Bad breath or halitosis can be an embarrassing social problem. Stinky breath in the morning is even worse. After all, who would want to kick off their day with a whiff of unpleasant smells? Spare your loved ones, colleagues, and friends the stink – and yourself the unpleasantness – by treating it naturally.
Your first simple trick to battle bad breath is to keep your teeth really clean before you turn in for the night. For pristine pearly whites, brush well after dinner and use a tongue cleaner to remove any deposits stuck to your tongue. Rinse well and gargle to wash away any other food particles after you eat anything. That way you avoid bacteria from thriving on the food particles left in your mouth overnight.
Use Natural Breath Fresheners and Mouthwashes
- Antibacterial remedies for breath like lemon rind, cloves, cardamom seeds, and fennel are natural mouth fresheners. These foods cause the mouth to increase the production of saliva and tackle the odor without using any strong chemical products.
- Mint leaves also help cut through the smell and freshen up your breath.1
- Fenugreek leaves when brewed into a tea can also act as an effective antibacterial mouth freshener. Apples and pineapple juice are also said to help.2
- Baking soda is great at battling bad breath and is quick and easy to use first thing in the morning. Simply dip your damp rinsed toothbrush into baking soda and use it to brush your teeth. Alternatively, mix it with water and rinse your mouth with the solution as you would a mouthwash.3
Use any of these in the morning to give your breath a fresh hit and mask any odors that might linger.
Stay Hydrated At Night
Saliva helps prevent bacterial growth and moisture is needed to keep those salivary glands working properly. Getting your daily minimum recommended quantity of water is important to prevent bacterial growth and bad breath resulting from inadequate moisture and saliva. Drink water before you sleep, and try and sip some when you wake up during the night. This will keep your mouth moist. Plain water is best, because juices are sugary and can help bacteria thrive.4 Medicines and some illnesses tend to make the mouth dry, so drinking adequate water is even more important if you experience dryness in the mouth.
Get Treated For Sleep Apnea
When you’re asleep, your mouth tends to dry out, especially if you have a tendency to snore or leave your mouth wide open while sleeping. One study found that dry mouth was a common symptom on awakening for those with obstructive sleep apnea. And this dry mouth, in turn, creates an environment ripe for bacteria to multiply, creating that notorious morning breath. To get over bad breath from this condition, you may also need to get the cause of the sleep apnea treated.5
Mind Your Diet
Onions and garlic are common offenders when it comes to causing bad breath. Any strong foods, fermented pastes, and fishy smelling ingredients with pungent flavors and smells can linger on the palate, even overnight, whenever you eat them. If you do choose to eat these foods for dinner or for a snack later at night, be sure to brush and rinse your mouth well to clean it out. Pass up on the foods that could upset the balance of your gut flora, like junk food and preservative-laden foods or sugars that help bacteria thrive. Tobacco and alcohol are also taboo if you need to do away with stinky breath.6
Certain foods can also help saliva to flow better, which can help you cope with bad breath. Eat whole-grain foods, fruits, orange and dark green vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and fish. Eat foods that aid digestion – high fiber foods will ensure your digestive system functions well so you eliminate waste better.7
Zinc is a natural antimicrobial mineral that kills germs in the mouth. Sometimes, halitosis can result from a zinc deficiency and this makes the problem of early morning stinky breath even worse.8
Up your intake of zinc-rich food like poultry, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, cacao, pumpkin seeds, legume, and whole grains to increase zinc levels in the body.9
Practice Yoga To Treat Bad Breath
According to yogic belief, stressful lifestyles can take their toll on the body, causing a host of problems including bad breath. Certain yoga postures are renowned for their ability to do away with bad breath. Kapal bhati pranayama, yoga mudra, and simhasana (lion pose), as well as the cooling breathing techniques of sheetkari pranayama and sheetali pranayama in particular, are beneficial.10 Practice these regularly and it should help you not just with halitosis but early morning bad breath too.
Try Ayurvedic Cures To Battle Bad Breath
Ayurveda believes that accumulated “ama” in the body can cause bad breath. Consuming turmeric, coriander, fennel, black pepper, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, dried powdered ginger, and cayenne can kickstart your metabolism, help the body’s digestion, and cleanse the ama. To check if you have excess ama, look at your tongue in the morning. If it has a white film on the surface, this could be the cause of that morning stinky breath.11
To prepare Triphala mouthwash: Add 10 g triphala powder containing equal quantities of T. bellirica, T. chebula, and E. officinalis to 10 mL boiling water. Cool it, strain it and it is ready for use!
A triphala-based decoction can be used like a mouthwash twice a day to rinse the mouth. Be sure to do the first rinse in the morning to give your day a fresh, stink-free start. As one study found, this regimen along with oral ingestion of triphala powder for a month was found to be as effective in treating periodontal disease as modern alternatives. By getting to the root of the problem, this natural cure will do away with any bad breath linked to periodontal disease.12
|↑1, ↑6, ↑7||Scully, Crispian, and John Greenman. “Halitosis (breath odor).” Periodontology 2000 48, no. 1 (2008): 66-75.|
|↑2||Premanath, Ramya, J. Sudisha, N. Lakshmi Devi, and S. M. Aradhya. “Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum L.) leaves.” Res J Med Plants 5 (2011): 695-705.|
|↑3||Brunette, D. M. “Effects of baking-soda-containing dentifrices on oral malodor.” Compendium of continuing education in dentistry.(Jamesburg, NJ: 1995). Supplement 18, no. 21 (1996): S22-32.|
|↑4||Mandel, Irwin D. “The functions of saliva.” Journal of dental research 66, no. 2 suppl (1987): 623-627.|
|↑5||Oksenberg, Arie, Paul Froom, and Samuel Melamed. “Dry mouth upon awakening in obstructive sleep apnea.” Journal of sleep research 15, no. 3 (2006): 317-320.|
|↑8||Cortelli, José Roberto, Mônica Dourado Silva Barbosa, and Miriam Ardigó Westphal. “Halitosis: a review of associated factors and therapeutic approach.” Brazilian oral research 22 (2008): 44-54.|
|↑9||Moser-Veillon, P. B. “Zinc: consumption patterns and dietary recommendations.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 90, no. 8 (1990): 1089-1093.|
|↑10||Vijender, Khokhar, Bhargava Saurabh, and Sharma Raju. “YOGA IN DENTAL PRACTICE; A NEW PERSPECTIVE.” 2016.|
|↑11||Harrison, Sam. “Secrets To Curing Bad Breath Now!”|
|↑12||Maurya, D. K., N. Mittal, K. R. Sharma, and G. Nath. “Role of triphala in the management of peridontal disease.” Ancient science of life 17, no. 2 (1997): 120.|