Good Teeth and Gums, Bad Breath

Updated on October 03, 2007
E.T. asks from Carrollton, TX
19 answers

I'm looking for some alternative ways to help stop bad breath. My husband is convinced that when I eat certain foods, they produce odorous gases in my stomach which then causes me to have bad breath. We've googled and searched for ways to prevent and stop it, but I can't find anything that matches my situation.

I go to the dentist for cleanings twice a year, brush twice daily, I don't have gum disease, I try to avoid garlic (I know that is one of my big triggers), I chew sugarless gum, and I try to drink lots of water. My mouth can be sparkling clean and my breath is still bad, which is why my husband thinks it's related to how my food is being digested.

This isn't an all the time thing and we're trying to figure out all my food triggers, but is there anything I can do besides wait 24 hours for my trigger food to get completely out of my system?

Any ideas?

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So What Happened?

Although I always brush my tongue, I'm not the best flosser, so I'll try to do that more. My teeth are so tight and close to one another, it's a pain, even for my dental hygentist. I'll also try the other suggestions as well. Thanks!!!

More Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

Do you floss? That can make a huhe difference in your breath. My husband and I are huge on flossing and we can certainly tell when we speak to someone to doesn't floss.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Good to investigate the root cause. More than likely poor digestion, sluggish liver, and/or candida yeast, or chronic sinus.
Look for some good digestive enzymes at the health food store. Brush your teeth after every meal and before you go to bed - change your toothbrush - and/or soak it in peroxide often.
Don't smoke!
Gargle with a peppermint and fennel flavored mouth wash
Chewing raw celery sticks helps to freshen breath
Chew on parsley
Make sure that your toothbrush is kept clean and sterilized
Dry mouth is a frequent cause of bad breath. Make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
Do not go on starvation diets. Regular chewing and swallowing helps with saliva production and can help to prevent dry mouth
Use Detox Drops to cleanse your system
Take a course of Candidate if you suspect that you have Candida overgrowth (Candidiasis). Symptoms include fatigue, frequent yeast infections, digestive disorders, excessive gas and odor problems
Clearing underlying and chronic sinus infections can help to prevent bad breath
-Chewing on parsley can relieve bad breath. This is
one of the reasons why it is put on dinner plates in

-Drink more liquids. Many cases of bad breath is due
to having a dry mouth.

-Mix peroxide with water and gargle with it. To combat
bad breath it is recommended to brush the teeth and
scrape the tongue, then gargle and rinse with the
peroxide mixture.

-Chew on cloves.

-Eat a handful of sunflower seeds and drink a glass of
water. Some people have found this to stop bad breath.

-Rinse your mouth out before you go to sleep with
warm salt water. It helps stop the bacteria developing
in your mouth that cause bad breath as they are very
active when you are asleep.

Here is something I found - HaliTonic is not just another product to freshen breath!

It is a unique combination of biochemic tissue salts and selected medicinal herbs which are effective in cleansing the system of all bacterial or putrefactive conditions.

HaliTonic acts as a system cleanser and detoxifier and promotes healthy liver functioning. Regular use of HaliTonic can help to prevent bad breath by treating the underlying causes. It will also assist with other body odor problems such as foul smelling feet, stools, gassy bowels, underarm odor, etc.

Use HaliTonic along with a regular oral hygiene program and say goodbye to bad breath permanently!

and another...
The smells of bad breath
Bad Breath, halitosis, sour taste, bitter taste, metallic taste, are all caused by anaerobic bacteria that live within our bodies. To be scientific, specific bacteria that cause the problem are Treponema denticola, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, Tannerella forsythensis, Porphyromonas endodontalis, and Eubacterium species.

When these bacteria are given the right environment or food source they can grow in number very quickly and will start to convert proteins to Volatile Sulphur compounds VSC, thus causing a bad breath problem within a short period of time. Bacteria can make varying types of VSC and other smelly compounds and thus the smells of bad breath can vary. Below is a table with the typical bad breath compounds made and what they smell like. You may find you can associate with these odours.

