If you have stood next to someone who has bad breath, you would know it requires immediate attention. Halitosis or bad breath is used to describe noticeably unpleasant smell exhaled while breathing. Millions of bacteria live in the mouth, particularly on the back of the tongue and the mouth’s warm, moist conditions serve as an ideal breeding ground for these bacteria.
Though primarily, bad breath is as a result of inadequate oral care, it can also stem from indigestion, constipation, nose or throat infection, dry mouth, metabolism disorders, and improper diet.
Some types of bad breath, such as the ‘morning mouth’, are fairly normal. This occurs because of changes in your mouth while you sleep. During the day, saliva washes away decaying food and odors. Since the body makes less saliva at night, our mouth becomes dry, and dead cells stick to our tongue, which is then used by bacteria, producing a foul odour.
In addition, bad breath can be caused by a build-up of plaque, infected gums, abscesses poor oral hygiene, improper or inadequate brushing, and flossing, which allows bits of food to stay and decay inside the mouth.
Infections in the mouth (Periodontal gum disease) may be related to certain nutritional deficiencies, respiratory tract infections (throat, sinus or lung infections). The main reason for bad breath is the consumption of foods that have a peculiar odour. The intensity of the odour depends on the foods. Foods that attribute as odourous are onions, garlic, cheese, fish and meat.
Consumption of alcohol and smoking also leads to an undesirable odour from the mouth. Other medical conditions like diabetes, carcinomas, trimethylaminuria (fish-malodour syndrome), GERD (gastro-esophagal reflux disease), hiatal hernia, and tonsillitis also lead to bad breath.
Read more: Homeopathy can help you breathe
Diet to fight bad breath
A diet for a healthy body is also a good diet for bad breath cure. Increasing water intake (at least 10-12 glasses per day), chewing cardamom or mint, having an adequate amount of fibre in your diet (vegetables, fruits, whole grains like jowar and bajra) and taking B-vitamin supplements with zinc and magnesium may help you to get rid of bad breath.
- To treat bad breath, start with a cleansing juice fast for three days to clear the body of undigested food, which often causes bad breath. Change the diet to promote detoxification and for more efficient digestion.
- Coriander, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, and cardamom are all good for fighting bad breath. You can chew on fresh herbs or make tonics by steeping them in hot water (as a tea). These herbs make an excellent digestive as well as doubling the benefits of ending a meal this way.
- Eating berries, citrus fruits, melons, and other vitamin C-rich foods create an inhospitable environment for bacteria growth. A diet rich in vitamin C is also is important for preventing gum disease and gingivitis — both major causes of halitosis.
- Modern research states that yogurt helps to fight bad breath. Curd can combat yeast infections and anaerobic bacterial infections because the ‘good’ bacteria in it competes with the pathogens and actively destroys them.
- Drastically reduce or eliminate animal proteins. Reason? They are often improperly digested, leaving by-products on which harmful, odor-producing micro-organisms feed. Instead, eat raw vegetables and fruits which are rich in digestive enzymes and fibre. Regular bowel movements are essential for removing toxins which cause bad breath. Chew on carrots, celery sticks, cucumber or fresh fruits.
- Avoid the intake of sugar and refined carbohydrate. Usually, these sugars stick to the back of your tongue and teeth and they contain a bacteria that produce foul odour from the mouth. So, rinse your mouth vigorously after intake of desserts and sweet foods.
- Consumption of sugar-free chewing gum has proved to be beneficial in oral health. Chewing of gums also enhances saliva production and avoids the drying of the mouth which enhances bad odour.
- Natural mouth fresheners like fennel seeds (saunf), cinnamon stick, peppermint candies, or mint leaves help to reduce bad breath. Use mouthwashes as they have an anti-bacterial effect and improve odour from the mouth.
- Avoid too much coffee, smoking, and high-fat foods as they weaken digestion which leads to bad breath.
Halitosis can be a pointer towards grave medical conditions, so you need to correct it within time. To get a comprehensive bad breath correction, it may be wise to combine traditional and modern methods. With daily oral care and dietary corrections, you can go a long way in combating this problem. You’ll breathe easier — and so will those around you!
For a personalised diet plan, speak to our experts on toll-free 1800-266-0607. You can also Book an Appointment for a free consultation at our centres.