Bad breath is never great to have or smell. Worst of all, it can strike at the most unexpected times. Luckily the unsavory odors don’t have to stick around because gum helps to clear bad breath. But, where does bad breath even come from?

What causes bad breath?

“In many cases, bad breath is caused by bacteria that constantly builds up in the mouth and produces sulfur compounds,” celebrity dentist, Dr. Catrise Austin told 21Ninety.

Dr. Austin mentioned that other causes of bad breath or halitosis include poor oral hygiene, gum disease, dry mouth, smoking, certain medical conditions, and specific medications.

How to get rid of bad breath?

Chewing minty gum can help rid you of bad breath.

“Chewing sugar-free gum can help to stimulate the production of saliva, which helps to neutralize the acids in the mouth and wash away bacteria that cause bad breath,” Dr. Austin explained.

To find the best gum for bad breath, the celebrity dentist also cited looking for xylitol in the gum’s ingredient list.

“[Xylitol] can help to reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth.”

If your bad breath is persistent, consult your medical provider to make sure that there’s no underlying condition causing your bad breath.

Dr. Austin offered a reminder to 21Ninety readers, too.

“Chewing gum should not be a substitute for proper oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing.”

Ahead, 21Ninety has curated a list of gum that can get rid of your bad breath including some customer favorites.

A simple yet effective formula

Photo Courtesy of Target

Pur Gum Peppermint Bag, pronounced as “pure,” is the most paired down gum on this list. Made of only seven ingredients, the gum fronts xylitol as the main ingredient behind its breath-freshening power. The Pur 2.72-ounce gum is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut and peanut-free, aspartame-free, and keto friendly. If you want a gum with a simple ingredient list, check out this bag of naturally sweet minty freshness.  A reviewer, who left a five star rating, explained that they purchased this product because “it doesn’t have aspartame in it, but it [is] still mintier and chews longer than all the others.”

Mentos make gum?

Photo Courtesy of Target

Yes! Mentos Fresh Mint Gum packs a double bad breath-clearing punch. Each piece of gum has a more traditional gum outer layer and a flavor-boosting core. The xylitol-heavy gum uses the bursting core to provide instant freshness. Then, the gum outer layer continues to mask any bad breath for a while after you chew. While this gum is sugar-free, it does contain soy. In one solid cup holder-friendly container, you get 50 pieces of gum. With over 500 five star ratings, one reviewer wrote, “it has a crisp clean taste when my mouth is dry or I want to just refresh. My favorite gum!”

Orbit Gum makes more than funny commercials

Orbit Gum is more than its internet-viral commercials, their products effectively mask bad breath. Each piece of Spearmint Sugar Free Chewing Gum spreads minty freshness all over your mouth to banish bad breath. While this gum does not contain sugar, it does contain soy. One customer was so pleased with the gum’s effectiveness that they gave it a five star review.

Break the ice

The Ice Cubes Peppermint Sugar Free Gum from Ice Breakers comes in a container fit for your car’s cup holder. There are 40 pieces to a pack. Each cube has xylitol to help power the minty fresh feeling that comes with chewing this gum. The long-lasting chewing gum does have soy but doesn’t have sugar in its mix. A satisfied five star reviewer wrote, “I love the big package and I love the flavor. It has a kick to it and it really lasts.”

Be “Extra” with your gum

Photo Courtesy of Target

If there’s any time to be extra, it’s with Extra’s Spearmint Sugarfree Gum. With 35 pieces to a pack, there’s plenty of minty freshness to be had. As one of the best gums for bad breath, and a Dr. Austin recommendation, it’s clear that the long-lasting mint flavor is effective at masking bad breath. The sugar-free gum does contain soy. Among the hundreds of five star reviews, one purchaser wrote, “this gum is minty and refreshing, especially when I have a dry mouth. I love the flavor.”