Bad breath, which is also known as Halitosis, is used to describe any foul or unpleasant smell coming from the mouth. It not only is a sign of improper mouth hygiene but can also indicate some underlying health problems that might need urgent attention. “Bad breath not only affects physical health but it can also affect someone’s confidence and lead to social anxiety,” said Vara Yanamandra, an Ayurvedic expert, in an Instagram post.
In the same vein, smile makeover specialist Dr Nida Khateeb had previously told indianexpress.com that bad breath can sometimes be a reason for a person’s exclusion from social circles. “Bad breath can have a major effect on the psychology of an individual. It may make an individual feel uncomfortable when socialising with family, friends, or others which is why it is important to maintain good oral hygiene and keep bad breath away,” she added.
What causes it?
Dr Vara listed the common causes of bad breath which include—”Teeth or gum diseases, eating garlic or raw onions, gut issues, SIBO (Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) which occurs when stomach acid repeatedly flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach (oesophagus), throat and sinus infections.”
Dr Nida had earlier explained that bad breath is caused by molecules like sulphur and ketones. “In some people, it develops from the food eaten or also the medication they may be taking. Food particles that remain in the mouth overnight turn into bacteria and cause bad breath,” she said.
How to manage bad breath?
Dr Vara further listed some easy-to-follow Ayurvedic remedies to keep bad breath at bay.
*Maintain Oral Health: The expert suggested using an “Ayurvedic tooth powder made with neem and babool” along with “practising mouth gurgling with lukewarm Triphala decoction twice a day” to maintain good oral hygiene.
*Eat a balanced meal: “Crash diets and lack of proper hydration can also cause bad breath,” the expert said. She further suggested that “eating a balanced meal with bitter and astringent (the two rasas or tastes in Ayurveda-tikta and kashai) at the end of a meal and hydrating well can avoid this.”
*Take care of acid reflux: The expert explained that “90% of the time bad breath is due to oral health and other issues”. However, “acid reflux (a chronic disease that occurs when stomach acid or bile flows into the food pipe and irritates the lining) can also be a reason for it.” Self-care and medications can be helpful in acid reflux, thereby, aiding in keeping away bad breath.
*Fennel: Suggesting that fennel is an excellent remedy for bad breath, she said, “keep fennel seeds handy and chew them after a meal as it keeps your mouth fresh.”
*Find the root cause: Bad breath can be an indicator of underlying conditions like “diabetes and kidney disease,” she said, adding that “often paying attention to your gut reveals a lot.”
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