All Posts in Category: Bad Breath

bad breath throat

When Bad Breath Comes From Your Throat

Most of us associate bad breath with poor oral hygiene or certain foods we eat. However, there’s another lesser-known culprit for halitosis – bad breath that originates from the throat. When typical mouthwash and brushing seem ineffective in resolving the issue, it’s time to explore deeper. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the causes of bad breath from the throat, how to identify it, and essential tips to treat this condition effectively.

Understanding Bad Breath from the Throat: Bad breath originating from the throat, also known as halitosis or laryngitis, occurs due to foul-smelling bacteria or gases produced in the back of the mouth and throat. This condition is usually caused by the accumulation of bacteria in the tonsils, postnasal drip, or infections in the respiratory tract. Unlike bad breath resulting from poor oral hygiene, which can be tackled with regular brushing and flossing, throat-related halitosis requires specific attention and treatment.

As one of Long Island’s leading dental clinics, our Port Washington dentists are often asked, “Where does bad breath come from?”. In this post we explore how some bad breath issues start in your throat.

Causes of Throat-Related Bad Breath:

  1. Tonsil Stones (Tonsilloliths): Tonsil stones are small, whitish calcified formations that develop in the crevices of the tonsils. These stones trap bacteria, food particles, and dead cells, leading to a strong odor. More on tonsil stones here.
  2. Postnasal Drip: Excess mucus dripping down the back of the throat can create an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive, causing bad breath.
  3. Respiratory Infections: Bacterial or viral infections in the throat or respiratory tract can produce foul-smelling gases and contribute to bad breath.
  4. Chronic Sinusitis: Sinus infections can lead to postnasal drip and an increase in bacteria, exacerbating bad breath.
  5. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): Stomach acid refluxing into the throat can produce an unpleasant odor.

Identifying Bad Breath from the Throat:

Determining if your bad breath originates from the throat can be challenging. Common signs to watch out for include:

  • Persistent foul odor that doesn’t improve with regular oral hygiene practices
  • Feeling of mucus or phlegm in the throat
  • Sore throat or frequent throat clearing

Treating Bad Breath from the Throat:

  1. Gargle with Saltwater: Regularly gargling with warm saltwater can help reduce bacteria and mucus in the throat, providing temporary relief.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps to maintain saliva flow, reducing dryness in the throat that can lead to bad breath.
  3. Practice Good Oral Hygiene: While throat-related halitosis may not be directly caused by poor oral hygiene, maintaining good dental habits can still minimize mouth bacteria and overall bad breath.
  4. Nasal Irrigation: Using a saline solution to rinse the nasal passages can help reduce postnasal drip and alleviate bad breath.
  5. Antibiotics or Antifungal Medications: If an infection is causing the bad breath, your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics or antifungals to treat the underlying condition.
  6. Tonsil Stone Removal: In severe cases of tonsil stones, medical professionals may recommend removal of the stones to eliminate the source of bad breath.

Tonsil Stones

Bad breath originating from the throat can be an uncomfortable and persistent problem, affecting social interactions and confidence. Understanding the underlying causes and recognizing the signs can help you take the necessary steps to address this condition effectively. If you suspect that your bad breath comes from your throat, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional or an ENT specialist for a proper evaluation and personalized treatment plan. With the right approach, you can conquer bad breath and regain a fresh and confident smile!

Read More
best mouthwash for bad breath

10 of The Best Mouthwashes for Bad Breath

Having fresh breath is crucial for maintaining good oral hygiene and boosting confidence in social interactions. While brushing and flossing are vital parts of your dental routine, using a mouthwash can provide an extra boost to combat bad breath and leave your mouth feeling minty fresh. As one of the leading dental practices on Long Island, our Port Washington dentists are often asked “What’s the best mouthwash for my bad breath?” In this blog post, we’ll unveil the ten best mouthwashes that are specifically designed to tackle bad breath effectively. Say goodbye to embarrassing odors and hello to a fresher, more confident smile!

But first, some important details to remember before heading to the store for mouthwash!

