How to Get Rid of Bad Breath | Prevention and Remedies for Halitosis

Everyone tends to smell differently but it doesn’t mean that having a foul scent is something you should ignore. This is particularly true if the stench is coming from one’s mouth. Luckily, learning how to get rid of bad breath isn’t a difficult task.

If you suspect you’re suffering from this issue, this guide can help you out.

What Causes Bad Breath?

While it’s understandable that you want to learn how to make your breath smell good right away,  it’s still important to get to the bottom of the condition first. By knowing the very root of the problem, you’ll have better odds at effectively eliminating the issue. To do this, we must look at the very causes of bad breath before doing anything else.

So what are the possible causes for your bad breath? Here are a few common examples that might ring true in your case:

Poor dental health habits

In many cases, bad breath, a.k.a. halitosis, is caused by poor oral hygiene. Those who don’t brush and floss their teeth often will experience excessive growth of anaerobic bacteria in the mouth. This can lead to the formation of plaque which can then create foul odors.

Your diet

digestion can also be blamed for the foul odors that can come out of your mouth

What you eat also largely affects the smell inside your mouth. If you tend to consume a lot of food items with strong scents, they can linger inside your mouth. The small bits and pieces of food can also get stuck on your teeth so their smell can also stay there until you brush them off.

Their digestion can also be blamed for the foul odors that can come out of your mouth. This causes the release of sulfur in your bloodstream which can then create bad odors upon reaching your lungs. As a result, you’ll then emit bad breath.

Crash diets, especially low-carb ones, also tend to cause oral malodor. The rapid pace of breaking down body fat can produce chemicals known as ketones. They are released through the breath and tend to smell awful. This explains why a lot of dieters tend to get bad breath.

Smoking

This shouldn’t come as a surprise since tobacco in itself doesn’t smell nice. Puffing cigarette smoke into your mouth certainly brings in its bad odor which can then linger inside your mouth and make your breath stink.

As tobacco also irritates your gum tissue, it can also cause damage to it which leads to gum disease. This, in turn, can also cause bad breath. Continuous smoking makes things worse as it prevents the gum tissues from healing themselves. This can result in periodontal disease which can make your bad breath worse.

Certain ailments

In some cases, some health conditions can also cause bad breath. A study has shown that only 8% of bad breath cases are caused by extraoral factors but the fact remains that they still exist. 

In such cases, you can’t just try to figure out how to get rid of bacteria in the mouth. The halitosis resulting from ailments can have different sources, so it’s crucial to diagnose the condition first before trying out some bad breath from the stomach home remedies.

Which conditions can cause oral malodor? Here are a few examples:

  • Xerostamia or dry mouth

  • Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD)

  • Diabetes

  • Bronchitis

  • Sinusitis

  • Tonsillitis

  • Bronchiectasis

Can stress cause bad breath, you might also be wondering. Most studies and lists about the causes of halitosis do not list stress as one of its culprits but some experts believe that there could be a link between the two. As there’s a relation between stress and gum disease which can cause bad breath, it’s not impossible that stress can also cause oral malodor. 

There are also some experts who think that bad breath from stomach ulcers are caused by stress-induced chemicals in the digestive tract. This claim will still need more studies to prove its scientific worth, however.

Medication

Unfortunately, bad breath can also come as a side effect of a medication. Chemotherapy medications are notorious for this as well as some heart medications and tranquilizers. You can, however, ask your doctor for alternatives if you suspect your meds are causing your bad breath.

Dry mouth

If you only suffer from morning breath, a situational oral malodor that occurs only in the morning, you can blame this condition. This can cause foul breath even if you have good dental hygiene as saliva helps remove and control the bad bacteria inside the mouth. As you produce less saliva during your sleep, your mouth will get dry and then have an awful smell.

How to Tell If You Have Bad Breath?

Now that you know what could cause this condition, the next step you’ll need to take in getting rid of bad breath is to determine whether you actually have it or not. Halitophobia or delusional halitosis is a real condition. It’s the obsessive fear of having bad breath and can be quite debilitating if you let the paranoia take over you.

So, how to tell if you have bad breath? Here are a few ways to determine whether you should try out bad breath remedies:

1. Do the lick-and-smell technique.

Try to smell your saliva by licking the back of your hand and letting it dry. Smell the area where you licked after. If it smells awful, then it’s a sign that you have bad breath.

