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Health & Wellness

Best Essential Oils for Remedying Bad Breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a common and rather frustrating and embarrassing condition that can affect people from all walks of life. You can try to treat bad breath with toothpaste and mouthwash, but it won't always work. While a lot of cases of bad breath do come from poor oral hygiene, another major cause of bad breath can be infections, liver issues, diabetes, and even some forms of medication.

A few unexpected sources of bad breath include chemotherapy medication, nitrates used to treat heart conditions, dry mouth, and ketosis from diabetes or being on a low-carb diet. 1 , 2 , 3

For others, bad breath is caused by infections, or simply by them not being all that attentive about brushing their teeth. If you have been trying, unsuccessfully, to remedy bad breath, then it's well worth trying essential oils.

Best Essential Oils for Fighting Bad Breath

essential oils for bad breath Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil has good deodorizing properties, and it also helps stimulate the production of saliva, which means that it can help reduce odors that are caused by having a dry mouth. 4

Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme oil is known as being a good antimicrobial agent that can kill off the organisms that are responsible for not just bad breath but gum disease and gingivitis. 5

Wintergreen Essential Oil essential oils for bad breath

Wintergreen oil offers as similar fresh taste to mint, and it can be a great breath freshener, as well as a cleansing agent to provide the finishing touches after brushing your teeth. Just put a single drop on your tongue and gently rub it with your toothbrush to stop bad breath odors.

After brushing, rinse your mouth with water, and spit the water out. Do not swallow wintergreen oil because it contains methyl salicylate, which can be toxic.

Clove Essential Oil

Clove essential oil can help cleanse your teeth, fight off bad breath, and has also been found to be useful for preventing the decalcification of your teeth. Studies have found that it can have a similar beneficial effect to fluoride. 6 This is particularly interesting because fluoride treatments are controversial, and there are some people who prefer to opt out of using fluoride toothpaste.

Another benefit of clove oil is that it can help fight inflammation and infection, so it improves gum health, which can help to prevent bad breath from other sources.

essential oils for bad breath Parsley Essential Oil

Parsley essential oil is a powerful spice that can help with bad breath. Some people actually do like to just chew a sprig of parsley because the chewing action removes debris, and the parsley itself has antimicrobial properties. 7 In addition to this, it can help improve your digestion and prevent flatulence, so bad breath is not the only thing that you no longer have to worry about.

Other Ways to Fight Bad Breath essential oils for bad breath

Bad breath can come from a number of different sources. One common issue is digestive troubles. If you have indigestion and heartburn, then you are more likely to have bad breath. Try eating regular meals with smaller portions, and eating more fiber, protein, and small amounts of healthy fats. Avoid processed foods and artificial sweeteners because these can interfere with your gut bacteria.

If you smoke or drink alcohol, try to stop. The smell of smoke can stay on your breath for a long time and is bad for you in general. It may take a while, but if you stop smoking, you’ll notice that your breath improves and food starts to taste better too. Drinking alcohol can leave you with fermented-smelling breath and will also dry your mouth. When you can, opt for water or herbal tea instead.

Another common complaint is coffee breath. Coffee has a strong aftertaste and can stain your teeth too. Get into the habit of brushing your teeth after your morning coffee to stave off bad breath. You'll find that this leaves your mouth feeling minty fresh, and it will help you avoid breath issues for the rest of the day.

In general, it is a good idea to brush your teeth every morning and evening, as well as after meals. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to brush your teeth after a meal, then try to use a mouthwash or to chew some sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating.

This helps neutralize the acid in your mouth, preventing tooth decay, and it will also remove any stubborn debris and scent of leftover food from your mouth.

If essential oils aren't enough to tackle your bad breath, then it is worth going to see the dentist about it. There are many underlying medical conditions that can cause bad breath, and they will be able to tell you if it is something that needs further investigation.


If you’ve struggled with bad breath and are looking for a natural fix, then essential oils are worth trying out. These potent plant compounds have been shown to help with bad breath, in addition to providing a wide range of other health benefits, and could become an important part of your daily routine.

PhotoCredits: LarisaBlinova/, GabrielaBeres/, BrentHofacker/, Twstock/, Halfbottle/

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