There’s no need to be embarrassed by bad breath: These natural cures for bad breath not only ease the problem, they help stop
In the past, it’s been assumed that if a person has bad breath, they also have poor dental hygiene. But that simply isn’t the case.
Like any health symptom, bad breath can indicate a deeper underlying issue. Since your mouth is part of your upper GI tract, the odour you’re breathing out is not just linked to the your oral hygiene, but also to the health of your gut.
Whether you suffer from occasional bad breath or chronic halitosis with an offensive smell (don’t worry – we won’t tell), here are a few common causes and natural cures for bad breath to help eradicate odour-causing bacteria for good.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Now, there’s no denying that odour-causing bacteria can result from poor dental hygiene. It’s important to brush your teeth after meals and floss daily to prevent the buildup of food from lingering in your mouth and attracting bacteria.
But even those who have impeccable oral hygiene can still suffer from bad breath.
Here are a few causes of bad breath that have nothing to do with oral hygiene:
A Weakened Digestive System
Your upper GI tract includes your stomach, your esophagus, and your mouth. So it only makes sense that if your digestive system isn’t functioning optimally (which means food isn’t being properly digested), there’s a chance that odour-causing bacteria can linger on the undigested food in your system.
This will then allow a “bad breath” smell to escape from your mouth.
Sure, the cause of bad breath isn’t the prettiest picture to paint.
But by understanding how halitosis occurs from weakened digestion, you can easily learn how to apply natural remedies to eliminate bad breath. A weakened digestive system can result from several different factors, such as frequent antibiotic use, a diet high in refined sugar and processed foods, and/or frequent alcohol consumption and chronic stress.
A Diet High in Animal Products
One of the most common dietary misconceptions today is that we require large amounts of protein from animal products to be healthy – and that’s simply not true.
In fact, all plant foods including fruits and vegetables contain amino acids, but we tend to overdo it with animal protein instead, especially when we want to gain muscle.
There are a few reasons why the excess consumption of animal protein is linked to bad breath.
First off, animal products take more time for the body to digest. This means odour-causing unfriendly bacteria may have more time to ferment the undigested food in your GI tract before it moves through your system.
Animal protein is also acidifying to the body, which further promotes the growth of bad bacteria in your digestive system.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with consuming high-quality animal protein on occasion. But if you have bad breath and consume animal protein at every meal, there’s a good chance that animal products are a culprit in causing halitosis.
Low Stomach Acid
Low stomach acid is one of the most common causes of bad breath. A sufficient amount of stomach acid is required by your body to help efficiently digest the food you eat and kill off harmful pathogens.
Without enough stomach acid, odour-causing bacteria can thrive in your digestive system, and even lead to more serious bacterial infections.
Low stomach acid is a common problem many people face today, since chronic stress, antibiotic use, high sugar diets and diets high in processed foods all contribute to depleting stomach acid. If you have bad breath and also experience bloating and acid reflux, low stomach acid may be the reason why.
Certain Foods: Garlic, Onion, Spices, and Coffee
We all know that eating a clove of garlic is the sure way of spoiling that goodnight kiss, but other foods such as onion, spices, and coffee can also cause bad breath.
And despite not being considered a “food,” cigarettes are another substance that can cause halitosis because they have a strong chemical odour. Cigarettes are also acidifying to the body, which make them a double offence for bad breath.
GI Tract Infections: GERD and H.Pylori
GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) and H.Pylori are two conditions that can result from having low stomach acid, and that can cause bad breath.
GERD and H.Pylori impair your body’s ability to properly digest food, which promotes the growth of odour-causing bacteria in your digestive system.
Some prescription medications can come with side effects, and unfortunately, bad breath is one of them.
Antibiotics and prescription medications are helpful for killing off bad bacteria, but they also kill off the friendly bacteria in your system at the same time.
Without an adequate amount of good bacteria in your gut, the bad, odor-causing bacteria can flourish.
Some medications are better known to cause bad breath than others, such as those that treat angina and high blood pressure.
Natural Cures for Bad Breath That Work
Now that you understand some of the common causes of halitosis, let’s get into the natural cures for bad breath that actually work.
Chlorophyll is the green pigment that gives all green plants their lush, green color. This also includes green vegetables such as asparagus, parsley, broccoli and dark leafy greens.
Chlorophyll has properties that allow it to “freshen” the body’s internal environment by eliminating odour-causing bacteria, which is why it’s been nicknamed as nature’s internal deodorant.
Adding more chlorophyll to your diet to help get rid of bad breath is easy. You can add a few extra green vegetables to your grocery list each week and incorporate at least one into every meal, or blend extra greens into your morning smoothie.
If you feel like you need an extra breath-freshening boost, you can also find liquid chlorophyll at your local health food store which can be added to water or smoothies and drank daily.
It almost sounds too simple, but staying hydrated is the easiest way to get rid of bad breath quickly.
You see, your body requires water to help flush toxins from your system and move food through your digestive tract. Without a sufficient amount of water, both of these crucial digestive functions can become sluggish, which leaves you with odour-causing bacteria lingering in your system.
To help keep your digestion running smoothly and prevent toxic sludge from accumulating in your digestive system, be sure to drink enough water each day.
To find out how much water your body needs, divide your weight (in pounds) by two. The number you end up with is how much water you should be drinking on a regular basis, not including extra glasses for dehydrating beverages, such as coffee or alcohol, or the extra you drink due to strenuous exercise.
For example: 150 pounds divided by 2 = 75 ounces of water, minimum.
You’ve probably put a box of baking soda in your fridge before to capture all the unpleasant odours. Well, the same idea can be applied to your mouth.
Baking soda can help control bad breath by changing the pH level in your mouth, which creates a less-than-ideal environment for odour-causing bacteria to grow.
You can use baking soda as a natural remedy for bad breath by putting baking soda on your toothbrush when brushing your teeth, or by using a toothpaste that already has baking soda in it.
Making your own toothpaste from baking soda at home is also very simple using edible peppermint essential oil and water.
Like fennel and peppermint, lemon is a powerful food for digestion and offers breath-freshening benefits.
Lemon juice has a similar composition to stomach acid, which helps the body destroy odour-causing bacteria and pathogens, and allow the digestive process to run more efficiently.
To create a powerful, breath-freshening drink, add the juice of half a lemon with a few drops of chlorophyll to a glass of water.
Lemon juice can also be added to salads and homemade salad dressings and smoothies.
For best results, try drinking lemon water twice per day. Just ensure you’re drinking lemon water through a straw, as the acid can wear down the enamel of your teeth.