Bad breath: what to do?

Bad breath: what to do?

Chew sage, mint or parsley.

Fresh sage leaves contain essential oils that can help reduce bad breath. Mint leaves or fresh ginger have a similar effect. The oils are also said to help fight against the famous garlic flag, i.e., bad breath caused by garlic.

Fresh parsley has an antibacterial effect and can thus prevent the development of bad breath by bacteria.

Avoid certain foods

When bacteria decompose food residues in the mouth or on the tongue, sulfur compounds are formed that cause an unpleasant odour. Foods containing protein, in particular, offer an oversupply of food for these bacteria. Dairy products or fish can, therefore, easily cause bad breath. An exception is yoghurt, as the cultures it contains (Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus) reduce the production of sulfur compounds.

Foods that contain certain sulfur compounds, such as garlic, wild garlic, onions or chives, can also trigger bad breath.

Use dental floss or interdental brushes.

If you have bad breath, you should brush your teeth regularly and thoroughly and take care of the spaces between your teeth. The spaces between the teeth are cleaned, and annoying food residues are removed with interdental space cleaners, such as dental floss or interdental brushes. Otherwise, they often get caught between the teeth. In interaction with bacteria, they trigger unpleasant bad breath.

clean tongue

If leftover food, bacteria and dead mucous membrane cells accumulate on the tongue, this can trigger bad breath. The back third of the tongue, in particular, is often affected by coatings. Regular tongue cleaning is, therefore, also a remedy against bad breath. Using a tongue cleaner can help prevent bad breath by removing plaque as part of daily dental care. Whether cleaning the tongue also reduces the number of bacteria is controversial.

Chew coffee beans

While coffee as a drink can be a common cause of bad breath, chewing coffee beans is said to help prevent bad breath. The coffee beans neutralize foul odours caused by stomach problems such as inflammation or heartburn.


to drink tea

Certain  types of tea  are popular home remedies for bad breath. In addition to sage and green tea, black tea in particular is said to help against bad breath. The reason for this is the polyphenols contained in tea, which inhibit the growth of certain bacteria in the mouth. This is proven by a study from the University of Illinois.

In general, drinking enough water helps to stimulate saliva flow and reduce bad breath.

Get rid of tonsil stones

Tonsil stones form in the tonsils or pharyngeal tonsils and are made up of food particles, dead cells in the oral mucosa and bacteria. If they are crushed, they can cause bad breath.

Tonsil stones can be removed by gargling, using an  oral irrigator  or by stretching your throat. For more  tips and information on the topic, see this article .

Use antibacterial toothpaste

Special toothpastes can prevent bad breath. For example, they contain zinc salts or tin fluoride and thus prevent the development of certain microbacteria in the mouth. In conjunction with a  tongue cleaner  or toothbrush, some toothpaste can be applied directly to the tongue and distributed. As with brushing your teeth, the toothpaste should be rinsed out afterwards.

Chew anise or fennel seeds

Chewing dried anise or fennel seeds also helps against bad breath. A plus point: If the cause of the bad breath is a gastrointestinal disease, the seeds of these two plants also have a calming effect on the stomach.

Mouthwash for bad breath

Antibacterial mouthwashes can help with bad breath. However, if deposits on the tongue are the cause of bad breath, simply rinsing is often not very effective. Brushing your teeth or cleaning your tongue are more promising here.

When using a mouthwash, you should also make sure that it is not too harsh, otherwise the sensitive oral flora can be disturbed. Mouthwashes with zinc salts or fluoride are best tolerated  .

Fight bad breath in the morning

If you have bad breath in the morning, this can have various causes: On the one hand, the reduced  flow of saliva  at night promotes the development of bad breath. On the other hand, poor dental hygiene before going to bed can cause bad breath. In addition, the stomach continues to work at night: As part of digestion, gastric juice can rise into the esophagus and cause bad breath.

To reduce bad breath in the morning, drink a lot during the day to stimulate saliva flow, avoid heavy food later in the evening and clean your teeth and mouth thoroughly.

Mouth spray against lousy breath

Mouth spray with essential oils can help combat bad breath in the short term due to its antibacterial effect. However, it should only supplement adequate dental and oral hygiene.

to chew bubble gum

Chewing gum with essential oils, such as mint, helps combat bad breath, even if only in the short term. One advantage of chewing gum, however, is that it stimulates the flow of saliva and can, therefore, help against bad breath. A dry mouth means that bacteria and food particles are no longer washed away, and acids from food are no longer neutralized. Bad breath occurs.

Go to the doctor.

If the remedies and home remedies mentioned do not help to get rid of bad breath in the long term, a doctor should be consulted. The first point of contact is always the dentist. If he cannot find any triggers, the family doctor should determine whether there are any health-related causes of bad breath, such as a stomach disease or diabetes mellitus.


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