At the office, you notice people inching away from your cubicle every time you talk about your date last night. Come to think of it, your date seemed to shy away, too. Is bad breath to blame?
It happens to everyone at one point or another, and there are many causes. It could be a dental issue, like untreated cavities, or plaque on your teeth and tongue (Regularly brush teeth and tongue, people!) and flossing usually does the trick, but sometimes, it’s not quite enough. No amount of oral care will temper that garlic scent that’s coming straight from your belly and exiting through your mouth. Maybe it’s even more serious—infections or intestinal disorders could be underlying causes.
While mints and gum are a temporary fix, natural remedies can team up to do an inside job on bad breath. From mild cases to chronic halitosis, here are eight natural treatments that really work.
Make a natural mouthwash.
It just takes a cup of water, a teaspoon of baking soda (which neutralizes salivary pH), and a few drops of antimicrobial peppermint essential oil. Gargle for 30-60 seconds, then spit (don’t swallow the solution).
Eat crunchy vegetables and fruits like carrots, celery, and apples.
The fibrous texture of these tasty foods helps scrape plaque buildup off your teeth.
Chew lemon or orange rind.
Citric acid can stimulate the production of saliva, which has antimicrobial effects. The essentials oils in the rind will also refresh. Pro tip: Wash the rind thoroughly first.
They have antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that help fight bacteria that causes halitosis.
Chew fresh herbs like parsley, basil, mint, or cilantro.
The chlorophyll in these green plants is a natural smell inhibitor and can neutralize odors coming up from the belly.
This mineral is antimicrobial as well. You can take a supplement to get your recommended 11 daily grams, or eat zinc-rich foods like pumpkin, walnuts, and cacao.
Consume probiotics like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha tea.
Sometimes bad breath can come from an overgrowth of bacteria in the digestive tract. Excess gas in your body exits through your mouth. (Hello, garlic breath.) Probiotics can help, and taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with water before meals can aid digestion as well.
Drink nettle tea.
This herbal tea can flush the system of heavy metals and yeast overgrowth in the body. It also stimulates the lymphatic system and boosts kidney and adrenal function.
Photo credit: Paul Delmont