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What is Bad Breath Spray?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Feb 17, 2024
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Bad breath spray is a type of over-the-counter treatment designed to mask the odor from bad breath, or halitosis. It generally comes in a small bottle that can be carried in a pocket or purse, and is designed to be sprayed directly on to the tongue. Though bad breath spray may temporarily hide breath odor, it is generally not effective in treating the cause of bad breath, except in some specially manufactured sprays. It typically will only make a difference for a few hours, though it may be convenient after eating a particularly pungent meal containing onions or garlic, for example.

Typically, bad breath spray is a mixture of alcohol and mint, and acts as a temporary fix. Unfortunately, many bad breath sprays contain sugar, which actually feed odor-causing bacteria on the tongue. When added to the alcohol, which dries out the mouth, habitual use of bad breath sprays can actually make the problem worse. Try to choose a bad breath spray that is sugar-free.

Some bad breath sprays are designed to treat bad breath through the inclusion of natural ingredients, such as tea tree oil, fennel, cinnamon, eucalyptus, cloves, lemon, or even thyme, just to name a few. Though these may be slightly more effective at long-term treatment than breath sprays made with alcohol and sugar, they are no substitute for good oral hygiene. Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day, and after every meal if possible. It is also important to floss once a day.

Because bad breath is often caused by an overabundance of bacteria on the tongue, some people find a tongue scraper to be a useful way of removing bad breath germs. Mouthwash may also be effective. If bad breath persists, even after brushing, flossing, mouthwash, and bad breath spray, a visit to the dentist or a general practice physician may be in order, because it may be caused by an underlying medical issue or even certain medications.

One benefit to a bad breath spray that does not contain alcohol is that it helps to moisten the mouth. Dry mouth is a leading cause of bad breath, so drinking a glass of water or chewing sugarless gum or a mint can have a similar effect. Chewing on a sprig of parsley or mint can also help to freshen the breath naturally. Remember to visit the dentist every six months for a regular cleaning to prevent bad breath as well.

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Discussion Comments
By christym — On Dec 30, 2010

@waterhopper: Bad breath, also called halitosis, can be a huge problem and can definitely decrease one’s self-confidence. Bad breath is caused by bacteria that is odor-producing that grows in your mouth. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, those bacteria can accumulate on the bits of food that is left in your mouth and between your teeth. The bacteria releases sulfur compounds making your breath smell bad.

Other causes of bad breath are smoking and certain foods. Mouthwash is only a temporary fix for bad breath. There are certain medications that your doctor can prescribe to assist with chronic halitosis. Dentists can make recommendations for you.

By WaterHopper — On Dec 27, 2010

What causes bad breath? How do you fight bad breath other than using sprays?

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