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Natural Awakenings Chicago

Causes of Halitosis and Bad Breath

Mar 26, 2013 09:27AM ● By Dr. Bernice Teplitsky

For most people, bad breath is caused by the accumulation of bacteria around the gums. Whenever we eat and food is not eliminated from the mouth, bacteria start digesting the leftover meal. If that debris isn’t eliminated within 24 to 48 hours, it starts decomposing, similar to the garbage pail in our house that is full of food and hasn’t been taken out in a few days.

A proper brushing and flossing regimen can help decrease the foul odor. Smelly bacteria can also accumulate on the tongue. Use a tongue scraper or brush the tongue with a toothbrush to eliminate more bad-smelling bugs, especially if we can see that our tongue is anything other than a healthy pink color (especially if it contains a white, green, or yellow coating).

Lastly, we can use a mouth rinse to help kill the bacteria. For a natural mouth rinse, try a capful of hydrogen peroxide mixed with a cup of water, a few drops of medical-grade peppermint essential oil in water or a product called tooth and gum tonic. It is very important to see as dentist at regularly scheduled intervals to ensure a healthy, bacteria-free, mouth.

For more information about bad breath, visit