a woman's mouth
Bad breath can be treated with scrupulous hygiene and a little herbal help [image: by Nacu ~ via MorgueFile]

Q&A: What can I do about bad breath?

17 August, 2011

Q – I am getting worried about having bad breath. My boyfriend agrees that sometimes my breath isn’t as sweet as it could be! I am sure it’s got worse recently. Is there anything I can do?


A – There are a number of possible causes of bad breath including tooth decay, digestive disorders, a bacterial imbalance in the mouth, smoking or simply eating spicy or garlicky foods.

Visit your dentist regularly and ask them to instruct you on proper tooth-brushing and flossing. Many cases of bad breath come from deposits on the back of the tongue. You can brush this area with your normal toothbrush, brush towards the teeth with firm strokes but not so strongly as to cause irritation.

Or you can buy a special brush or pliable tongue scraper which may be more effective and less likely to cause the gagging response which can be unpleasant when cleaning this area.

A traditional method of sweetening the breath is to chew fennel seeds – they have a pleasant taste and help to improve the digestion and also rebalance the bacteria that can cause mouth odour. Alternatively you can make a mixture of the herbs of fennel, peppermint and caraway to drink after meals as a breath sweetening infusion that will also aid digestion.

Finally, Liz Hurley finds Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Lemon & Mint Mouth Freshener a handbag essential; it effectively deodorises the breath with fresh smelling essential oils after smoking or eating spicy foods.