimeter, which will analyze the VSC’s in your mouth and let you know if your breath is offensive, here are natural ways to clean up your act.
- Brush – after every meal, and be sure that your toothbrush is in good shape. A chewed-up, disfigured brush will miss those hard-to-reach areas.
- Herb Pharm Breath Tonic – is my all time favorite. The non-aerosol spray is made from a sugar-free blend of certified organic peppermint, cinnamon, ginger, and clove extracts that leave my mouth feeling fabulous and clean.
- Tongue Scraper – This smooth plastic or metal tool glides over the tongue and removes dead cells and bacteria
- Floss – removes plaque and food that you may not even realize was stuck. I keep a container in my office desk
- Water – According to the Mayo Clinic, drink water – not coffee, soft drinks or alcohol. Chewing gum or sucking on candy (preferably natural) also stimulates saliva, washing away food particles and bacteria.
- Fenugreek – put one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in four cups of cold water, boil, then simmer for fifteen minutes over a low flame. Strain and drink like tea.
- Guava – unripe guava has been said to aid bad breath as it contains tannic and phosphoric acids.
- Apple cider vinegar – swallow a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar just before each meal (you may want to add it to a glass of water)
- Alfalfa – alfalfa tablets have been said to aid bad breath
- Anise – the licorice-flavored seed, may aid in reducing bacteria
- Chlorophyll – Try liquid or chlorophyll tablets. Chlorophyll has a deodorizing effect
- Clove Tea/Mouthwash – Cloves are a powerful antiseptic. Make a tea by putting three whole or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves in two cups of hot water and steep for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour through a fine strainer and use as a mouthwash or gargle twice a day.
- Fennel – Slowly chew the leaves and allow the saliva to build up in your mouth. Or, mix the contents of a fennel capsule with baking soda, make into a paste, and brush your teeth, gums and tongue with it.
- Lemon – If you can stand it, a lemon wedge sprinkled with salt will help stop onion or garlic breath.
- Parsley & Mint – Chewing parsley or mint leaves has been a remedy used for thousands of years. These herbs are especially good if garlic and onions are the source of your bad breath. Parsley is very high in chlorophyll. Chew a few parsley sprigs dipped in vinegar for immediate relief. If you swallow the leaves after chewing them they will be digested and continue to provide breath freshness for quite a while. These plants seem to reduce the production of intestinal gas by promoting better digestion.
- Natural gum – such as glee, is made with spearmint or peppermint essential oils. These oils kill odor-causing bacteria, and the chewing action stimulates the production of saliva which helps combat bad breath.
- Sage – contains essential oils with antibacterial properties that help neutralize one of the causes of bad breath. Chew raw leaves.
- Spirulina – is a very good source of chlorophyll and can be purchased either in capsule or loose form. It’s suggested to start with 500 mg three times a day, but please check with your medical professional first!
- Tea tree oil – derived from the leaves of the native Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree, tea tree oil contains antiseptic compounds, which make it a powerful disinfectant. Try using a toothpaste containing tea tree oil, or put a few drops of tea tree oil on your toothbrush alone, or with your regular toothpaste. It has a strong aromatic flavor.
- Baking Soda – Brushing your teeth with baking soda will help reduce the acidity in your mouth, which is less inviting for bacteria. Combine two tablespoons of dried lemon or orange rind, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and two teaspoons of salt.
According to health 911, there are a few off-the-beaten-path remedies, including:
Please report back to us in the comments below on what worked for you!