No one wants to be the person with bad breath. Not always immediately obvious to the sufferer, you may find subtle hints of halitosis such as people moving away during a conversation, or politely being offered a mint with more enthusiasm than usual.
Reasons your breath can smell
How do we count the ways!
Our bodies are a delicate ecosystem that rely on harmony, balance, and a degree of self-maintenance to function at their best. A slight alteration in the ecosystem can cause any number of imbalances, including the smells you give off.
Although there can be more serious underlying health issues that result in halitosis, the most typical cause can simply be put down to bacteria growing in your mouth that produce sulphur, which gives off a less-than-desirable smell.
A build-up of this bacterium can be caused by factors such as:
- Built up food between your teeth
- Not drinking enough water
- Poor dental hygiene (not flossing or brushing regularly)
- Acid reflux
- Certain foods with strong odours (onions & garlic)
Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of halitosis, there are a few simple home hacks that can help bring stink-free conversations back into your life.
Practice good dental hygiene
Seems like a no-brainer, right? Forming bad habits is easy – forming good habits takes work and dedication. Some simple dental hygiene habits that will help fight off bad breath include flossing 1-2 times daily to remove food from between your teeth, brush twice daily (morning and evening) to clear out that bacteria build-up, and finally, see your dentist regularly to keep on top of cleaning, gum health, and tooth decay!
Dry mouth is an absolute playground for bad breath to spread. Decreased saliva due to a lack of water consumption gives bad bacteria more opportunity to build up and cause odours, in turn, causing you to be the unpopular person at parties.
Make sure you keep on top of your daily water consumption to help swish around and wash away bits of food and odour-causing bacteria.
Have a helping of herbs and spices
Certain herbs and spices contain odour-neutralisers and antimicrobials that fight bacteria and odours.
In the spice range, the top helpers of halitosis are cloves, fennel seeds, aniseed, and cinnamon. Some of these aren’t so pleasant to pop straight in your mouth, so you can dilute them into teas or boiling water.
Odour-fighting herbs than you can munch on include parsley, mint, rosemary, and thyme. Simply chewing these a few times a day can make a big difference to bad breath!
A happy gut can help fight the bacteria in your mouth and restore much-needed balance to things. You can get your fill of probiotics through foods such as natural yoghurts and fermented products such as kefir, or by taking a supplement recommended by your doctor or pharmacist.
The probiotics will arm your body with the good bacteria it needs to fight off the bad guys and help your breath get back to smelling fresh as a daisy!