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4 Easy Ways To Recover From Bad Habits That Stain Your Breath

4 Easy Ways To Recover From Bad Habits That Stain Your Breath

The best way to cure embarrassing bad breath is to stop doing what is causing it, but it is easier said than done. Some foods are known to cause dry mouth (medically known as halitosis)1, such as crackers, toast, and cookies. A dry mouth would precipitate the build-up of tartar and other dental problems, such as gingivitis, periodontitis, and dental caries.

The dehydrating effects of some food or substances consumed carry aroma-altering compounds that can linger for hours after consumption. Coffee for example contains sulphur aroma compounds when roasted, together with its acidic content, the mixture can result in bad breath.

Bad breath and smoking are often associated with each other, because with each puff, over 7000 harmful chemicals get pulled into the lungs, staining one’s teeth and breath2. They are what we commonly refer to as, smoker’s teeth and smoker’s breath. With all of these combined, you have what most people call, smoker’s mouth.

Fortunately, there are simple ways you can recover from these habits and carry on with your social life more comfortably!

Chewing On Sugarless Gum

Chewing sugarless gum is a simple and convenient way to reduce bad breath caused by food like garlic, onion, alcohol and even smoker’s breath. For smoker’s mouth specifically, chewing gum can help to trap tar and excess nicotine.

It is also the most convenient way to achieve fresh, minty breath, especially when you are outside and unable to brush your teeth. Make sure you choose sugarless gum as the bacteria in your mouth actually uses sugar to produce acid, which might eventually affect your oral health2.

Xylitol is a low-calorie sweetener that enhances the flavour in sugarless gum. According to a study in the General Dentistry by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), xylitol inhibits the growth of Streptococcus mutans, the oral bacteria that causes cavities3. Therefore, gum with xylitol can help to prevent dental caries and maintain a natural pH level in your mouth.

Also, the act of chewing the gum can stimulate saliva production, which can help to cleanse your mouth and flush away bacteria2. Hence, some gum can make eliminating the bad odour easier, reducing the effects of smoker’s mouth and bad breath while reducing the chances of smoking and coffee stains getting on your teeth.

Eating an Apple Everyday (Yes, apple!)

An apple a day keeps the dentist away? Well, it might actually work because eating apples can help to cleanse a smoker's teeth and reduce smoker’s breath4. Apples are known as nature’s toothbrush: the fibre gets into tough-to-reach spots between teeth, helping to remove plaque.

The chewing motion allows the fibre from the apple to latch onto excess bits of food between teeth; at the same time, the apple's acidic properties help to kill off bacteria (and potentially reduce smoking stains on your teeth). Additionally, apples do not have a strong taste and they also freshen your breath.

They also help neutralise acidic build-up which is produced from food that are acidic in nature such as, processed food, salt and even eggs. Apples help stimulate alkaline saliva flow which maintains the mouth’s natural ph levels (6.2 to 7.6) 5

Increase The Number Of Times You Brush Your Teeth Daily

Dentists usually recommend that we brush our teeth twice a day — once in the morning and once before bed. Twice is enough for most people, but if you suffer from a smoker's mouth, you are more susceptible to dental issues. Tobacco products are a source of halitosis (bad breath), so you have to be more diligent by increasing the number of times you brush your teeth in a day.

There is no harm in brushing your teeth three times a day as long as you do not brush them too hard or immediately after meals. Electric toothbrushes are a lot more effective in preventing plaque formation and helps to freshen up your breath, so you should definitely consider them!

To make this more achievable, bring a toothbrush to work so you can brush after lunch time. Visiting your dentist regularly can also help to maintain good oral health. The dentist will help to remove the dental tartar and stains that stick to the surfaces of your teeth, while becoming more informed of any problems caused by habits.

How about smoking stains? Can they be removed from the teeth by brushing more? According to Dr Jacquelyn from Tiew Dental, yes you can, but over-the-counter products and professional in-office teeth whitening procedures are required as these stains are more stubborn. On top of that, you will need to practice good maintenance protocol by using teeth whitening toothpastes, so it requires commitment.

Carry A Mouth Spray

If you have always wondered about using a mouth spray, wonder no more! Mouth sprays allows you to quickly freshen up your breath and this includes smokers wanting to get rid of any lingering smell1. They also prevent the need for excessive brushing and dependence on chewing gum.

Reducing the effects of an unhygienic mouth, stained teeth or even smoker's breath, is only a chewing gum, an apple or a toothbrush away. All that’s needed is commitment and diligence. Simply practice the tips that we shared and you will not only have a healthier dental routine, but more confidence as well!


  1. Chapman, M. (2021, November 23). Smokers breath: Causes & solutions - ULTRADEX bad breath. UltraDEX. Retrieved July 6, 2022, from
  2. Martin, T. (2020, September 17) 599 Ingredients and Additives in Cigarettes. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from
  3. Deutsch, D. D. J. (2020, December 7). Why you should chew gum with xylitol. Washington, D.C. Dentist. Retrieved July 6, 2022, from
  4. Foods that clean teeth as you eat. Dr. Natalie Harrison. (2018, January 12). Retrieved July 6, 2022, from
  5. Frothingham, S. (2018, September 26) What Is the pH of Saliva? Retrieved August 3, 2022, from
Being a dentist at the prestigious Tiew Dental, Dr Jacquelyn Lim is one you can rely on for accurate, professional advice. She graduated from University Malaya in 2019, and now has invaluable experience and knowledge, thanks to her time serving at government dental clinics. She has a special interest in Orthodontics and Periodontics. When she’s not treating patients at her clinic, she is either at the gym or travelling to her favourite destination.
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4 Easy Ways To Recover From Bad Habits That Stain Your Breath