Keep It Clean: Best Toothpaste for Bad Breath (Halitosis)

best toothpaste for bad breath By: Paul Lewis | Last Updated: September 22, 2016

My breath stinks…

Ok, there I said it. They said admitting you had a problem was the first stage of the healing process right?

You see bad breath is one of those things that you oddly enough don’t ever notice throughout the course of the day. Well that was my case anyways.

I mean if I had a sub sandwich or salad packed with onions, sure my mouth didn’t feel clean but it was tolerable. Same goes for when I visit my mom and scarf down that garlic bread that just tastes so darn good that you always tell yourself “just one more”.

Point is, its usually external forces in our life that trigger us to want to change something – but the actual change begins with you.

That ‘trigger’ moment for the lack of a better term was when I was in a meeting. It was another business meeting projecting some sort of financials for next quarter or something to that effect – the material of course wasn’t important at the time compared to what I was about to realize…

When it came my turn to present at the table, I realized my peer and friend that was sitting across from me began to awkwardly put their hand in front of their face.

At first I kind of put it off as them having a nervous twitch of sorts or perhaps were just trying to contain a burp – it was immediately following lunch after all.

However as I kept speaking, I noticed that they continued to keep covering their face and moving like the person sitting next to them passed gas.

In short, they looked really uncomfortable and were in need of some fresh air.

After the meeting I approached my friend and asked them what was going on and if they were feeling ok.

At first they gave a non-answer of ‘it’s nothing’ – my first thought is that I for sure totally messed up something during the presentation.

So naturally I pressed them a bit more assuring them that it’s not a big deal and that they could tell me. Then they asked ‘what did you have for lunch today’. To be quite honest, I was completely confused on this. It didn’t make any sense whatsoever to the meeting. Confused I replied ‘Huh, why?’, and then they were somewhat blunt and said ‘your breath is a bit overpowering’.

While I tried my best to laugh it off, I was completely embarrassed. The very next instant after finishing up that conversation I furiously went to the store to pick up those Listerine fresh strips along with a pack of gum.

I know it wasn’t a permanent cure, but something that I needed to ‘fix’ right away.

It was an incredibly embarrassing situation that I didn’t want to find myself in ever again.

As soon as I got out of work I decided to swing by the grocery store and pick up a few different types of toothpastes. But specifically I was looking for those that would be able to completely cure bad breath.

I didn’t care about the whitening options out there – my breath needed to not be rancid.

Here’s what I learned in my journey in discovering the best toothpaste for bad breath.

What Causes Bad Breath (Halitosis) To Begin With?

what causes bad breath

While we talk about halitosis in a bit greater detail within this article, here are a few of the highlights from that post which are worth mentioning.

Its critical to understand what is going on inside your mouth. When you consume a piece of food, naturally as the day wears on its going to decay.

Your mouth by itself is the best environment not only for bacteria to grow, but to thrive. You see as the food you just ate begins to decay, naturally the bacteria in your mouth – and the one that cause foul orders multiply exponentially.

In addition to the foul smell, bacteria begins to coat your entire mouth – gums, teeth, and tongue.

This film of bacteria is commonly referred to as plaque.

To completely get rid of bad breath, you need to remove the plaque. In order to get rid of that plaque, one of the key tools that you need to use is of course toothpaste – but to be a bit more specific you should consider one of the best toothpastes for bad breath (more on this in a minute).

If you don’t work on getting rid of the plaque daily, eventually it will harden and develop into tartar – of which you will need to go to the dentist in order to have removed.

Now food aside there are definitely other reasons you can develop bad breath as well. A few other cases are as follows:

Diet: If you are on an extreme diet or one that is heavy on the meats and low on carbs, bad breath is a common side effect. Since your body is running low on carbs it will start to burn its fat and sugar stores instead, then your body will begin to release ketones and consequently cause bad breath.

The problem with carb restricted diets like Atkins and others like it, is that no matter the amount of oral irrigation, mouth wash, or even using toothpaste specifically design to fight bad breath – your halitosis will remain. In that case we recommend chewing gum or having mints handy as a remedy.

Smoker: Everyone knows that smoking isn’t healthy. One of the most common complaints from people who are around smokers is that they have ‘smokers breath’. This bad breath from smokers is due to xerostomia, or simply known as dry mouth. When you smoke, your are much more susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease. Therefore you will want to double and have both a toothpaste designed for xerostomia like Biotene (reviewed below) paired with regular use of a mouth rinse in order to keep your mouth hydrated.

