Amazing! How to use apple cider vinegar to treat bad breath?

Amazing! How to use apple cider vinegar to treat bad breath?
December 20, 2016 5:15 PM

Over 80 million Americans suffer from bad breath. This symptom, also called halitosis, is very unpleasant and may affect your social life due to the unpleasant odor of your mouth. Therefore proper treatment is necessary. One of the popular home or natural treatment option for bad breath is apple cider vinegar and in this post we shall take a detailed look on why and how apple cider vinegar may be useful in dealing with halitosis. Detailed instructions on how to use this natural remedy are included.

Contents

  1. What is bad breath?
  2. What causes bad breath?
    1. Poor oral hygiene
    2. Smoking
    3. Food
    4. Dry mouth
    5. Medications
    6. Medical conditions
  3. What are the symptoms of halitosis?
  4. Apple cider vinegar for bad breath - yes or no?
    1. How may apple cider vinegar help in treatment of bad breath?
  5. 10 apple cider vinegar remedies for halitosis
    1. Apple cider vinegar drink
    2. Apple cider vinegar with parsley
    3. Distilled vinegar
    4. Apple cider vinegar gargle
    5. Apple cider vinegar and honey cocktail
    6. Apple cider vinegar mouthwash
    7. Apple cider vinegar and baking soda
    8. Apple cider vinegar with cinnamon and water
    9. Apple cider vinegar with sugar and water
    10. Apple cider vinegar tea
  6. Side effects of apple cider vinegar
  7. The bottom line

What is bad breath?

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a symptom in which an unpleasant odor is present on the exhaled breath. The concern about halitosis is considered to be the third most frequent reason why people seek dental care, other than gum disease and tooth decay. It has also been reported that up to 50% of people suffer from it to some degree (1).

For over 2,000 years, bad breath has been recognized as a common unpleasant part of human condition. Researchers estimate the prevalence of bad breath in 50% of older adults and middle aged people and about 20 to 25% of them are smokers.

Moreover, a U.S. phone survey showed that 60% of women and 50% men say that they cosmetically breath-freshening products like chewing gums, sprays, and candies (2). So bad breath is clearly a major health concern for adults.

What causes bad breath?

There are a number of causes of bad breath (3). The most common ones are shown below:

Poor oral hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath . Bacteria can build up on your teeth, and between them and your gums and tongue, you can observe unpleasant-smelling gases. These bacteria are also responsible for tooth decay and gum disease. And if you don’t brush your teeth on regular basis, any food trapped between your teeth will be broken by the bacteria which will lead to bad breath.

Some bacteria also lives at the rough surface of your tongue. So along with brushing your teeth, cleaning the tongue can also control bad breath. You should also have regular dental check-ups to ensure that oral hygiene problems are picked and treated early. Your dentist will advise you how often to get a check-up.

Smoking

Another major cause of bad breath is smoking. Other than making your breath smell bad, smoking stains the teeth, reduces the sense of taste, irritates the gums and reduce the sense of taste. It also significantly affects the development of gum disease, which is another major cause of bad breath. Stopping smoking will lower the risks of your bad breath.

Food

Eating certain types of food can also make you more prone to bad breath. The breakdown of food particles in your teeth can increase the bacteria and create a foul odor. Eating certain foods, like onions and garlic can also cause bad breath. When you digest these foods, they enter the bloodstream and then go into the lungs and affect your breath.

Dry mouth

Saliva helps to cleanse your mouth and removes the particles causing bad odors. There is a condition in the mouth known as dry mouth, which can lead to bad breath because the production of saliva is decreased. Dry mouth occurs naturally during sleep, leading to ‘morning breath’ and it worsens when you sleep with an open mouth. Chronic dry mouth can be caused by a problem with your salivary glands and some other diseases.

Medications

Certain medications can also cause bad breath. These generally include:

  • Nitrates, which are used for treating angina, a chest pain caused by the restriction of blood supply to the heart.
  • Tranquillizers
  • Some chemotherapy medications

If your medication is causing bad breath, your doctor may be able to recommend an alternative therapy.

Medical conditions

Bad breath can be caused by certain medical conditions in rare cases.The flow and consumption of saliva may be affected in dry mouth. For example, a throat infection can cause bad breath. A lack of saliva can also cause more bacteria buildup in your mouth and change the types of bacteria. A build-up of these in the mouth can cause halitosis.

Overview of causes of halitosis

Overview of causes of halitosis

In certain cases, gastrointestinal conditions can also lead to bad breath. For example, a bacterial infection of the stomach lining and small intestine can cause bad breath.

What are the symptoms of halitosis?

You may not always be aware that you are suffering from bad breath. The reason is that the odor-detecting cells in the body get used to it eventually. However, other people may notice it and react by recoiling as you speak. Bad breath is usually a symptom of other processes going on in the body which need to be addressed. The major causes, along with their underlying symptoms are described above.

