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Defeat your bad breath once and for all

Defeat your bad breath once and for all
Highlights

Bad breath is quite common and the minute you open your mouth a terrible odor emanates. To test your breath, cover your mouth and nose ...

Bad breath may also be a sign that you have a serious health problem, so visit your dentist regularly for checkups

Bad breath is quite common and the minute you open your mouth a terrible odor emanates. To test your breath, cover your mouth and nose with your hand, exhale and smell. Some of the causes for bad breath are a dirty mouth or plaque; the nearly invisible film of bacteria constantly forming in your mouth.

Some other reasons are acidic body, constipation, cavities, gum disease, dentures, lung disease, throat infection, a vitamin B or zinc deficiency, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, sinusitis or bronchitis, diabetes, kidney problems, etc.

Certain foods can also make your mouth smell like garlic, onions, meat and fish. Coffee alcohol fizzy drinks, sugar too can trigger bad breath. Chewing tobacco and smoking are also triggers. Rinsing often can prevent it. Brush your teeth in the morning, and after every meal, especially after consuming milk products, fish and meat. Floss if necessary.

Often the food particles left in tiny gaps between teeth lead to bad breath because of bacterial activity. It is common sense that stale food rots and smells, in the same way, food particles in your mouth rot causing the mouth to stink. Another important point to note is to clean your toothbrush daily and replace it regularly. Ironically, excessive use of alcohol-based mouthwashes can also make your mouth very dry, causing bad breath.

Tips to avoid bad breath:

Common herbs, spices and seeds help – no wonder they are served after a meal.

Fennel (saunf) – It is a common mouth freshener in India, dry roasted stored in airtight containers work best. Have a teaspoon after meals.

Mint (pudina) – It contains menthol, a universal ingredient in dental products. Chew on mint leaves instead of the menthol sweet.

Cardamom (elaichi) – Chew on a few seeds for a fragrant flavour.

Basil (tulsi) – Chew 4-5 fresh basil leaves first thing in the morning to refresh your mouth. Its leaves, sun dried and powdered, can be used for brushing teeth. Mix with mustard oil to make a paste and use as toothpaste.

Fenugreek (methi) seeds – Soak one teaspoon of seeds overnight, boil, strain and sip on this decoction.

Neem leaves – an Ancient Indian remedy, it is antiseptic and antibacterial. Simply chew on a neem bark or make a mouthwash with neem leaves by boiling them in water straining and cooling it, making an excellent mouthwash.

Clove – A remedy for gum infections, toothache and cavities. Suck on a clove after a meal.

Coriander seeds – Best solution to battle the odour of onion and garlic due to their aromatic flavour. Chew a teaspoon of roasted coriander seeds after meals or boil the same amount in one cup water for 2-3 minutes. Strain and use as mouthwash.

Green Tea – It stops bacterial infections and reduces bad breath. So sip on green tea.

Dill (Suva) – Chew on dried, roasted dill seeds after meals or prepare tea with dry crushed seeds.

Cinnamon – A small piece of this spice contains volatile oils. A tiny piece of this bark is chewed after meals.

Betel Leaf – Chewing on the leaf keeps your mouth fresh aids digestion and prevents bad breath.


By:Naini Setalvad
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