What Causes Bad Breath?

  1. Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing, flossing, and tongue cleaning can lead to the accumulation of food particles and bacteria in the mouth, causing foul odors.
  2. Dry Mouth (Xerostomia): Saliva plays a crucial role in washing away bacteria and food debris. Reduced saliva flow, often caused by certain medications or mouth-breathing, can result in bad breath.
  3. Dental Issues: Cavities, gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis), and oral infections can contribute to persistent bad breath due to the presence of harmful bacteria.
  4. Diet: Foods like onions, garlic, and certain spices contain volatile compounds that are released into the bloodstream and expelled through the breath. There are also foods that can help your oral health!
  5. Smoking and Tobacco Products: Smoking not only causes its own distinct odor but also dries the mouth and promotes bacterial growth, leading to chronic bad breath.
  6. Medical Conditions: Certain health issues, such as respiratory infections, acid reflux, throat, and liver or kidney problems, can manifest as bad breath.

Common Symptoms of Bad Breath (Aside from the Obvious!)

  • Dry mouth or thick saliva
  • White or yellow coating on the tongue
  • Recurrent bitter or sour taste in the mouth
  • Frequent postnasal drip

Best Mouthwash Options for Bad Breath

  1. TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse: TheraBreath is a popular choice among those struggling with chronic bad breath. It contains a powerful oxygenating agent that targets sulfur-producing bacteria responsible for foul-smelling breath, leaving your mouth feeling clean and refreshed.
  2. Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic Mouthwash: Listerine is a household name when it comes to mouthwash, and their Cool Mint Antiseptic formula is no exception. It effectively kills germs and bacteria while providing a long-lasting minty sensation that combats bad breath for hours.
  3. Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield Mouthwash: Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield Mouthwash is formulated to offer 12-hour protection against bad breath. Its antibacterial ingredients work to kill germs and prevent their regrowth, promoting a healthier oral environment.
  4. ACT Restoring Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash: ACT Restoring Mouthwash not only fights bad breath but also strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent cavities. It is alcohol-free, making it a gentle option for those with sensitive mouths.
  5. Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash: Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash is an all-in-one solution that fights bad breath, prevents plaque, and helps maintain gum health. Its alcohol-free formula ensures a soothing and non-burning experience.
  6. SmartMouth Clinical DDS Activated Mouthwash: The SmartMouth Clinical DDS Activated Mouthwash utilizes zinc ion technology to neutralize bad breath at the source. Its two-chamber system mixes the ingredients only when you use it, ensuring maximum effectiveness.
  7. TheraBreath Healthy Gums Oral Rinse: This TheraBreath variant is perfect for individuals with both bad breath and gum issues. It fights bad breath while promoting gum health with its oxygenating and antibacterial properties.
  8. CloSYS Original Unflavored Mouthwash: CloSYS Original Mouthwash is known for its gentle yet effective approach to eliminate bad breath. It is free from alcohol, sulfates, and artificial flavors, making it suitable for those with sensitivities.
  9. Tom’s of Maine Whole Care Mouthwash: Tom’s of Maine is a brand trusted for its natural products, and their Whole Care Mouthwash is no exception. It contains no artificial colors, preservatives, or sweeteners, providing a natural solution for bad breath.
  10. Biotene Fresh Mint Moisturizing Oral Rinse: Biotene’s Fresh Mint Oral Rinse is designed for individuals suffering from dry mouth. With a soothing, moisturizing formula, it tackles bad breath caused by reduced saliva flow.

Now that your have your mouthwash options to help fight bad breath, consider additional ways to help prevent bad breath.

