World Oral Health Day: My mom says tea tree oil fights bad breath

Bad breath can be due to many reasons. If you wish to try a home remedy, go for tea tree oil to fight bad breath.
A woman covering her mouth
Tea tree oil can be used to combat bad breath. Image courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 19 Mar 2024, 12:00 pm IST
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Whether it is after a meal full of raw onions or waking up in the morning, we have all experienced bad breath at some point of time. Bacteria in the mouth is usually the cause of persistent bad breath, or halitosis. I either go for mouthwash or mints to smell fresh. But my mom told me that to keep breath my fresh, I don’t have to always rely on oral hygiene products available in stores. There are also home remedies for bad breath. According to my mom, tea tree oil can help to fight bad breath. On World Oral Health Day, which is observed on March 20, we tell you if science also backs this natural remedy to combat bad breath.

What are the causes of bad breath?

The most common factor of bad breath is poor oral hygiene, says cosmetic and laser dental surgeon Dr Gunita Singh. If hygiene is not maintained, it can lead to plaque formation (sticky film of bacteria) on the teeth where food particles get deposited and cause oral health problems, including bad breath.

Tea tree oil on a table
Tea tree oil helps to fight the bacteria responsible for bad breath. Image courtesy: Freepik

Bad breath can also be be due to:

  • Eating food that has strong smell. Sometimes, it stays in the system for 48 hours.
  • Stomach issues like constipation.
  • Oral infections.
  • Dry mouth

Unfortunately, most of the time it is the people around us who tell us that our breath is bad. But the best way to check it is in the morning. Take a minute to check how your mouth feels in the morning when you get up. You will know if your breath smells or not. Also, if you visit a dental clinic once in six months, you will be able to manage your bad breath issues in a better way.

How does tea tree oil help to fight bad breath?

Tea tree oil is an essential oil derived from the plant Melaleuca alternifolia from Australia. Tea tree oil can be used in oral healthcare products, as it fights bacterium Solobacterium moorei, which is associated with bad breath, as per a 2013 study published in the Archives of Oral Biology journal. It is antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-oxidant, says Dr Singh.

How to use tea tree oil for bad breath?

You can look for toothpaste with tee tree oil or you can go for a natural mouthwash using this ingredient. Add 2 drops of tee tree oil in a cup of warm water and use it as mouthwash two times a day. As it is antibacterial, it helps kill bacteria and in turn, can make your mouth feel fresh. You can add a few mint leaves to the mouthwash to smell even better.

But use it only to rinse your mouth and do not drink it. Swallowing tea tree oil can should be avoided, as it can be toxic. Also, use the diluted form otherwise a layer will get formed on your teeth where food particles can get stuck and lead to plaque formation, says the expert.

A woman pouring mouthwash in the bottle's cap
If you have cuts in mouth, avoid using tea tree oil mouthwash. Image courtesy: Freepik

While tea tree oil has its own advantages, some people should avoid using it. This includes people with skin allergies or rash or those with cuts or ulcer in mouth.

Also remember that simply using tea tree oil will not solve the problem of bad breath. Watch what you eat, and stay hydrated by drinking sufficient amount of water and fresh juices. You need to maintain good oral hygiene too. So, brushing your teeth twice a day is essential. Gum massages, tongue cleaning and rinsing your mouth after meals with mouthwash should be done as well!

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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