According to a study by researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), ginger, a popular spice with many health benefits, can help eliminate bad breath.
The researchers explained that ginger contains a unique compound called 6-gingerol which can trigger an enzyme in saliva. This enzyme helps breaks down foul-smelling materials in the mouth, effectively eliminating bad breath. (Related: Causes and solutions for bad morning breath.)
For the study, the TUM researchers analyzed how various components in food affect our taste, and found that ginger helped increase the levels of certain enzymes in human saliva 16-fold after only a few seconds.
Human breath tests determined that the enzyme was responsible for breaking down compounds that contained sulfur. Sulfur is a naturally occurring compound in the body, but it can also produce some bad smells. In fact, sulfur is the reason why farts have a certain odor.
The researchers explained that since ginger helps speed up the process of breaking down sulfur compounds in the mouth, the spice can help reduce the aftertaste of various foods, such as coffee and tea.
Professor Thomas Hofmann, the study's lead author, noted that as ginger helps break down these compounds, it can also make your breath smell better. He added that this discovery could even be used to formulate new oral hygiene products that can combat halitosis more effectively.
Aside from ginger, citrus fruits can also affect your breath and sense of taste. The researchers discovered that citric acid can help salty foods taste less salty. When you eat sour foods, like lemons, your mouth produces more saliva. When you salivate more, this means more minerals are broken down in your mouth.
Hofmann shared that salt levels in saliva rose 11-fold after an individual has eaten a citrus fruit, making them less sensitive to salt. He added, "Table salt is nothing other than sodium chloride, and sodium ions play a key role in the taste of salt."
Hoffman concluded that if saliva already has higher concentrations of sodium ions, the samples tasted must have a significantly higher salt content before they register as comparatively salty when tasted.
The next time your breath smells a little foul, try chewing on a piece of ginger to help eliminate the unpleasant odor.
If you're looking for other natural remedies for bad breath, try some of the suggestions listed below:
You can read more articles about dental hygiene and natural cures for bad breath at Dentistry.news.