What Is Your Bad Breath Trying to Tell You?

Morning breath commonly occurs because the mouth is exposed to less oxygen than normal during the night. Dry mouth results—especially in those who sleep with their mouths open. A thorough morning brushing will eliminate the problem, but if bad breath (also known as halitosis) persists throughout the day and lasts for an extended period of time, it may be a sign of a more serious problem. The most common causes of persistent bad breath are:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Tongue bacteria are the culprits in 80 to 90% of cases of bad breath.1 Bacteria feed on broken down food particles while the reduction in saliva production during sleep allows them to multiply at a faster rate. Poor oral hygiene substantially increases the bacteria in the mouth because food particles that should be brushed and flossed away remain. Over time, poor oral hygiene causes plaque buildup, which causes inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and can result in gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease can progress to the point where tooth extraction and/or gum surgery becomes a necessity.

Dry Mouth

Known as xerostomia, dry mouth is often a side effect of certain medications. Chemotherapy drugs, painkillers and anti-depressants are some of the most common2 medications that interfere with the body’s ability to produce the amount of saliva necessary for cleaning the mouth, preventing cavities and protecting against gum disease.3

Oral Infection

Bad breath can occur as a result of cavities, gum disease or wounds from extracted teeth.3


Strongly-flavored foods such as garlic, onions and curries cause bad breath because they are carried to the lungs through the bloodstream during the digestion process.3 The effects are temporary, however, and only last as long as it takes for the offending foods to exit the system.

Tobacco Use

Regular use of tobacco (in any form) is one of the biggest risk factors for developing gum disease, and also can make the treatment for gum disease more difficult.4

Dentures or Oral Appliances

Improperly cleaned dentures, braces or retainers leave rotting food particles in the mouth, which can lead to bad breath. In addition, improperly fitted dentures can cause infection as a result of bacteria overgrowth.

Medical Conditions

Diabetes, sinus infections, post-nasal drip, bronchitis, pneumonia, acid reflux and some kidney and liver diseases are commonly associated with bad breath.5

A good oral hygiene routine is the best natural treatment for gum disease

Consistency in brushing teeth, gums and tongue at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day is critical for maintaining fresh breath. If flossing is too difficult or harsh on your gums, oral irrigators are an excellent alternative for plaque removal. Unfortunately, neglecting these basic oral care routines doesn’t just increase the risk of halitosis, it increases the risk of periodontal disease which is a serious condition with side effects that extend far beyond the confines of the mouth. The American Academy of Periodontology states that people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to develop heart disease than those without6 this condition.

In addition to good hygiene habits, making the right diet and lifestyle choices can also help to keep your mouth clean and healthy. Regular dental checkups and replacing your toothbrush every few months can help reverse gum disease and prevent future oral problems.

The benefits of using all natural herbal products for gum disease treatment

A good toothpaste or mouth rinse effectively cleans the mouth without causing any unnecessary harm or side effects. The problem with most commercially produced dental care products is that they contain ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate and alcohol, which can be too harsh and drying for many people. Alcohol-based mouthwashes in particular often make bad breath worse because they increase the risk of dry mouth.

Choosing natural products, such as those made by the Dental Herb Company, is a simple way to freshen breath and help prevent gum disease naturally. Rather than using chemical additives, Dental Herb Company uses high quality essential oils and organic herbal extracts to maintain healthy gums and teeth. These all natural products reduce bacteria levels in your mouth, while conditioning gum tissue. Perfected over two decades, the formulations of these oral care products are safe and effective. For your convenience, Dental Herb Company’s clinically proven natural oral care products are now available for purchase online. We’ve made it easier than ever to get that healthy smile and fresh breath.


  1. Rauscher, Megan. “Scientists Find Bug Responsible for Bad Breath.” Reuters.com. Thomson Reuters, 07 Apr. 2008. Web. <http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/04/07/us-bug-responsible-bad-breath-found-idUSTON77980320080407>.
  2. “Dry Mouth.” Chemocare.com. CARES Initiative, n.d. Web. <http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/side-effects/dry-mouth.aspx>.
  3. “Bad Breath.” MayoClinic.com. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 18 Dec. 2012. Web. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bad-breath/DS00025/DSECTION=causes>.
  4. “Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments.” Nidcr.nih.gov. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, n.d. Web. <http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/GumDiseases/PeriodontalGumDisease.htm>.
  5. Cunha, John P., DO. “Bad Breath.” MedicineNet.com. Ed. Charles P. Davis, MD. MedicineNet, n.d. Web. <http://www.medicinenet.com/bad_breath/article.htm>.
  6. Feature, R. Morgan GriffinWebMD. “Periodontal Disease, Gum Disease, and Heart Health.”WebMD.com. WebMD, n.d. Web. <http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/features/periodontal-disease-heart-health>.