Mouth Compound
The Smell Made
Methyl Mercaptan (CH3SH) faeces
Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) rotten eggs
Dimethyl Sulphide (CH3SCH3) cabbage, sulphur, gasoline
Skatole (3-methyl-1H-indole) mothball, faeces
Cadaverine C5H14N2 corpses, urine
Putrescine (NH2(CHH2)4NH2) decaying flesh
Isovaleric acid sweat, rancid-cheese, off-milk

So what happens if we kill all microorganisms on the tongue. would we then have fresh breath? Unfortunately the answer is still no. These bacteria, also play a protective role. Ordinarily our tongues harbor the yeastlike Candida fungus in small numbers, the population kept in check by the presence of bacteria. When tongue bacteria are wiped out by antibiotics, Candida can run rampant. And candidal diseases are more severe and difficult to control than halitosis. The idea, then, is to keep bacterial populations present but under control.

Factors that promote a bad breath mini environment
Periodontal (Gum) Disease definitely is a cause of bad taste, and can also be a cause of bad breath. Hydrogen Sulfide and Methyl Mercaptans are toxic as well as malodorous; they can damage cells and thus may be a factor in gum disease. So if you have a Methyl Mercaptan smell you should have your dentist check you for gum disease.

Dry mouth is a common trigger for bad breath. Dry mouth causes oxygen deprivation, and increases the number of anaerobic bacteria. This oxygen deprivation could also be one of the reasons that halitosis patients have a low concentration of Streptococcus salivarius (an aerobic bacteria naturally occurring in healthy mouths). Dry mouth is a very complex issue and can be caused by factors such as alcohol or ethanol based mouthwash, prescription medication, over the counter medication, dieting or infrequent eating, smoking, acidic drinks or diet drinks. Also stress can cause dry mouth.

Post Nasal Drip is probably the next biggest cause of breath problems. Post nasal drip means you are making excess mucus that gathers in the sinus and nasal passages, back of throat, tongue, and tonsil area. This mucus is an excellent food source high in protein. Anaerobic bacteria can easily metabolize nasal mucus to make smelly mouth compounds. PND is made worse by people's environment, and allergy status. It is also heightened by dairy products, that tend to thicken the mucus. Constant clearing of your throat or the feeling of a lump in the throat is also a sign that you are collecting phlegm and mucus and therefore promoting the anaerobic bacteria growth.

We recommend the Fess natural nasal sprays with Saline and Eucalyptus to help thin and remove nasal mucus daily. This range is excellent in cleaning the nasal passages and back of the throat (the areas where mucus collects). These products are offered as an option when you purchase our Breath Starter Kit.

Genetic Predisposition also can cause bad breath. If you are low in bacterial counts of the protective Streptococcus salivarius bacteria, then you will be prone to getting bad breath as well as other mouth diseases. Genetics will also determine tongue shape. Certain tongues are very difficult to clean and can trap bacteria and mouth compounds that cause bad breath.

KFORCE has been specifically developed to replace S. salivarius K12 into mouths that are deficient in this good bacteria. Then we recommend that ongoing maintenance be done with the BREEZE range of pastes, gels and mouthwash to help keep your mouth healthy and clean.

Medications are a major cause of bad breath. Seven out of the top ten prescribed medicines have dry mouth as a side effect of usage. Typically, they are antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, antihistamines, decongestants, indigestion, and medications containing female hormones (including estrogens and/or progesterone therapies & even birth control pills).

Certain foods can cause bad breath. Milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, etc are probably the worst for your breath. For the majority of the population, the Lactose protein found in dairy foods cannot be broken down because of a lack of a specific enzyme (lactase). The fat content does not matter; it’s the protein content that counts. (Skim milk is just as bad as cream). This condition is known as “Lactose Intolerance”. The problem is that these “bad breath” bacteria can break down the lactose proteins (which are full of Sulphur) to produce odour and bad tastes. My recommendation is to STAY AWAY from dairy foods as much as possible. Also Onions and Garlic will create bad breath instantly. It’s because, on a molecular basis, they already contain the same odorous sulphur compounds (Mercaptans) produced by these bacteria. Also any foods that contain sugar can add to breath problems. This is because sugar is an excellent nutritional medium.
from :
Hormonal changes can cause bad breath. Some women notice a change related to their menstrual cycle. It has to do with the way hormones control the concentration of saliva. When the saliva is “thicker” it’s a sign that less Oxygen is present, and then the whole process of sulphur production is initiated.

