Keys to controlling bad breath

Keys to Controlling Bad Breath

If you’re serious about learning what’s causing your bad breath, consider scheduling an appointment with your dental professional. Given your full medical and dental history along with an oral examination, your dental professional should be able to identify the cause.

 The causes of bad breath are numerous and include certain foods, alcohol or cigarettes, poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease,diabetes, dry mouth, sinus or throat infections, lung infections or abscesses, kidney/liver failure, gastrointestinal issues and severe dieting.

Treatment of Bad Breath

It is important to practice good oral hygiene. This includes twice daily toothbrushing with a fluoridated antibacterial toothpaste, cleaning in between your teeth with floss or interdental brushes to remove food debris and plaque between  teeth, and around bridgework and implants. Remember to  brush your  tongue to remove odour-causing bacteria. A published study reported that tongue and toothbrushing in combination with dental flossing significantly decreased bleeding of the gum tissue over a two week period of time, as well as reducing bad breath.1

Tongue Cleaning is the Key to Fresher, Cleaner Breath

Cleaning your tongue is very important. You can purchase a toothbrush with a  tongue cleaner  on the back of the toothbrush for cleaning both your teeth and tongue. After brushing your upper and lower teeth with an antibacterial toothpaste, flip the toothbrush over to the tongue cleaner and place the tongue cleaner in the posterior region of the tongue and move it forward to the anterior section of the tongue. After you have scraped that portion of the tongue, rinse the tongue brush off with warm water to remove any odour causing bacteria. Then replace the tongue brush in the next posterior section and repeat as described above again, until the whole upper surface of the tongue has been scraped clean.

Consult your dental professional when choosing oral hygiene aids to help you eliminate plaque and odour causing bacteria and review the techniques that should be utilised at home. Also, ask your dental professional what oral hygiene care products they would consider you use to help eliminate bad breath (antibacterial toothpaste,  mouthrinse, tongue brushes or scrapers and interproximal cleaning devices). The key to a clean, fresh mouth is optimal oral hygiene undertaken at home on a regular basis and professional recommendations discussed with you by your dental professional.



1. Biesbrock, A, et al. Assessment of Treatment Responses to Dental Flossing in Twins. J Perio 77(8):1386-1391, 2006.