The State of Oral Health Care Around the World

Proper oral health care is critical to good overall health; poor oral hygiene can contribute to the development or exacerbation of certain diseases. When severe gum disease is present, chronic inflammation and deterioration of bone and connective oral tissue generally results in tooth loss.  Around the globe, approximately 15-20% of adults, ages 35-44, have advanced gum disease, and approximately 30% of adults between the ages of 65-74 have none of their natural teeth intact.1 In addition, statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that approximately 60-90% of children and close to 100% of adults worldwide have cavities.1

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease worldwide, with over 90% of the population affected. It is also the most common childhood disease, affecting over 70% of school children.2 Surveys of oral hygiene habits among children from 41 countries show a difference in frequency of brushing between North American and European countries. The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that 78% of American adults brush twice daily, while only 44% of children do the same.3,4 European countries vary in rates of tooth brushing from a high of 75% of adults brushing twice daily in Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Norway to a low of fewer than 46% in Finland, Romania, Greece, Lithuania, Turkey and Malta.5

The current state of oral health care in developing and developed countries

The staggering rate of oral disease is a health burden that needs to be addressed on a global level. Fortunately, the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Oral Health Programme is focusing on the importance of oral health around the world. The goal of the program is to find ways to aid the millions of people who are unable to receive preventative dental care due to low income or lack of access. In recent years, several European countries have deregulated oral health care services and made it impossible for many to afford. Furthermore, school dental services that were once offered in most eastern European countries have been discontinued, leaving children without oral health care coverage. Minimizing the prevalence of gum disease and its associated chronic health problems requires the availability of preventative treatment for everyone.1

Developed countries have the greatest access to oral health care with the United States, Japan and Canada having the highest number of employed dental professionals.6  Income levels seem to be a contributing factor in determining good oral health. Middle-class families often struggle to pay for the recommended twice-yearly checkups and necessary dental work, because many health insurance plans do not include dental coverage.

One bit of good news is that the number of dental hygienists entering the field in all developed countries has been increasing over the past decade as research continues to show the many risks associated with gum disease. Between 1987 and 2006, the number of dental hygienists in Canada increased by 200%, and in Italy, by a whopping 2207%.6 In the U.S., the Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a 38% job growth in the field between 2010 and 2020—a percentage much higher than the growth average for all occupations.7 Some explanations for this substantial rise include a growing population, a higher demand for preventative dental care, and the need to maintain oral health (and prevent tooth loss) in the aging population.

Easy preventative steps for good oral health

From a global perspective, we have a long way to go to improve worldwide oral health.  Increasing awareness and change will take time.  The first step toward improving the global statistics of gum disease is to focus on personal preventative measures—one should never underestimate the importance of daily brushing and flossing. WHO clearly states that the high cost of dental treatment can be avoided by effective health preventative measures. Maintaining healthy gums and teeth in between dental visits is imperative to help ensure a better quality of life.

Dental Herb Company offers Truly Natural® oral health care products,  a professional strength herbal antimicrobial system that is alcohol-free and sodium lauryl sulfate-free.  Our products are made with precisely calculated proportions of pure essential oils that work synergistically with extracts of organically grown herbs to reduce oral bacteria, condition gums and help maintain healthy teeth and gums. Restore and maintain your oral health with an all natural oral health care from Dental Herb Company.


  1. “Oral Health.” Who.int. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs318/en/>.
  2. “Dental Caries (Tooth Decay).” Nidcr.nih.gov. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, n.d. Web. <http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/DentalCaries/>.
  3. “Survey Results Reveal Oral Hygiene Habits of Men Lag Behind Women: WebDentistry: SmileFinder Annuaire Des Dentistes.” Webdentistry.com. Web Dentistry, n.d. Web. <http://www.webdentistry.com/Article1421-fra.html>.
  4. Huget, Jennifer LaRue. “Kids Should Brush Teeth for Two Minutes, Twice Daily.”Washingtonpost.com. The Washington Post, 17 Aug. 2012. Web. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-checkup/post/kids-should-brush-teeth-for-two-minutes-twice-daily/2012/08/16/883060a0-e7d0-11e1-9739-eef99c5fb285_blog.html>.
  5. Eaton, Kenneth A., and Monica J. Carlile. “Tooth Brushing Behaviour in Europe: Opportunities for Dental Public Health.” International Dental Journal 58 (2008): 287-93. Unilever.com. Unilever. Web. <http://www.unilever.com>.
  6. Johnson PM. international profiles of dental hygienist 1987 to 2006: a 21-nation comparative study. Int Dent J. 2009; 59(2): 63-77. (2.)<http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Dental+hygiene+around+the+world%3a+present+and+future+considerations.-a0245543673>
  7. “Dental Hygienists.” Bls.gov. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. <http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm>.