Dentist Recommendations to Prevent and Combat Bad Breath

  1. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria and debris from the tongue’s surface.
  2. Regular Dental Check-ups: Visit your dentist every six months for a thorough dental examination and professional cleaning to prevent and address any oral issues.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist and encourage saliva production.
  4. Quit Smoking and Tobacco Use: Besides causing bad breath, smoking can also lead to severe oral health problems and other health issues.
  5. Choose Mouthwash Wisely: Opt for alcohol-free mouthwashes that are specifically designed to combat bad breath without causing dryness or irritation.
  6. Watch Your Diet: Reduce the intake of foods that contribute to bad breath, and instead, include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  7. Manage Underlying Health Conditions: If you suspect a medical condition is causing your bad breath, consult your healthcare provider for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Having bad breath can be a distressing problem, but it’s one that can be easily managed with the right mouthwash. The ten options mentioned above have proven track records of combating bad breath, providing long-lasting freshness, and promoting overall oral health. However, remember that maintaining good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, is equally essential. So, don’t wait any longer – take control of your breath and boost your confidence with one of these fantastic mouthwashes today!

Read More
mouthwash to prevent bad breath

Bad Breath: Symptoms, Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatments

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common condition resulting from poor oral hygiene or underlying medical conditions. It occurs when bacteria in the mouth break down food particles and produce foul-smelling gases.
Addressing bad breath is essential not only for social interactions but also for oral health. Although bad breath is not a medical emergency, it can indicate underlying medical conditions that must be diagnosed and treated immediately.

What Does Bad Breath Smell Like?

Bad breath can have a range of smells, from musty or sour to putrid or metallic. The metallic smell is usually from sulfur compounds produced by bacteria. In particular, hydrogen sulfide, also known as rotten egg odour.
In some rare cases, the odor is sweet, indicating the presence of ketones. The sweet smell may also indicate an infection called parakeratosis, which viral diseases, alcohol consumption, or hormonal imbalances can cause.
When bad breath is on its own, it is usually mild and may go unnoticed. However, when it combines with other smells inside the mouth, such as dental cavities or gum disease, it may be more noticeable and problematic.
Some other symptoms that go along with bad breath include dry mouth, tooth and gum pain, bleeding gums, and lesions in the mouth. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is recommended that you consult your dentist to control bacterial growth and infection.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Poor Dental Hygiene

Food particles in the mouth provide a breeding ground for bacteria to grow and multiply. These bacteria then release sulfur compounds, which produce an unpleasant odor.

Additionally, if plaque buildup is not removed through brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar, which can cause gum disease and further contribute to bad breath.

Sometimes, bad breath is caused by something as simple as dry mouth, which can be treated through better oral hygiene and a constant water supply.

Poor Diet

Onions and garlic contain sulfites that create a distinct odor when chewed. Even after the smell is gone, sulfur compounds remain in the mouth for up to ten hours, contributing to bad breath.

Bad breath can also be caused by consuming red meat, which tends to leave behind a metallic saliva odor that stays in the mouth for hours.

Bacon and eggs also contribute to bad breath because they create sulfur compounds when they break down in the body. Foods high in protein and carbohydrates can also be problematic since they may stick to the teeth and get fermented by bacteria into unpleasant-smelling gases.

Medical Conditions

Some conditions that may cause bad breath include respiratory infections, sinusitis, tonsil stones, and acid reflux. These conditions cause bad breath by allowing bacteria to grow in the mouth and throat.

In addition, liver disease and diabetes can cause bad breath due to the buildup of toxins in the body. Certain medications, such as those used for high blood pressure, can also cause dry mouth, leading to bad breath.
Cancer and other serious illnesses can also cause bad breath due to the breakdown of tissues and cells in the body.

Lifestyle Factors

Smoking and alcohol cause bad breath by drying out the mouth and allowing bacteria to grow. Smoking also leaves a distinct odor lingering in the mouth and lungs. Illicit drug use, even marijuana, can also cause bad breath due to the chemicals and compounds in them.

In addition to that, smoking cigarettes can deteriorate tooth enamel and increase the risk of gum disease. Smoking can also irritate the tongue and throat, leading to further bad breath.

Bad Breath Diagnosis

When is it Time to See a Dentist?

It might be time to see a dentist if you experience chronic bad breath, despite improving your oral hygiene and changing your diet. Other signs that it’s time include bleeding gums, loose teeth, and tooth sensitivity.

