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What home remedies can help with bad breath?

What home remedies can help with bad breath?

Last reviewed 

By Charlotte Lillis

Reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT


Bad breath is a common issue, and there are many different causes. Potential remedies include water, green tea, and herbal rinses.

Persistent bad breath, or halitosis, is usually due to bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria produce gases that can cause a smell. The odor occurs when the bacteria break down sugars and starches in the foods people eat.

Sometimes, halitosis may signal something more serious, such as gum disease or tooth decay. It is important that people go for regular dental checkups so that a dentist can treat these issues early.

Halitosis could also signal an underlying health issue elsewhere in the body.

This article outlines eight natural home remedies for bad breath. We also provide tips on when to see a doctor.



Description: a woman drinking water as a Home remedies for bad breath

Drinking plenty of water can help prevent conditions conditons such as halitosis.

Dry mouth is a condition that can cause halitosis as well as other oral health problems.

Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands inside the mouth do not produce enough saliva to rinse food debris from the mouth. This helps to control levels of oral bacteria.

Many different factors can cause dry mouth. The most common cause is dehydration. Medications and diet can also influence the moisture in the mouth.

There are no strict recommendations for daily water intake. However, the United States Food and Nutrition Board suggest 2.7 liters (l) per day for females and 3.7 l per day for males. These amounts include water from foods and beverages.

Green tea

Green tea is an antioxidant-rich tea made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.

The most abundant antioxidant in green tea is Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Research suggests EGCG may have many beneficial effects on health.

2013 laboratory study investigated the effect of EGCG on human gum tissues. The study showed that EGCG triggers cells in the gums to release an antimicrobial chemical. This chemical targets Porphyromonas gingivalis (P.gingivalis), which is a type of bacteria that contributes to gum disease and halitosis.

Another type of bacteria that contributes to halitosis is Solobacterium moorei (S. moorei). A 2015 laboratory study investigated the effect of green tea extract and EGCG on S. moorei cultures.

Both green tea extract and EGCG reduced the growth of S. moorei cultures, although green tea extract showed the greatest effects. This suggests that other chemicals within green tea may also have antibacterial properties.

Both treatments also reduced the ability of S. moorei to produce chemicals that cause halitosis.

Further research is necessary to determine whether the results of these laboratory based studies apply to the human oral environment.