Ayurvedic treatment for Bad Breath

Bad Breath

Know More on Oral Care

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Bad Breath Ayurvedic treatment

Bad breath or halitosis is a result of poor dental hygiene and may also be an indicator of other health problems. Certain type of foods and unhealthy lifestyles may worsen bad breath.1

Food particles accumulate in your mouth when you don’t brush properly, promoting bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. This leads to bad breath.2

According to Ayurveda, poor oral hygiene as well as poor digestion are the main causes for bad.3

Causes

Bad Breath

Some caused of bad breath include: 4

  • Poor digestion and low secretion of digestive enzymes
  • Lack of proper oral hygiene
  • Dry mouth
  • Accumulation of food particles between dentures and tongue in oral cavity
  • Intake of pungent foods
  • Smoking and alcohol intake
  • Constipation
  • Diseases of liver, lung, intestine, and kidneys
  • Sinusitis
  • Excess intake of garlic and onion
  • Disorders of tongue, gums and teeth

Symptoms

Bad Breath

Other symptoms of bad breath include: 5

  • Unpleasant smell of mouth
  • Reduced ability to taste food
  • Coating on the tongue
  • Dryness of mouth

Diagnosis

Bad Breath

Doctors or dentists usually rate the odour on a scale by smelling the breath from your mouth and nose. The dentist may scrape the back of the tongue and rate its odour since it is the major source of the smell.

Chemicals responsible for bad breath may also be identified using sophisticated detectors although, these aren't always available.1

Management

Bad Breath

Ahar (diet) and vihar (lifestyle regime) recommendations for halitosis or bad breath are given below:

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Consumption of foods rich in zinc since it regulates the growth of anaerobic bacteria in mouth and prevents bad breath
  • Parsley is also a good option as it also fights bad breath.
  • Pineapple juice as purifies the mouth
  • Apples can also prevent bad breath since they purify your mouth by removing the bacteria which cause bad breath
  • Consumption of yogurt for a couple of months can help you to get rid of bad breath completely
  • Regular consumption of vegetables like bitter gourd, raddish
  • Chewing mint leaves, basil leaves, fennel seeds, cardamom, cloves etc. can temporarily mask odour associated with halitosis
  • Drinking adequate quantity of gum water avoids body dehydration that is a cause of dry mouth which leads to halitosis

Chew fresh mint leaves after eating food that has cheese, onion or garlic

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Brushing teeth after every meal
  • Use of hydrogen peroxide to rinse the mouth before brushing teeth
  • Use a toothbrush to massage the gums and the tongue, use a tongue cleaner and floss teeth regularly
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of salt to a glass of water and gargle three times a day
  • Replace tooth brush after every 3-4 months
  • Avoid smoking
  • Oil pulling is a procedure involving swishing of oil in oral cavity for oral as well as systemic health benefits

FAQS

Bad Breath
  1. How Can Toothaches Be Prevented?

Ayurveda suggests simple diet and lifestyle changes to prevent toothaches. They are as follows:

Diet

  • Sticky substance which may adhere to the teeth should be avoided
  • Food containing sugar and other sweets should be avoided
  • Fruits like guavas, oranges, pomegranates and other fruits of the citrus family are beneficial as they contain vitamin C which strengthens gums
  • Amla must form the part of the diet since it contains the largest amount of vitamin C and is easily available

Lifestyle

  • Maintain a good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene practices consist of brushing regularly and frequent rinsing of the mouth
  • Make a habit of rinsing the mouth after every meal
  • Use natural oils and extracts from clove oil for toothache. Dab a cotton ball in clove oil on the affected tooth and gently bite down. The natural properties of clove oil can help relieve tooth pain and prevent future cavities and bad breath
  • Using saline water to rinse the mouth after meals helps in curing toothache and even other tooth-related problems
  • Mix equal amounts of pepper, salt and few drops of water to form a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area to relieve toothache
  1. What causes teeth to hurt?

Some of the common causes of toothache includes:

  • Dental decay
  • Dental cavities
  • Swelling of the pulp
  • Tooth infection
  • Broken tooth
  • Exposed tooth root
  • Crack in the tooth
  • Consumption of food rich in carbohydrates and sugar like colas, candies, cakes, etc
  • Consuming hot and cold food together
  • Gum disease
  1. What is plaque?

Plaque is the sticky film or mass of bacteria that grows on the surface of the teeth. It is most noticeable when teeth are not brushed and makes teeth feel rough/fuzzy to the tongue.

When food containing carbohydrates and sugars such as soft drinks, raisins, cakes, or candy are frequently left on the teeth, it leads to the development of plaque. Mouth is full of bacteria which thrive on these food particles producing acids. These acids destroy tooth enamel over a period of time resulting in tooth decay. The development of plaque on the tooth under gums may cause breakdown of the supporting bone present underneath.

In Ayurvedic literature, dental conditions are referred as Danta sharkara, since the appearance of plaque is similar to the sugar coating over the teeth with a granular shape. It is a disease characterized by, hardened accumulation of mala on tooth surface which destroys the teeth and its surrounding structures and is accompanied by bad odour. Vitiated vata takes the form of thick adherence like the thick sugar syrup causing the manifestation of Danta sharkara.