2. Ask someone else.

If you have someone you’re quite intimate with, honest with you, and who wouldn’t mind that you will breathe on their face to check the smell of your breath, you should give this method a try.

All you need to do is breathe near their face and ask them whether you have bad breath. Tell them beforehand that they can be completely honest with you. If they say that your smell does smell funky, then odds are, you need to get rid of bad breath permanently.

3. Smell your floss.

Another simple way to determine if you need to learn how to get rid of really bad breath is by smelling the floss you just used. After flossing the back of your teeth, smell the thread you’ve just used. If it has a foul stench, then you will probably need to learn a few ways in how to get rid of halitosis.

4. Check your tongue.

Experts say that if your tongue has a different color other than the pinkish red hue of your tongue, it might also be the very reason why you have bad breath. Yellow and white tongue can both contribute to bad breath so you should be on the lookout for them.

Bad Breath Remedies: What You Can Do to Fight Bad Breath

With so many different causes and its seriously embarrassing effects, bad breath can really put people on edge. This is why it’s not surprising that some people think their breath stinks even if it’s not the case.

How do you get rid of bad breath, then? Here are some of the proven effective ways that you can try:

Improve your oral hygiene.

Because poor oral hygiene is the biggest cause of bad breath, it shouldn’t be surprising that improving your oral care efforts can solve the problem. Taking measures to care for your dental health isn’t even that complicated. Professionals have already outlined what you should do, too, so things should be simpler for everyone.

According to the American Dental Association’s Home Oral Care Guide, you should:

  • brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste;

  • floss at least once daily - we recommend getting a quality water flosser; and

  • use mouthwash if you have increased risks of gum disease. Read more here.

Brushing your teeth helps remove plaque and bacteria from the insides of your mouth. Flossing helps remove stuck food in between your teeth which can foster bacterial growth if not removed properly.

Oral care rinses also help clean the insides of your mouth further. They’re actually essentials if you have bad breath since they can further kill bad bacteria inside the mouth. Because of this, you might take special measures in finding a good mouthwash for bad breath.

improve your oral hygiene with scrapers

On your search for the best mouthwash for bad breath, you might find yourself in the midst of the alcohol vs non-alcohol mouthwash debate. While it might seem that a bad breath mouthwash should contain alcohol, you should also consider the conditions of the insides of your mouth. If you have sensitivities, you might want to look for the best non-alcohol option instead. They’re gentler and will less likely cause adverse reactions, so they can be better choices for you.

Using the best tongue scrapers can also be helpful if you want to take your oral care efforts up a notch.

They can effectively remove debris and bacterial growth on the surface of your tongue which is also a common cause of oral malodor. They might also help you get rid of the bad taste in your mouth since they can remove food debris from your taste buds.

In many cases, having good oral hygiene will be enough to help you get rid of bad breath. You can use this method in combination with other techniques listed below but you can’t take this out of the equation. It’s not an optional step if you want to combat oral malodor, so make sure to do this if you’re going to do anything to deal with the said condition.

Edit your diet.

Since your diet also plays a huge role in how your breath smells, you might also want to consider editing your diet if you feel like it has an awful stench. This might be the best answer to the pressing question of ‘how to cure bad breath naturally forever?’.

You might want to cut down on the items with strong scents, for starters. Experts recommend avoiding the following food items to get rid of bad breath:

  • Garlic

  • Onion

  • Coffee

  • Alcohol

  • Dairy products

  • Meat

  • Soda

You should swap them out for the following instead:

  • Water

  • Yogurt

  • Herbs and spices

  • Apples

  • Green tea

  • Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C

Finding the best gum for bad breath is also recommended by experts. These can help curb the growth of harmful bacteria inside your mouth which can then prevent bad breath.

Try out some home remedies for bad breath.

There are also tons of proven-effective home remedies for bad breath that you can try. Most of them use the items listed above as the ideal food items to help fight oral malodor. You can either opt to consume them normally or use them as a bad breath remedy.

What are these bad breath remedies that you can try at home? Check them out below:

1. Herbs for bad breath

Herbs have an undeniable fresh scent which explains why mint is the most popular toothpaste scent. Because of this, you can also count on herbs to help you combat bad breath.