Diagnosing Bad Breath

A dentist diagnoses bad breath by performing a physical exam and reviewing your medical history. They may also ask about your dental hygiene habits and any medications you are taking.

A special tool measures the level of sulfur compounds in your breath and examines your teeth, gums, and tongue for signs of infection or decay.

In addition to that, the dentist may order tests to determine what underlying medical condition is causing the bad breath. These tests may include the following:

Breath Test – Suppose you experience chronic bad breath or other symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as cough, congestion, sore throat, sneezing, extreme fatigue, or shortness of breath on mild exertion. In that case, a doctor may recommend taking a breath test that measures the presence of sulfur compounds in your mouth.

Imaging Tests – X-rays can determine if there is a problem with the structure of the jaw and teeth, such as periodontal disease or cavities.

Stool Analysis – Stool analysis can identify harmful bacteria in fecal matter and indicate systemic issues in your body. For example, bad breath could be caused by gastric problems such as Helicobacter Pylori or diabetic winds that require treatment.

Biopsy – A biopsy may be performed to reveal if a more severe illness, such as cancer, is causing the odor.

Blood Work – Blood tests can reveal whether liver or kidney disease is causing your bad breath. It can also show certain deficiencies, such as vitamin B12 and zinc deficiency.

Treatment of Bad Breath


If bad breath is caused by dry mouth, medications that stimulate saliva production, such as pilocarpine, may be recommended.

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements may also help to improve joint health, which also can lead to bad breath.

Treating Underlying Medical Conditions

If bad breath is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as sinusitis or acid reflux, treating the condition can help improve the odor of the breath.

Liver disease and diabetes can also cause bad breath; treating these conditions is crucial to eliminating the odor.

Professional Cleaning

Regular dental cleanings can help remove plaque buildup and tartar, which can contribute to bad breath. Professional cleaning can also help address gum disease, another common cause of bad breath.


If your doctor determines that bad breath is caused by an underlying condition, such as oral cancer or gum disease, surgery may be recommended to remove the cause of the problem. This option is, however, less common and may only be used as a last resort.

Dental Appliances

A dental appliance may be recommended if a medical condition, such as periodontal disease, causes bad breath. These appliances are custom fitted to treat an individual’s mouth and can prevent bacteria from spreading by creating an increased seal between the teeth and gums.

Tooth Extractions

If your teeth are severely damaged, it may be necessary to have tooth extraction to prevent infection and the buildup of bacteria. Tooth extractions can also be performed if the source of bad breath is not certain.
Wisdom teeth removal typically involves preparation, anesthesia, and aftercare.

Dentures & Prosthodontics

If missing teeth cause bad breath, you may be a candidate for dentures or dental prosthetics, designed to relieve any pressure on your remaining teeth while also helping you chew food more efficiently.


Treatment for allergies can involve antihistamines, which can reduce swelling in the nose and throat and prevent odor-causing bacteria from spreading.

Killing allergen-carrying bacteria, such as pollen or pet dander, may also be recommended to reduce allergic reactions and decrease bad breath.

Tips for Managing Bad Breath Caused by Lifestyle Factors

Use Mints – To freshen your breath between brushings, keep breath mints on hand and pop one in your mouth every few hours.

Drink More Fluids – Drinking plenty of water daily can help keep your mouth moist and reduce bad breath caused by a dry mouth.

Preventing Bad Breath

Improved Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is the first line of defense against bad breath and may help in the prevention. Brushing teeth twice a day and flossing can help remove food particles and plaque from the mouth.

Cleaning the tongue with a tongue scraper or toothbrush is also essential.

Dietary Changes

Avoiding foods that contribute to bad breath, such as onions and garlic, can help control the problem.
Drinking plenty of water can also help to flush out bacteria and keep the mouth hydrated. Chewing sugarless gum or eating a small piece of cheese can help stimulate saliva production and neutralize acids in the mouth.

Home Remedies May Help with Bad Breath

Drinking green tea may help reduce bacteria in the mouth.

