The Science Behind Bad Breath

Do you think bad breath is just about not using mouthwash, having the right toothpaste, or that garlic-laden lunch?

Think again.

The complexities of halitosis – the bad breath you deal with – run much deeper, rooted in a fascinating world of oral microbiology.

The Real Culprits?

It's a lesser-known fact that bad breath can be caused by an array of microbes (bacteria + fungi) in the mouth.

Chronic bad breath isn't due to just one perpetrator; it's a consequence of the microbial community (microbiome) becoming imbalanced.

Such an imbalance can lead to the overgrowth of microbes like;

  • Solobacterium moorei

  • Tannerella forsythia

  • Candida albicans

All of which produce compounds that can contribute to that unpleasant odor.

Where It All Begins

The mouth, while a significant contributor to bad breath, isn't just a singular ecosystem.

90% of bad breath originates from micro-environments in the mouth. When these microbes are in balance, they play a beneficial role – for instance, low levels of hydrogen sulfide help in reducing inflammation.

When they are in excess, they can cause tissue damage, gum disease, and yes, bad breath.  

The Different Faces of Halitosis

Our research has categorized bad breath into several types based on the microbes causing them. 

Inflammatory Gum Bacteria

Species like Porphyromonas gingivalis thrive at the gum line, leading to more serious gum issues.

Non-inflammatory Gum Bacteria

Found at the gumline or tooth surface, species like Selenomonas noxia can contribute to bad breath without causing inflammation.

Tongue Coaters

Microbes, such as Atopobium parvulum, reside on the tongue's back, missed by brushing and flossing.

Opportunistic Enterobacteriaceae

Bacteria like Escherichia coli from the gut can dominate an imbalanced oral microbiome, leading to bad breath.

Fungal Causes

Excess fungi, especially Candida, can result in oral thrush and bad breath.

Intermittent Bad Breath

Resulting from a mix of diet, lifestyle, and oral microbiome dynamics.

The Road to Fresh Breath

Using gums or mints to mask bad breath is just a band-aid. For lasting relief, we need to focus on restoring the balance of our oral microbiome.

To do this effectively, it's essential to pinpoint the specific type of halitosis you're experiencing, and then adopt evidence-based treatments tailored for it.

Thanks to advancements in modern science, we can now delve deeper into understanding our oral health and its intricacies.

Bad breath is more than a superficial issue; it provides insight into the overall health of our mouth. So, let's take a deep breath (pun intended!) and dive into the science of it all.

The Promise of Oral Probiotics

In our journey to understand bad breath, we've delved deep into the microscopic world of our mouth.

Just as there are bacteria that can cause harm and odor, there's a counterpart - the beneficial bacteria.

This brings us to the cutting-edge arena of oral health: Oral Probiotics.

Benefits of Oral Probiotics

Unlike standard probiotics (which are just as important!) oral probiotics focus on balancing the oral microbiome.

Fights Bad Bacteria

By introducing 'good' bacteria, oral probiotics compete with harmful bacteria, limiting their growth and influence. They also produce byproducts that can kill harmful bacteria, and even balance pH in the mouth, preventing acid-producing species from causing tooth decay.

Strengthens Oral Immunity

Probiotics can bolster the mouth's natural defenses, making it resilient against harmful bacterial invasions.

Restores Balance

Oral probiotics can help in restoring a harmonious microbial balance, crucial for fresh breath and overall oral health.

Prevents Oral Health Issues

They can play a role in preventing tooth decay, gum inflammation, and other oral health problems.

Enhances Overall Well-Being

A balanced oral microbiome contributes to overall well-being, given the mouth's connection to the rest of the body – the mouth is the gateway to the body and a predictor of overall health!

To harness these benefits, Bristle has developed a state-of-the-art oral probiotic breath mint that you and your mouth will love

Based on research from 5,000+ Bristle test takers, our probiotic introduces a blend of beneficial bacteria to balance the oral microbiome.

With Bristle's Oral Probiotic, you're not just masking the symptoms, but actively addressing the root causes of oral imbalances.

Step into the future of proactive oral health with Bristle. Your mouth deserves the best, and with the science of oral probiotics, that's precisely what you get.

A probiotic breath mint you (and your mouth) will love

Combat the bacteria that drive bad breath, gum inflammation and cavities with our once daily mint. Specially formulated with beneficial strains and all-natural ingredients to rebalance your oral microbiome and keep your breath fresh.

