Best Remedies For Bad Breath- Not What You Think

Although proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits are important, there are other options for you to treat bad breath. The best remedies for bad breath include things you may have never even considered. Fresh breath is a sign of a healthy mouth. Having a healthy mouth is a good indication of your overall health. By using these remedies for bad breath, you can make a big difference in your oral and overall health.

Probiotics For Bad Breath

There are plenty of traditional ways to help treat your bad breath but the best remedies for bad breath include non-traditional ways.  One of these ways is to use an oral probiotic.

You can keep your mouth as clean as possible with good oral hygiene and plaque removal methods but you may still need to do more.  The best of these efforts include twice daily brushing and daily flossing or use of an oral irrigator.

But even with the best efforts of plaque control, bad breath can still persist and an oral probiotic is necessary.  The reason for this is not what you think. Every one of us has a unique system of bacteria in our mouths. This is called our microbiome.

Contrary to what you might think, it is not the goal to kill all the germs in our mouth. Some bacteria are important for promoting good health in our mouth and in the rest of our body.

Just like our intestinal microbiome determines our well-being and health, a healthy oral microbiome is also crucial as it is the opening to the intestinal tract.

The balance of good and bad bacteria in the mouth determine whether the oral microbiome is healthy or not.  Learn more about oral probiotics and how they work here.

It is important to maintain the proper environment and balance of bacteria in the mouth. This includes good oral hygiene but also eliminating antibacterial mouthwash. These can kill not only the bad bacteria but also the good bacteria needed to maintain health.

Other things besides using antibacterial mouthwashes can throw off the healthy balance of bacteria too. These things include smoking, eating the wrong foods, poor oral hygiene, stress or taking antibiotics.

Taking an oral probiotic is one of the best remedies for bad breath. Oral probiotics contain two strains of bacteria to cure bad breath. These are Streptococcus salivarius strains K12 and M18.  A review of the most effective oral probiotic can be read here.  The overall idea behind using probiotics for bad breath is to encourage the amount of good bacteria and leave less room for the bad.

What Bacteria Causes Bad Breath?

There are certain types of bacteria called Gram-negative anaerobes that thrive in a low oxygen environment. These bacteria can be found under the gums. Other gas-producing bacteria are found on the tongue. The gas these bacteria produce is called volatile sulfur compounds.

The best way to eliminate bad breath is to focus on colonizing the mouth with the good bacteria found in oral probiotics instead of trying to get rid of the bad bacteria. Trying to get rid of the bad bacteria is important with oral hygiene practices but nearly impossible as these bacteria are constantly recolonizing.

With the help of an oral probiotic containing Streptococcus salivarius strains K12 and M18, these good bacteria can be introduced in the mouth by use of a lozenge. 85% of participants in the study showed a significantly marked reduction in the bacteria producing volatile sulfur compounds.

Oral Probiotics Help Other Issues Too

The oral microbiome (bacteria in our mouth) perform many functions to keep our teeth and gums healthy. When too much of the bad bacteria are present, other oral health problems arise.

Oral probiotics are not only effective at treating bad breath, but can be helpful in the treatment of gum disease, preventing cavities, sinus infections, tonsillitis and pharyngitis.

Numerous diseases have been associated with the overgrowth of bad bacteria in the mouth. These include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

Whether you maintain an ideal ratio of good-to-bad bacteria in your mouth directly correlates to your oral and dental health as well as the health of your whole body. By taking an oral probiotic, you will not only be helping to treat your bad breath, but will be helping to maintain this balance.

Treatment of Dry Mouth is Remedy for Bad Breath

People who suffer from dry mouth often times suffer from bad breath. Our saliva is our self-cleansing mechanism. It helps to neutralize acids and flush bacteria and leftover food particles from our mouth. Without saliva to perform these functions, the bacteria break down and produce the volatile sulfur compounds creating an unpleasant odor.

