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  • Writer's pictureDr. Pearl E. Whites

I Have This "Friend" With Bad Breath

Updated: Mar 18, 2023

Why is it that I'm the only one with bad breath?!

Bad Breath is more common than you think

Bad breath is taboo. Most people feel like they are one of the unlucky few that are cursed with naturally bad breath—they are not alone. One in every two Americans suffers from chronic bad breath called halitosis. It seems like anything they try to freshen their breath does not last or work. 95% of all halitosis is rooted in the mouth as opposed to originating from your internal organs. So as they finish their restaurant food and gag down that parsley, here is some information, causes, and remedies to eliminate that awful stench from their mouth once and for all.


The main source of halitosis is the tongue, then in between the teeth, then the gingiva (gums). The following causative agents are listed in the order of influence on stimulating halitosis:

1. Not flossing or not brushing the teeth & tongue

2. Gum disease

3. Plaque build up

4. Tooth decay

5. Dry mouth

6. Removable prosthesis (denture, retainer…)

7. Drinking alcohol or smoking

8. Oral infection

9. Prolonged fasting or infrequent eating

10. Medications

11. Compromised health condition(s)

12. Eating garlic, onions, protein, or sugars


Halitosis is multifactorial so several remedies should be tried to retain that minty freshness. Give these suggestions time and expect results! Try different combinations if not all of them. If everything listed below has been attempted and still no positive results Dr. Nelson would then consider referring to a primary care provider to assess the patient’s overall systemic health.

Oolite Tongue Scraper

o At maximum a regular 6-month cleaning by a dental hygienist

o Brush teeth and tongue a minimum of 2 times per day

o Floss daily

o Clean your removable prosthesis (denture, flipper, partial, retainer) effectively and often

o Drink more water

o Stimulate saliva flow using xylitol gum or other products, MI Paste, Biotene, Dentiva, etc.

o Mouthwash—Listerine and Scope normally mask bad breath and have inadequate long-term results. Try rinses like Chlorhexidine (Peridex), Zytex, or CariFree products instead

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