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DominicX's avatar

Embarrassing Q: What do I do about recurring bad breath?

Asked by DominicX (28575 points ) February 18th, 2013

So…kind of embarrassing problem here, but lately I’ve been noticing that I’ll frequently have bad breath. I know it’s not from eating something because it’ll show up even if I don’t eat something. But, essentially, I’ll wake up with pretty bad breath in the morning and then if I brush my teeth not long after, it may return not long after that. And even if I eat something and then brush my teeth and go to class (my usual pattern in the morning), by midday or so I’ll notice that I have bad breath again (usually I just notice a bitter taste in my mouth).

So lately I’ve just been packing mints and it seems to work, but I’d rather know if there’s a more long-term solution and if anyone has any experience or advice.

(Sorry this was supposed to be in general).

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19 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

Drink more water and scrape your tongue rather than just brushing your teeth. If neither of those things work, try using mouthwash regularly. If the problem still persists, talk to your dentist.

trailsillustrated's avatar

< is a dentist. Here’s how to cure bad breath. (it’s probably more work than your’e used to doing for your mouth but no one wants bad breath). Are you brushing properly? This means pushing the bristle right into the gums. For two minutes. Two. Brush your tongue. Way back there, even if it makes you gag. Floss. Use a bleach formulated toothpaste. ( Optic white, one of those). Yes, bleach kills germs and that’s what causes bad breath. Plus it’ll help whiten your teeth. Good luck !

DominicX's avatar

@SavoirFaire I definitely notice that it’s worse if I don’t drink water and often during class I don’t drink any water so I could definitely try and do that more often during times when I normally wouldn’t.

@trailsillustrated I was in the habit of brushing for 2 minutes, but I’ve been getting out of that habit lately and doing it a lot more quickly. Also, I do brush my tongue but I have a pretty sensitive gag reflex and I’m often not able to go too far back. The toothpaste I’ve been using is nothing special so I might look into something better. Thank you :)

JLeslie's avatar

Check to make sure you don’t have an STD. Trichomoniasis can cause very very bad breath and can coat your tongue black. It will brush off, but come back fairly quickly. I would assume other bacterial STD’s also cause bad breath. Doctors amd Dentists (no offense @trailsillustrated) often do not look for this or consider it. I know women who had their breath cured when their GYN diagnosed their girly parts and gave them meds. Suddenly breath was all better.

I am not saying it definitely is an STD, but don’t overlook it if you have been performing oral sex.

DominicX's avatar

@JLeslie That’s pretty fascinating (and very bizarre). I’m pretty confident I don’t have that :) (no discoloration on my tongue either), but if all else failed I’d probably look into it or other non directly-oral causes.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m not sure why it is bazarre? I’m waiting for Dr. Oz to mention it on a show when he talks about bad breath. It pisses me off it is never mentioned. Maybe he has, but I have not seen that episode.

Sure, I am not assuming you have an STD, just didn’t want you to overlook it if it is a possibility. Many of the STD’s are asymptomatic in men.

Hopefully, if you make some of the changes mentioned above it all gets better and you don’t have to deal with anything more medical so to speak.

DominicX's avatar

I just meant I’d never heard of such a thing; most people probably do look for immediate oral causes. But I’m not discounting it as a cause :)

wildpotato's avatar

If you have tonsil stones – and most people do from time to time – they might be causing your bad breath.

Kraigmo's avatar

In addition to the mouth, the stomach should be treated. Parsley seed and sunflower oil works. About a tablespoon of the mixture each time u need it.

deni's avatar

I think @trailsillustrated pretty much nailed it. I also feel like when I drink more water, my mouth stays a bit fresher. Days where I slack off I’ll notice a bad taste creeping in a lot faster.

rooeytoo's avatar

My dentist doesn’t like the idea but I use a water pick. It is amazing how much stuff comes out even after brushing and flossing. Where do you stand on the water pic question @trailsillustrated?

Also I agree with @Kraigmo sometimes it can be indicative of a stomach problem.

hearkat's avatar

Colgate Total toothpastes kill germs. I’ve had great dental checkups since using it for several years now. Green tea seems to help my breath, so try that instead of plain water (unsweetened, of course). Gums with xylitol also kill some germs.

What you eat can make a difference… since drastically reducing processed foods from my diet, I don’t get those nasty after-tastes in my mouth. Yesterday, a co-worker brought in Dunkin Munchkins, and just one left the nastiest taste in my mouth.

Start with a dentist and get a thorough cleaning and exam. An Ear, Nose & Throat specialist can check your tonsils, adenoids, esophagus (for reflux-related causes) and do a sleep study if you’re snoring.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@rooeytoo although outdated I think waterpiks are great. Any that cleans or flushes interproximal areas is great. The ONE best thing to keep a mouth healthy and smelling sweet is cleaning of the interproximal areas!! flossing, waterpik, any of that.

zensky's avatar

@SavoirFaire Nailed it:

Drink more water and scrape your tongue rather than just brushing your teeth. If neither of those things work, try using mouthwash regularly. If the problem still persists, talk to your dentist.

blueiiznh's avatar

Additional comments:
What does your diet consist of? Are you on any meds or taking certain vitamins?
All of these are contributing factors as well

Shippy's avatar

I can’t really add much except to say when my breath has been bad, it is usually a tooth problem. So go to the dentist and get a check up and a clean if you can. I also floss twice daily brush 2 or three times daily. I use a mouth wash that is alcohol free. Checking your tongue can also help as if it is furry or so on it can be indicative of other health issues.

Diet can also cause smelly breath.

We all wake up with morning breath though.

mattbrowne's avatar

Have regular meals.

DominicX's avatar

I know this was a while ago, but I just wanted to update that it doesn’t seem to be as much of a problem as before. I have been brushing longer and brushing my tongue more thoroughly and I seem to have bad breath less frequently. I do still notice that I’ll have that “bitter taste” if I go without eating for a while, but that seems to be common. Either way, seems to be less of a problem. :)

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks for the update.

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