Bad breath is usually caused by the bacteria that live routinely in the mouth. These organisms eat the food we eat and release volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs) which smell and taste like rotten eggs.

Other causes of bad breath are gingivitis (bleeding gums) and periodontal disease (bone breakdown around teeth). Both of these need to be treated by a dental professional. Also, broken teeth, teeth with old fillings, gaps between teeth, and cavities can all trap food particles which can spoil and lead to bad breath.

Certain foods like garlic, onions and certain spices can lead to bad breath immediately after you eat them. The chemicals in these foods are released in the lungs and can taint your breath for hours afterwards. Alcohol uses the same mechanism of absorption from the stomach into the bloodstream and is released into the lungs, causing it to be detected through the breath. Alcohol also dries the mouth, causing plaque and food particles to stick to the tooth, gums and tongue, causing the release of VSC’s and, hence, bad breath.

"Morning Breath" is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria which occurs when salivary flow is decreased. People who suffer from dry mouth, who are mouth breathers, have sleep apnea, and who have consumed alcohol will find that this is a very serious problem.

Thorough brushing and flossing is necessary every day to help remove the bacteria which cause mouth odors. Flossing also helps remove food particles which can get caught between teeth after eating. The use of a tongue scraper can help remove food debris and bacteria which live in the grooves of the tongue.

If the above is not enough, a good odor destroying product may be in need. Several products which can help with mouth odors, uses a stabilized chlorine dioxide to neutralize the volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs) and helps to eliminate mouth odors without the use of alcohol. Many of the over-the-counter products, such as Scope and Listerine, contain high contents of alcohol which dry the mouth and allow new bacteria and food particles to stick and start the process over again. Products like Closys II , Breath Rx and Oxyfresh carry a line of products – from toothpastes, mouth rinses, mints, breath sprays and gum – which all contain the chlorine dioxide or zinc chloride to neutralize and continue neutralizing odor causing bacteria throughout the day. These products can only be purchased through your dentist and we routinely carry them for your convenience. Below is a list of several products offered and how they work.

Having old fillings replaced and food traps fixed can go along way in helping to eliminate the causes of bad breath. Drinking water throughout the day, keeping your mouth moist, eating balanced meals and not skipping meals will also help in controlling mouth odors.

Some medical conditions can be a leading cause of bad breath. These conditions can manifest themselves in the mouth and lead to bad breath. Also, certain medications can lead to dry mouth resulting in decreased saliva flow and bad breath. Medications for diabetes and heart medications are leading causes of dry mouth. If you are suffering from dry mouth or other conditions and feel your breath is a problem, check with your dentist first.

Breath Rx

Breath Rx is a line of products using zinc chloride to neutralize VSCs. The toothpaste, mouth rinse, gum and breath spray all contain zinc chloride. Breath Rx has a fresh mint flavor from the thymol and eucalyptus oil.

The kit comes complete with toothpaste, mouth rinse, gum, breath spray, tongue scrapers (3) and tongue gel. The nice thing about the breath spray is that it is refillable with the mouth rinse. One breath spray can last for months since you can refill it. Each product can also be purchased separately.

Closys II

Closys II is a line of products which use stabilized chlorine dioxide to neutralize VSC’s. The toothpaste, mouth rinse and breath spray contain chlorine dioxide. The closys mouth rinse comes with a vial of mint oil to add if you want a minty flavor to the rinse. It is alcohol-free and free of sodium lauryl sulfate, which has been linked to irritating mouth ulcers. The kit comes with toothpaste, mouth rinse, breath spray (not refillable) and tongue scraper. The toothpaste and mouth rinse are only one of several products which do not contain sodium lauryl sulfate, so if you tend to suffer from mouth ulcers, this could be a good product for you. Each component can be purchased separately.