Did you know that an estimated 50 to 65 percent of people experience chronic bad breath? That’s right – you’re not alone! While bad breath might feel embarrassing or awkward, it’s a common occurrence that happens to many people in their lifetime.
The good news is there are plenty of easy, natural home remedies to eliminate bad breath. Having good oral hygiene is always the best place to start. But, using home remedies like baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and even a tongue scraper can help even more.
Let’s talk more about where bad breath originates from and 11 of the best home remedies for bad breath. By understanding where bad breath begins, you can set yourself up for success to finally take charge of your oral hygiene!
Where Bad Breath Begins
Scientifically known as halitosis, bad breath is caused by the abundance of bacteria in your mouth. As you eat throughout the day, bits of food get caught between your teeth and at the back of your tongue. And as these minuscule bits of food sit, bacteria begin to grow causing an unpleasant odor.
For those with optimal oral hygiene, the main cause of chronic halitosis is likely at the back of the tongue. Some tongues have a smooth surface, while others are more rigid or grooved. People with deeply grooved tongues have a higher likelihood of accumulating more bacteria. This bacteria often presents itself as a white coating on the tongue and can cause bad breath due to the absence of oxygen.
In some cases, bad breath is linked to acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Acid reflux occurs when stomach contents flow back up into the esophagus. This is typically due to an excess amount of acid being produced by the digestive tract. Stomach contents include small bits of food, bile, and acid that may lead to breath malodor.
11 Home Remedies for Bad Breath
Now that you know where bad breath begins and more about oral hygiene, we can talk about some easy home remedies for curing bad breath. These home remedies work differently from person to person. So, it may take some trial and error to figure out what works best for you.
While some of these remedies may help to get rid of bad breath permanently at home, others offer a more temporary solution. Having multiple simple home remedies in your back pocket is helpful for eliminating bad breath in any situation. So, without further ado, here are eleven easy home remedies for bad breath.
1. Plain Water
A leading cause of bad breath is having a dry mouth. Saliva plays a key role in regulating bacteria and keeping your mouth clean. When you’re sleeping, your mouth tends to dry out because you aren’t drinking any water and not producing enough saliva. This is the reason why our breath is typically the worst in the morning – also known as morning breath. You can easily avoid this by drinking water and brushing your teeth as soon as you wake up.
How to use:
Drinking enough water every day is a simple solution for preventing bad breath. Health experts recommend drinking 8 glasses of water per day to prevent dehydration.
2. Warm Salt Water Rinse
Another way to get rid of bad breath at home is by gargling with a warm salt water rinse. Saltwater can help fight off malodor in the mouth by fighting off bacteria in the mouth. It’s commonly used as an alternative to mouthwashes containing harsh chemicals like alcohol.
How to use:
- Create the mixture using ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt per 8 ounces of water.
- Take a generous sip of the salt water and swish for at least 30 seconds.
- For maximum benefits, gargle salt water after swishing.
- Spit the salt water mixture out and rinse your mouth with plain water.
3. Baking Soda
While baking soda might not be the most pleasant home remedy, it’s certainly effective at eliminating bad breath. Similar to a warm salt water rinse, people use baking soda as an alternative for mouthwashes containing harsh chemicals. Baking soda is particularly beneficial in regulating the acid in your mouth, making it harder for bacteria to grow.
How to use:
- Create the mixture using 2 tablespoons of baking soda per cup of water.
- For maximum benefits, add a few drops of peppermint oil (optional).
- Take a generous sip and swish for at least 30 seconds.
- For extra effectiveness, gargle the mixture after swishing.
- Spit the baking soda mouthwash out and rinse your mouth with plain water.
4. Tongue Scraper
As we mentioned before, one of the main causes of bad breath is due to bacteria on the tongue. This is why dentists always tell you to never forget your tongue when brushing! For extra thorough cleaning, you can opt for a specialized tongue scraper. Tongue scraping takes brushing your tongue a step further by removing bacteria and dead cells from the tongue’s surface.
How to use:
- After brushing your teeth, extend your tongue out the farthest it can go.
- Gently press the scraper at the back of your tongue.
- Pull the scraper forward with light pressure until you reach the tip of your tongue.
- Rinse the scraper clean of debris with plain water, and repeat until all debris is gone.
If you’re looking for an effective tongue scraper, the Deja Copper Tongue Scraper is the perfect addition to add to your self-care routine. By removing the debris and bacteria from your tongue, this tool with leave your mouth feeling revitalized and refreshed!
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
If you’re looking for a quicker home remedy, apple cider vinegar is the way to go. While this remedy won’t cure your bad breath permanently, it’s a great solution for masking bad breath when you’re in a pinch. One major factor in regulating bad breath is your pH levels. Apple cider vinegar is a great option for regulating pH levels in your mouth, reducing the formation of malodor.
How to use:
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water.
