How to Get Rid of Smoke Breath Naturally
Published July 4, 2021
According to the World Health Organization, there are about 1.3 billion tobacco users around the world. That’s nearly 20% of the world’s population. But while everyone knows how smoking can damage the lungs, very few know that it can cause bad breath too.
Yes, people who are fond of tobacco products often struggle with smoke breath. The smell can vary per person but everyone agrees it’s not pleasant. Some may even go as far as calling it “rancid”.
Though smoke breath doesn’t pose that much of a threat health-wise, I’m pretty sure nobody wants a foul-smelling breath. It’s embarrassing and can significantly affect one’s social life. It can also lead to diminished self-confidence and a greatly reduced sense of self-worth.
If you’re one of those who struggle from smokers’ breath, fear not. There are several proven ways to get rid of smoke breath. But before we go into details, we must first understand how smoking can lead to a foul-smelling breath.
What Causes Smoke Breath?
If you’re a smoker or have been in close proximity with someone who is, then you’re probably familiar with the smell of cigarettes. And whether it’s your car, your home, or your breath, lingering cigarette smell can be hard to get rid of.
But contrary to popular belief, it’s not the smoke itself that’s giving off the foul smell. Rather, cigarette breath is caused by the small particles that are in the smoke. When inhaled, these small particles will stick to your teeth, gums, mouth, and pretty much any surface they land on.
So what exactly are these foul-smelling particles?
You probably don’t know this but every time you inhale cigarette smoke, you are exposed to a toxic mix of over 7,000 various chemicals. This includes nicotine, acetone, tar, and even arsenic (yes, it’s that deadly). You may not notice them at first but as you continue to smoke, these particles will deposit a carcinogenic residue. This toxic deposit releases a smoky odor that we all come to associate with cigarette breath.
Smoking also dries out your mouth and puts you at a significant risk of developing gum diseases and tooth decay, all of which can cause halitosis (bad breath). In fact, research studies have established a statistically significant link between smoking and bad breath.
How to Get Rid of Smoke Breath
In essence, smoke breath is a form of halitosis. So getting rid of smoke breath is just the same as getting rid of bad breath. Here are some of the most common ways to get rid of bad smelling breath naturally:
1. Stop smoking
This one is pretty obvious. If your bad breath is caused by cigarettes, then you should probably stop smoking it. And yes, that includes electronic cigarettes too since they also contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals.
Cigarette smoking isn’t only harmful to your oral health, but it can lead to a whole host of life-threatening diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Smoking tobacco products and chronic halitosis are closely associated, so quitting this habit could boost your oral and overall health too.
2. Brush your teeth often and properly
Maintaining your oral hygiene becomes especially important if you regularly smoke cigarettes. This entails brushing your teeth after every meal, gargling with mouthwash, and regular flossing. Regular brushing helps remove the plaque and stains that tar and nicotine leaves in your mouth. Be sure to brush your gums too to make sure that no residue gets trapped in between the nooks and crannies. Using mint-flavored toothpaste and dental products will also help eliminate the distinct smell of tobacco.
3. Drink as much water as possible
Staying hydrated is crucial for oral health because it keeps your saliva thin and flowing. It may not seem like it but your saliva can actually help prevent bad breath. You see, saliva flushes out food and other particles that would otherwise stick to your teeth and gums, which can cause bacteria to grow.
4. Treat all existing dental diseases
Cigarette smoking can cause gum disease which causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. The pocket between the teeth and gums that this creates can trap odor-causing bacteria, aggravating your halitosis. Some niggling symptoms of gum disease include sensitive teeth, bleeding gums, and painful chewing.
5. Take probiotics
Probiotics are the good bacteria that we’d typically associate with digestive health. However, studies have shown that oral probiotics may be the solution to many oral health problems including getting rid of cigarette breath.
In a 2016 study from the University of Connecticut, researchers studied the effects of the probiotic strains Streptococcus salivarius K12 and M18 on our oral health. Halitosis is caused by the presence of volatile sulfur compounds (VSC), which can cause the breath to smell like a rotten egg in many cases. Conventional treatment of halitosis uses antimicrobial agents or mechanical devices to reduce bacterial populations within the mouth. Simply put, conventional treatments try to fight off and reduce bad bacteria.
Instead of fighting off the bad bacteria, the researchers went an alternative route by populating the mouth with beneficial bacteria. When the subjects with high VSC levels took S. salivarius K12 lozenges for a week, 85% of them experienced a significant decrease in VSC levels. This translated directly to a noticeable relief from halitosis. Adding to that finding, researchers also found that saliva high in K12 showed a considerable reduction in VSC levels. Both strains were also found to be effective against gingivitis, pharyngitis, thrush, and dental decay.
While this research piece is promising, further studies should be conducted to validate the results.
6. Use a tongue scraper
Aside from your gums and teeth, tobacco particles can also stick on your tongue’s surfaces. That’s why tongue scrapers should be part of your oral hygiene routine too. It helps prevent build-up of food, bacteria, and other debris from your tongue keeping it clean and smelling fresh. Use it everyday for a longer-lasting effect.
7. Try a lozenge
Sucking on mint-flavored lozenges, gums, and candies not only helps mask the rancid smell. It can also help make your breath smell fresh all day long.
8. Clean Your Dental Implant
Just like the rest of your mouth, smoke and food particles can also accumulate in your dental implants causing bad breath. That’s why it’s important to keep them clean and plaque free. Clean your dental implant twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush and a low-abrasive toothpaste. Make sure to brush all sides, especially those hard-to-reach places. If possible, use a dentist-recommended oral irrigator.
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer based in the Philippines. Her commitment to communicating factual content in when writing is unmatched. She works hard to cross check reputable sources to ensure her work uses accurate facts.