  1. How do I keep my teeth and gums healthy?

Following tips can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy

  • Avoid sugar rich food, hard food, non-vegetarian diet food which will cause the built up of tartar and worsen the problems of dental plaques.
  • Green tea, intake of easily digestible and foods with less fat and carbohydrate prevent the formation of tartar.
  • Consume plenty of raw vegetables
  • Regularly practicing flossing, proper tooth brushing, oral rinsing and regular oil pulling helps to get rid of the plaque efficiently and further prevents the formation of tartar
  • Herbs such as nutmeg (Jatiphala), Triphala (Hareetaki, Vibheetaki and Amalaki) and Saindhava lavana can be made into a fine powder and rubbed well to the teeth. This helps to clear the tartar
  • A mixture of ashes of ginger, long pepper, black pepper and salt can be used for brushing the teeth. Turmeric can be added to this mixture in case of bleeding gums
  1. Can side effects of medications cause dry mouth?

The causes of dry mouth can be attributed to the following:

  • Certain medications
  • Aging
  • A blocked nose
  • Stress
  • Cancer therapy
  • Nerve damage
  • Other health conditions such as immune disease (Sjogren's syndrome) or HIV/AIDS.
  • Tobacco use
  • Drug abuse
  1. What types of foods and beverages should I avoid if I have dry mouth?

Avoid spicy foods and avoid excess coffee, tea, sodas and alcoholic drinks

  1. What’s causing my sore throat?

Sore throat may be caused by the following:

  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Fungal infection
  • Smoking
  • Shouting
  • Allergies
  1. What can I do to make my throat feel better?

Ayurveda recommends the following:

  • Drink plenty of warm fluids, such as teas, soup, and water
  • Hot lemon and honey, honey and cidar vinegar, herbal teas, ginger juice or carrot and apple juice, elderberry juice, blackcurrent tea or juice are all effective during infection which also improve immunity and helps relieving sore throat
  • Daily supplements of teaspoon of cod liver oil, 100 mg vitamin C tablets every 2-3 hours or 2 garlic capsules every two hours can be given until the patient is well again
  • Give plenty of rest to your throat and try not to talk
  • Avoid day sleep since it may lead to Kapha build-up, leading to worsening according to Ayurveda
  • Avoid exposure to cold breeze, water etc.
  • Maintain a good oral hygiene
  • Gargle every few hours using a solution of quarter teaspoonful of common salt or yavakshaara dissolved in half a glass of warm water or decoction prepared from the bark of Acacia (Babul) tree
  1. Is triphala churna an effective remedy for the treatment of mouth ulcers?

Yes, as mouth ulcers are most commonly associated with constipation.  In case of such a situation, use of a mild laxative such as Triphala choorna is advised which will give some relief.

  1. Are there other steps I can take to prevent tooth cavities?

Ayurveda recommends few tips as follows:

  • Decrease intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Consume foods that are rich sources of calcium
  • Make a mixture of turmeric, salt and mustard oil to make a paste and rub it on teeth and gums
  • Consume plenty of raw vegetables
  • Maintain a good oral hygiene to keep your teeth and gums clean.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive drinking since they may cause dental problems
  • Chewing on fresh herbal sticks in the morning as well as after every meal to prevent diseases. These herb sticks should be either ‘kashaya’ (astringent), ‘katu (acrid), or ‘tikta’ (bitter) in taste. The method of using these sticks is to crush one of its end, chew it, and eat it slowly. The neem (margosa or the Azadiraxhta indica), liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), miswak (miswaak, siwak, sewak) etc. are some examples of herbal sticks
  • Use of an herbal tooth powder madeup from neem powder and salt

References

Bad Breath
  1. Bad breath. Available athttp://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bad-breath/home/ovc-20192359. Accessed on: 30 Aug. 16
  2. Bad breath (halitosis). Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Bad-breath/Pages/Causes.aspx. Accessed on: 30 Aug. 16
  3. Ayurvedic Treatment for Bad Breath. Available at: http://www.keralaayurveda.biz/content/ayurvedic-treatment-bad-breath. Accessed on: 30 Aug. 16
  4. Ayurvedic Remedies, Treatment, Medicines For Halitosis (Bad Breath). Available at: http://easyayurveda.com/2016/08/03/ayurvedic-remedies-treatment-halitosis-bad-breath/. Accessed on: 30 Aug. 16.
  5. Bad breath(halitosis) Ayurvedic Home Remedies. Available at: http://www.liveayurvedalife.com/bad-breathhalitosis-ayurvedic-home-remedies/. Accessed on: 30 Aug. 16.
  6. Home remedies for Bad Breath. Available at: http://www.ayurveddoctor.com/home-remedy-for-bad-breath.html. Accessed on: 30 Aug. 16.
  7. Home Remedies For Bad Breath. Available at: http://www.medindia.net/homeremedies/bad-breath.asp. Accessed on: 30 Aug. 16.

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