Apple cider vinegar for bad breath - yes or no?

If you are suffering from halitosis you should always get a proper medical treatment and treat the underlying cause.

This means that you will have to see your physician (or dentist) and ask him/her for help.

In addition to proper medical treatment, you may also try some home remedies, such as apple cider vinegar, to deal with bad breath.

However this must be done with prior consent of your doctor or dentist and only as an auxiliary treatment for halitosis and not as a substitute to proper medical treatment.

Apple cider vinegar has some antimicrobial properties, which may be useful in treatment of bad breath (4).

Unfortunately there are no clinical studies confirming the efficacy of apple cider vinegar as halitosis remedy so you should not expect miracles and take into account that the efficacy of apple cider vinegar in treatment of bad breath is just anecdotal.

But some people may benefit from this treatment so we think it is useful to discuss it and provide you with some detailed instructions on how to use apple cider vinegar for bad breath.

To sum up we think that apple cider vinegar may help you get relief from halitosis if used as an addition to proper medical treatment and with prior consent of your doctor. But you should not expect miracles and for some people this remedy will not be beneficial at all.

How may apple cider vinegar help in treatment of bad breath?

Apple cider vinegar is prepared by crushing the organic apples that go through the process of fermentation (5).

The vinegar is a dark, cloudy and web-like bacterial foam which has so called "the Mother" in it, containing all the essential enzymes for treating a variety of health problems.

You can easily observe which one has mother or not by simply checking out the color of the liquid. The brownish, cloudy color means that "the Mother" is in, while the clear colored apple cider vinegar does not contain the Mother. 

Here is a list of apple cider vinegar properties, which may prove helpful in treatment of bad breath:

  • It is quite acidic in nature which helps the clear the bacteria in the mouth which cause bad breath. Most vinegar products in the U.S. contain about 4% of acids.
  • It contains natural acids, like acetic acid and malic acid, which help in eliminating a lot of bacteria in the mouth causing bad breath.
  • It also has antiseptic properties that help in breaking down the plaque and thus, fights against the bacteria causing bad breath. It inhibits growth of some bacteria in food and helps keep it fresh (6, 7)
  • It also contains many vital minerals and elements, like sodium, potassium, magnesium, copper, silicon, iron, fluorine, etc., which aren’t only essential for the teeth to get rid of bad breath but for the overall body to perform at its full level.
  • Bad breath is also, sometimes, caused due to improper digestion or indigestion and apple cider vinegar is a digestive aid which facilitates proper digestion (8). This may also help to clear the bad breath problem.

10 apple cider vinegar remedies for halitosis

Here is an overview of 10 popular apple cider vinegar remedies, which you may try in treatment of bad breath. Before you use any of these remedies here is an important warning.

Always dilute apple cider vinegar in water before using it. Never use it without proper diluting due to the risk of teeth enamel damage, throat burns and digestive issues (9, 10).

Never exceed the maximum allowable daily dose of apple cider vinegar, which is 2 table spoons (30 ml) of diluted apple cider vinegar per day.

Always rinse your mouth with a glass of clear water after taking apple cider vinegar.

Stop using apple cider vinegar if you do not tolerate it well and suffer from digestive issues (bloating), burning, etc. 

Apple cider vinegar drink

The required ingredients for making apple cider vinegar drink are 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and 1 glass of water.

How to make and use this remedy?

Take the organic apple cider vinegar and add it to water. Stir it quite well and consume it before each meal. Continue drinking this apple cider vinegar before each meal to get rid of bad breath and also relieve indigestion and other stomach related problems.

Apple cider vinegar with parsley

Parsley helps to prevent the bacteria with its anti-bacterial properties and thus gives you fresh breath. It also stimulates the saliva flow to get rid of bad breath.

The main ingredients required are 1 tea spoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 glass of water and a handful of fresh parsley leaves.

How to make and use this remedy?

First dilute the apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Stir well. Then take a handful of parsley leaves and dip them in the vinegar solution. Take the parsley leaves out of the vinegar solution after 15 minutes, put them in your mouth and chew them thoroughly. Go on chewing for about two to three minutes and swallowing or not completely depends on you. Chew regularly to get rid of bad breath.

Distilled vinegar

Distilled apple cider vinegar solution may be used as a liquid toothpaste. You have to be careful and NEVER use concentrated apple cider vinegar on your teeth (due to the risk of enamel damage). 

How to make and use this remedy?

Pour 1 tea spoon of distilled apple cider vinegar into 1 glass of water. Use this solution to brush your teeth with a toothbrush. Do not forget to rinse your mouth and teeth thoroughly to prevent acidic effects on the tooth enamel. Repeat this process about once or twice a week to not only get rid of bad breath but also to whiten your teeth.