Fight the bacteria that drive conditions like bad breath, gum disease & cavities through a balanced oral microbiome.

🚗 Free US Shipping ⏱ 3-5 Day US Delivery 👶 For ages 5 & up

Use daily to promote


Eliminate microbes in your mouth that cause bad breath.


Reduce harmful bacteria that lead to gum inflammation & gingivitis.


Increase the levels of beneficial bacteria in your mouth to support oral & overall health.

The Oral Health Probiotic

6 clinically & scientifically studied probiotic strains proven to help maintain oral health & fight bacteria that cause bad breath & gum inflammation

3.5B CFU for high bacterial concentration & impactful delivery

Xylitol instead of sugar to fight cavities-causing bacteria & lower your risk for tooth decay

All-natural ingredients & flavors to keep it delicious

🚗 Free Shipping ⏱ 3-5 Day US Delivery 👶 For ages 5 & up


No GMOs, No Herbicides or Pesticides, No Artificial Colors, Flavors, Preservatives or Sweeteners.






Build a strong foundation for your oral health & microbiome.

Meet your bacterial superheroes

Streptococcus salivarius M18

Clinically shown to reduce gum inflammation and bad breath.

Streptococcus salivarius K12

Supports gum & throat health; reduces bad breath.

Lactobacillus plantarum

Inhibits the growth of species like P. gingivalis that cause gum inflammation.

Bifidobacterium lactis

Improves gum health & fights species that cause gum inflammation and bad breath.

Lactobacillus reuteri

Improves immunity & kills bacteria that cause bad breath and gum inflammation.

Lactobacillus salivarius

Fights bacteria like S. mutans that cause tooth decay & reduces the bacteria that cause bad breath.

5,000+ people trust Bristle with their oral health

  • "My teeth are no longer developing plaque, my tongue is cleared up and has stayed clear, healthy and pink along with my gums AND my breath is fresh AF. Thank you! I’ve tried like five of the other top rated brands and did find one I ended up using for almost a year but this one by Bristle is the BEST! They took notes and combined the best of all the others. It’s affordable, mild mint flavor, and very affective."


  • I found Bristle while taking steps to fix some recurring gut issues, I wasn't aware of how connected your mouth flora and gut flora are until I began following the Bristle regiment and now my overall digestive and oral health are better than I even thought possible. 


  • So nice to get this deep healing level of help and advice and guidance . Their wisdom is so helpful and everyone is so efficient.


  • I need to get to the bottom of my halitosis and this is the only company that seems to be using science to fix it for good


Good health starts with a healthy mouth

In 2021, we launched the world's first & most advanced oral microbiome test to help you understand and improve your oral health. Since then, we’ve helped over 4,000 people tackle the root-cause of conditions like bad breath and gum inflammation to improve their confidence and regain control of their mouths.

We leveraged billions of data points from one of the largest oral microbiome databases in the world to create the best oral probiotic available, helping even more people take a meaningful step towards oral health. 

Our first-generation oral probiotic will help you combat bad breath, cavities, and gum disease the way we think all of oral care should be: science-based and made with care. 

Danny Grannick

CEO & Co-founder at Bristle Health 

Join 7,000+ members

Bristle Oral Health Test

Measure the levels of good & bad bacteria in your mouth. Understand your oral health & Identify the root-cause of conditions early on. Get a custom plan to improve. Backed by leading dentists.

🚗 Free Shipping ⏱ 3-5 Day US Delivery 💲 HSA/FSA Accepted

Developed in collaboration with leading dentists

Dr. Mark Burhenne

Functional Dentist & Founder of

“If you make one investment in your health this entire year, let this be it. The mouth is the gateway to your body and oral bacteria have been associated with a higher risk for systemic conditions including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and poor pregnancy outcomes.

You can’t be healthy without a healthy mouth. And what you don’t measure, you cannot manage.”

  • Dr. Mark Burhenne, DDS

    Functional Dentist | Founder of

  • Kriston Reisnour RDH, BSDH, CCSH, CSOM, FAAOSH
    Dental Hygienist & Integrative Health Specialist

  • Dr. Jonathan Levine, DDS

    Prosthodontist, NYU Professor | Founder of GLO Science

  • Dr. Eric Pulver
    Oral Surgeon | Chief Dental Officer at Denti.Ai

  • Dr. Roshan Parikh, DDS

    General Dentist | President & CEO at Dntl Bar

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