TheraBreath Breath & Gum Mouthwash + Toothpaste Hands-On Review: Does It REALLY Work?

I’ve dealt with gum issues for a few years and decided to give Dr. Harold Katz’s TheraBreath Periotherapy Oral Rinse, toothpaste, and Fresh Breath Oral Rinse products a try.

In this hands-on review, I’ll share with you what I found and give you my final score and thoughts.

Basics first: Dr. Katz & the TheraBreath product family

Image showing TheraBreath mouthwash and product family with Dr. Katz

The TheraBreath family of products includes a range of breath, gum (periotherapy), and general dental hygiene products for both adults and kids. The company’s founder is Dr. Harold Katz, a California physician.

TheraBreath produces a variety of dental hygiene products, having expanded the types of oral care issues they cover over the years. In fact it’s now one of the largest American producers of oral care products you’ll find today.

The company’s founder is California physician Dr. Harold Katz who established the California Breath Clinic chain more than 20 years ago. Both a physician and bacteriologist, he created helpful formulas for bad breath and gum problems (such as gingivitis) that address the root of the problem and not just the symptoms.

This is important for later, as widely available over-the-counter products I’ve tried don’t address the cause of problems but only the symptoms. I’ll be sure to explain the problems I’ve come across, the money I wasted, and even how some products sold are a scam!

I was 100% new to the company and its products but was willing to give it a try. I’m really glad I did!

What kind of TheraBreath products are available?

They offer a pretty good range of products including:

  • Toothpaste and mouthwash (oral rinse) for bad breath, gum disease, and dry mouth
  • Healthy chewing gum and mints
  • Teeth whitening products
  • Pet products
  • Sprays and drops
  • Tonsil stone, canker sore, and dry mouth relief products
  • Tongue scrapers

I’m probably overlooking a few I’m sure but you get the idea: It’s a good variety of higher-quality oral health products and accessories.

100% money-back guarantee

I nearly forgot to mention that there’s a 100% money-back guarantee (minus return shipping cost), if you’re not happy with it.

All products purchased from the TheraBreath website are backed by a 100% Money-Back Guarantee. Products must be returned to Dr. Harold Katz WITHIN 30 DAYS from the date of purchase. If for any reason you would like to return a product, simply put the unused portion back in the box and mail it to [Business return address]Dr. Harold Katz, LLC

Products covered in this review

Collage image showing the products covered in this TheraBreath oral rinse and toothpaste review

Shown: TheraBreath products I bought and tested that will be covered in this review. I’ve chosen good examples of the company’s main products after originally picking up the Healthy Gums Treatment Kit (center). After having gotten great relief from my first purchase I was so happy I ordered more.

My first product from TheraBreath was the Healthy Gums Treatment Kit I picked up from Amazon. As I wanted to have a better understanding of the bad breath products too, I also picked a few more things.

In this review I’ll cover the following TheraBreath dental hygiene products I’ve tried:

  • TheraBreath Healthy Gums Oral Rinse (Clean Mint flavor) and toothpaste
  • TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse (Icy Mint flavor) and toothpaste (Peppermint flavor)
  • TheraBreath Healthy Gums Treatment Kit

Gingivitis gum problems & bad breath causes

Diagram showing gum disease periodontitis from gingivits

Gingivitis is the inflammation of your gum tissue that can eventually lead to tooth-threatening periodontitis (gum disease). When this happens, your gums recede and pockets expose teeth to bacterial & plaque damage. If enough damage occurs even the bone can be exposed! Normal healthy gum tissue has a pink color while inflamed gums have a more red appearance.

Gingivitis is the inflammation of gum tissue (often appearing as a red color, whereas healthy gums are pinker) and can lead to periodontitis. Gingivitis happens when plaque buildup causes gums to become inflamed.

If not treated properly, it can continue and when periodontitis begins the gums will recede (pull away), exposing the base of the teeth which can lead to even more harmful building up and tooth decay. Since the roots (and even bone in extreme cases) are exposed, teeth can loosen over time and come out!

Gum disease is no fun

It’s also an uncomfortable feeling as well as having a bad appearance to others when you smile. The main problem I’ve found is that so many over-the-counter products (like from your local store or pharmacy) do little to nothing to help.

In severe cases a gum graft is needed to repair it. This means removing tissue from one part of the mouth to attach to the gums where tissue has disappeared. That’s an expensive procedure you don’t want to have to deal with.

Some gum recession is said to be genetic. It’s also said that gums can’t grow back, but I’ll explain what I found out later as we go.

Bad breath causes

Bad breath causes infographic

Bad breath has a range of root causes as you might already know. However, some are a lot more critical than you might realize at first.

