According to the University of California, San Diego’s (UCSD) Healthwise Knowledgebase, taking certain vitamins and minerals may treat some of the causes of bad breath, though they will not immediately rid the mouth of its odor.
Beyond halitosis that originates in stomach or lung diseases, most odor associated with bad breath comes from infected gums, plaque between teeth, a dirty tongue or a dry mouth filled with odor-causing bacteria.
UCSD’s complementary health database contains a number of nutritional supplements that may contribute to better breath, as well as general health and wellness. Vitamin C, a common ingredient in daily multivitamins, helps the body fight gingivitis, which is an infection of the gums that may emit a rank odor. Treating gingivitis is important for maintaining good dental health, too.
Likewise, taking vitamin E, vitamin B9, zinc and selenium may help the mouth combat a bone loss-inducing infection of the gums called periodontitis. Like gingivitis, periodontitis is caused by poor dental hygiene. Unlike gingivitis, periodontitis has also been found to lead directly to tooth loss. Studies have shown that taking the recommended daily allowance of the above vitamins and minerals may help prevent the spread of this difficult gum disease.
To immediately neutralize bad breath, the UCSD website recommends rinsing the mouth with specialty breath fresheners that contain stabilized chlorine dioxide, a molecule that eliminates the sulfuric compounds in the mouth the give halitosis its unpleasant odor.