16 Ways to Cure Bad Breath

Good oral hygiene and eating habits are key factors when fighting the dreaded halitosis


People have been dealing with bad breath for thousands of years. Hippocrates, a Greek physician and the so-called father of western medicine, studied the issue about 2,400 years ago and decided that an effective way to fight bad breath was to drink a mixture of red wine, anise and dill.

Here and now, it has been estimated that over 90 million Americans suffer from chronic bad breath. Perhaps this mouth odor is simply an aspect of being human. It seems safe to say that virtually everybody has bad breath from time to time – perhaps as much as every morning! But, is there anything we can do to stop it once we’re up and about?

What causes bad breath anyway? The human mouth is home to as many as 600 different kinds of bacteria, and it’s the accumulation of bacteria, particularly the sulfur exuding ones, which create a malodorous mouth. Certain types of bacteria are also present when one has rotting teeth or diseased gums. Consuming acidic foods such as garlic or onions will certainly cause bad mouth odor as well.

So what can we do to combat bad breath? Well, here’s a list of 16 ways you can fight or perhaps even eliminate that dreaded halitosis that friends are reluctant or even afraid to tell you about!

1. Eat an apple

You know what they say about eating an apple a day. The simple act of eating an apple will increase the flow of saliva in your mouth, which will help flush away the foul-smelling stuff. Also, apples are loaded with fiber, and a diet rich in fiber can help you avoid having bad breath.

2. Floss every day

Cleaning between teeth by flossing will certainly combat bad breath, as the rotting food between teeth certainly leads to the onset of halitosis. In fact, when you floss, if you detect a bad odor, then you need to floss more often, maybe as much as twice a day or perhaps as often as once after every meal.

3. Avoid a dry mouth

Having a dry mouth can lead to bad breath. So, drink lots of water and foods that contains water, which will help flush food and bacteria from the mouth. Also, avoid taking medication or recreational drugs that dry-out the mouth.

4. Don’t use tobacco products

Using tobacco products, especially products such as snuff and chewing tobacco, will certainly foul one’s breath; the tar in such will cause your mouth to reek of tobacco. Further, if you smoke tobacco, keep such to a minimum, as smoking dries out the mouth and your skin too.

5. Brush your teeth once or twice per day

Brushing your teeth is certainly good for your teeth and gums, of course, as just about everybody knows. It can also help expel uneaten food and bacteria from the mouth. It also helps to brush your tongue, as long as you can avoid the gag reflex in doing so. If nothing else, using a mint flavored or otherwise pleasant tasting toothpaste will help mask bad breath.

6. Avoid excessive use of alcohol

Alcohol consumption tends to dry out the mouth, creating a haven for the growth of odor-causing bacteria. In particular, excessive wine drinking seems to give one a fetid, baloney-like breath. Have you been around somebody who’s spreading that around? It ain’t fun!

7. Use green tea

Green tea is filled with antioxidants known as polyphenols, as well as antibiotic substances, so drink it often and perhaps even gargle with it. Incidentally, on his TV show, Dr. Oz is always talking about how great green tea is.

8. Visit the dentist often

Visit the dentist at least once every six months. Get a check-up and get your teeth cleaned. And, if you haven’t gotten them cleaned in years, get what is called periodontal scaling, a procedure in which the dentist uses an electronic device to drill away the plaque that will have accumulated over the months and years. Dirty teeth definitely create bad breath!

Other health problems can cause bad breath too, so you might want to visit a doctor from time to time – as long as you can afford to do so!

9. Drinking too much coffee isn’t good

Consuming too much caffeine-rich beverages such as coffee can also dry out the mouth, so keep that consumption to a minimum if you want to avoid the promotion of foul exhalations.

10. Don’t eat spicy foods

Garlic, as good as it is for you, and onions should be avoided if you want to avoid bad breath. Actually, consuming spicy foods of any kind can give you an offensive exhalation. Moreover, eating such foods can cause body odor.

11. Eat plenty of fiber

Consuming foods rich in fiber, particularly fruits and vegetables, can reduce the build-up of odoriferous chemicals in one’s gut, which can cause bad breath. So avoid meats, fats and processed food in your diet. Moreover, maybe you should consider becoming vegetarian or vegan, to avoid bad breath.

12. Chew sugarless gum

The sugar in gum can promote the growth of the kind of bacterial can causes stink breath; therefore, if you must chew gum, try sugar-free gum, particularly the cinnamon kind, which can at least wipe out bad breath very quickly, though temporarily.

13. Eat lots of yogurt

Yogurt is filled with beneficial bacteria which may help crowd out the bad bacterial that leads to the production of terrible breath. The habit of consuming two servings of yogurt per day should be included in just about everyone’s diet.

14. Avoid fasting and diets low in carbohydrates

Engaging in fasting or following a low-carb diet can lead to a build-up of stomach acid, which can cause bad breath. In fact, if you want to avoid acid reflux disease, a malady from which many people suffer, beware of faddish diets or fasting.

15. Use hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an anti-bacterial substance that is excellent for cleaning one’s teeth, tongue and gums. While cleaning up your mouth, it will also help deal with your stinky breath. Don’t overdo it, though, using hydrogen peroxide too much can damage tooth enamel!

16. Sinus trouble won’t help

Sinus trouble is often linked to the incidence of bad breath. So do what you can to lessen or eliminate that drippy, stuffed-up nose by taking either antihistamines or decongestants or, at the very least, blow your nose more often.

Please leave a comment.

© 2013 Kelley

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Comments 6 comments

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

lots of tips. I had follow half of them but still has it


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 2 years ago from California Author

Thanks for the comment, peachpurple. Hey, I'm sorry to hear that you still have trouble with bad breath. So do I, at times, anyway. Later!


tebo profile image

tebo 2 years ago from New Zealand

Interesting suggestions. I didn't realize fasting and refraining from eating carbohydrates could aggravate bad breath. I certainly have not been following the visit the dentist every six months idea, but I must get there very soon. I think my breath is pretty good most of the time but now and again I get a whiff of something coming up!


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 2 years ago from California Author

Thanks for the comment, tebo. I think just about everybody gets a whiff of something foul coming from one's mouth from time to time. Just keep the mint gum handy, ya know? Later!


loveofnight profile image

loveofnight 2 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

i must say that you have given me much to choose from. thanks for the share and happy hubbing.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 2 years ago from California Author

Hey,loveofnight, I haven't heard from you in awhile. Thanks for the comment and I hope to hear from you again very soon. Later!

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