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12 Foods That Fight Halitosis (Bad Breath)

All of us do agree - bad breath can be embarrassing. Well, many of us do suffer from bad breath, which can be caused by various reasons. Bad breath, also known as acid breath, is a condition in which a person's breath smells putrid, making the individual experience a lot of embarrassment while being social!

Bad breath or halitosis can be due to improper oral hygiene or gastrointestinal health. It can be caused when you do not maintain good oral hygiene. Not brushing your teeth, not cleaning your mouth/tongue, not flossing on a regular basis can lead to the build-up of dirt and bacteria in the mouth, causing bad breath [1] .

Some of the common causes for bad breath are lack of oral hygiene, certain disorders [2] like hypothyroidism, diabetes, gum diseases, yeast infection in the mouth, cavities, certain digestive disorders, sinusitis, etc. And, if you do not try to make an effort to get rid of bad breath, it could lead to the condition getting worse, not to mention, people wanting to get away from you!

There are various ways through which you can get rid of the foul breath and one of the easiest and most effective ones is through the incorporation of the following food items into your daily diet or just chewing on them when you can feel the foul breath arising [3] .

Foods To Treat Halitosis

1. Mint leaves

Chewing on mint leaves can be a healthier alternative to chewing on a piece of gum, as mint leaves your mouth feeling refreshed and can also mask bad breath for good [4] .

2. Ginger

Apart from being used for curing an upset stomach, you can chew on some ginger pieces to break down the foul-smelling substances present in your mouth [5] .

3. Apple

Foods that can reduce bad breath include apples, as apples are rich in polyphenols that can cleanse your teeth and mouth naturally, killing the odour-causing bacteria. It neutralises the foul-smell causing compounds and deodorises your mouth [6] .

4. Spinach

Spinach can reduce bad breath caused by mouth dryness, as it can restore the pH balance of our body to prevent dehydration. As the green leafy vegetable is rich in polyphenols, spinach help breaks down the sulphur compounds, which causes bad breath [7] .

5. Cinnamon

Another food that can reduce bad breath is cinnamon, as it breaks down the volatile sulphurous compounds in the mouth. Along with that, it gives the mouth a pleasant odour [8] .

6. Oranges

Oranges or any fruit rich in vitamin C can also help reduce bad breath naturally, as vitamin C can destroy the bad breath-causing bacteria while keeping your mouth hydrated. Also, vitamin C help increase your saliva production, which can help eliminate bad breath [9] .

7. Green tea

Green tea is known to fight the odour-causing bacteria in your mouth, cleanse your mouth and also leave your mouth with a refreshed sensation, thereby reducing bad breath [10] .

8. Capsicum

By chewing on raw capsicums you can get rid of mouth odour immediately, as the vitamin C component in it can help eliminate the bad breath-causing bacteria present in your mouth [11] .

9. Broccoli

Broccoli contains a large amount of vitamin C, thereby possessing the ability to fight the bacteria present in your mouth, to give a more pleasant-smelling breath [12] .

10. Fennel seeds

Rich in antiseptic qualities, fennel seeds can also flush out the bacteria colonies growing in your mouth, thus making your breath much fresher [13] .

11. Parsley

The high chlorophyll content in the herb can be accorded to it being used as a compound to get rid of foul breath. Parsley helps in breaking down the sulphur compounds, making it an effective agent for fighting off bad breath [14] .

12. Water

One of the easiest and effective ways to get rid of bad breath is through the water. As dehydration being the most common cause for bad breath, keeping yourself hydrated the most effective manner to curb foul smelling breath [15] .

Some of the other foods that help cure bad breath are milk and yoghurt, although in some cases it can lead to the development of bad breath. Apart from that, consuming zinc-rich foods are also beneficial.

View Article References
  1. [1] Nwhator, S. O., Isiekwe, G. I., Soroye, M. O., & Agbaje, M. O. (2015). Bad-breath: Perceptions and misconceptions of Nigerian adults.Nigerian journal of clinical practice,18(5), 670-676.
  2. [2] Rosenberg, M. (2017). Bad breath.Research perspectives.
  3. [3] Panov, V. (2016). Bad breath and its association with age and gender.Scripta Scientifica Medicinae Dentalis,2(2), 12-15.
  4. [4] Rosenberg, M. (2002). The science of bad breath.Scientific American,286(4), 72-79.
  5. [5] Herrmann, M., Vielhaber, G., Meyer, I., & Joppe, H. (2012).U.S. Patent No. 8,241,681. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  6. [6] Steele, D. R., & Montes, R. (1999).U.S. Patent No. 5,948,388. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  7. [7] Gilbert, G. H., & Litaker, M. S. (2007). Validity of self‐reported periodontal status in the Florida dental care study.Journal of periodontology,78, 1429-1438.
  8. [8] Masuda, M., Murata, K., Matsuda, H., Honda, M., Honda, S., & Tani, T. (2011). Historical study on traditional Chinese formulations and crude drugs used for bad breath.Yakushigaku zasshi,46(1), 5-12.
  9. [9] Duke, J. A. (1997).The green pharmacy: New discoveries in herbal remedies for common diseases and conditions from the world's foremost authority on healing herbs. Rodale.
  10. [10] Chowdhury, B. R., Garai, A., Deb, M., & Bhattacharya, S. (2013). Herbal toothpaste: a possible remedy for oral cancer.J. Nat. Prod,6, 44-55.
  11. [11] Rabenhorst, J., Machinek, A., Sonnenberg, S., & Reinders, G. (2008).U.S. Patent Application No. 11/575,905.
  12. [12] Scully, C., & Greenman, J. (2008). Halitosis (breath odor).Periodontology 2000,48(1), 66-75.
  13. [13] Lee, P. P., Mak, W. Y., & Newsome, P. (2004). The aetiology and treatment of oral halitosis: an update.Hong Kong Med J,10(6), 414-8.
  14. [14] Suarez, F. L., Furne, J. K., Springfield, J., & Levitt, M. D. (2000). Morning breath odor: influence of treatments on sulfur gases.Journal of dental research,79(10), 1773-1777.
  15. [15] Van der Sluijs, E., Slot, D. E., Bakker, E. W. P., & Van der Weijden, G. A. (2016). The effect of water on morning bad breath: a randomized clinical trial.International journal of dental hygiene,14(2), 124-134.

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