Smoking is one of the major causes of bad breath, gum disease, and heart disease. When you smoke you are effectively starving the mouth of oxygen, thus promoting the overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria that create the smelly sulphur products. Unfortunately smoking is addictive and therefore not easy to cut down or quit. Consider that if you smoke you need to be paranoid about your breath. It is therefore essential that all smokers use some form of breath system as well as breath chewing gum during the day to help keep adequate supply of saliva and oxygen to the mouth. If you smoke ask your dentist on some of the ways to kick the habit.

Alcohol is a very good drying agent, and therefore should be avoided when ever possible. It drastically increases the numbers of anaerobic bacteria and is a major cause of dry mouth. Apart from this fact alcohol is known to cause pre cancerous changes to oral tissue. This also includes the alcohol found in most commercial mouthwash.

Stress has a lot to do with bad breath. When you are undergoing “Stress”, it is part of your parasympathetic nervous system, of which you have no control (such as inhaling and exhaling). The fact is that when you are under stress – your mouth gets dry, and as I’ve stated before, your breath gets worse. It’s sort of like when you are sitting in a large lecture hall, and out of nowhere, you are asked to speak to the crowd…your mouth starts to get dry…. and you are unable to speak because you have little or no saliva. This can lead to bad breath instantly.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Also, be sure to brush/scrape your tounge, especially all the way in the back. Bacteria can really build up there.

I've also heard that if you eat parsley, it can be a breath neutralizer.
I found this info on a website:
Parsley & mint Chewing parsley or mint leaves has been a remedy used for thousands of years. These herbs are especially good if garlic and onions are the source of your bad breath. Parsley is very high in chlorophyll. Chew a few parsley sprigs dipped in vinegar for immediate relief. If you swallow the leaves after chewing them they will be digested and continue to provide breath freshness for quite a while. These plants seem to reduce the production of intestinal gas by promoting better digestion.

Are you on a low-carb diet? I've heard that can cause bad breath, too, due to all the protein you eat.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I had a friend who had bad breath because he had a lot of drainage. Not sure if this fits you, but thought I would add.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hi E.! I am a dental hygienist. First I would say to make sure you are also flossing EVERY day as well as brushing ( the "secret" to flossing is to wrap the floss around your middle fingers and then use your thumb & index fingers to control the floss. For tight contacts be sure to use a shred resistant floss like Glide.) Also brush or use a tongue scraper for the back part of your tongue EVERY day. Most mouth odors will come from beneath the gumline and from the posterior portion of the tongue where the "papilla" are longer and tend to harbor bacteria and/or food particles. (A tongue scraper is best because they are designed to reach back farther without gagging you.) Avoid alcohol and mouth rinses with alcohol in them - try a brand called Breath RX - they have a whole line of products made for neutralizing odors. I would also ask about your sinuses. I have many patients with odors as a result of allergy/sinus problems. Mouth breathing and dry mouth also contribute - and tend to go along with the allergy/sinus situation. Drink plenty of WATER. So to sum it all up: my advice would be 1. floss 2. tongue scraper 3. Avoid alcohol 4. try Breath RX products 5. treat any allergy/sinus conditions 6. drink WATER 7.avoid garlic 8. if you smoke - stop! Good luck!

Houston Tuel, DDS

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You may have yeast overgrowth. That's what alternative docs have always told me about the source of bad breath. The yeast can come up through the esophagus and the levels do wax and wane depending upon how much sugar/starch is in your diet. You might want to try adding some probiotics (in the form of capsules or eating yogurt with active cultures), as this will help to minimize yeast overgrowth and help balance the healthy bacteria in your gut. It could also be that you just have low stomach acid, so the foods that aggravate the condition can vary depending how much you've eaten, the order and the combinations of foods.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on


I am a dental hygienist and the number cause of bad breath is bacteria in the mouth. I did not here if you floss. The most harmful bacteria lies under the gumline (brushing will not get rid of it). Only flossing will. Make sure that when you floss you wrap the tooth and make a C-shape. Then make sure you guide it under the gumline. If you don't go under the gumline, you're not flossing. It's best to do at night before bed.

