Hundreds of bad breath cures exist with the majority of them being useless because they do nothing but mask the odor rather than attack its root cause. Bad breath, or halitosis, is the result of copious amounts of anaerobic bacteria accumulating in the mouth largely due to an absence of implementing good oral hygiene techniques. Anaerobic bacteria, also referred to as gram-negative bacteria, subsist by consuming food debris that sticks to gumlines, in between teeth and in other mouth crevices. Most of the particles promoting bacterial growth are sulfur-based, which explains why bacterial excrement is the principle cause of bad breath.
Sulfuric compounds are known for producing odiferous smells, such as natural gas, garlic and skunk spray.Some living organisms like oral bacteria secrete hydrogen sulfide, which is responsible for even more repellent odors like rotting eggs and flesh. Individuals with severe halitosis will emit breath that is extremely foul because of the anaerobic bacterial mat coating their tongue, gums and anterior of the throat.
Bad breath cures for excessive amounts of bacteria include:
- Brushing and rinsing with a medicated mouthwash twice a day
- Brushing the tongue
- Flossing at least once a day
- Drinking plenty of water to maintain good oral hydration
When pH levels in the mouth are high, bacteria will flourish due to the absence of oxygen. A common cause of elevated pH levels is dry mouth. The medical term for dry mouth is xerostomia, a condition produced by a variety of conditions such as smoking, alcohol consumption, medications containing antihistamines, frequent breathing through the mouth, gum/teeth disease and even chronic stress.
In addition to causing bad breath, xerostomia may inhibit the ability to speak or eat properly and promote cavity development by reducing the benefits of having an adequate supply of saliva. Remineralization of tooth enamel is just one of the many functions provided by saliva that is crucial to oral health. Thus, when tooth enamel is compromised due to dry mouth, acid levels rise and teeth become vulnerable to accelerated decaying caused by insufficient saliva flow. Click here to learn more about dry mouth.
When halitosis occurs due to dry mouth, bad breath cures intended to address this condition involve:
- Frequently sipping or drinking non-carbonated beverages
- Chewing sugarless gum
- Avoiding antihistamines and decongestants
- Using artificial saliva solutions such as a carboxymethyl cellulose substitute
- Rinsing with mouthwashes containing antibacterial compounds
- Practicing good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing at least twice daily)
- Breathing through the nose as much as possible
Many people suffer from xerostomia because of allergies or sinus conditions. The best method to alleviate swollen nasal passages is to take decongestants which, unfortunately, contribute to dry mouth and bad breath. Individuals with this problem may try implementing natural techniques to reduce stuffy noses by using eucalyptus inhalers, humidifiers or ionizing air purifiers.
Bad Breath Cures and Periodontal Disease
Neglecting oral hygiene provides the perfect breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria. When teeth are not brushed and frequent consumption of sugary beverages is accompanied by a poor diet, the mouth receives little to no oxygen. Food debris accumulates and saliva flow is stagnated as well, resulting in a build-up of plaque on gumlines and a thin but potent coating of bacteria on the tongue and teeth.
Because teeth cannot shed their surfaces the way skin can, the opportunity for microorganisms to easily attach to the teeth and remain there for extended periods exists. If not continuously removed by adequate brushing, these bacteria develop into something called biofilm, commonly known as dental plaque. When plaque initially forms, it can usually be scraped away with something sharp, like the instrument dentists use to scrape teeth during a cleaning. However, when plaque is allowed to accumulate near the gumline, it will harden and begin destroying teeth and gum tissues due to intense bacterial activity. Gingivitis, tooth decay, receding gums and bad breath are the results of unchecked plaque.
Eventually, plaque that is not removed will mineralize and turn into a more destructive substance called calculus, also referred to as tartar. A mouth containing tartar and suffering from advanced gum disease will require more than conventional bad breath cures.
Smoking, Alcohol and Stress
Smoking is one of the most common culprits of bad breath due to the particulates in cigarette smoke drying the mouth, in addition to the constant flow of air entering the mouth due to the smoker inhaling on a cigarette. People who smoke may also engage in other habits that promote dry mouth such as dieting, drinking alcohol and experiencing chronic anxiety conditions necessitating prescription medications that cause dry mouth. Because alcohol like bourbon and vodka is a diuretic, the body is forced to eliminate fluids via perspiration or urination, which affects the mouth's saliva level as well. Click here to learn more about smoking and breath bad.
Regarding bad breath cures for dry mouth caused by smoking, alcohol and stress, individuals simply need to reduce or cease their smoking habit, avoid alcohol and try other forms of stress relief that does not include antidepressants or anxiolytics.
Dr. Katz Discusses Bad Breath Cures on ABC News.
Watch this video of Dr. Harold Katz, founder of TheraBreath? discusses bad breath cures.
Diets Associated with Bad Breath
Eating an excessive amount of certain foods may contribute to bad breath. Foods conducive to oral bacterial growth include fatty foods, dairy products and sugar. Smelly cheeses and garlic will also make one's breath odorous but this is a temporary condition usually disappearing within 24 hours. However, foods high in protein and sugars continue to feed hungry bacteria that thrive on these substances, especially when they are allowed to remain in the mouth as food particles lodged between teeth and in gumlines.
Effective bad breath cures include adjusting the diet so that it contains healthier foods (fruits and vegetables) and drinking water instead of soda or coffee. In addition, enhancing the digestive system by eating yogurt with active cultures and whole grain foods may help balance pH levels in the mouth.
Folk Remedies for Bad Breath
A diverse variety of home based bad breath remedies claim to be bad breath cures. While these herbal substances may get rid of halitosis, it is a temporary kind of remedy that succeeds in only masking the problem rather than permanently defeating it. Some of these folk remedies include chewing alfalfa tablets, fennel leaves, hazelnuts and sage. However, the effectiveness of such claims is questionable and has not been proven in any clinical studies to date.
TheraBreath's mouthwash and toothpaste products provide the most powerful bad breath cures simply because TheraBreath ingredients — specifically OXY8-D® — have the ability to hydrate the mouth and produce an oxygen-rich environment hostile to anaerobic bacterial growth. In addition, practicing good oral hygiene by brushing the teeth twice a day, flossing and regularly using TheraBreath products represent the best methods available that can effectively eliminate dry mouth and halitosis.