What’s the only thing worse than showing up at work, or any other important social interaction, with the dirty detritus of your last meal stuck between your front teeth? Yeah, that sounds nasty, but Halitosis is worse. Halitosis literally means bad-breath. And 25-30% of the population has it. Halitosis is a bad news, it’s an instant turn-off for anyone you’re talking to. They instinctively want to take a step (or three) back. If you fall under the unlucky ¼ of the population, you want to do something about this.
Let’s start with the most common causes. This isn’t a rocket science. Poor oral hygiene is on top of the list. If you wear retainers/dentures, leaving them on for too long without cleaning them is a sure shot way to get bad-breath. Cavities and gum disease are also red signs. Even sore throats, for that matter. What ends up happening is that food particles get lodged in spaces that aren’t cleaned out, between teeth and dentures, or gaps between the teeth and gums, for instance, that eventually begin to rot. The microbes that flock as a result give rise to a sulfurous smell—that’s halitosis.
Now what are some natural ways that you can deal with it? Dry mouth predisposes to the bacteria that sour your breath, so rinsing with even water will dislodge the food particles before they can begin to ferment.
Don’t disregard parsley. Look for the little herb in the salad of your romantic dinner. It contains high levels of chlorophyll, a chemical that de-odorizes your breath.
You should be looking to eat more citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, tangerines and strawberries, because the ascorbic acid and sour juices stimulate the flow of saliva. Saliva is a natural anti-microbial. Foods you want to stay away from include onion, garlic and ‘exotic cheeses’. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but those three odorants are NOT going to sweeten your breath.
You should know that bacteria pile up on the dorsal (top) surface of the tongue. If nothing else, you should at least try to scrape of the gunk by scraping your tongue vigorously against your teeth. Even better use a spoon fork. Simply put the utensil to the back of your tongue, not too far back—otherwise it’ll trigger your gag reflex, and scrape forward a couple of times.
Herbs and spices are you best friends. Cloves and cinnamon have natural anti-septic functions. These can be tapped into if you chew on them for a short period. Stay away from clove oil or crushed cloves, these are generally too pungent for your oral cavity, and will cause issues. Cardamom is also great for knocking out the stinky bacteria.
This sounds simple, but skipping meals is another big problem, and that’s, because if you go a long period without eating, your mouth gets dry and starts ramping up the bacteria production. That’s not cool. Keep a toothbrush handy and brush after all your meals, especially your tongue. Using a toothpaste with tea-tree oil would be ideal, it’s a great natural anti-septic.
One final pro-tip! If you wear retainers, wash them before and after putting them in your mouth. Wearing dentures at night is something else you should avoid if you want fresh breath.
Image Credits: google