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mostlyclueless's avatar

What should I do about bad breath?

Asked by mostlyclueless (701points) November 23rd, 2011

The last two nights when we got in bed my boyfriend told me my breath was bad. Both times happened immediately after brushing my teeth. I have no idea what the problem could be. I can’t detect any bad smell. I am mortified.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? How do I fix it?

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17 Answers

deni's avatar

Drink more water, make sure you brush your tongue, floss, and gargle.

john65pennington's avatar

Toothpaste is not going to correct bad breath. If you have eaten garlic or strong onions, this odor wil stay in your stomach for at least 12 hours.

Gargling with a strong commerical liquid may help, but the problem is in your stomach. I have swallowed a little moutwash and it has helped. Not too much, as mouthwash contains glycol and is not meant for human consumption.

marinelife's avatar

Be sure and brush your tongue. Use a mouthwash. Have you been to the dentist lately?

Kardamom's avatar

Make sure you brush your teeth and your tongue and floss, then use a mouthwash like Scope or Listerine afterwards.

If you haven’t been to your dentist in over 6 months, make an appointment immediately, there could be some trouble going on inside your mouth.

Eating onions and garlic can definitely cause problems, even if you have brushed and flossed, so if you have a regular problem with bad breath (after making sure that you have a clean bill of health inside your mouth) then you may have to cut out those foods, or just not eat them close to the time you’ll be going to bed. You can also chew a piece of sugarless gum, even after you’ve brushed and flossed and mouthwashed, right before you get into bed.

One way to tell if you have bad breath caused by your tongue (breathing into your hand won’t work) is to run a piece of dental floss across your tongue and give that a smell.

There are certain medical conditions (and the medications that are taken for them) that can cause bad breath too, especially meds and conditions that cause dry mouth. If you can’t solve the problem with proper oral hygiene and your dentist doesn’t see any problems with your teeth or tongue or gums, then you might have to make an appointment with your primary care physican to see what’s going on.

Coloma's avatar

Get a tongue scraper. A lot of bacteria lives on the tongue and can cause bad breath. It can also be a sign of sinus infection or tooth decay.

Tongue scrapers are available at your dentist or call around to some local pharmacies/drug stores.

They are either plastic or made of thin copper and you bend them in a “U” shape and drag them across your tongue to remove the white film which is bacteria. :-p

deni's avatar

@Coloma Some of those floss picks now include a tongue scraper! Hip hip hurray!

cazzie's avatar

I love my tongue scraper. But, tooth decay smells bad, whether you brush or not. The gunk between your teeth is pretty smelly too, so make sure you floss.

Dutchess_III's avatar

FLOSS!!! And use a toothpick at other times.

Coloma has tiger poop breath

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

You may want to consider consulting with a doctor or dentist. Cavities or sinus issues can both cause bad breath that will not be fixed by brushing/gargling/flossing.

Coloma's avatar

Oh my…I thought I was going to be the weird one with my tongue scraper fetish. lol

Fellow tongue scrapers unite!

My old dentist was east indian and she imported these cool copper tongue scrapers. I love mine.

Coloma's avatar


I do! A diet of deer entrails and bone gnawing keeps ones teeth in top shape. lol

gailcalled's avatar

I love my tongue scrapers; I have one in each bathroom.

mostlyclueless's avatar

I did eat a dish with onions both days this happened, but one of the days it was first thing in the morning, and the complaint came at night after more than 1 toothbrushing. Could that be the culprit? (I have actually been wondering if I have an onion allergy lately, they seem to give me digestive problems.)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I agree with the people who mentioned bad gums, a bad tooth, sinus problems and acidic foods being a culprit.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@mostlyclueless Oh yeah. Onion smell can last a good 24 hours.

jazmina88's avatar

also a tin of altoids by the bed, can help your mate, and make you less self-conscious. I kissed a guy who smoked and he always did a mint before kissing. <3

JLeslie's avatar

Brush, floss and brush tongue.

Certain foods cause bad breath. Garlic, onion, and some spices.

Gum infection, but you should have some gum symptoms if that is the case.

STD’s can cause bad breath. This is overlooked a lot. If this is a sudden difference and you don’t have a specific accute gum infection, and you have been eating and brushing the same as usual you might want to consider the possibility. Especially if you have any odd things going on in the girly parts get it checked by a doctor ASAP. Doctors will overlook this possibility all too often.

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