- Take a generous sip of the mixture and swish for at least 30 seconds.
- For maximum benefits, gargle after swishing.
- Spit the apple cider vinegar out and rinse with plain water.
6. Fennel Seeds
Fennel has been used since ancient times to freshen bad breath. Fennel seeds are natural antiseptics that clear the mouth of built-up bacteria. Additionally, fennel seeds aid in promoting the production of saliva. Since saliva plays an important role in reducing bad breath, fennel seeds can be an effective home remedy to consider.
How to use:
Simply adding a spoonful of fennel seeds to your diet is effective in eliminating bad breath. Fennel seeds can be eaten plain, roasted, or even coated in sugar – just make sure to brush your teeth at the end of the day! It can also be added to a variety of meals and beverages.
When bad breath becomes a chronic concern, it’s always best to see your dentist. But incorporating foods like probiotics can be beneficial in managing bad breath on a long-term basis. One of the best foods with probiotics for bad breath is yogurt. Yogurt contains an abundance of probiotics and healthy bacteria that is proven to reduce chronic bad breath.
How to use:
When choosing a yogurt to incorporate into your diet for reducing bad breath, make sure it contains healthy probiotics. In general, both regular and Greek yogurt are equally rich in probiotics. However, greek yogurt is optimal if you’re also looking to add in more nutrients and protein! You can also opt for probiotics supplements, which will help your gut as well as get rid of the bad breath.
8. Chewing Gum
Another easy home remedy for quickly getting rid of bad breath is chewing gum. Especially if you choose a minty flavor, gum can be a great solution for masking bad breath when you’re in a pinch. As it turns out, it can also be effective in fighting bacteria, preventing bad breath from happening in the first place.
How to use:
Dentists recommend opting for sugar-free chewing gum. This way, you avoid an unnecessary build-up of sugar and acids in the mouth which can cause bacteria to grow.
9. Green Tea
Green tea has been used for centuries for its medicinal and healing properties. One of the many benefits green tea has is reducing the effects of chronic bad breath or halitosis. Studies show that green tea has the ability to rid the mouth of bacteria due to its antibacterial properties. On top of this, green tea is loaded with powerful antioxidants that can be effective in treating halitosis.
How to use:
To ensure you receive maximum benefits, always go for 100% pure green tea instead of a concentrate. If you don’t like the taste of green tea, you can also take it in supplement form. Green tea supplements are available both online and in stores – just make sure you’re looking for the highest potency.
10. Peppermint Oil
There are several natural oils that can help reduce bad breath – peppermint oil being one of the best. With antiseptic properties that kill bacteria, peppermint oil can be extremely effective in reducing chronic bad breath. It also has a strong, minty flavor that easily masks breath odor quickly. In addition, peppermint oil’s antiseptic properties can even help prevent tooth decay and plaque build-up.
How to use:
- Add 1-2 drops of peppermint oil to your toothpaste.
- Brush your teeth as usual.
- For extra effectiveness, add 1-2 drops to your mouthwash, too!
11. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits rich in vitamin C are loaded with antioxidants. They fight off bad bacteria and build-up in the mouth that can cause breath malodor. Foods rich in vitamin C can even be beneficial in preventing gum infections and gum disease. Since gum health concerns are another leading factor of halitosis, eating more foods with vitamin C can help.
How to use:
When choosing citrus fruits to relieve chronic bad breath, always ensure they’re rich in vitamin C. The richest fruits in vitamin C include grapefruits, mandarin oranges, and limes.
Proper Oral Hygiene
Having proper oral hygiene is key for keeping bad breath to a minimum. Research states that poor oral and dental hygiene is the leading cause of bad breath. When trying to get rid of bad breath, creating a dental hygiene routine that works for you is the best place to start.
According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth two times per day – morning and night. Each brushing session should last around two minutes. For optimal cleaning, dedicate 30 seconds of brushing to each quadrant of the mouth.
Both powered toothbrushes and manual ones (with soft bristles) are okay to use. However, you should always replace your toothbrush after three months of use or when the bristles start to fray.
When to See a Doctor
Halitosis – or chronic bad breath – can signify tooth decay, gum disease, or other oral hygiene-related matters. While most cases of halitosis can be cured using remedies at home, you should see a doctor when it becomes persistent.
If you’ve tried several of the home remedies we’ve listed above and your bad breath hasn’t improved, you should consult with your doctor or dentist. They’ll be able to determine if there are any underlying conditions to be aware of. They can also help point you in the right direction to professionally treat your chronic bad breath.
There you have it – 11 of the best home remedies for eliminating bad breath at home. From permanent bad breath remedies to more temporary solutions, these easy methods are all easy and effective options.
But if you aren’t finding any results using these remedies, it’s best to consult with your doctor or dentist. Even if there’s no underlying condition, they can help point you in the right direction for permanently reducing chronic bad breath.
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