If you struggle with bad breath, you’re likely aware of many home remedies proposed to treat the problem. While most of these are ineffective or questionable, there are some natural ways to fight bad breath, including thyme used as an herbal mouthwash.
Thyme is an herbal remedy that fights bad breath
Halitosis, or bad breath, is an oral health condition that negatively affects people's social interactions and quality of life. It is caused by sulfur-producing bacteria in the tongue and throat, commonly associated with smoking, gingivitis, periodontitis, and poor oral hygiene.
Clinicians sometimes recommend or prescribe mouthwashes to improve periodontal health and reduce bad breath. Using a thyme mouth may improve gingivitis and minimize bad breath better than other mouthwashes, according to a new study published on February 9 in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene.
Thyme is an aromatic evergreen herb known for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Unlike other mouthwashes that contain chemical compounds that can cause side effects, the thyme rinse had no abnormal effect on:
- The teeth
- Oral mucus
- The tongue
How it works
The study revealed that gingivitis patients who used thyme as a mouthwash showed effective improvement in their gingival index and bad breath.
To evaluate the effectiveness of thyme mouthwash, the authors studied 60 patients with gingivitis. These study participants received initial periodontal treatment followed by oral hygiene instructions. The patients were then divided into four groups, the fourth of which was instructed to use a thyme mouthwash.
At baseline and one week after treatment, researchers recorded the following patient information:
- Gingival index
- Plaque index
- Volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) values
Regarding VSC values, researchers found a significant difference between the thyme mouthwash patients and the others. These differences mean that mouthwash containing thyme may be as effective as those containing chemicals and could successfully treat inflammation in patients with gingivitis.
What else to know about fighting bad breath with thyme
Thyme mouthwash is a cost-effective, natural remedy for bad breath. Studies have shown that it is as efficient as chemical antiseptics. Some of its other benefits include the following:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Relieves discomfort associated with canker sores
- Soothes dryness and irritation
- Balances blood flow
- Improves gut health, which is connected to bad breath
- Antioxidant properties
- Immunity booster
- Stress relief
- Improves overall oral health
- Rich source of Vitamin A
One of the study’s limitations includes the short follow-up period, meaning the mouthwash's long-term results haven’t been proven. Thyme mouthwash may improve gingivitis and halitosis, but more clinical studies are needed.
Fight bad breath with CCCRD
One of the most common concerns of CCCRD patients is bad breath, also known as malodor or halitosis. Approximately 25% of people suffer from the condition, which has many social implications affecting confidence and self-esteem.
Bad breath can hold you back from living your life to the fullest. If you have questions about how thyme mouthwash can help, contact us or ask during your next appointment with Dr. Rink!