Posted on: March 14, 2006 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 50

1. What is the cause of bad breath?

There are two types of bad breath; transient bad breath
and chronic bad breath (or chronic halitosis). As the names imply, transient bad breath is a temporary, self-correcting condition while chronic bad breath indicates a more severe imbalance in the body. Medical science hasn’t yet tracked down every single cause of bad breath so you may have to do a little self-troubleshooting.

Transient bad breath

Transient bad breath is usually very temporary and lasts only as long as it’s causative factor. Some of the most common causes of transient bad breath are:

  • Recently eaten foods such as: onions, garlic, dairy products, alcohol and high-sugar foods. A mouth coated in sugar is a welcome environment for breath-corrupting bacteria.
  • Poor oral hygiene. Bacterias that cause bad breath are often present in the mouth, but a lack of proper cleaning can allow their numbers to increase to smellable proportions.
  • Bodily imbalances caused by dehydration, stress, smoking, certain drugs and poor nutrition.
  • A state of Ketosis often results in bad breath when one eats more protein than the body can process.

Chronic bad breath

Chronic bad breath is most often caused by bacteria or gum disease. There are some clinics that can perform specialized testing to determine which strain of bacteria is causing the bad breath and then prescribe a personalized treatment. Chronic halitosis can also be caused by certain drugs and medical conditions. If you have a case of bad breath that just won’t quit, have a dental exam as well as a physical.

2. Bad breath remedies

If you can identify the source, do something about it.

Correctable causes of bad breath:

  • Dehydration. If you’re urine is dark, you’re dehydrated.
  • Diet. Try temporarily avoiding onions, garlic, dairy products, alcohol, and acidic beverages like coffee and OJ to attempt to lessen the stink.
  • Hygiene. Are you brushing at least once a day? Are you being thorough? Add mouthwash and begin brushing your tongue when you brush your teeth and see if that helps. Brush after every meal if you must.
  • Dieting. On a diet? Take a break for one or two days and see if the breath-stench ceases.
  • Prescription medication. I don’t recommend not taking your med’s, but maybe talk to your doctor or search the web for the name of your medicine and the phrase “Bad breath” in quotes to see if there is a commonly known link.
  • Poor nutrition. What is your ratio of protein to carbohydrate to fat? How many refined carbohydrates (sugars and flours) have you been eating lately? Keep carbs around 50% and don’t let either fat or protein dominate the other 50%.

Home remedies for bad breath:

  • Hydrogen peroxide rinse – diluted to a 1.5% solution (with water) and gargled but not swallowed.
  • Chewing fresh parsley. Buy it at your supermarket or grow it yourself.
  • Drink unsweetened green tea.
  • Brush your teeth or use some mouthwash.
  • Use a tongue brush or scraper. Don’t have one? A small spoon can be substituted.
  • Bad breath products (mouthwashes, sprays, gums, mints and pills).
  • Mouth rinses containing chlorhexidine, zinc gluconate, and chlorine dioxide.
  • Increasing saliva by chewing something without sugar or gently pressing on your tongue with your teeth to mimic the action of chewing.

3. Pets with bad breath

Animals tend to get bad breath for many of the same reasons people do. The most common cause is tooth and gum problems. If your animal develops a fierce case of halitosis, take a trip to the vet. Failing that, dog bad breath treatments as well as cat bad breath treatments are available in the following forms:

  • Treats
  • Pet toothpastes
  • Pet mouthwashes and sprays
  • Dental cleanings (by a vet)

50 People reacted on this

  1. To check if you have bad breath: Put a cloth around your toothbrush and reach all the way to the back of the tongue, so you’re almost gagging. Pull it out and smell the cloth.

    To eliminate bad breath: Brush or scrape (with a tongue scraper) that same area at the very back of the tongue. That’s where the bacteria live which cause stubborn cases of bad breath. Brush that area every time you brush your teeth.

  2. Use Listerine whenever you feel the stench coming in, liqiud or tongue-thigies.
    Chewing mint gum may not sound like it helps, but it really does!!!
    Brush everyday.
    Though I’m only in my early teens, I’ve found that on occasion, swallowing a tid-bit of mouthwash and then drinking half a cup of water works too.
    //Pygmus_x, I agree with you. Is this Kit Kat** a secret killer??