Some of the most popular herbs that can help you combat oral malodor include:

  • Parsley

  • Peppermint

  • Basil

  • Cilantro

You can chew the leaves or sprigs of these herbs after every meal to help you clean the insides of your mouth and give yourself a fresher-smelling breath.

2. Tea for bad breath

Drinking tea is also a certified effective way to fight bad breath. Green tea, in particular, helps fight infections inside your mouth and freshen the smell of your breath.

3. Essential oils for bad breath

experts say you can use essential oils in mouth spray

With their amazing properties, essential oils can also help you deal with halitosis. In fact, these can be some of the most useful items to deal with the condition as there are tons of ways you can use it to freshen your breath.

For starters, you can add it to your favorite oral care products to naturally enhance their effectiveness. A drop or two of essential oils in your toothpaste tube or mouthwash can add more potency to its ability to kill the bad bacteria inside your mouth.

Some experts say you can also use them in mouth spray recipes to help keep your breath fresh. Just be careful in creating the mix, though, as not all essential oils are safe to be ingested. Stick with lemon, spearmint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, rosemary, wintergreen, and peppermint oil for bad breath remedies to be safe.

4. Salt water for bad breath

Mixing salt with warm water can also be very helpful in fighting off bad breath. Why? Salt contains antibacterial properties that can help kill the bad bacteria inside your mouth. Gargling with a warm salt water rinse is already a proven-effective technique in fighting off infections, so it can certainly be an easy and cost-effective way to deal with oral malodor.

Try supplements.

Taking supplements for bad breath can be the simplest way to duke it out with this embarrassing condition. The good news is that there are tons of options available for bad breath pills so you can be certain that you won’t run out of choices.

You can take a pick from various natural-based supplements to help you deal with your condition. You’ll also find supplements with herbs, probiotics, and even zinc for bad breath. All of these offer to effectively combat bacterial growth inside the mouth, so they’re all great options for supplements. You just need to choose which one has the most appealing offerings to you, and you’re all set.

Train to sleep with your mouth closed.

Want to give fresh kisses after waking up? Then you’ll need to know how to get rid of morning breath. As mentioned above, even those with good oral hygiene experiences this condition, so dealing with this condition might be a bit of a puzzle to some.

Training yourself to sleep with your mouth closed can be a good approach, however. This condition is often caused by dry mouth which is typically a result of mouth breathing and snoring. In short, all of these happen because you sleep with your mouth open. So by trying to sleep with a closed mouth, you might just find the best way to avoid having morning breath.

We know this isn’t particularly easy to do. Altering the way you sleep can be a major challenge but it can be done.

How? For starters, you can change your mattress and bedding. Your pillow and mattress might be the very reasons why you can’t breathe properly while lying down.

If you sleep with your mouth open because of sleep apnea, you can also see a doctor. They can help you address the condition which can, in turn, allow you to stop breathing through your mouth in your sleep as well.

See your dentist regularly.

A good oral care routine won’t be complete without seeing your dentist regularly. They can help you monitor your teeth and assist you in taking effective measures for treating any issues they spot right away.

In many occasions, they’re also the best folks to turn to for tooth decay odor remedy. Since they can help you treat tooth caries, they will be able to help you eliminate the foul stench the condition comes with.

Your dentist will also be the best person to help you explore your different options in dealing with bad breath. If they have determined that you have good oral health, they can quickly refer you to a different medical professional if you still have bad breath.

See a doctor.

In some occasions, bad breath can be a symptom of a disease and is not the only health problem you might be struggling with. If you haven’t been diagnosed with an ailment that has oral malodor as one of its symptoms, it’s best to see your doctor right away.

By doing this, you can immediately address the underlying cause of your bad breath. Treating the said disease will help improve the scent of the insides of your mouth. In some cases, it might also be the answer in how to cure bad breath coming from stomach.

Some illnesses that cause bad breath aren’t exactly serious and can be treated rather easily. This makes seeking medical help is a must if you suspect that your case isn’t just caused by poor dental hygiene.

As most cases of halitosis can be resolved by improved dental hygiene, seeing a doctor can be your last resort if all of the other methods listed here failed you.

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