As you enter menopause, you may find yourself putting your hand over your mouth because…could that be bad breath? Yes it may be, because there’s a relationship between halitosis (bad breath) and the menopause years.
What is bad breath?
Bad breath is a persistent, foul odor that is evident when you exhale. Dozens of issues and health problems can cause bad breath, ranging from eating certain foods (e.g., onions, garlic) to poor oral health, postnasal drip, diabetes, kidney or liver disorders, respiratory or tonsil infections, low-carb diet, coffee, smoking, and dry mouth. Even the use of some prescription medications can result in dry mouth and bad breath.
How is bad breath associated with menopause?
Did you know there are estrogen receptors in the mucous membranes of your mouth? That’s important to know when menopause hits, because as the level of the hormone declines, it has an impact on your oral health, including your breath.
It goes something this: dropping estrogen levels cause a decline in saliva production. Without sufficient saliva production, the mouth gets dry and there’s not enough saliva to fight bacteria and keep your mouth clean. The result can be bad breath.
How you can treat bad breath naturally?
Don’t worry: you won’t have to cover your mouth forever. Here are some ways to prevent and treat bad breath naturally.
- Don’t just brush your teeth: take care of your tongue, gums, and the roof of your mouth as well. Practice this twice to three times a day.
- Gargle with warm water several times a day
- Floss daily, followed by swishing your mouth with warm water.
- Nosh on fresh herbs, such as parsley, coriander, rosemary, cardamom, or tarragon. These plants can refresh your breath
- Avoid foods and beverages that tend to linger in the oral mucous membranes, such as alcohol and garlic
- Boost saliva flow by munching on carrots, cucumbers, or celery. Sugar-free mints can help as well.
- Reduce or eliminate items that can dry out your mouth, such as alcohol, coffee, and tobacco
- Try natural dental rinses designed to boost saliva production
- Drink green tea to help ward off the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth
- Use a humidifier at night next to your bed to help keep your mucous membranes moist
When to see your doctor
If your bad breath persists despite your efforts, check with your doctor to see if there is an underlying condition that is causing halitosis.
Bad breath is a common symptom of menopause, but one that responds well to various natural remedies.