  3. after brushing teeth, take a sip of water and gargle with the toothpaste foam instead of spitting it out right away. this may help prevent & get rid of some the plaque on the tongue

  4. I used to have really bad breath what cured mine was brushing ur teeth in a circular motion it get more of the plaque off then just scrubbing.Chew sugar free gum throughout the day.Always use mouthwash trust me if u try this stuff it will work ! :):):)

  5. use hydrogen peroxide, gargle with that mixed with water, also dip your brush in it brush your teeth with it, and your tungue, put it back in the cup you used to gargle if there is any left, if it foams a little or looks liek spit, it is all the batcteria in your mouth dying

  6. Brush with a baking soda paste,, also use it to brush tongue and even gargle a soda/water mix,, does not taste great but leaves teeth mouth and tongue sparkly clean and fresh. Follow up with a minty mouth wash for taste.

    try mints instead.

    I promise, my friends have had some boyfriends in the past.
    [Kissing, Making out, etc with thing with your mouth]
    They have came to me so embarresed about their breath.
    I told them to chew mint gum before their next date.

    One of my friends got so mad at me, they told me it didnt work.
    Her boyfriend still mentioned her bad breath!!
    Then she told me she used mints, and it worked alot better!!

    Hope I helped!

  8. I have used everything from mouthwashes, mints, chewing gum and antiboitics but nothing has worked! I have a white coating and a bad taste in my mouth. Can anyone suggest what it could be or any remedies i could use.

    Much appreciated!!

  9. flossing is reeeally important, and I only brush with soap now, instead of toothpaste. Toothpaste has glycerin in it, which coats your teeth and won’t come off for about 20 brushings (unless of course, you always brush with toothpaste, in which case, you’re just putting more glycerin on your teeth). Face soap usually doesn’t have glycerin. It gets your mouth MUCH cleaner than toothpaste & if you get fragrance free, there’s no bad taste. Also, I store my toothbrush in peroxide to kill bacteria. Just put it upside down in a small cup with peroxide to cover the bristles, and rinse before brushing. Change it every few days. And swishing oil in your mouth (safflower and sunflower are good, organic, cold-pressed, if possible) really whitens your teeth and makes your breath better, and also helps with gum problems, if you have them. You swish for as long as you can, preferably up to 20 minutes (though I can only go about 10 minutes right now), and then spit into the toilet to flush. Don’t spit it in the sink or your bathroom will start to smell terrible. Also, a 50/50 peroxide/water rinse is great, and so is brushing with salt or baking soda and gargling with salt water, waaaay back in your throat. Also, try mint-asure. It’s sold at most pharmacies, in the toothpaste aisle. It’s parsley oil in a capsule and has a minty coating.

  10. Best way to get rid of bad breath is to brush the tongue and use mouth wash as many people have mentioned, but I have found that chewing green tea leaves will also get rid of bad breath, especially if the bad breath is from eating garlic.

  11. I brush my teeth for 5 minutes 3-4x/day (depending on how much and what I eat). Gargle with mouthwash (until my mouth pretty much feels numb), floss, brush teeth (outer and inner) until they feel smooth (via tongue check), brush gums (outer and inner), brush tongue (side, front, back), and also use a soft toothbrush to brush my inner cheeks (upper, lower, roof of mouth and inner upper and inner lower lip. It’s a lot but I feel absolutely safe talking to anyone without worrying about halitosis if I practice these steps everyday. It took me awhile to make this a habit but compliments and thus confidence gets the better of you.

  12. One tip for you guys! aside from chewing parsley, cloves etc. the juice of any citrus also prevents bad breath.

  13. Eating salt & vinegar chips helps. Everytime my husbad and I go out to dinner and he eats garlic, we stop and get a bag of vinegar chips on the way home. It really works.

  14. Julie,
    that white coating on your tongue is probably thrush. i had the same thing after i got my tonsils taken out last year. you have to go to the doctor. ask him for the mouthwash, not hte pill, because the pill makes you nauseous.

  15. do not swallow any hydrogen peroxide. It is a poison. Also, it is a bleach. it will gradually whiten your teeth. but do not swallow any of it.

  16. Eat apples. It may not eliminate it completely, but follow the apple with a quick brush and rinse and you’re good to go.

  17. If none of the other tips work, an internal cleanse may be necessary through the use of a psyllium type product or colonics.

  18. Many remedies and Treatment reducing bad breath. Brush your teeth or use some mouthwash. Use a mouthwash is recommended. The best time to use it is just before sleeping. Eat fresh food and fibrous vegetables. Chew sugar-free gum, especially if your mouth feels dry.

  19. After some time of using mouthwash nearly everyday followed by proper brushing and flossing – i have found that i was still experiencing white coating on my tongue and dry mouth. I did some incredible research to find that the mouthwash i was using contained alcohol which is a “drying agent,” and so prolonging my symptoms. i also found that you should wait a while after brushing (approx.30mins)if considering to use mouthwash as the ingredients in the toothpaste can inactivate the one in the mouthwash. After meals, i like to rinse with water or sucking a sugar-free candy or brushing helps. From experience i usually try to stay away from chewing or sucking mints as it leaves a bad after taste and smell in my mouth.

