Dentist located in: OR
Dentistry.com dental articles & forum
Home Conditions Treatments Dental Daily Care Dental Forum Product Showcase Are You a Dentist?
Looking for a
Dentist for Bad Breath?
Do you have dental coverage?
Home > Dental Conditions > Bad Breath > Bad Breath When Toothpastes and Mouthwashes Don’t Work
Bookmark and Share

Bad Breath: When Toothpastes and Mouthwashes Don’t Work

Bad breath comes from many sources.

As a dentist I see many folks who still have an unpleasant breath odor even though their teeth and gums are healthy. In these cases the culprit is usually a bacteria which, although nonpathologic, produce a volatile sulfur compound (VSE). Normal brushing and flossing, even tongue brushing, just isn't enough to control this bacteria. They need something more.

If even over the-counter-agents such as Listerine® fail, you may need antimicrobial rinses and toothpastes. Your dentist can help. There are three main antimicrobial agents in use today: chlorhexidine gulconate, chlorine dioxide and herbal preparations. I have products in each of these categories available for you as well as the Rota-dent® plaque removal system. My staff and I can help you eliminate oral causes of bad breath and make appropriate medical referrals where necessary.

Chlorhexidine gulconate is obtained at your pharmacy with a prescription. It is very effective but has two drawbacks:

1) Chlorhexidine can cause staining of teeth and dental work. The staining is temporary and polishes away easily but is enough of an aggravation that most folks will discontinue use.

2) Chlorhexidine rinses (as well as most over-the-counter rinses) contain a lot of ethyl alcohol. Current research indicates that chronic exposure of the mucous membranes to alcohol can be an increased risk factor for oral cancer. Also, the alcohol can dry the mucous membranes which may actually promote the growth of the odor-causing bacteria.

Chlorine dioxide is not dispensed at a pharmacy. In fact, chlorine dioxide is so safe that anyone can become a distributor. It is, however, highly effective against VSC's and the microorganisms which cause them. The taste is bland. The Oxyfresh® products seem the best over all and I have them available for my patients. Their rinses do not contain alcohol and do not stain teeth.

BreathRx® is an herbal line of products dispensed only by dentists. The taste is strong, but not unpleasant. BreathRx is a favorite of my patients and seems to be very effective at elimination of VSC's and the bacteria which cause them. BreathRx products do not contain alcohol.

Treatment of Dental Causes

  • Control of gum disease and decay
  • Regular dental cleanings and check ups
  • Frequent brushing
  • Daily flossing
  • Control of sulfur producing bacteria and VSC's
  • Tongue scraping
  • Antibacterial rinses and toothpastes

Non-Dental Causes

Ingestion of strongly aromatic foods such as onion or garlic containing dishes -- These odors are actually pulled into the lungs where they can remain for hours. This is why the use of mouth washes or breath fresheners after eating these foods are usually ineffective. However, in cases where food odors are the only cause, patients should find that their bad breath resolves in a matter of hours.

Chronic systemic diseases can cause chronic halitosis -- Esophageal reflux, stomach ulcers, diabetes or even neoplastic diseases could cause bad breath.

Chronic inflammatory sinus disease -- Inflammation of the nasal and sinus mucous membranes can lead to growth of odor-causing bacteria resulting in bad breath. Diseases in the lungs or connecting passages could also certainly cause bad breath.

Dental Causes

Infection of the oral cavity itself -- With the exception of food odors, infections of the oral cavity are by far and away the most common cause of chronic bad breath. This is so common that in cases where bad breath does not resolve quickly, or with the use of mouth washes, a trip to the dentist first is in order.

Gum disease and decay -- Both decay and gum disease are caused by bacteria and can, obviously, cause bad odors. In fact, bad breath can often be the first symptom of these diseases!

Sulfur producing bacteria -- Some people who have healthy teeth and gums have, as a part of their normal oral bacteria, bacteria which produce sulfur compounds.

Remember, only a dentist can diagnose your dental problems and offer the right treatment plan for you. If you need a dentist, call us at 1-866-970-0441 to be connected with one today.

Bad Breath
Cleft Palate
Cold Sores
Dental Anxiety
Dental Emergency
Gum Disease
Mouth Problems
Oral Cancer
Sleep Apnea
Teeth Problems
Wisdom Teeth
See All
Cosmetic Dentistry
Dental Braces
Dental Implants
Dental Restorations
Exams & Cleaning
Fillings & Sealants
Gum Disease Treatment
Oral Surgery
Root Canal Therapy
Sedation Dentistry
Teeth Whitening
Tooth Extractions
See All
Dental Financing
Dental Hygiene
Nutrition Information
Overall Health
Pediatric Dentistry
Senior Dental Care
Your Dentist Visit
See All