If you are like most people, you simply want to get rid of bad breath FAST! Read on to learn about seven super effective natural cures for bad breath.
The human mouth is a structure it is particularly easy to take for granted. According to WebMD, the mouth has eight different components, including the lips, tongue, teeth, gums, soft palate, hard palate, uvula and tonsils.
To make already complex matters more complicated still, there are so many possible triggers that can cause bad breath. Bacteria, germs, dry mouth, illness, medication, heartburn…the list goes on and on.
Foods That Cause (& Fight) Bad Breath
In most cases, bad breath is caused by sulfurous compounds that get lodged in the mouth, however in the majority of cases, these compounds come from food and will dissipate within 24 hours.
Of course, who wants to wait 24+ hours for their bad breath to go away?
It is also important to know that some foods are known to be guiltier than others of causing bad breath. Here are Dr. Axe’s two short lists of foods that cause bad breath and foods that fight bad breath.
Bad Breath Foods
These foods are implicated for two reasons: either they are higher in bad bacteria/sulfurous compounds that lead to halitosis, or bad breath, or they are sticky, which means they get stuck in your mouth and then start to break down, leading to bad breath.
NOTE: If you do eat onions and garlic, which have other healthy properties and shouldn’t be totally avoided, just be sure to cook them first.
- Fried foods.
- Foods high in trans-fats.
- Sugary foods.
- Sweetened drinks.
- Sticky foods.
Sweet Breath Foods
These foods are high in fiber, water, probiotics and fresheners.
- Citrus (lemon and orange are particularly great here).
- Parsley (high in chlorophyll, a natural antidote to garlic and onion).
- Water (flushing away mouth bacteria is always a good thing).
- Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, yogurt).
7 Fast and Fabulous Natural Cures for Bad Breath
Now that you know what foods will bring on halitosis quickly and what to eat to make it go away ASAP, let’s dive in to these seven other great remedies to fight bad breath!
1. Chew the Right Spices
Certain spices contain powerful bacteria-fighting properties that go to work on bad breath fast!
Here is your spice go-to list for beating bad breath:
- Cloves. Cloves contain a powerful anti-bacterial agent called “euphenol.” Just mouthing a clove lightly with your teeth will release sufficient euphenol to clear up bad breath. If you are a vodka fan, steep some cloves in vodka for a personal mouthwash with a kick!
- Anise. Anise is a seed that tastes a lot like licorice candy, but with none of the sugar and powerful anti-bacterial agents to fight bad breath bacteria.
- Sage. Sage has essential oils and anti-bacterial properties which are released when you chew on the leaves. If you prefer, brew up some sage tea and gargle it.
- Dill. Dill is a natural diuretic and anti-bacterial agent that also contains parsley’s secret bad breath weapon, chlorophyll. You can either chew the seeds for immediate results or, if you can afford to wait, brew a tea from a few leaves.
- Cinnamon. Cinnamon is not just tasty – it also contains potent anti-septic agents. All you have to do is pop a bit of fresh cinnamon stick into your mouth and chew.
2. Coconut Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is a time-honored bad breath remedy that dates back to the origins of Eastern Ayurvedic medicine.
You can use sesame oil, sunflower oil or coconut oil for your oil pulling regimen – you might want to try different oils and see which one you like best.
Here is what to do:
- Right when you wake up, take one or two tablespoons of your oil of choice orally and just swish it in your mouth gently.
- Do not swallow any of it!
- Spit it into the trash can (NOT the sink).
- Do a salt water rinse.
- Brush your teeth.
You can do this three or four times per week to banish bad breath-producing bacteria.
3. Pulling Oil with Added Essential Oils
If you, like so many today, are becoming a fan of essential oils, but you’re not quite sure about pulling oil yet, why not try combining the two!
Not only will you be able to wake up each morning and look forward to a refreshing and flavorful start to your day, but you will get twice the benefits by combining the oil benefits and the essential oil benefits together in one quick morning routine.
Here are some of the best essential oils for combining with oil pulling (for more, consult this great comprehensive guide to get healthy using essential oils):
- Peppermint essential oil. Add 1-2 drops to one tablespoon of oil on a daily basis.
- Lemon or wild orange essential oil. Add 1-2 drops to one tablespoon of oil on a daily basis.
- Tea tree essential oil. Add 1 drop of tea tree essential oil to 2 tablespoons of oil when you feel under the weather. Alternatively, choose a toothpaste that includes tea tree oil.
- Clove or sage essential oil. Add 1 drop of clove or sage essential oil to 1 tablespoon of oil when you feel under the weather.
4. Scrape Your Tongue Daily
This may not sound like the most pleasant bad breath remedy on the list, but according to the Mayo Clinic, it can potentially be quite helpful, especially if the following situations apply to you:
- You smoke.
- You suffer from dry mouth.
- You are fighting a yeast infection.
- You are taking medication that causes halitosis.
- Your tongue frequently becomes coated due to inconsistent oral hygiene.
You can easily find tongue scrapers at any local drugstore. Just scrape your tongue lightly from the back to the front and rinse with water, then floss and brush as usual. Finish with your favorite mouthwash gargle.
5. Drink Lemon Water
Fresh lemons are packed with antibacterial agents that kill bad breath-causing mouth bacteria – yay!
The key here, however, is to drink your lemon water warm, not chilled.
Here is what to do:
- Slice a whole fresh lemon.
- Simmer eight ounces of water.
- Pour the hot water over the lemon slices and steep for a few minutes.
- Store the lemon water this way (drink within a day or two!)
- Use a straw to avoid damage to your tooth enamel.
6. Drink More Water
While you don’t want to drink too much lemon water because it can erode the vital enamel that protects your teeth, you want to be sure to stay hydrated.
Nutritionists recommend drinking several glasses of plain, old-fashioned water daily can naturally flush away bad breath bacteria and keep your mouth moist and breath sweet-smelling.
7. Enjoy Some Eucalyptus
Perhaps the koala is on to something with its eucalyptus-based diet! Health expert Dr. Mercola cites several research studies that show eucalyptus can promote good oral hygiene, fight bacteria, ease pain and provide respiratory benefits.
You can use a strainer to brew eucalyptus-infused tea to drink one to three times daily.
Acknowledgements: Trysh Sutton – Pure Path Essential Oils