skip to Main Content
What can my dentist do to cure bad breath?
Bad breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a symptom of an underlying condition.  Your dentist can help to diagnose some of these oral conditions that cause bad breath:

  • Food stuck between teeth
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Deep cavities
  • Bacteria on the tongue or below the gumline
  • Abcesses (infections)
  • Oral lesions caused by viruses

Other, less common causes of bad breath can potentially be rectified by a change in habits or with the assistance of your family doctor:

  • Tonsilitis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) resulting in regurgitation
  • Stress/anxiety
  • Smoking or alcohol
  • Medications
What are some of the things I can try at home to cure bad breath?

Chronic halitosis is not well understood, so effective self-treatments are not always easy to find.  Here are a few of the more commonly suggested strategies:

  • Gently cleaning the tongue surface twice daily
  • Eating a healthy breakfast
  • Chewing sugarless gum
  • Gargling with an effective mouthwash
  • Maintaining proper oral hygiene
This Page Has 8 Questions

The information provided below does not constitute dental advice and is general in nature. It does not take into account your personal dental health and should not be acted on without consultation with a certified dental professional.

Bathurst Centre Dental Care accepts no liability for any loss or injury arising out of the use of this website or reliance on the content of this website.

  1. Hello,

    In 2013 I got a wisdom tooth removal surgery where I removed all 4 of my wisdom teeth. It took me about a month to heal and ever since then I’ve been having extreme bad breath. During my month of recovery, for the last 2 weeks, I wasn’t able to clean my wisdom teeth holes properly as the water pick used to flush away any food was broken. After I was healed, they did a checkup surgery to make sure the gums were healed properly and said everything looks good. IIt’s 2019, and my bad breath comes everyday and 10 mins after I brush my teeth i will have bad breath. Could it be possible that there has been food stuck under my gums of my wisdom teeth holes for the past 6 years? However, my dentist says my oral hygiene is good and there are no cavities or oral problems. I floss, brush my teeth 2-3x a day and scrape my tongue and use a alcohol free mouthwash. Please help, any advice would be appreciated. I hate living with bad breath everyday, I can’t talk to people and it took a huge emotional and mental toll on my life.

    1. Hi, sorry to hear about your issues. From what you described, it sounds like your wisdom tooth extraction healed properly. So it is unlikely that there is food stuck under the gums of your wisdom teeth causing bad breath after all these years.

      I can speculate as to the cause of your halitosis, but without a physical examination it’s impossible to diagnose with any certainty what is causing it. I would encourage you to consult with a professional in a clinical setting to determine the actual cause.

      At your next dental checkup, ask your dentist to measure the gum pockets around each tooth with a perdiontal probe. This is to make sure there are no deep gum pockets where bacteria could accumulate and cause bad breath and gum diseases.

      Do you smoke or have dry mouth from chronic dehydration? Either of these could be the cause of the odour on your breath, and are remedied by staying hydrated, and/or quitting smoking.

      Does your halitosis become more noticeable after eating more of certain foods (e.g. garlic)? Foods with strong odours can often contribute to halitosis.

      Bad breath can also come from places other than your mouth. Do you suffer from tonsil stones, acid reflux, post nasal drip or frequent infection or inflammation of the nose or throat or sinus area? They are also potential causes of halitosis. If so, you should consult a family doctor and or ENT (ear, nose throat) specialist.

  2. My tongue seems to be continually covered in a fine (not chunky) white film. I scrape it off with a tongue scrape but it comes back the next time I brush. I brush twice or three times per day and use Listerine or hydrogen peroxide mouthwash.

    1. Hi Andrea,
      Unfortunately, I cannot tell you what the white film is without a physical exam. There could be many potential causes such as dry mouth from certain medications, or dehydration. It could also be an accumulation of dead tissue or food debris. Please consult your dentist to rule out any potential candidiasis, which is a fungal infection.

  3. I have bad breath can it be the brown spot between the teeth I brush 2 times a day I floss maybe 3 times a day & whitish smelly stuff from back of teeth what to do now been struggling for 3 years

    1. Hi Mbali, the brown spots may or may not be related to bad breath as bad breath can be caused by many things. It could be due to bacteria/plaque/calculus on your teeth or bacteria inside of your mouth (tongue, roof of your mouth, throat). Bad breath could also be coming from your upper digestive tract or post nasal drip. Please see a dentist to have them examine the brown spots between your teeth.

  4. Hi there i’ve been dealing with halitosis for so long now it seems. ever since i got hurt and was put on risperidone. i quit cold turkey and my mouth began to have a horrible salty trash taste. it still does. i floss with string and water pik and i brush morning and night togue scrap and use non alcohol xylitol mouthwash as well as mouthkote dry mouth spray. I do have tonsil stones but ive extracted most of the them and the holes are bigger and i know i need to get them removed. I gargle with salt water a lot and am now using peridex as my tongue is white (idk if its hairy tongue or thrush). I may have post nasal drip as well which i keep getting prescribed nasal steroids which only seem to aggravate my nasal/throat dryness. I have a tickle in my throat at times close to my tonsils and i had my gums checked they said its fine but i will be getting them rechecked. I havent asked if i have any deep gum pockets. Hard now to see a dentist. I do have acid reflux sometimes and hunger pangs (appetite change after accident) my stomach growls and feels acidic or something and i get very bloated easily. I know i could possibly use hydrogen peroxide mouthwash i just dont want to get black hairy tongue. Should I gargle with baking soda? Any suggestions or idea what could be causing this fowl dead fish poop smell in my mouth? I was getting regular dental cleanings before corona started. In the mornings its really bad but stays throughout the day. Sometimes I even can suck my gums and smell the bad smell/taste.

    1. Hi Candy, sorry to hear about your persistent halitosis. It sounds like you have tried many remedies and none have worked for you; I don’t have much additional insight on what may be causing the bad taste. 

      Once the pandemic is under control, check with your dentist or hygienist to review brushing and flossing techniques to focus on potential problem areas. You could try maintaining a food journal to see if certain foods worsen your halitosis; for example, aromatic foods like garlic or chives, highly processed foods, coffee, or foods with high fat content. Smoking and alcoholic beverages can also make things worse. Consider brushing and flossing after each meal to see if that helps. 

      You can certainly try using baking soda mouth rinse. Colgate has a good article on baking soda mouth rinse:

Ask a Question

Your email address will be kept private.
Your question may be published to help other patients visiting this page.
Required fields are marked *