Also regular tongue cleaning is a must. The tongue is a breeding ground for bacteria that cause bad breath. You can just brush your tongue or buy a tongue scraper at the pharmacy.

There is a line of products out called Breath RX that is geared for fresh breath. You can get it at the pharmacy as well. They have toothpaste, mouthwash, tongue spray and tongue scrapers.

Good luck and if you have any more questions, ask.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

See your internist, It is possible that a bacterial infection (similar to that which causes ulcers) of the stomach can cause this.

K. @ The Nestingplace



answers from Dallas on

Hi E.,

I used to have that problem, and it turned out that it was acid reflux. At that time I didn't connect the dots, but after the acid reflux was treated and it subsided, so did the bad breath. Get yourself checked out. Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

One thing I have learned is if your constipated your breath is horrible! I woke up one morning with my 5 year old breathing on me--yes she still comes to my room sometimes! Ha!--anyway I had heard this about being constipated so my Dr. told me to give her a vitamin C clease to clean her out and I noticed a difference in a day. HUGE difference! It has happened a couple of times since then and the vitamin C ALWAYS works very quickly. Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

Well, if the flossing doesn't work, I'd like to agree with the other women on the possible candida overgrowth. You can check out info on the subject at I'm currently doing the cleanse to help with bad sinuses.



answers from Dallas on

A large factor in good breath is keeping your mouth hydrated. When dry, your mouth produces a "sulfer-like" substance. Drink lots of water and avoid things that have alcohol -as this dries out the mouth. This includes (believe it or not and this is from an expert) Listerine, sugarless gum (has an alcohol-type base), etc. If you have to rinse with a mouthwash, try one of the alcohol free kind. Keep you routine of brushing and flossing and drink enough water throughout the day to keep your mouth moist. I promise you this will help a lot.



answers from Dallas on

OK E.. You have had a some good advice. Here is mine. Using tooth paste, mouth wash and dental floss that has Melaleuca Oil in them. Melaleuca Oil [tea tree oil] is antiseptic, soothing, and penetrating. When it is combined in the Melaleuca tooth paste, mouth wash and floss this is a winning combination for clean teeth, gums and breath. I can help you find these products.

Please e-mail me back through Mamasource or my direct e-mail address: [email protected]

Thank you and I hope you decide to contact me.



answers from Dallas on

Sometimes it works better for me to tie one overhand (1/2 a knot) in the floss string and then run the knot between my teeth. Smell the floss string. If it smells like rotten food, then you know that flossing is your answer and you'll understand what your husband is smelling on your breath. You know you're done flossing when the string doesn't smell bad anymore.



answers from Dallas on

Dr Ken Parker can help you get to the root cause of your problem, whether it be sinuses, digestive issues, candida, or something else. I highly recommend him!

Jubilee Wellness Clinic



answers from Dallas on

As a dentist and with a degree in nutrition I can give you two other reasons (besides those you have ruled out) you may have bad breath. First, raw onions (not cooked onions). Second, restriction of carbohydrates produces bad breath (due to increased protein metabolism). Dr. S. Austin



answers from Austin on

There is an amazing liquid discovery called Vemma. Several of my patients have used this to clear up there gingivitis, peridontal disease, bad bread, etc. Amy Humphries carries it and you can e-mail her at:
[email protected]

Vemma tastes great and since it is liquid it can be swirled in your mouth to contact any bacteria that could be causing the bad breath. It also will help in the stomach and intestines to eliminate gas.


Dr. Cindy L. Russell



answers from Dallas on

also have you tried gargling with 3% peroxide? it is a great natural mouth wash & really helps with odors!



answers from Dallas on

Have you looked into halitosis? A friend of mine had this and no matter how much she would brush,gargle,and floss, her breath was always bad. I will email her and ask what treatment she was given.

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