However, it’s important to note that home remedies should not be relied on as the sole treatment for bad breath and that a dentist or doctor should be consulted to determine the underlying cause.

Alcohol Rubs

Some studies have shown that using an alcohol-based gel can reduce the amount of oral bacteria and lead to fresher breathing. However, it should only be used for a week as it can dry out the mouth.

Traditional Herbal Medicine

Several herbal remedies have been associated with freshening breath, such as bayberry bark, sage, thyme, cinnamon oil, and a combination of eucalyptus and peppermint oil. However, it’s important to note that these remedies have yet to be studied in depth, and their effectiveness may vary from person to person.


The Waterpik can help remove bacteria from gum pockets and reduce plaque buildup by applying a high-pressure stream of water. These treatment sessions may also help stimulate saliva production.


Taking probiotics has been associated with improved digestive health and reduced odor from oral bacteria.
Layering probiotic drinks, such as kombucha or water kefir, can help to freshen breath and reduce plaque buildup in the mouth.


Some studies have shown that essential oils found in mouthwashes, such as coriander extract and gum arabic, have antibacterial properties and can reduce oral odor.

Mouth Rinses

Vitamin E mouthrinses, which include aloe Vera, can help reduce bacteria in the mouth and freshen your breath. This treatment method is most effective when combined with a dental cleaning.

Mints and Lozenges

Mints have been associated with fresher breath, such as spearmint or peppermint oil. Many companies also produce lozenges that can be used as chewable tablets or to freshen breath.

Suggestions for Reducing Bad Breath Caused by diet and Lifestyle Factors

Avoid Smoking

Smoking can lead to chronic bad breath, even after quitting. It is because smoking deeply damages the lungs, throat, and mouth and causes cancer, which releases a strong odor in the breath.

Avoid Alcohol

Drinking alcohol wards off bacteria and keeps the breath smelling fresh for a short time. However, it dries out the mouth and can contribute to bad breath by drying up saliva.

Avoid Sugar

Regularly consuming sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and fruit juices can be just as bad for your breath as regular tobacco smoke. Sugar feeds and encourages bad-smelling oral bacteria to flourish, creating a more pungent odor.

Avoid too Much Caffeine

Drinking coffee can damage the gums and dry out the mouth, making it easier for bacteria to thrive. It also increases bacteria levels in the oral cavity, leading to bad breath.

Reduce Stress

Stress can also lead to a dry mouth. If you’re experiencing stress, try taking up relaxing hobbies or practicing breathing exercises, such as yoga and meditation.

Avoid Foods Containing a High Salt Content

The salts in these foods can push saliva out of the mouth, drying it out and increasing bad-smelling bacteria. Instead, opt for fresh, raw, and unprocessed foods that don’t contain added salt.


Maintaining good oral hygiene and a healthy diet can help reduce bad breath and promote oral health. However, it would be best to visit a doctor early enough to get a medical diagnosis before seeking solutions and treatment. Contact us today and schedule an appointment if you are struggling with bad breath. Our team of dentists is ready to help and would love to hear from you.

Read More
what does it mean if my tongue is color

How to Prevent and Treat Bad Breath

Oral hygiene is extremely important at any age regardless of your diet preference and your genetics. Avoiding bad breath and knowing how to implement the right remedies for your bad breath is essential to prevent making a negative impression on those in your life. With the right treatment options, and continued dentist visits, minimize your bad breath while getting to the root cause of the odor for future reference.

According to

Most bad breath starts in your mouth, and there are many possible causes that include: certain foods you eat (garlic and onions, in particular), alcohol or cigarettes, poor oral hygiene, gum disease, diabetes, dry mouth, sinus or throat infections, lung infections, kidney/liver failure and gastrointestinal issues.

Brush and Floss Twice a Day to Avoid Bad Breath

brush your teeth to avoid bad breath

Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day is essential to maintain proper oral health. Brush each morning and evening to minimize germs and bacteria from leading to cavities and other dental issues such as gum disease. Flossing is imperative to prevent the buildup of bacteria, old food, and germs from forming. After a large meal, it is also advisable to brush and floss to avoid dental issues from arising.

