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How to get rid of bad breath

Bad breath is harmful to interpersonal interactions. Fortunately, there are proven ways to deal with bad breath. The least favorite among them is to regularly visit the dentist and practice dental hygiene. However, adjusting your diet and fluid intake can also help.

How to eliminate bad breath:

  • Avoid cigarettes, alcohol, and aromatic foods
  • Do not neglect daily teeth cleaning
  • Besides teeth, clean your tongue as well
  • Maintain adequate fluid intake
  • Rinse your mouth with water after every meal
  • Regularly visit the dentist and practice dental hygiene
  • Treat infections in case of illness

Causes of bad breath in a nutshell

Before we delve into how to combat bad breath, it's good to understand the causes of the problem. Bad breath (halitosis) essentially arises from 5 reasons. Diet, oral hygiene, and infections are relatively well-known. It's less known that dry mouth or decreased activity of the oral cavity can also cause bad breath.

  • Certain foods cause bad breath (mostly aromatic vegetables and spices)
  • Bacteria causing bad breath feed on food residues in poorly cleaned oral cavity
  • Infections (such as tonsillitis) are also indicated by bad breath
  • Dry mouth aids in the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth
  • Reduced activity of the oral cavity during sleep causes morning bad breath

What helps reduce bad breath

Bad breath cannot be permanently eliminated, as it is a natural phenomenon of the human body. However, there are daily habits that can help alleviate bad breath. The predominantly influential role of fluid intake on bad breath is new to many people.

The influence of diet on bad breath

A general recommendation for eliminating bad breath through dietary adjustments is to maintain a balance between protein and carbohydrates consumption. Indulge in spicy foods occasionally and completely limit smoking and alcohol.

A diet for a person with pleasant breath includes:

  • A glass of milk after garlic and spicy Indian dishes
  • No alcohol and cigarettes
  • Moderately consumed amounts of carbohydrates and proteins
  • Chewing gum and candies without sugar

How to alleviate bad breath by choosing the right foods

You're probably familiar with that wonderful feeling of a full stomach after a spicy meal, a garlic spread sandwich, or meat-filled dumplings with onions. Positive emotions are then replaced by anxiety about bad breath.

Some spices, onions, and especially garlic cause bad breath through a chemical reaction when their structure breaks down. Of course, stopping eating garlic isn't a solution. Especially for food lovers.

Try adjusting your diet to consume foods that alleviate bad breath. The best remedy for eliminating garlic breath is to drink a glass of milk and combine garlic with parsley. These two foods have the opposite effect on garlic breath.

Stop cigarettes and alcohol

However, what we recommend removing from the diet are cigarettes and alcohol.

Alcohol reduces saliva production. Saliva helps remove bacteria. Therefore, when consuming alcohol, try to drink more water. This will alleviate bad breath and also reduce the likelihood of getting drunk.

The only effective way to eliminate bad breath after smoking is by thorough teeth cleaning. Thoroughly, including cleaning the tongue and using mouthwash. If you want to immediately alleviate bad breath with a gum or menthol candy (temporary solution), choose the sugar-free option because sugars help bacteria multiply.

A balanced diet is important

Although sugars help bacteria multiply, a diet without them is also not a suitable solution. In drastic diets without carbohydrates, the body is forced to derive energy from fats. During the processing of fats, chemical substances (ketones) are produced, which cause bad breath.

The same effect is also present in diets based on an excessive intake of proteins. When the body has to break down an excessive amount of amino acids from proteins, excessive deamination occurs (the process of protein breakdown in the body). This subsequently causes the formation of ammonia, which is expelled from the body through the mouth. Just for an idea, ammonia smells like rotten eggs. Yuck...

Oral hygiene against bad breath

A proper oral hygiene regimen is the most important building block for fresh breath. Brushing teeth twice a day is a given. However, frequency alone is not everything. It's also necessary to follow all the steps of oral care.

  • Brushing teeth with the correct technique
  • Not skipping cleaning between teeth
  • In addition to teeth, cleaning the tongue as well
  • Not forgetting about mouthwash

Correct tooth brushing technique

First, make sure your toothbrush has soft bristles. Clean your teeth with a vibrating motion in the area where the gumline meets. Besides the outer surface of the teeth, also clean the inner part. Then, clean the chewing surfaces using the same vibrating motion. Finally, don't forget to use an interdental brush and a tongue scraper.

It is necessary to emphasize the need for interdental cleaning and cleaning the tongue because bacteria that cause bad breath often survive in these areas. Therefore, the best treatment for bad breath is not to neglect basic hygiene.

The best toothpaste for bad breath

The choice of toothpaste for bad breath is more flexible compared to the uncompromising adherence to the correct cleaning technique. Essentially, it is important to have toothpaste that contains bacteria-fighting substances. Almost every toothpaste contains such substances in varying amounts.

Even artificial teeth must be cleaned

Users of dental replacements often forget that replacements need to be cleaned like normal teeth. You can use standard toothpaste and a toothbrush or use special cleaning tablets designed for dentures. Keep in mind that even if you use cleaning tablets, you should also mechanically clean the dental replacement with a brush.

Foreign bodies in the mouth can generally accumulate plaque. To avoid bad breath, it is necessary to also clean braces and dental jewelry.