Clearly though, the best and most healthiest way to prevent smokers breath is to kick the habit – although much easier said than done.

Sick: Due to post nasal drip or severe coughing, your breath will likely begin to deteriorate. Clearly the most important thing is to get healthy – however if covering up bad breath is equally important to you – then we recommend carrying mints throughout the day along with getting plenty of fluids and rest.

Proper Brushing Technique: It should be without saying, but when you brush your mouth, you shouldn’t be concentrating on just the vanity teeth in the front. In addition to your front teeth you want to make sure that you get all along your gum line and tongue. Remember your mouth is a microbial cesspool – make sure you clean it thoroughly. You should spend at least 2 minutes brushing your teeth.

Are There Key Ingredients You Should Look Out For In Order To Select The Best Toothpaste For Bad Breath Specifically?

natural remedies for toothpaste

One of the best ingredients in toothpaste to eliminate bad breath is sodium fluoride. Found in toothpastes like CloSYS, sodium fluoride has the ability to kill all the bad bacteria that will eventually develop into plaque in only a few seconds upon contact.

In addition to sodium fluoride that contain all natural ingredients such as Dead Sea salt, essential oils, zinc, and vegetable based glycerin like the toothpaste from Oral Essentials. This combination of ingredients does a terrific job at gently whitening your teeth – but more importantly for halitosis, it does a great job at keeping your gums clean. In fact there was a study over a 10 year period that observed children who simply rubbed the Dead Sea salt along their gum line and were free of any periodontal disease.

Complimentary Oral Hygiene Products That Will Help Improve Your Breath

Toothpaste aside, there are a plethora of dental products out there that can help to completely get rid of bad breath. The products outlined below are definitely worth considering:

Traditional Dental Floss: While brushing may do a great job at removing plaque on your teeth, flossing is still one of the best ways to get the decaying food out between your teeth. Floss helps to loosen up everything so you can easily rinse out the left over gunk.

Water flossing: Some people are turned off by the sight of blood when flossing – and rightfully so! An effective way of cleaning between your teeth and your tongue is through using a quality water flosser. Personally we are huge fans of the Waterpik WP-660, as it gives you the benefits of using a toothbrush, tongue cleaner, gum cleaner, and waterpik all rolled into one device. Check out our full reviews of the best water flossers here.

Mouthwash: What you don’t get between your teeth with a toothbrush and floss, you should be pick up with antiseptic mouthwash. Brands like Listerine reign supreme in this field, but if you aren’t looking to having your mouth burned at 5:30 in the morning, then we recommend checking out some of the alcohol-free options that are available. To note: Listerine does also make a alcohol free mouthwash as well.

Tongue scraping: At first this bad breath removal device seems a bit medieval – I mean who wants to scrape a piece of metal along their tongue and call it a day?

While tongue scrapers may seem to be a bit of a turn off at first glance – they are both extremely popular and effective at literally removing all the bacteria build up from your tongue. Not only do they get the job done, they are also really easy to clean. Most popular tongue scrapers are made from metal which reduces the amount of bacteria growth and can easily be washed or disinfected when compared to their plastic counterparts. If you are on a budget and can’t afford a full on water flosser, a tongue scraper is an awesome alternative.

Here’s our full review on the best tongue scrapers.

Reviews To Determine The Best Toothpaste For Bad Breath

From natural to chemical based and those from large manufacturers and small, here is our lineup of some of the best toothpastes for bad breath:

oral essentials help to remove bad breath

Oral Essentials Fresh Breath Toothpaste

Made by dentists, Oral Essentials is one of the market leaders when it comes to organic and completely all natural toothpastes. Oral Essentials has all the right things in it to get your mouth clean while leaving a wonderful and natural minty aftertaste.

To help get the job done on the cleaning side, Oral Essentials includes Dead Sea salt. Which might seem a bit strange at first, however there was a study that determined just how super effective this ingredient is at preventing periodontal (gum) disease. What’s more is that this toothpaste is noticeably absent of fluoride as well – therefore its considered safe to use for your entire family.

Oral Essentials also uses ingredients like organic aloe vera and xylitol to support its cleaning efforts.

In addition to the powerful cleaning agents, also included is a few key essential oils. In the tube you will find spearmint, peppermint, holy basil, and clove flower oil.