  20. have used mint gums, seen all kinds of ENT doctors,taken allergy tastes, and the result is, there is no cure for bad breath. esp.. chronic halitosis.every ent doctor says something different, the last one insisted on cutting my tonsils but i insisted. cause i know it wont help. it has really affected my social life, and limited my opportunities in life…wudnt love to see someone else go through the same. if only people where more understanding, but i guess they can never.

  21. The best thing for your mouth and bad breath is PEROXIDE, believe it or not. Read your bottle of PEROXIDE, it says right on there you can gargle it, just don’t swallow it. Scraping your tongue also helps 100%. You can buy a tongue scraper or just use your good ol’ fashioned toothbrush. Once you do use your toothbrush you should dip it in Peroxide to kill any germs that are let on the toothbrush. Try this out, I bet it will work.

  22. *Mouthwash
    *Chew on mint leaves
    *Listerine pocket mist

    hydrogen peroxide is also a very inexpensive solution, about .99 cents for a medium to large bottle.

  23. i started using therabreath toothpaste and therabreath mouthwash (Longs drugstore)and scraping my tongue, my husband said my breath is good now and it used to be awful. definitely make sure your mouthwash is alcohol free, it’s drying and can make the problem worse. also floss often.

  24. ughhh i hate this! having bad breath sucks what can really help me out im clueless i cant even socialize during school with the teachers and friends because of it i always brush my teeth and brush my tongue

  25. the only 2 ways to get rid of bad breath is to brush ur teeeh,the best one is to get a quater of a mug of saqlt,with have carrot mush it up,then after that you fil the rest up the mug with listerene.stiree..gurgle it there you a day for a week then your good to go after that,just brush ur eeh every morning that it good luck!

  26. im really confused to get rid of the bad breath cause theres so much tips but i really want to no the one that works the most ????????? please im desperet

  27. i have really bad breath everyday no motter how much i brush i dont know what to do can you help me? thank you

  28. Gargle some Hydrogen Peroxide – I gargle with it after lunch since I don’t bring a toothbrush to work.

    Brush after eating if you can.


    Watch what you eat, but don’t give up eating garlic or onions completely since they provide nutrients that benefit our bodies. brush after those meals tho.

    Chewing Mint leaf is something I haven’t done, but is an old style way of handling bad breath. also drinkin mint tea.

  29. I usually keep a tube of toothpaste in my pocket mixed with a bit of pickle juice, I suck on it every five minutes or so through out the day, it works great, it is a little embarrasing when you get caught doing it though…

  30. FLOSS!!! It REMOVES the bacteria that makes your breath smell. Mouthwash will only mask the odor for a while. If you aren’t a flosser, your gums may bleed for a couple of weeks and it may hurt a little, if this happens, you have gingivits (which is the first stage of periodontal disease). Healthy tissue doesn’t bleed. When flossing, make sure you are getting the floss between your tooth & your gum, thats where the bacteria is (in your gums, not just between your teeth). If your gums are still bleeding after 2 weeks then make an appointment for a dental cleaning. Cavities can cause bad breath too. If you don’t like flossing, try the floss picks on the market.

  31. Get to the dentist and have an honest talk. I had chronic halitosis for years and no one told me. Finally someone did and I freaked out. I tried everything – aggressive brushing – flossing – various expensive mouthwashes and solutions advertised on the internet “guaranteed to work” (they didn’t).
    I finally found the problem – a tooth. Years before I had had a root canal done, then replaced with a post and crown and though I didn’t have any actual pain, it just felt odd. I went to the dentist (previous visits and x-rays did not reveal anything unusual) and asked about this. My dentist agreed something was going on there and referred me to a specialist – an oral surgeon. He removed the tooth and apparently the roots of the tooth had rotted and were no longer bone – just black gunk (ugh!) This infection was what was causing my bad breath – and when he removed the tooth, and all the infected bone around it (no it wasn’t painful!) he found it went right up into my sinus cavity – which I guess is how a lot of the odor was released. After removal of the tooth, I wasn’t “airtight” for a short while, but it healed well and guess what? NO MORE HALITOSIS!! (unless I’m eating onions, of course) 🙂
    If you have serious, chronic halitosis, consider your dental history and if you have had a root canal or have a post and crown, have your dentist carefully examine your x-rays of this tooth – it could be the “root” of your problem!

  32. i havee really bad breath all the time
    i brush my teeth everyday but nothing seems to work , i cant even bare going to school because i know people can smelland it stops me going out with friends and stuff , i really cant bare this anymore its getting to the point where life is just unbareable pleaseee someone help mee 🙁

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