It can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, and it can affect our confidence in social interactions. Fortunately, there are several natural remedies that can help fight bad breath, and one of them is an herb that has been shown to be especially effective.
What causes bad breath or halitosis?
Bad breath, or halitosis, can have several causes according to medical experts in the field. Some of these are due to:
Poor oral hygiene: Lack of proper oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing regularly, can lead to the buildup of bacteria in the mouth, leading to bad breath.
Gum diseases: Gingivitis and periodontal disease are conditions in which the gums become inflamed and infections occur. These infections can release unpleasant odors that cause bad breath.
Dental plaque: Bacterial plaque is a sticky film that forms on teeth and can release foul-smelling gases if not properly removed through brushing and flossing.
Infections in the mouth: Infections such as tooth decay, infections of the tonsils or gums, can cause bad breath due to the presence of bacteria.
Dry mouth: Lack of saliva can lead to dry mouth, which creates an environment conducive to bacterial growth and bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, health problems, or simply not drinking enough water.
Tobacco and alcohol: Smoking cigarettes and consuming alcohol regularly can contribute to bad breath. These substances leave persistent odors in the mouth and can affect saliva production.
Food and beverages: Some foods and beverages, such as garlic, onions, coffee, and alcohol, contain volatile compounds that can be transported through the bloodstream and released into the breath.
- Systemic health problems: In some cases, bad breath can be a symptom of systemic health problems, such as respiratory infections, liver disease, kidney problems, or gastrointestinal disorders.
Bad breath, or halitosis, can have several causes. Photo: Pixabay
How to eliminate bad breath naturally?
The herb in question is known as mint, or Mentha piperita, and has been used for centuries for its refreshing and aromatic properties. Peppermint is a plant in the Lamiaceae family that is commonly found throughout the world and has been used in various forms to treat a wide range of ailments, including bad breath.
Peppermint is especially effective in treating bad breath due to its antibacterial properties. Bad breath is often caused by the buildup of bacteria in the mouth, especially on the tongue and gums. Peppermint can help eliminate these bacteria and freshen breath. In addition, its fresh and pleasant aroma can help mask any unpleasant odors.
Peppermint is especially effective in treating bad breath. Photo: Pixabay
How to use mint?
There are several ways in which peppermint can be used to treat bad breath. One option is to chew fresh mint leaves after meals. This helps stimulate the production of saliva, which is a natural component that helps clean the mouth and eliminate bad breath-causing bacteria.
You can also prepare an infusion of hot mint and use it as a mouthwash after brushing. This can provide a refreshing sensation and help eliminate any undesirable odors.
In addition to its direct use, there are also oral care products that contain mint as the main ingredient. These products typically include toothpastes, mouthwashes, and chewing gum. When choosing these products, make sure they contain natural mint and not just artificial flavors.
Importantly, while peppermint can be effective in treating bad breath, it is not a definitive solution for all cases. If you experience chronic or persistent bad breath, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional, such as a dentist or doctor who specializes in oral problems.
Ministry of Health - Government of Spain. (2019). "Halitosis: Bad Breath"
American Dental Association (ADA). (2021). "Bad Breath (Halitosis)"
National Institute of Dental and Cranio
Mayo Clinic. (2022). "Bad breath: Causes"
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). (2021). "Bad Breath (Halitosis)"
Abdel-Aziz, A., Shokeir, H., El-Shazly, M., & Ali, S. S. (2013). Antibacterial and antifungal activities of menthol essential oil. Journal of Medicinal Food, 16(5), 402-407.