Apple cider vinegar gargle

Gargle helps to remove the dead cells, the bacteria and leftover food materials etc. in the food. It is also quite beneficial for a sore throat. Now, if it is used with apple cider vinegar which is also acidic in nature and has anti-bacterial properties, it can really help to remove the dangerous particles from your mouth. So follow the gargling process on regular basis to get rid of all the bacteria in the mouth, and eventually bad breath.

The ingredients required for this process are 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of warm water.

How to make and use this remedy?

Add 1 teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar (with the Mother) to 1 cup of warm water. Stir well. Gargle your mouth with this solution for a few minutes. Once you finish gargling spit the vinegar solution to the sink. Do not swallow it!

Apple cider vinegar and honey cocktail

The mixture prepared from apple cider vinegar and honey is used to treat various conditions, including arthritis, joint pain, sore throat, wrinkles or bad breath. But the one thing you need to notice is that you need to use raw honey and organic apple cider vinegar to get the best results.

To prepare this remedy you need 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 8 oz of warm water.

How to make and use this remedy

Mix the organic apple cider vinegar with raw honey. Add the mixture to warm water and still well. Drink this solution every morning on an empty stomach. Regular intake of apple cider vinegar with honey cocktail may help you get rid of bad breath and other health problems. Remember if you are unable to drink this liquid due to its strong taste, try to drink a small quantity first to get used to it and gradually increase the volume.

Apple cider vinegar mouthwash

You may use the apple cider vinegar mouthwash to get a relief from bad breath and to deal with other mouth infections and problems.

Apple cider vinegar mouthwash recipe

Apple cider vinegar mouthwash recipe

To make the mouthwash use 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 glass of water.

How to make and use this remedy?

Take unfiltered and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar containing mother in it. Now add it in water and stir it well. Use this water as a mouthwash to get rid of bad breath. Keep on rinsing your mouth with apple cider vinegar to completely get rid of bad breath.

Apple cider vinegar and baking soda

In this process, apple cider vinegar and baking soda are used separately to get rid of bad breath. You should definitely look at how to perform this process for preventing bad breath.

The main ingredients which you will need are apple cider vinegar, baking soda and water.

How to make and use this remedy?

Firstly, take sufficient amount of baking soda. Now use it to brush your teeth properly and wash it with water. Now take apple cider vinegar and use this to rinse your mouth. Then, wash your mouth with water thoroughly to prevent bad breath. Do this process on regular basis to get rid of bad breath and other dental problems.

Apple cider vinegar with cinnamon and water

Cinnamon has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties which may be useful in dealing with bacteria in the mouth. So a combination of apple cider vinegar and cinnamon is quite beneficial. Actually, this remedy is for those people who can’t stand the taste of apple cider vinegar.

The main ingredients required for this process are 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon powder, 2 tea spoon of apple cider vinegar and 8 ounces of water.

How to make and use this remedy?

Mix raw apple cider vinegar with cinnamon powder and water. Stir well. Drink this every morning to keep halitosis at bay.

Apple cider vinegar with sugar and water

To make this remedy you will need 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1 glass of water.

How to make and use this remedy?

Mix the apple cider vinegar with sugar and water. Stir well and drink it once a day.

Apple cider vinegar tea

The main ingredients for this recipe are 1 cup of green tea leaves, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a drop or 2 of honey, 1 slice of ginger and a dash of Ceylon cinnamon.

How to make and use this remedy?

First of all, make your green tea. Add apple cider vinegar, honey, ginger and Ceylon cinnamon. Remember to remove the ginger slice before drinking the tea. Sip the tea once a day to get a relief from halitosis.

Side effects of apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar may have some side effects if used improperly. The most common adverse reactions to apple cider vinegar are burns (acetic acid may burn your throat, tongue and digestive tract), damage to tooth enamel and digestive issues, such as bloating or delayed stomach emptying.

The risk of an allergic reaction to apple cider vinegar is small but you should stop taking it immediately if you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction (burning sensation, difficulty to breathe, etc.) and seek an immediate medical attention.

Apple cider vinegar may interact with some medical drugs, such as diabetes medication, digoxin (lanoxin) and diuretic drugs.

To stay on the safe side you should always limit your daily intake of apple cider vinegar to 30 ml (e.g. 2 table spoons).

The bottom line

Apple cider vinegar may help you deal with bad breath but you should always use it as an additional treatment option to proper medical treatment.

Never use apple cider vinegar undiluted and limit the maximum daily intake to 30 ml per day.

Use apple cider vinegar only with prior consent of your physician and do not use it if you take diabetes medication, digoxin (lanoxin) or diuretic drugs. 

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Written by: Michal Vilímovský (EN)
Education: Medical student, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Published: December 20, 2016 5:15 PM
Next scheduled update: December 20, 2018 5:15 PM
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