5 Best Mouthwash for Halitosis 2024 (Dentist-Recommended)
Dentist Tested & Reviewed
Matt Hannan, DDS
Updated: January 14, 2024
In today’s world, personal hygiene plays a pivotal role in our daily lives, not just for our physical health but also for our social interactions.
One aspect of personal hygiene that often gets overlooked is oral health, specifically addressing the problem of halitosis, or as it’s more commonly known, bad breath.
Many face an embarrassing issue, often caused by bacteria, gum disease, dry mouth, or even an underlying health condition.
As an experienced dentist with years of experience, I’ve tested and evaluated 250+ dental products. I strive to find the best products for achieving excellent oral hygiene, so let’s take a closer look at the Best Mouthwash for Halitosis from a dentist’s perspective.
- Best Overall: TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse
- Best All-Natural: StellaLife VEGA Oral Rinse
- Best Value: Listerine Total Care Mouthwash
- Best Advanced: TheraBreath Plus Oral Rinse
- Best Sensitivity: CloSYS Sensitive Mouthwash
- 5 Best Mouthwash for Gingivitis 2024 (Dentist-Recommended)
- 5 Best Mouthwash for Braces 2024 (Dentist-Recommended)
- 5 Best Fluoride Mouthwash 2024 (Dentist-Recommended)
Understanding Halitosis and Its Causes
Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, goes beyond the usual morning breath or a garlicky lunch. It is a persistent condition, often a symptom of an underlying oral or health issue.
- Poor Oral Hygiene: Not brushing or flossing regularly can leave food particles in the mouth, leading to bacteria growth and bad breath. This also applies to improperly cleaned dentures.
- Gum Disease: Persistent bad breath might indicate progressing periodontal disease, caused by bacterial buildup.
- Tobacco and Alcohol Use: These substances leave lingering chemicals in the mouth and bloodstream, contributing to bad breath.
- Dry Mouth: A lack of saliva, as seen in conditions like xerostomia, hinders mouth cleansing and can cause bad breath.
- Strong-Smelling Foods: Garlic and onions, among other foods, are known to cause temporary bad breath.
- Underlying Health Issues: Medical conditions such as diabetes, liver disease, and chronic reflux can also lead to halitosis.
How Mouthwash Fights Halitosis
Mouthwash is an effective tool in combating halitosis, providing a two-pronged approach: it directly kills the bacteria causing the odor and masks the foul smell with a refreshing scent.
- Kills Bacteria: Most mouthwashes have antiseptic components like alcohol, chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride, or essential oils. They help kill the bacteria responsible for bad breath.
- Neutralizes Odor: Mouthwash often contains ingredients like eucalyptol, menthol, or thymol, which provide a fresh scent and a cooling sensation, effectively neutralizing bad breath.
Important Factors to Consider
When selecting a mouthwash to combat halitosis, there are a few key factors to keep in mind.
- Alcohol Content: If you have a sensitive mouth or dry mouth issues, consider an alcohol-free mouthwash.
- Active Ingredients: Look for antiseptics like cetylpyridinium chloride or chlorhexidine, and ingredients like zinc or chlorophyll for bad breath control.
- Fluoride: For cavity or gum disease prevention, choose a fluoride-containing mouthwash.
- Taste Preference: Since it’s a daily use product, select a flavor you enjoy.
- Price Range: Mouthwash prices vary, so set a budget beforehand.
- Brand and Reviews: Opt for a reputable brand and check reviews to see if it suits your needs.
Top 5 Best Mouthwash for Halitosis
Leveraging my extensive knowledge and experience in dental health, I’ve navigated through many products on the market and handpicked the top 5 types of mouthwash explicitly designed to counteract halitosis.
1. TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse (Best Overall)
Dr. Harold Katz created TheraBreath to help his daughter overcome her struggle with bad breath.
Since 1994 they’ve been creating oral care products that treat halitosis, gum disease, tooth decay, stained teeth, immune support, tooth sensitivity, and dry mouth. The original TheraBreath formulation attacks odor-causing bacteria rather than masking it with heavy flavors or powerful odors.
TheraBreath is one of the five largest oral care companies and the largest privately-held manufacturer. TheraBreath Oral Rinse stimulates saliva flow and circulates antibacterial, oxygen-rich bacteria throughout your mouth.
TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse is a top-notch choice to combat halitosis. Its oxygenating action directly neutralizes odor-causing bacteria, going beyond just masking bad breath.
The Invigorating Icy Mint and Mild Mint (my favorite) flavors deliver a refreshing, clean sensation. Free from artificial colors and flavors, it’s suitable for sensitive users and ideal for long-term use. Try TheraBreath Oral Rinse for a confident, fresh breath every day.
2. StellaLife VEGA Oral Rinse (Best All-Natural)
StellaLife VEGA Oral Coconut Rinse is a natural, antimicrobial product that has been formulated to hydrate the oral cavity, promote healthy gums, maintain oral health, and freshen breath.
The patented rinse supports healthy healing following oral surgery and periodontal treatment. The rinse is specially formulated for patient with a sensitive mouth.
The rinse is also uniquely designed for patients undergoing chemo and radiation treatments and patients with various oral cavity inflammatory conditions.
StellaLife VEGA Oral Rinse stands out as the best all-natural choice for halitosis. This mouthwash harnesses the power of natural antimicrobials to neutralize odor-causing bacteria, providing a fresh, clean breath.