The History of Oral Care: How Did Our Ancestors Try to Prevent Gum Disease?

Ever wonder when our ancestors began to brush their teeth or use toothpaste? Believe it or not, the toothbrush is one of the oldest devices still in use to this day, and it dates back to as early as 3000 B.C. Early Egyptians crafted devices from sticks and frayed the ends to rub against the teeth.1 This tool is the earliest recorded precursor of the toothbrush. Credit for the first “real” toothbrush, however, belongs to the Chinese. In the 1400s they used bamboo to craft the handles of brushes and attached a set of boar bristles for brushing the teeth.2

The popularity of this toothbrush spread to Europe where many Europeans chose to replace the overly abrasive boar bristles with softer horsehairs and even feathers.1 In 1780, the first modern toothbrush was created by William Addis.3 It featured swine bristles which were set through holes into a carved cattle bone handle and secured by wires. It wasn’t until 1938, when DuPont invented nylon, that the truly modern toothbrush as we know it was created.3 Rather than using natural bristles that were generally too harsh on sensitive gum tissue, this new synthetic material was soft, and therefore much gentler. Not only was it easier on the teeth and gums, it was a much more cost-effective option for mass production—especially in combination with plastic handles. By the 1950s, these toothbrushes became the new standard which, with relatively minor design refinements, remains in place today.

The Evolution of Toothpaste

Ancient Egyptians are credited with creating the very first forms of toothpaste. One was made with rock salt, mint, dried iris flowers and pepper crushed together into a powder that, when mixed with saliva, would clean and whiten teeth.2 Another documented tooth-cleaning powder was comprised of ashes from oxen hooves, myrrh, egg shells and pumice4. As unappetizing as these concoctions may sound, it is interesting to note that ancient Egyptians understood that effective tooth cleaning required abrasion.

The Romans and the Greeks used ingredients such as crushed bones and oyster shells in their tooth-cleaning powders. In an attempt to make their tooth-cleaning powders more palatable and more effective at combating bad breath, Romans added powdered bark and charcoal to their formulations.8 The Chinese and Indians were also creating tooth-cleaning powders at around 500 B.C. The Chinese added ginseng and herbal mints to their powders for flavor.9 Use of these tooth-cleaning powders continued until the 1800s when people began experimenting with new additives, such as soap10. In the 1850s, the first actual toothpaste was sold to consumers in jars. By 1873, it was mass-produced by Colgate.11

Today, there are seemingly endless varieties of toothpaste available to appeal to different consumer preferences while helping people to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. The array of toothpastes consumers can choose from is enough to make one’s head spin: sensitivity protection, cavity protection, tartar control, plaque control, gum defense, enamel protection, enamel repair, multi-protection, whitening power, night protection, and clinical-strength. Not only do the varieties offer specific purposes, they also come in different consistencies—pastes, gels, liquid gels and even paste/gel combinations. In addition, consumers must decide between varieties that boast the addition or omission of various ingredients. There are toothpastes with mouthwash, baking soda, or peroxide added. Many of these are formulated with alcohol and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). In 2011, there were 353 varieties of toothpaste offered by retailers12. So, when it comes to choosing something that plays such a crucial role in the treatment of gum disease,  how do we know what to choose?

Preventing Gum Disease in the 21st Century

For healthy teeth and gums, it is smart to choose an alcohol-free, SLS-free product that promotes exceptional oral health by minimizing gum disease-causing bacteria within the mouth. Preventing gum disease the natural way begins with oral care products made by Dental Herb Company. Using only the purest and highest-quality natural ingredients, Dental Herb Company products are effective in helping to prevent gum disease when combined with regular flossing and dental hygiene maintenance. These alcohol-free, Truly Natural® products are the smartest choice for healthy teeth and gums.


  1. “History of Toothbrushes and Toothpastes.” Colgate.com. Colgate, 12 June 2006. Web. <http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Oral-Hygiene/Brushing-and-Flossing/article/History-of-Toothbrushes-and-Toothpastes.cvsp>.
  2. Blain, Rebecca. “Dental Hygiene, an Ancient Practice – The History of the Toothbrush.”Ezinearticles.com. Ezine Articles, n.d. Web. <http://ezinearticles.com/?Dental-Hygiene,-an-Ancient-Practice—The-History-of-the-Toothbrush&id=18906>.
  3. “The Toothbrush: An Oral Hygiene History.” Dentistry.com. Futuredontics, Inc., n.d. Web. <http://www.dentistry.com/daily-dental-care/dental-hygiene/the-toothbrush-an-oral-hygiene-history>.
  4. Connelly, D.D.S., Thomas P. “The History of Toothpaste: From 5000 BC to the Present.”The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 02 Sept. 2010. Web. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thomas-p-connelly-dds/mouth-health-the-history-_b_702332.html>.