Lots of things can cause dry mouth. Medications including antihistamines, antidepressants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, diuretics and those for blood pressure have dry mouth as an unpleasant side effect of their use. Radiation treatments, sleep apnea, autoimmune disorders among other health issues may also cause dry mouth.

Other factors can simply include dehydration, stress, hormonal changes or anxiety. Drinking lots of water, eliminating caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum and using Xylimelts are all great remedies for bad breath caused by dry mouth.

The Tongue Matters Too!

Proper cleaning of the tongue is absolutely imperative to remedy bad breath. The top surface of the tongue, otherwise known as the dorsum, is the perfect hiding place for billions of bad breath causing bacteria. These bacteria also create volatile sulfur compounds which give off a nasty smell.

Use a good tongue cleaner every single day to dramatically reduce the amount of bacteria causing these compounds. The additional use of a tongue cleaner in combination with your other hygiene practices will greatly improve any bad breath issues.

Cleaning the tongue involves using a tool that will gently scrub and loosen plaque and debris. By using gentle pressure with the tongue cleaner you can scrape the surface from the back to the tip until all debris is gone. Learn more about what a healthy tongue looks like by reading What Does a Healthy Tongue Look Like-3 Signs to Look For.

Conclusion

Now you know the best remedies for bad breath- not what you think. Oral probiotics are a very promising area of research which I believe will change the way we treat our oral health forever. Scientists have discovered the connection between the health of our mouth and the health of our body. Treating bad breath with oral probiotics, dry mouth treatment and tongue cleaning are non-traditional approaches you will be glad you started. I invite you to share your experience below.

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6 thoughts on “Best Remedies For Bad Breath- Not What You Think”

  1. I have had bad breath issues for years before my teeth went bad and couldn’t understand it because there simply were not resources like your site that show how brushing alone can end up not enough to cure bad breath. I never heard of using probiotics for oral health either but it makes sense. I am wondering, is there a link between bacteria imbalance and tooth decay? I know bad teeth and breath run in my family and if I can help my kids avoid the pain I am in today it would be a great day indeed.

    • Andy,

      There can definitely be a correlation between bacteria imbalance and tooth decay (cavities).  The amount and type of bacteria can play a significant role.  Oral probiotic use will help to crowd out the unhealthy bacteria while enhancing the good bacteria.  Oral probiotics contain beneficial strains specific to the oral microbiome.  They work to get rid of the dental plaque that serves as a home for decay causing bacteria, and they also compete for and push out the bad bacteria before they have a chance to settle in.

  2. Thank you for the info in this article. I need to be better about drinking more water and a lot less coffee, my mouth has been dry lately and I think that’s why. Thanks to your article for pointing that out to me.

    What would you suggest as a good tongue scraper? I’ve read about the benefits of tongue scraping elsewhere too but not sure what to use. Thanks!

    • Jeff, 

      A good tongue scraper will allow for gentle brushing to remove bacteria and food debris and also allow for gentle scraping to eliminate the waste.  The preferred product of dental professionals is a two sided tool allowing for both procedures.  My patients have good luck with the OraBrush tongue cleaner.

      Thanks,

      Michelle

  3. Although I don’t have problems with bad breath, you can never be too careful. Given all the different types of bacteria out there and the possibility that bad breath can signal the presence of a serious disease, it’s certainly worth paying more attention to. What I’d like to know is if there’s a better way to clean the tongue than using a scraping tool? See, I have a very bad gag reflex and although I brush and floss daily, I can’t say I enjoy doing so.

    • Mark, 

      Tongue cleaning is a very important part of your overall oral hygiene.  I understand your concern with a gag reflex.  This is a very common issue that affects many.  The OraBrush tongue cleaner is thin and stream-lined.  It is a great option because of it’s sleek design.  One side has a brush head to lightly dislodge plaque and debris and the other side will gently and easily remove the loose particles.

      All the best,

      Michelle

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