It’s free from harsh chemicals, artificial colors, and flavors, making it perfect for those who prefer a more natural approach to oral care. Try StellaLife VEGA Oral Rinse mint or coconut (my favorite), and experience the difference nature can make to your breath and oral health.
Check out our StellaLife VEGA Oral Rinse hands-on full review!
3. Listerine Total Care Mouthwash (Best Value)
Give your mouth complete care with Listerine Total Care Zero Alcohol-Free Anticavity Mouthwash.
Listerine Total Care Zero provides the same six benefits in one as Listerine Total Care Anticavity Mouthwash but in a less intense, alcohol-free mouthwash formula.
With up to 2.4x the fluoride uptake than Act mouthwash brand, this fluoride-rich formula helps prevent cavities, restores enamel, and strengthens your teeth, making them 50 percent stronger than just brushing alone*.
For those seeking value without compromising effectiveness, Listerine Total Care Anticavity Mouthwash is an excellent choice. This mouthwash offers a multifaceted approach to oral care: it battles halitosis, strengthens teeth, and prevents cavities.
Its robust formula kills up to 99% of germs causing bad breath, ensuring a fresh and clean feeling. With Listerine Total Care, your oral health is holistically cared for without breaking the bank. Give it a try and make the most of its superb value.
4. TheraBreath Plus Oral Rinse (Best Advanced)
TheraBreath PLUS is an advanced formula that seeks to help people suffering from the most severe cases of halitosis.
Their original formula is fortified with soothing aloe vera and naturally antibacterial green tea, zinc gluconate, and tea tree oil. This is TheraBreath’s most robust bad breath-fighting oral rinse and is also helpful after eating odor-rich foods.
For those seeking an advanced solution to halitosis, TheraBreath PLUS Oral Rinse offers maximum strength performance. Its potent, dentist-formulated blend works overtime to attack stubborn bad breath.
The rinse utilizes concentrated active ingredients to neutralize odor-causing bacteria at the source, offering an immediate and long-lasting fresh feeling. Free from artificial colors and flavors, it ensures a natural approach to your oral care.
Choose TheraBreath PLUS Oral Rinse for advanced, professional-grade protection against halitosis.
5. CloSYS Sensitive Mouthwash (Best Sensitivity)
In 1980, Dr. Perry Ratcliff founded Closys to replace ineffective and irritating oral rinses.
He formulated an extremely effective yet gentle oral rinse that a small group of dentists praised. Closys Oral Care was born and continues to create high-quality, comfortable oral rinses.
Their products are made in the USA and are free from alcohol, sulfates, and triclosan.
CloSYS Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash is your go-to solution for those grappling with sensitivity. Uniquely formulated to be gentle yet powerful, this mouthwash effectively battles halitosis without causing discomfort.
It’s unflavored and free of alcohol and sulfates, ensuring it’s gentle on sensitive mouths.
It’s also pH balanced to reduce acid levels that can further cause sensitivity. Trust CloSYS Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash to keep your breath fresh and your mouth comfortable – a perfect companion for those with sensitive oral needs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, is a condition where unpleasant odors are exhaled in breathing. It’s often caused by poor oral hygiene, gum diseases, dry mouth, tobacco and alcohol consumption, certain foods, and underlying health conditions like diabetes, liver disease, and chronic reflux disease.
Mouthwash aids in fighting halitosis in two significant ways. First, it has antiseptic components that kill the bacteria causing bad breath. Second, it contains ingredients that provide a fresh scent, effectively neutralizing bad breath. It is used as a supplement to brushing and flossing for a comprehensive oral hygiene routine.
When choosing a mouthwash for halitosis, consider the alcohol content, active ingredients, fluoride content, taste, price, and the brand’s reputation. For those with sensitive mouths, an alcohol-free mouthwash might be preferable. Antiseptic ingredients that kill bacteria, like cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine, or essential oils, are important for halitosis control.
While mouthwash is an excellent tool in the fight against halitosis, it should be used as part of a comprehensive oral hygiene routine, including regular brushing and flossing. If halitosis persists, it is advisable to consult with a dental professional as it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.
My Experience & Expertise
As a dentist, I can’t stress enough the importance of oral hygiene in managing halitosis.
While regular brushing and flossing are fundamental, mouthwash plays a significant role in a complete oral care routine. It provides the extra punch needed to tackle persistent bad breath by neutralizing odor-causing bacteria and leaving your mouth feeling fresh.
Each mouthwash I’ve recommended stands out in its category, catering to different needs: value for money, sensitivity, natural ingredients, or advanced protection. It’s about finding the one that best suits your needs and preferences.
Need a second opinion? We can help! Learn more. Knowledge is power when cultivating healthy dental habits. The more informed you are, the better positioned you’ll be to prevent avoidable and potentially costly dental procedures for you and your family. Watch for future blog posts, where we’ll continue sharing important information, product reviews and practical advice!
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Hannan, also known as “Dr. Advocate,” is a board-certified dentist on a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He attended Baylor University before completing dental school at UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry. He now lives in Arizona with his beautiful wife and 4 kids. Dr. Hannan believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.
Connect with Dr. Hannan!
Gain Clarity with Our FREE Second Opinion Guide
Receive clear, expert second opinions online within 48 hours. Start today!
Our 250+ dental product reviews (and counting), curated by an experienced dentist, are the most comprehensive online.
State-of-the-art chatbot designed to help you discover your perfect toothbrush in just a few simple steps!
Cutting-edge digital tool designed to evaluate your individual cavity risk based on your responses to a series of questions.
Discover your gum disease risk with our quick and engaging 6-question assessment!