Bad breath problem is called Halitosis in medical language.
Your breath may be bad due to many reasons, like due to peptic ulcers, chronic indigestion, teeth diseases etc. Halitosis should be treated after finding out the cause.
Causes of bad breath
Poor digestion strength, low secretion of digestive enzymes
Lack of oral hygiene
Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
Deposition of food particles between dentures, on tongue, in oral cavity.
Intake of pungent charactorstickly foods.
Smoking, alcohol intake.
Diseases of liver, lung, intestine, kidneys,
Excess intake of garlic, onion
Disorders of tongue, gums and teeth
treatments and remedies
Treatments and remedies for bad breath:
1. Gandusha / Kawala:
Oral rinse or swishing or gargling are useful in treating bad breath problem.
This treatment is very useful if the cause for bad breath lies in gums, teeth and tongue.
How to perform:-
Fill mouth with the medicated liquid or herbal oil.
Hold it for 5- 10 minutes
If needed, repeat this, twice a day.
Liquids to try:
Irimedadi taila – This herbal oil is indicated in bleeding gums, weak gums, dental caries etc.
It can be used simply for gargling for 2 – 5 minutes or for oil pulling.
Related: How To Do Oil Pulling In Genuine Ayurvedic Way? 9 Tip
Recipes for mouth wash
Useful recipes for gargling / mouth washfor halitosis
1. Spice water with honey:
A cup of water is boiled with a teaspoon of herb mix of cardamom, cumin seeds, fennel seeds. Boiling is continued for 1 -2 minutes. It is filtered.
It is added with a teaspoon of honey and a pinch of turmeric. This lukewarm medicated water is used for gargling for 2 – 5 minutes once or twice a day.
2. Honey with ginger:
This is especially useful in Kapha dominant conditions.
2 teaspoon of honey is mixed with a teaspoon of fresh ginger juice or half a teaspoon of ginger powder. This is used for mouth rinsing. This is not useful if you have mouth ulcers.
3. Mix a teaspoon of lemon juice, a teaspoon of ginger juice and a teaspoon of honey and use this for gargling / mouth rinsing.
4. A teaspoon of Hydrogen peroxide is used for gargling and the contents are spit out. Followed by gargling with Hiora K Mouthwash. – twice a day for 15 days.
Brushing teeth is included as a healthy daily habit as per Ayurveda, which should be done soon after getting up and just before going to bed.
Read related: Ayurvedic Way Of Teeth Brushing And Tongue Scraping
Herbal tooth powders
Useful herbal tooth powders:
Dashan Sanskar Churna
The market available products such as Dabur lal Dant Manjan, activated charcoal tooth powder, Gumtone are very effective.
3. Tongue cleaning:-
Ayurveda recommends tongue cleaning to get rid of halitosis.
Scrap the tongue from back to the front. You can do it by using first two fingers, or can use the metallic scrapers. There are references of using golden, silver or iron tongue scrapers in Ayurveda.
Ayurvedic medicines for bad breath:
It is described that a decoction of Nagarmotha (Cyperus rotundus), Kushtha (Saussurea lappa), Cardimom, Licorice, etc must be gargles or chewing it is useful. It also removes bad breath due to intake of onions or garlic.
A powder of jasmine leaf, chameli leaves, punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa), sesame oil, dried ginger celery or ajwain, haridra (Turmennila chebula), with Ghee (Clarified butter), are useful for all kinds of oral diseases and specially for bad breath.
Beside these, below Ayurvedic products are useful.
Khadiradi Vatika – This 1 – 2 tablets is advised to keep in mouth for 5 – 10 minutes with constant sucking. This can be done 2 – 3 times a day.
Amodini pills – used as similar to Khadiradi Vati.
Ama and bad breath
Bad breath can also result from ama – a product of lowered digestion and metabolism.
In such condition, bad breath may accompanied with bad body odor, poor digestion, foul smelling flatus (gas) etc.
Because of this reason, halitosis can be sign of digestive disorders such as IBS, gastritis etc.
Home remedies for bad breath caused due to digestion problems:
Take 1 teaspoon of dried ginger powder, mix it with a teaspoon of ghee and consume it 10 minutes before food.
Useful digestive and carminative Ayurvedic medicines:
Shiva Kshara pachana Churna
Pancha Sakara Churna
Lavana bhaskara churna
Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatments – Vamana, Virechana, Nasya treatment and Basti karma are very useful in correcting the Ama and related digestion and metabolism disorders.
Home remedies for treating halitosis:
Regular consumption of Bitter Gourd, raddish.
Drink lukewarm water
Chewing mint leaves, basil leafs, fennel seeds, cardamom, cloves etc can temporarily mask the smell. Drinking adequate quantity of gum water avoids body dehydration that is a cause of dry mouth which leads to halitosis.
Avoidable foods, habits
Avoidable foods and habits in halitosis:-
Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
Brushing with toothbrush having hard bristles.
Soar foods like curd, non vegeterian food, jaggery, black grams, excess milk etc.
Sleeping on abdomen
Halitosis is a sign and symptom of bad breath, it may not be a disease, it is due to the expressions of disorders of other body disorders. Only proper care of teeth – gums, tongue and mouth with dietry precautions can remove it.
By Dr. Mahesh Annapure M.Sc. D.N. M.D. (A.M.) and Dr Hebbar