4 Ways To Keep Halitosis At Bay

Posted on: 4 January 2016

Bad breath can be offensive. Thus, if you are not confident that your breath smells fresh, it can cause you to avoid social situations. There are many commercial mouthwashes that help control bad breath, but there are additional measures you can take to keep your halitosis at bay. Here are a few:

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling involves the swishing of an edible oil, such as coconut oil or sesame oil, about the mouth for a period before spitting the substance out. As the oil moves around the oral cavity, it traps bacteria, which cause bad breath. Due to the liquid nature of the oil. it can reach cracks and crevices that are left untouched by a toothbrush or dental floss. 

One study shows that oil pulling is as effective as chlorhexidine mouthwash at improving halitosis and reducing the bacteria associated with bad breath.

Cinnamon Gum

Cinnamon has antimicrobial properties that helps kill bad breath germs even when the spice is used to flavor gum. Chicago researchers have found that cinnamon-flavored gum kills half of all oral bacteria and 40 percent of the bacteria associated with bad breath. Drinking tea that is spiced with cinnamon may also help sweeten your breath.

Tongue Scraper

Fifty percent of the bacteria that cause bad breath reside in the crevices of the tongue. Although brushing with your toothbrush does help eliminate some bad breath germs, using a tongue scraper is more effective at dislodging and removing the microbes.

In one study that compared the effectiveness of a tongue scraper to that of a toothbrush, 75 percent of the volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that cause halitosis were reduced by the use of a tongue scraper. Only about 45 percent of VSCs were eliminated when a toothbrush was used.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Many of the oral bacteria that cause bad breath are anaerobic. Thus, they die when exposed to oxygen. Rinsing your mouth with a one to three percent solution of hydrogen peroxide once daily can help kill bad breath germs. 

Store-bought peroxide solutions are usually available in a 3-percent concentration. If your gums are especially sensitive, you can further dilute the peroxide solution by adding water. If you add water to the 3-percent solution in a one-to-one ratio, your resulting concentration will be 1.5 percent.

There are multiple ways to freshen your breath, but problems with halitosis are sometimes caused by an underlying condition. If you suffer from bad breath, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your area like Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA for a full assessment.