Halitosis or bad breath has been a problem for centuries. It is caused by odor-producing bacteria in the mouth. It could either start from the mouth, surface of the tongue, between the teeth and below the surface of the gum line.
The only way of knowing whether you have bad breath is to breathe into a handkerchief and sniff. You have to be aware of what causes it if it needs to be addressed and cured. Most often, it is due to nothing more than an unclean mouth. Plaque, the invisible film of bacteria is often the responsible cause. Decaying food stuck between the teeth is another cause. A broken filling can also trap particles. Chronic bad breath could also be due to something in the respiratory tract or gastrointestinal tract. What you eat could be a contributory factor. Foods like garlic, onions and alcohol aggravate the situation. So does tobacco.
Home remedies can rectify the situation. Here are a few suggestions:
- Keep your mouth clean. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily.
- Clean the surface of your tongue. Brush your tongue after you brush your teeth.
- Never wear dentures when you sleep. Clean them well and remove them at night.
- Keep your mouth moist. A dry mouth means smelly breath. Saliva cleans the mouth. It washes away food particles. Suck sugarless mints to stimulate saliva protection.
- Stress dries the mouth. So as far as possible, avoid stress.
- Avoid foods like onions, garlic, anchovies and seaweed which are high in odors. Their strong odors linger in the mouth.
- Chew mint leaves to freshen the breath.
- Drink unsweetened tea.
- Have apples daily – it helps to remove bacteria.
- Have fresh lime juice after every meal.
- Gargle with baking soda dissolved in warm water.
- Eat yoghurt for 6 weeks.
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