The Right Mouthwash May Help Prevent Bad Breath

mouthwash to prevent bad breath

Use mouthwash on a daily basis to help eliminate germs and bacteria, especially before going to bed each night and upon waking up in the morning. Use mouthwash after brushing and flossing for an added layer of protection while maintaining fresh and appealing breath. Avoid solely using mouthwash during your oral hygiene routine as it does not allow the opportunity to remove excess plaque and buildup from the mouth.

See our 10 Best Mouthwashes for Bad Breath 

Hydration is Key to Preventing and Minimizing Bad Breath

hydration to avoid and treat bad breath

Drinking enough water is one of the most essential elements of fresh breath. When the mouth becomes dry or there is not enough fluid in the mouth, bacteria begins to form and fester. It is also important to keep any chronic illnesses, diseases, or medications you have in mind when working towards a better oral hygiene regimen. Some medications and illnesses have the ability to trigger dry mouth or dehydration, which is why it is essential to stay hydrated by drinking water throughout all hours of the day for optimal health.

Keep to Your Yearly (at the least!) Scheduled Dental Appointments

Port Washington Dentist

We miss you already!

One of the best ways to treat bad breath while preventing additional oral hygiene issues is to visit your local Port Washington dentist regularly. Schedule a regular checkup and cleaning at least once every six months. Speak to your dentist directly if you believe you are suffering from halitosis or another gum-related disease such as periodontal gum disease. Your dentist has the ability to diagnose and properly treat oral issues while eliminating the guesswork involved in treating yourself without professional guidance. A deep cleaning may be necessary to eliminate excess buildup from your gums and teeth, especially if you have not visited the dentist regularly or if you have anxiety related to oral hygiene and dentist offices. Share your concerns openly and honestly with your dentist to determine the best course of action for your teeth and gums based on your mouth’s current health and diagnosis.

Use a Tongue Cleaner to Prevent Bad Breath and Keep Your Tongue Germ Free

tongue cleaner

Invest in a tongue cleaner to minimize your bad breath while keeping your mouth as clean as possible. In many cases, bad breath originates from the tongue as bacteria and plaque build up throughout the course of a day. Have you checked your tongue color lately? It may tell you a lot!

While some toothbrushes are designed to work on the tongue as well as the teeth, investing in a tongue cleaner or scraper that is specifically designed to eliminate tongue buildup is highly advisable, especially if you are suffering from halitosis or another chronic oral condition. Use your tongue cleaner each morning after brushing and flossing and before bed to keep your tongue from triggering unwanted bad breath.

Choose the Ideal Diet to Help Improve Your Breath

diet and bad breath

Diet plays a major role in overall oral hygiene and health. Choose a diet that is low in starchy and sugary foods, especially if you are unable to maintain a structured oral hygiene regimen each morning and night. Eliminate sugary drinks such as soda and juices along with snacks that are processed and packed with sugar and carbohydrates. Introduce a more whole and healthy diet plan into your everyday eating habits. Some foods that are optimal for dental health and to prevent unappealing breath from accumulating include:

Greens (Salad, Kale)
Vegetables (Cauliflower, Broccoli, Asparagus, Green Beans, Carrots, Brussel Sprouts, etc.)
Meats (Without glazes or sweeteners)
Nuts and Seeds (Almonds, Pepitas, Walnuts, Cashews, Peanuts, Macadamia Nuts)

While having unappealing breath is common among most people at some point in their lives, chronic bad breath, halitosis, or other gum-related diseases are never enjoyable to take on and handle. With the right remedies, help cure the bad breath you experience each day while you kill potential germs and odors that have the potential to lead to serious dental problems and diseases. Once you understand how to avoid and treat the bad breath you experience each day it is much easier to choose a mouth wash and dental routine that is best for you and the life you lead.

Want more helpful tips on how to prevent and minimize bad breath? Check out this helpful article from the American Dental Association.

For more information on how you can prevent and minimize bad breath, contact our office today to schedule an appointment with our amazing dental team!

Read More