It’s not just matters such as simple causes like smoking, strong-smelling foods, and body conditions that you should worry about. Causes like plaque and bacterial build-up can be the beginning of more serious oral problems such as gingivitis, receding gums, and potential tooth loss, too.

The last thing you want to have to deal with is periodontitis (gum disease) as it’s not something to take for granted.

If you’ve got pretty good dental hygiene habits but still suffer from bad breath there’s hope for you, too.

My story: Gingivitis, gum grafts, receding gums, and bad breath!

Image showing an example of my gum graft perdiontist surgery

Ouch! I’ve had gum problems for some time and ended up needing gum grafts (gum surgery) in 2013 & 2014 as a result of gum recession. Since that time I’ve been looking for products that actually help with gum discomfort and problems. My periodontist never told me there were products that could help prevent it!

I’ve had to deal with gingivitis for some time. Unfortunately most likely a lot of it I can blame on when I was younger and careless with my dental habits. Back in those days, I was also consuming many products with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.

Since that time I’m much healthier, dropped sugar almost completely, and have really improved my dental hygiene as I brush and floss regularly. However, that wasn’t enough to stop what was to come.

Due to severe gum problems (my upper gums, not lower) my periodontist recommended gum graft surgery.

It’s a rather expensive (and uncomfortable!) surgery in which portions of your mouth’s lining are cut out and grafted onto the gum area where needed. I had to split my surgery into 2 sessions as each time it maxed out my dental insurance coverage allowed.

Altogether it was around $5,000 for my surgery.

I kept searching for products that delivered as promised

After that, despite trying my best, the products I bought & tried didn’t seem to help. I still had problems with inflamed gums and it’s a scary thing to see. Due to whatever was causing my gum problems I had bad breath often, too.

I decided to try the gum remedies I found online. What makes me a bit upset is that my periodontist never told me about or recommended a good product like TheraBreath.

All this time I could have gotten good relief had I only known! I’m still a bit upset about it, to say the least.

How does TheraBreath work?

Image of TheraBreath Oral Rinse ingredients for both bad breath and healthy gums products

Left: The main ingredients for the Fresh Breath Invigorating Icy Mint flavor bad breath mouthwash. Right: The main active ingredient in the Healthy Gums oral rinse which kills plaque and prevents or helps relieve gingivitis. (Not shown are the flavor and inactive ingredients)

The TheraBreath line of breath & healthy gum products works by attacking the germs that cause bad breath.

This contrasts with a lot of run-of-the-mill mouthwash and toothpaste products found in stores. Most of those just temporarily mask it or have a weak amount of anti-bacterial ingredients.

The oral rinse & toothpaste products are based on Dr. Katz’s original research which revealed that bad breath & gum disorders don’t come from the digestive system or only plaque as believed. Rather, he found that bad breath is caused by a type of sulfur-producing bacteria that live and multiply on your tongue’s surface and in the throat.

Likewise, the Healthy Gums oral rinse uses an anti-plaque formula but consists of only one active ingredient (Cetylpyridinium Chloride, 0.05%).

How to use the mouthwash & toothpaste products

The usage is the only real issue I have, as it’s not hard but it can be a bit confusing to figure out when you’re first buying products. How you use the products depends on what you buy and your needs.

For example, if treating gingivitis problems:

  • The company recommends using Healthy Gums mouthwash twice per day
  • The Healthy Gums Treatment Kit also includes the Fresh Breath toothpaste and teeth trays. You can optionally use the toothpaste in the dental trays to surround the gums once per day for a little while
  • When using the oral rinse AND recommended healthy gums toothpaste, floss, and brush as normal. However, don’t rinse with water after brushing. Instead, use the mouthwash immediately
  • Wait about 5 minutes after rinsing before eating

For bad breath, it’s the same as above as well. However if not using the Healthy Gums mouthwash after the Healthy Gums toothpaste (but instead, the Fresh Breath toothpaste) you can rinse with water.

Additional notes

In both cases, you’d be wise to pick up a tongue scraper as it’s recommended as an effective way to control the bacteria & plaque that cause your dental & breath problems.

Using the oral rinse in both cases (as I use both, 1 for gums 2 times per day and one for breath periodically) is easy: Just fill the cap to the recommended level and swish it in your mouth vigorously for about 30 seconds. Then spit.

Protection is claimed to be for 24 hours but I prefer to use both morning and night for optimal results.

I recently bought the Healthy Gums toothpaste to use in addition to the oral rinse. More about that later.