But why all these seemingly bizarre essential oils?

When you look at each one of them – they have their own unique specialties and benefits. For instance peppermint oil not only freshens bad breath, but it also has antimicrobial properties, soothes digestive issues, helps to reduce stomach aches to just name a few great benefits. On the other hand clove flower essential oil helps to improve blood circulation, reduce gum disease, and is a natural inflammatory – which is excellent in fighting gingivitis.

As you can see, Oral Essentials has really carefully planned out its ingredient list to be the most effective all natural toothpaste that money can buy in order to stop bad breath in its tracks.

closys is great at removing bad breath

CloSYS Fluoride Toothpaste

This pH balanced fluoride based toothpaste by CloSYS is one of the leaders whenever it comes to an effective toothpaste to remove bad breath. While being both alcohol and sulfate free, it uses a tiny bit sodium fluoride hybrid that will effectively kill 99% of the bacteria growing in your mouth. Remember though, in order for this toothpaste to be effective you must brush for the allotted time recommended by dentists daily – 2 minutes each time.

A few additional standout features for this toothpaste is that its SLS free – which is a chemical based detergent found in some more popular toothpastes. Also if you have had crowns, veneers, bridge work, or other pricey dental operations conducted in the past, its gentle cleaning formula should serve you well. Also you shouldn’t experience any sort of staining with prolonged use.

While the focus of this article is primarily for toothpaste that help to get rid of bad breath (which this one does), given its relatively mild ingredients – it should also serve both men and women everywhere who have sensitive teeth as well. Therefore making it an excellent paste to share among family members.

therabreath is a market leader at preventing bad breath

TheraBreath Fresh Breath Toothpaste

TheraBreath has been around for years and is a respected brand among dentist alike.

Like the rest of their products, the Fresh Breath Toothpaste from TheraBreath is among the best at completely ridding any sort of halitosis that might be brewing in your mouth.

What’s noteworthy about this product, is that much the all natural Oral Essentials toothpaste, TheraBreath also includes aloe vera within its ingredient list which is great for those with sensitive gums. Secondly, this toothpaste is also free of any detergents like SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) therefore you shouldn’t have any development of canker sores.

Naturally this product will also be effective at fighting cavities and periodontal disease.

sonicare breathrx removes halitosis and whitens teeth

BreathRx Whitening Toothpaste

While a whitening toothpaste first, you shouldn’t overlook the effectiveness of this toothpaste at wiping out your bad breath as well. Containing zinc, thymol, eucalyptus oil (as dubbed their Zytex blend) it will gently break down any bacteria causing foul odors.

Specifically the eucalyptus oil within BreathRx is a natural odor remover and antioxidant. Therefore you will be freshening your breath naturally with this product.

As mentioned previously, while it does a great job at ridding you of bad breath, this toothpaste is geared towards whitening your teeth. Therefore its an excellent choice if you are looking to go a few shades brighter in your smile.

Lastly, this toothpaste like many of the others reviewed will naturally fight against cavities and periodontal disease.

biotene helps with dry mouth and halitosis


One of the leading causes for bad breath, especially among the smoking population is xerostomia (i.e. dry mouth). As you smoke and your mouth becomes dry, a terrific toothpaste to help cure that classic ‘smokers breath’ side effect is Biotene.

With its sodium fluoride base and a mixture of several other ingredients including hydrated silica and cocamidopropyl betaine (coconut derivative) this toothpaste will help keep your mouth ‘wet’ in order to maintain a fresh breath throughout the course of a day.

While keeping your xerostomia at bay, this Biotene paste will help to reduce the occurrence of periodontal disease and cavities. Even if you don’t suffer from dry mouth, this toothpaste can still still work as an all-around toothpaste for others as well. However being that its a fluoride toothpaste, it should only be used for adults.

If you do chronically suffer from dry mouth, a great complimentary product to this toothpaste is also a rinse from either Biotene or TheraBreath.

Recapping The Challenge To Find The Best Toothpaste For Bad Breath

From all natural solutions like Oral Essentials to market leaders like TheraBreath there are a ton of different toothpastes out there that can effectively work to reduce the occurrence of bad breath.

However, keep in mind that just a toothpaste alone is only one step to proper oral hygiene. Therefore we recommend enhancing your oral cleanliness by investing in a water flosser or tongue scraper as both methods are great complimentary products that get halitosis removed.

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