Bad Breath (cont.)

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What products can be used to eliminate or mask bad breath?

Bad breath that is due to simple causes such as foods may be more easily masked or eliminated than bad breath due to medical conditions, infections, or medication side effects.

There are some things a person can do to eliminate or at least temporarily mask bad breath.

  • Brushing the teeth and tongue, and flossing, can often eliminate bad breath, at least in the short term.
  • Mouthwash may temporarily mask bad breath.
  • Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugar-free mints may temporarily mask bad breath odor.
  • For more serious cases of bad breath, dentists can prescribe special toothpaste and mouthwash that can improve the symptoms of bad breath.

When should someone see a doctor about bad breath?

Most of the time, bad breath can be cured with proper oral hygiene. It is rarely life-threatening, and the prognosis is good. However, bad breath may be a symptom of a medical disorder.

If proper oral hygiene does not eliminate bad breath, see a dentist or doctor for a diagnosis if bad breath is accompanied by

  • persistent dry mouth,
  • sores in the mouth,
  • pain or difficulty with chewing or swallowing,
  • broken teeth or dental pain,
  • white spots on the tonsils,
  • fever.

Also see a doctor or dentist if bad breath develops after taking a new medication, after recent dental surgery, or any other symptoms develop that are of concern.

Bad breath in babies or young children may be a sign of infection or undiagnosed medical problems. Consult a child's pediatrician or dentist if an infant or young child has bad breath.


Rosenberg, Mel. "Bad Breath." Feb. 19, 2013. <>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/16/2014

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Bad Breath - Causes Question: Did you learn the reason for your bad breath? If so, what was it?
Bad Breath - Remedies Question: What home or OTC remedies have you found effective in treating bad breath?
Bad Breath - Prevention Question: What do you do to prevent bad breath?