Hydration and gargling help freshen breath

We come to the most commonly overlooked cause of bad breath, dehydration. Failure to maintain a healthy hydration regimen reduces saliva production. Saliva helps balance the pH levels in the mouth and prevents bacteria from clinging to food residues, where they thrive.

The answer to the question of how to permanently get rid of bad breath is therefore to drink enough. Try to create a hell for bacteria in your mouth by consuming at least a liter of water a day. However, first consult with a professional to determine the ideal amount of water for you.

Can bad morning breath be eliminated with water? Staying hydrated certainly won't hurt, but it's not a standalone solution to getting rid of bad breath forever.

Water, among other things, can also help during the day as a gargle after each meal. By gargling, you rid your mouth of some food residue and reduce the risk of bad breath. You can also gargle with fluoride-free mouthwash. Gargling mouthwash with fluoride after each meal is not an ideal solution, as it unnecessarily increases your daily fluoride intake.

Visit specialists

There's no need to elaborate too much on why it's important to visit dental specialists. They can help identify potential problems causing bad breath.

How often should you visit the dentist and dental hygienist?

You should start visiting the dentist from the eruption of the first tooth. Dental hygiene should commence once the child acquires a complete set of 20 teeth. You should see the dentist and dental hygienist at least twice a year. Above all, don't hesitate to show up; dentists are very considerate professionals.

Dentists can also detect various diseases and infections that may help you get rid of sometimes foul-smelling breath.

The most common diseases causing bad breath are:

  • Tonsillitis
  • Diabetes Reflux disease
  • Liver and kidney failure
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Tumors Hormonal changes
  • And sometimes it's simply hereditary.

How to deal with bad breath

Any conversation accompanied by bad breath is almost a social faux pas. Not only will the conversation have a negative undertone, but you will also lose some of your credibility. Fortunately, there are ways to quickly get rid of bad breath in the form of over-the-counter remedies, chewing gum, and old wives' tales.

Products for bad breath

It has already been mentioned that permanently curing bad breath is not possible because it is not a disease. Therefore, even phrases like "treatment for bad breath" or "medications for bad breath" can be quite strong in the context of bad breath.

Anyway, for the purposes of this article, we will refer to remedies for bad breath as "medications."

The best medications for bad breath are:

  • Mouth and throat inflammation sprays
  • Mouth dryness sprays
  • Ordinary refreshing sprays
  • Mouthwash (without fluoride for frequent use throughout the day)
  • Sugar-free chewing gum

Anti-inflammatory sprays

If bad breath persists over the long term, a possible cause may be sinus inflammation. Oral sprays can be a solution to permanently eliminate bad breath caused by infection. Sprays containing Australian tea tree oil are a reasonable choice, as tea tree oil is the strongest natural antiseptic.

The active ingredient hexetidine (for scientists 1,3-bis(2-ethylhexyl)-5-methylhexahydropyrimidin-5-amin) also has antibacterial and antifungal effects. For example, Stopangin oral spray, intended for disinfecting the oral cavity and throat, contains hexetidine.

Sprays for dry mouth

Dry mouth can also impair breath freshness due to a lack of cleansing saliva. The solution for treating bad breath caused by dryness are again products in the form of sprays. When choosing a spray for dry mouth, look for one that does not contain fluoride.

Ordinary refreshing sprays

Inflammations and dry mouth require medications. However, bad breath can also occur after spicy meals and similar everyday situations. For these moments, you can use ordinary mouth sprays for fresh breath. Avoid sprays containing fluoride, SLS, alcohol, artificial colorants, parabens, and high sugar content.


Mouthwashes are essential for standard oral hygiene. For morning and evening cleaning, you don't have to worry about using water containing fluoride. However, when using mouthwash after each meal, it is better to choose fluoride-free options and avoid excessive use of fluoride.

Carrying a bottle of mouthwash with you every day may seem rather amusing. Instead, try mouthwash in tablet form, which is environmentally friendly, easily portable, and usable anytime, anywhere.

Sugar-free chewing gum

Last but not least, it is necessary to mention chewing gum as a way to freshen breath. Choose a brand according to your preferences; they are almost all manufactured by Wrigley. Just stick to the rule of choosing a variety with the lowest sugar content.

Chewing gums are, of course, a relatively environmentally unfriendly solution. Many chewing gums are made from polymers that are not easily biodegradable in nature. In addition to the environmental impact of the gums themselves, they are also packaged in plastics. Keep in mind that chewing gums generally degrade over approximately 500 years.

How to have fresh breath according to old wives' tales

What would our grandmothers and their grandmothers recommend for bad breath? We found a few examples of natural remedies. While their effectiveness may be debatable, they are definitely body and planet-friendly solutions for fresh breath.

Old wives' tales for fresh breath

  • Chewing parsley
  • Ginger or aniseed broth
  • Crunching on carrots
  • Mouthwash with baking soda

Baking soda for eliminating bad breath

All the advice is safe, but don't overdo it with baking soda. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is an abrasive substance. This means it wears down enamel. In moderate amounts, it's beneficial because it helps remove tiny food particles from the surface of the teeth. However, in large amounts, it damages tooth enamel.

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