Before and after photos: TheraBreath results

Image collage showing before and after using TheraBreath Healthy Gums oral rinse & toothpaste

Ultimately, I’ve got some great news! I finally got a product that helped both my breath AND my gingivitis problems. I began to see improvements after about 1 1/2 weeks of consistent use. My gum’s redness and irritation began to improve. I also noticed my gum size had improved and the receding gum problem had improved a lot as well.

What would a review about gums & my problems be without before and after results?

I put together the images to show you the results after about 2 months of regular use: My gums are looking and feeling MUCH better! My breath has greatly improved as well.

After about 1 1/2 weeks of consistent use (Healthy Gums oral rinse & the toothpaste in the Treatment Kit) I noticed that FINALLY my gums began to show a healthy pink color.

Also, despite it being said that once your gums recede they can never grow back, in fact my gums have improved a lot and have grown back to a better size. My receding gums problem has improved too.

Are they perfectly healthy with no signs of problems? No, and I can’t expect that. But I’m really happy with the results to far.

For me personally, that’s a big deal

My product use timeline

So far my personal use timeline has been like this:

  • First month of use: Healthy Gums Treatment Kit (Healthy Gums rinse + Fresh Breath toothpaste
  • Month 2: Bought more Healthy Gums oral rinse (I ran out too soon)
  • Month 3: Added Fresh Breath oral rinse and began using the Healthy Breath toothpaste

Additionally, it’s important to note that mouthwash can go quickly. I used up my 1st 16 oz. bottle in about 2 weeks or so and recommend buying them at least in the 2 bottle pack.

You’ll need about 2 bottles per month if using it 2 times per day as I do.

TheraBreath vs Listerine & other mouthwash brands

TheraBreath vs Listerine mouthwash comparison image

I’ve used a number of other products including Listerine and a whitening mouthwash with peroxide. Unfortunately, in both cases they really didn’t help.

By the way, nearly all toothpaste and mouthwash rinses you’ll find on the shelf are very similar in design & ingredients, so don’t buy into their claims. They’re not based on real science-based bad breath & anti-gingivitis research.

Listerine (and the many copies out there) doesn’t really address plaque & breath problems effectively. I don’t recommend them because I feel like they’re a waste of your time and money. Especially with something as critical as gingivitis (and periodontitis).

I would recommend TheraBreath’s mouthwashes any day of the week. While they’re a few dollars more, it’s a lot cheaper to do it right the first time with something that actually works and not pay for dental work later as I did.

Note that I will say, however, the Fresh Breath Invigorating Icy Mint rinse I have is a bit strong and reminds me of Listerine’s strong flavor. So if you’re not a fan of how strong Listerine is I’d recommend a different flavor. (The Healthy Gums oral rinse is very mild, though, so that’s not an issue there)

Is Therabreath safe?

Yes, TheraBreath products are safe. Not only this, but they have a few extra benefits you might not know about:

  • Natural sugar-free sweetener: Xylitol
  • Gluten-free
  • Kosher
  • No animal testing used
  • Diabetic safe

TheraBreath vs. Dr. Arenander’s SuperComfort Rescue & other products

Dr. Arenander healthy gums kit image

One of the biggest mistakes I made was buying the over-hyped “Dr. Arenander’s Super Comfort Rescue” gum treatment assortment. I spent around $78 (yes, I’m serious!) and got ZERO benefits. Not only that, but I suspect most reviews are fake. The company’s information makes a lot of claims I find questionable now. My $25 TheraBreath kit I first bought helped almost immediately!

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve tried a number of products that simply DO NOT WORK!

This ranges from several different mouthwash products found in stores locally to tooth powders and even a supposed “healthy gum” assortment sold under the name of Dr. Arenander’s Super Comfort Rescue.

Part of their sales pitch is the use of almost all-natural ingredients. Sounds great, right?

To add insult to injury as they say, the recommended product use is a lot more hassle than TheraBreath.

Here’s the recommended “optimal” (yes, that’s me being sarcastic) application for Super Comfort:

  • Brushing with a special dry tooth & gum powder
  • Daily morning & evening mouthwash
  • “Oil pulling” (heavy oil) oral rinse
  • Gum massage with a special formula

TheraBreath was a much better use of my time and money

Ultimately, I spent nearly $78 for the full kit and go NO noticeable results. Later I reviewed their buyer reviews and noticed that they’re very suspicious at best.

I spent only about $25 for my first TheraBreath kit and began seeing results in less than 2 weeks.

Later buying extra mouthwash bottles (2 packs) at less than $20 per pack tells me the Super Comfort formula is bogus and I got ripped off. 

Even worse, the bottle caps often broke and the product line comes across as cheap somehow.

