Bad Breath

Common Causes

Anaerobic Bacteria:

These bacteria create waste products known as Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VLCs) on the surface of the tongue, throat, teeth, and periodontal pockets in the gums.

Tongue and Throat Collect Bacteria:

If your Tongue has a white coating, this is evidence of excessive anaerobic bacteria buildup.


One of the most common side effects of thousands of medications is dry mouth (xerostomia). Bacteria tend to thrive in this environment.

Dry Mouth / Mouth Breathing:

Mouth breathing during sleep dries the mouth, creating the dreaded 'morning breath'. Other causes of dry mouth include medications, exercise, dieting, alcohol or alcohol based mouth rinses, smoking.


Many foods (ie- Dairy) contribute to the ability of bacteria to create VLCs. Acids in foods such as coffee decrease oxygenation and can cause these bacteria to thrive.


Brush and Floss Your Teeth Properly:

Bacteria thrive on food particles on our teeth to create Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VLCs), which cause bad breath.

At least 2 minutes of brushing is necessary to properly clean all tooth surfaces. In addition 30% of the surfaces of our teeth are not cleanable with a brush. This makes flossing absolutely critical!

Use Bad Breath Relief Products:

Halitosis Toothpaste, Non-alcoholic Sulphur reducing mouth rinses, sugar free chewing gum and breath mints.

Clean Your Tongue:

Anaerobic bacteria thrive in the fissures and mucous layer of the tongue, sometimes creating a visible whitish layer. They live safe from oxygen under a protective layer of mucous, food particles and proteins. Tongue cleaners can remove this layer and much of the bacteria which reside on your tongue.

Drink Plenty of Water:

Keeping hydrated allows proper salivary flow to help rinse and flush out unwanted bacteria.

Use non-alcohol Chlorine Dioxide Mouthwashes

Mouthwashes containing chlorine dioxide are the latest advance against bad breath. Chlorine dioxide neutralizes the sulphur compounds which cause bad breath. A majority of mouth rinses contain alcohol, which actually dries out the mouth and can end up contributing to halitosis.

Chew Sugarless Gum:

Chewing stimulates saliva and aids in cleaning out noxious bacteria.

Check for Signs of Gingivitis and Other Dental Problems:

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and ligaments which support the teeth. This leads to bone loss and deep pockets between the teeth and gums which are not easily cleanable. Extremely high amounts of bacteria can live in these pockets and need aggressive cleaning therapies to reduce bad breath. Signs of periodontitis include red or swollen gums, loose teeth, bleeding gums, pus, and pain on chewing.

Get Regular Dental Check-ups:

Minimally, twice yearly dental check-ups are a good idea for all adults. This is because people often do not become aware of dental problems until considerable damage has occurred. A dentist can recognize potentially damaging problems early. In addition, the dentist can diagnose other problems which cause bad breath including abscesses, periodontal disease, cavities, and impacted teeth.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to call us at 416-743-2273.