Best Mouthwash for Bad Breath

mouthwashes for bad breath

With many people enticed by the idea of minty fresh breath and promise of a cleaner mouth, the sale of mouthwashes has boomed in the recent years. Similarly, given its convenience and rapid effectiveness, it`s not a surprise that many people are turning towards this option.

While mouthwashes are marketed as effective mouth cleaning and preventive periodontal infectionproducts, do we need them-and can they in anyway undermine our oral health?

See, most of the oral infections that lead to bad breath usually begin with the formation of plaque and tartar within our mouth. The plaque, if not removed, recedes inwards, “eating” the dental structure, while providing a home for the odor-causing bacteria.

So how does a mouthwash help?  A publication in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry indicates that swinging with an antiseptic mouthwash twice a day can reduce the build-up of plaque.

But, there are skeptics of mouthwashes who believe that while there`s clinical evidence of the mouthwashes reducing plaque, it`s only a bit.  According to Professor Damien Walmsley, a scientific adviser of the British Dental Association and a regular contributor of IOL, he asserts that while mouthwashes are still helpful, they are not to be a substitute or rather a replacement for the mechanical action of a toothbrush or getting the teeth and gums cleaned.

Personally, I agree with the above statement, since many people think they can do away with brushing their teeth and instead only use mouthwashes. This thought is nothing but further away from the truth, says Sally Rose, a dental hygienist at the Harley Street Dental Studio, London.

According to Rose, the effectiveness of a mouthwash goes hand in hand with routine dental cleaning, which entails brushing, scraping and flossing.

However, she further adds that the efficacy of the mouthwash will also boil down to the active ingredients. While some of the mouthwashes are strictly for fresher and minter breath, others penetrate deeper to eliminate the odor-causing bacteria. The understanding between the two will allow you to choose the best mouthwash for bad breath.

Therapeutic or Cosmetic Mouthwashes

According to the American Dental Association, most of the mouthwashes fall into two categories; those that mask the bad breath, rather than cure it and those that cure the bad breath. Those that mask the bad breath are ideal for temporary purposes, and often contain mint flavoring, that gives off a fresh fragrance that does not kill the odor-causing bacteria.

On the other hand, therapeutic mouthwashes, contain active ingredients which kill the odor-causing bacteria. These types of mouthwashes are multi-faceted, as they do not only address the odor-causing bacteria but also offer a gamut of other oral benefits including whitening teeth and fighting plaque.

If you`re just looking for a temporary solution to your bad breath, a sugarless mint or gum is all you need. But if you are adding a mouthwash to your daily oral health regime, the best mouthwashfor bad breath should be more than just a pleasant taste.

Alcohol in Mouthwash

Many of the mouthwashes usually include alcohol as an active ingredient in a bid to fight the odor-causing bacteria. This is because alcohol is known to have some anti-bacterial properties. However, while there is some evidence to suggest that alcohol is effective in killing the bacteria, this evidence is often negated by the more pronounced side effects of the presence of alcohol in mouthwashes.

First, there are numerous studies that indicate that alcohol can lead to the drying of the mouth, a condition known as xerostomia, which has the potential to cause bad mouth breath or enhance the mouth malodor.

Secondly, according to NPS Medicine Wise Australian Organization (find out about most effective bad breath medicine), there is enough evidence that links alcohol in mouthwashes and the development of oral cancer. The NPS states that it would be inadvisable to use mouthwashes with active alcohol.

Finally, there are individuals who are sensitive to alcohol, and some find the alcohol leading to unpleasant side-effects such as swelling of the gums or oral mucosa.

Therefore, to truly get under the cause of the oral breath and target the odor-causing bacteria, you need to have a mouthwash with the right ingredients.

Below, we look at the right ingredients for the best mouthwashes for bad breath. As you will find out, the best mouthwashes for bad breath usually take a multifaceted approach to curbing the effects of bad breath by incorporating an array of ingredients.

Ingredients in Best Mouthwashes for Bad Breath to Kill Bad Breath

Antibacterial Agents

Halitosis is caused by odor-causing bacteria, which are hosted in the mouth; the mouth offers ideal conditions for the bacteria to propagate, thanks to the moist and warm environment. Additionally, the mouthis an inlet to the rest of the body,and it`s often introduced to several foreign items, making the spread of germs over the tongue (read about tongue scrapers) and teeth easier, thus making your breath unpleasant.

To curb the effects of halitosis, you need a mouthwash that contains ingredients with antibacterial properties to remove and kill germs responsible for bad breath.

Some of the common anti-bacterial ingredients in the best mouthwashes for bad breath include; chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride triclosan and/or Essential oil mouthrinses such as water/alcohol solutions of menthol, eucalyptol, thymol and/or methyl salicylate.

Ingredients Affecting VSC Formation

The VSC`s are the smelly molecules that are responsible for the fetid breath. These molecules are often manifested during the food breakdown and are known to produce a smelly Sulphur breath.

To avoid the formation of these molecules, the best mouthwashes for bad breath incorporate ingredients that can degrade these molecules. Some of the ingredients that can reduce these building blocks of the volatile Sulphur compound includeChlorine dioxide (sodium chlorite), and zinc compounds.


Plaque, which later develops into tartar is a major cause of bad breath. When plaque forms a lining over your teeth, it shields your teeth away from thorough cleaning, recedes the teeth and might be lead to periodontal infections such as gum disease and gingivitis.

Germicides such as cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) present in mouthwashes are not only responsible for reducing the buildup of plaque but also vital in killing germs.

As you have seen there`s an array of choices of mouthwashes to choose from, but some of them are only there to mask the bad breath, while others address the cause of halitosis head on. Therefore, if you`re in search for the best mouthwash for bad breath, you need to carefully consider the ingredients, so that you do not just cover the embracing halitosis but also treat their source for a fresher minty breath all day long.

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