Where “tooth and gum” powders go wrong

Image of Frau Fowler Citrus Mint tooth and gum powder

I’ve tried several “tooth and gum” powders which advertise they can help promote healthy gums and breath. Sadly, they don’t really address the root of the problem. Rather, they’re just general dental products like good toothpaste except for having natural and organic ingredients.

Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that the products I tried sold as “tooth and gum” powders don’t help effectively either.

I’ve learned that they’re basically an enhanced alternative to regular toothpaste: They’re good for cleaning your teeth using naturally sourced ingredients (with brands like Frau Fowler using organic ones) but that’s about it.

Tooth powders make some claims but yet again, the problem I found is they also don’t address the root of bad breath & gingivitis problems.

My thoughts on the toothpaste after using it

Side by side TheraBreath Fresh Breath and Healthy Gums toothpaste products

Overall I have to say I like the toothpaste. It’s a bit different but tastes quite nice – it just has a different appearance and consistency than most products you’ll find locally.

For example, my Healthy Gums Treatment Kit includes the Peppermint flavor Fresh Breath option (you can’t pick a different flavor, unfortunately). The Healthy Gums toothpaste is limited to an unnamed flavor that’s essentially a very mild mint-type flavor.

Peppermint is so light that it’s not very noticeable. I would have preferred a bit more flavor in the formula, but personally I don’t care as long as it works!

Image of example use of the TheraBreath Healthy Gums toothpaste

The toothpaste formulas are a bit different as they’re a clear or opaque type that reminds me more of a gel. The Healthy Gums version was hard to squeeze out when the tube was new but worked fine afterward. Both spread well and are to be used dry on your brush.

I do have a small complaint I’ve seen other buyers mention, too: The toothpaste can be a bit tough to squeeze out after first opening a new tube. I’m confused about why that is.

However, after gently forcing out my first amount onto my toothbrush from there on out it wasn’t an issue. Just a note to let you know ahead of time.

All in all, the tubes of toothpaste are great choices if not a bit short on flavor. They’re gentle on the teeth and not “sticky”, too sweet, or too strong like a lot of today’s toothpaste products.

I’d definitely recommend brushing with a soft-bristle toothbrush and using light pressure with gentle strokes. That helps to avoid damage to the soft root of your teeth as well as your gums.

Review score and final comments

It was a HUGE relief to see my gums turn from red and irritated to a healthy shade of pink. I thought I’d never seen my gum problem improve but it finally has.

The fresh breath products work great as well and I enjoy using mine. While the product line can bit a bit confusing (they really should make it easier for beginners to choose) that’s a pretty small complaint.

Quick note: I recommend picking up a 2-pack size when buying the mouthwash as it runs out rather quickly. I use one 16 oz bottle every 2 weeks.

Healthy Gums Treatment Kit

Great starter choice. 16 oz. oral rinse, toothpaste, & dental trays included.

Check at Amazon

Fresh Breath Icy Mint 2 Pack

Fresh mint flavor goes to work right away to relieve bad breath. Great value.

Check at Amazon

Healthy Gums Rinse 2 Pack

Pleasant, mild flavor works fast to provide gingivitis & bad breath relief.

Check at Amazon

  • Value - 8.8/10
  • Ease of use - 10/10
  • Effectiveness - 9.2/10
  • Quality/expectations met - 9.5/10

High-quality relief for bad breath or gum problems that actually works!

Suffering from bad breath or gum problems (or both, like me)? I’m thrilled to report that the TheraBreath line is the first I’ve tried that actually delivered on its promises. In less than 2 weeks my gums showed signs of improvement for the first time. Additionally, my breath is fresh and signs of halitosis are gone when used consistently. While it can’t undo severe problems, it’s definitely a great choice for affordable relief you can use right away. Some Fresh Breath flavors can be a bit strong. However, you’ve got several flavor options to choose from. Highly recommended.


  • Affordable price
  • Healthy Gums formula provides real relief
  • Fresh Breath products work well
  • Variety of flavors (breath rinse line)
  • Good product selection
  • Available in travel size bottles
  • 2 pack bottle option
  • Easy to use
  • Clear, simple instructions
  • Available at many retailers
  • Good product information available
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee


  • Product line can be confusing for new users
  • Chewing gum products are pricey
  • Toothpaste can be hard to squeeze initially
  • Standard products don’t include tongue scrapers
  • Best use could be more clear when combing products
Grant Williams

About the author

Grant is a professional engineer by trade and has experience with both maintenance and do-it-yourself home projects. He enjoys sharing his expertise & ideas with others to help them improve their comfort and quality of life. Read more »

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