Bad breath is a common term used to describe unpleasant odours exhaled when a person breathes. Although bad breath is generally associated with the mouth, there may also be cases where the odour originates from the nasal passages. In medical terms, bad breath is referred to as halitosis. According to dentists, it is the third most common reason for people seeking dental assistance, following toothaches and gum disease.
Causes of halitosis
Halitosis affects all people, at some point in their lives. However, halitosis only becomes a problem if it is for a prolonged period or if it is caused by other medical conditions. Transient bad breath is the term given to bad breath, which subsides after brushing one's teeth or rinsing the mouth with mouthwash. In this case, bad breath may be caused due to consumption of foods like garlic, cheese, fish, etc. Bad breath also occurs when an individual's mouth is dry due to fasting, stress, or sleeping overnight.
Another type of halitosis is chronic bad breath. This is when bad breath persists in spite of a person maintaining good oral hygiene. Such bad breath is considered a medical problem. Chronic bad breath is believed to affect thirty percent of all people. Apart from being a medical condition, it can also affect a person's social and professional relationships. Halitosis often leads to increased stress and poor self-esteem.
Home remedies for halitosis
The first step to treating halitosis is to find out the cause. If bad breath is due to consumption of a certain food item, avoiding that particular item may be enough to prevent bad breath. If bad breath is being caused by other factors, you may require other modes of treatment. Luckily, there are plenty of home remedies to help you out.
Fenugreek is the most popular and effective home remedy for bad breath. In local language, fenugreek is called 'methi'. Boil one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in half a litre of cold water, and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes on a low flame. When it is done, strain the mixture, and use the filtered liquid as a fenugreek tea. Consuming fenugreek tea on a regular basis will gradually diminish bad breath.
Avocado is an excellent remedy for halitosis. Sometimes, due to indigestion, food remains in the intestine. As it decomposes, intestinal bacteria act upon it, which produces various foul gases. When these gases are expelled through the mouth, it causes bad breath. Consumption of avocado effectively deals with intestinal food decomposition, and thus minimises bad breath.
For bad breath caused by gum disease, guava is a treatment option. Besides calcium, manganese, and oxalates, guava is also a good source of malic, oxalic, phosphoric, and tannic acids. Eating guava stops bleeding in the gums and strengthens their hold on the teeth. It also destroys harmful bacteria, residing in the gums. This, in turn, decreases bad breath. Apart from the fruit, chewing the young leaves of the guava tree also stops gums from bleeding.
Parsley and clove
Parsley is another natural cure for bad breath. Boil two cups of water to which a few sprigs of chopped parsley and a few whole cloves have been added. After boiling, continue stirring the mixture until it cools. Use the liquid obtained after straining as a mouthwash and gargle with it after every meal to keep bad breath at bay.
Juices made of raw fruits or vegetables are important in the fight against halitosis. Juices of green vegetables are especially useful. Individuals who suffer from bad breath should consume raw juices regularly to minimise their halitosis.
Home remedies can work wonders for halitosis but they need to be supplemented with good oral hygiene. A combination of regular brushing and flossing along with these dietary methods will ensure that you keep bad breath at bay.
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- The Indiaparenting Team