Halitosis or bad breath is a condition that usually results from poor dental hygiene. However, it can also result from a combination of other factors such as tooth decay, gum disease, constipation, smoking, indigestion to mention just but a few. Most of the causes of halitosis can be treated medically. However, there are a number of alternative halitosis treatment methods that one can try out, but this should be after visiting a dentist for examination and cleaning and for the identification of the underlying cause.

The first alternative halitosis treatment method is daily teeth brushing and flossing. This treatment method is mostly known to work very well in cases where bacteria are the cause of bad odor.

Another alternative halitosis treatment method is drinking of tea regularly. Research has indicated that both black and green tea contain compounds known as polyphenols which are thought to be effective in stopping the growth of bacteria responsible for halitosis. Polyphenols also inhibit the production of hydrogen sulfide, by existing bacteria, which is one of the malodorous compounds that cause bad breath.

Another alternative halitosis treatment is the use of mouthwash that contains zinc. Zinc directly neutralizes malodorous sulfur compounds hence improving one’s breath. In addition to the above, using a tongue scrapper is also another alternative halitosis treatment method. A tongue scrapper helps in removing food particles, bacteria and dead cells from the tongue. Other than a tongue scrapper one can also use a brush to remove the elements identified above since if left to accumulate they result to bad mouth odor (halitosis)

Drinking plenty of fluid is another proven and very effective alternative halitosis treatment method. Regular drinking of water as well as other fluids helps in keeping the mouth moist hence reducing the activity of bacteria. Traditional Chinese medicine also insists that taking water, watery fruits, soup and watery vegetables also prevent bad breath that results from excess heat in ones stomach. Traditional Chinese medicine also has it that bitter foods like Belgian endive in addition to many green vegetables also help in curbing stomach heat. Foods such as sugar, milk, alcohol, coffee and spicy or fried foods are associated with worsening this problem on the other hand.

Snacking on vegetables and crunchy fruits such as apples, carrots, jicama or celery helps in removing bacteria, plaque and food from teeth and hence is another alternative halitosis treatment method.

Using essential oils (plant oils) containing mouthwash is also believed to help in reducing bad breath. Comparative studies between mouth wash containing peppermint oil, lemon oil and tea tree oil (plant oils) and a standard mouthwash indicated that plant oils contain less volatile sulfur compounds compared to conventional mouthwash.

The use of herbs is also another alternative halitosis treatment method. Chewing on small sprigs of parsley, tarragon, rosemary or spearmint for about a minute has been found to be very effective in freshening of one’s breath.

Last but not least, for people who experience bad breath with no identifiable cause, getting help in stress management has been a very significant alternative halitosis treatment method. Studies have indicated that in young men with good general health as well as dental hygiene, stress increases the release of malodorous volatile sulfur compounds which cause bad breath in their mouths. Relaxation techniques for such halitosis patients therefore go a long way in helping them get rid of bad breath.

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