Have you ever been nearly knocked over by someone’s extremely bad breath? Nothing repels us more quickly and obnoxiously than a foul odor. The person may have something very important to say, but the fetid stink coming from their mouths is so repulsive we can think of nothing else but to flee!

Americans spend an estimated $3 billion per year on breath fresheners, so bad breath is no minor issue![i] In fact, New York Times health columnist Jane E. Brody “receives more questions about bad breath than any other common medical problem.”[ii]

When it comes to bad breath, God forbid that we should ever be the offending person! And many of the causes of bad breath show it to be far more than merely a cosmetic concern. So how do we prevent and remedy bad breath and avoid those embarrassing and even career-threatening situations?

9 natural remedies for neutralizing bad breathCauses of Halitosis

The first line of defense against bad breath is to try to identify its cause. In most situations, what’s causing the foul odor is simply a dirty mouth. This can be caused by plaque buildup, decaying food between the teeth, a cavity, or gum disease.[iii] The bacteria that grow in the mouth as a result do not smell pleasant!

Other causes point back to what we put in our mouths. Foods like garlic, onions, coffee, and alcohol leave nasty odors that can linger and offend. Smoking and chewing tobacco are also blatant offenders.

What we didn’t put in our mouths can also cause bad breath. No doubt you’ve experienced “morning breath”—the phenomenon of stale breath when you wake up in the morning. After seven or eight hours of sleep, we’ve had nothing to eat or drink that might flush our mouths of bacteria. Also, fasting can leave one with bad breath.[iv]

A dry mouth also leads to fetid odor, since saliva helps digest and wash away nasty food particles. Dehydration is often the cause of halitosis.[v] Also, our mouths are usually drier after a night’s sleep. Dentures left in the mouth overnight can also lead to dirty mouth causing bad breath.

Systemic causes of bad breath can include: a sinus infection, a deficiency in zinc, toxins in the body, and poor gut health. Type 1 diabetics sometimes emit a sweet-smelling, alcohol-like, or chemical odor through the mouth.[vi]

Natural Remedies for Bad Breath

Chewing gum, sucking on a mint, and using mouthwashes or sprays may help if the cause of the bad breath was merely a pizza with lots of garlic. But if bad breath is the result of one of the other causes, then we’re only masking the problem rather than dealing with it.

Depending on the cause of the bad breath, sugar or alcohol found in those remedies may actually worsen the problem. Prolonged use of alcohol based mouthwashes can also cause cancer.[vii]

1. Remove the cause.

The first natural remedy for bad breath is to remove the cause if possible. In some cases, this is as simple as establishing good dental hygiene. In other cases, it may involve quitting smoking, chewing tobacco or eating foods that are known offenders.

2. Brush and floss regularly.

Brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day will help prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria and keep your mouth clean.

3. Drink lots of water.

Fresh water is one of the best cleansers. Water also helps supply much needed saliva for keeping bacteria at bay. Drinking water flushes the mouth and hydrates it, neutralizing bad odors.

4. Munch on raw fruits and vegetables.

Apples, carrots, celery and cucumbers are especially effective in providing fresher breath.

5. Chew on aromatic seeds.

Clove, cardamom, fennel and anise seeds all provide a fresh taste and have antibacterial properties.

seeds and herbs for bad breath6. Supplement with zinc.

A deficiency in zinc can lead to halitosis. Zinc has known antibacterial properties and helps neutralize germs that cause bad breath. Zinc is found naturally in foods like pumpkin and gourd seeds, cacao and organ meats. Zinc is also available in supplement form.[viii]

7. Treat with herbs.

If you discover that your bad breath is the result of toxicity due to heavy metals or other poisons, the herb stinging nettle can help purify the blood and eliminate toxins from your body.[ix] Stinging nettle comes in either supplement or tea form.

Additional helpful herbs include: alfalfa sprouts, parsley, peppermint, dill, fennel, sage, licorice, dandelion goldenseal, Echinacea, wild yam, myrrh, lemon, and chlorophyll tablets.[x]

  1. Take probiotics. Sometimes poor gut health is the culprit causing bad breath. If you know this to be the case, taking probiotics can help put your digestive tract back in good form and eliminate the nasty breath.[xi]
  2. Gargle with salt water.[xii] Salt is a natural inhibitor of bacteria. Combine a half-teaspoon of salt in one cup of water and gargle the solution.[xiii]

Armed with these 9 natural remedies for neutralizing bad breath, we now have no excuse to be an offender. There’s no reason not to gang up on your bad breath and attack it with several of these remedies. Which one’s will you try first?

If you’d like to read more helpful information on this topic, or you have a chronic problem with halitosis, I encourage you to purchase Barton Publishing’s The Bad Breath Remedy Report.

Joe Barton provides 24 all-natural fresh breath secrets with the promise, “You’ll have better breath than your dentist!”

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Rob_FischerRob Fischer has been writing professionally for over 35 years. His experience includes writing curricula, study guides, articles, blogs, newsletters, manuals, workbooks, training courses, workshops, and books. Rob has written for numerous churches, for Burlington Northern Railroad, Kaiser Aluminum, and Barton Publishing. He has also trained managers in effective business writing. Rob holds two Master’s degrees, both focused heavily on writing. Rob has published eleven books and serves as an editor and ghostwriter for other authors.
[i] Dr. Collins & Associates, “The Top Ten Main Causes of Bad Breath,” December 23, 2013, http://www.drcollinsandassociates.com/blog/tag/bad+breath.html.
[ii] How Stuff Works, “18 Home Remedies for Bad Breath,” nd, http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-bad-breath.htm.
[iii] How Stuff Works.
[iv] Dr. Collins & Associates.
[v] Food Matters, “7 Natural Remedies for Bad Breath,” 2013, http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/7-natural-remedies-for-bad-breath.
[vi] Food Matters.
[vii] Food Matters.
[viii] Food Matters.
[ix] Food Matters.
[x] Food Matters.
[xi] Food Matters.
[xii] Food Matters.
[xiii]Amanda MacMillan, “10 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat,” Health, nd, http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20640098_3,00.html.