Last Updated: July 31, 2016 | This Article May Contain Affiliate Links

Escape From Halitosis Hell – Cure That Smelly Breath

We’ve all been there:

You are in a business meeting, chatting with a friend, hanging out with your significant other, and this smell begins to creep in. At first you try to brush it aside, but minute after minute, you are forgetting what the person is saying and all you can focus in on is that horrible stench of bad breath.

As they continue to talk, you can’t help but just want to hand them a toothbrush, a bottle of Listerine, an apple, anything to just put the stench at bay!

Let’s face it – bad breath sucks.

If someone told you, that your breath wasn’t smelling too fresh or you are gently trying to forward this article on to someone in dire need – don’t worry we won’t tell.

Halitosis (bad breath) is really common within the United States, in fact 60 million people are considered to be suffering from chronic halitosis (source).

So if your breath is struggling, all the info below will help you to identify the culprit, but most important, how to make that smell completely go away.

No more awkwardly covering your mouth when talking to that cute girl, or feverishly trying to find a fresh piece of fruit to eat prior to a big meeting, stuffing down Altoids like they are a banned substance – we will go over exactly what is going on in your mouth!

Bacteria Is The Reason Your Breath Is Stinking

A part of keeping bad breath at bay is by trying to knock out the bacteria that is growing in your mouth.A dark and damp climate is unequivocally the best environment for bacteria to spread quickly.  Therefore one of the hot beds for bacteria naturally will be your gums and tongue.

As you ingest food, the remnants of food will fall to the pockets within your teeth and ultimately the bacteria will begin to multiply.  As the bacteria from the decaying food spreads, it will eventually make its way all the way to your gums where it will start develop a film within your mouth.

This film that begins to coat your teeth is called plaque.  The soft film of plaque can be moved relatively well with any toothbrush of your choice, however a water flosser will typically completely rid your mouth fully of plaque.  Plaque that is left alone will eventually harden and develop into tartar, of which can’t easily be removed at home.  Instead, to remove tartar, you will have to make a visit to the dentists office and let them remove the build up with their appropriate tools.

Food and Diet Generally Have A Huge Impact on Halitosis

jim carrey gif

As we eluded to for just a bit in the previous section, food is a large factor when it comes to halitosis.  If your diet is loaded with tons of processed foods or junk food, when these food particles breakdown in your mouth, the stench from the food will be that much worse when compared to a fruit or any leafy vegetables.

Onions, garlic, and other pungent foods are always limited to just a day of foul halitosis and can usually be remedied with a deep scrub of the tooth brush, water flosser, and an antiseptic mouthwash.

In addition, if you are lactose intolerant, the ingestion of dairy based foods may have more profound effects when compared to those who have no problem digesting dairy.

Smoking Causes Gum Disease Which Can Lead To Bad Breath

If you are a smoke regularly, you are exposing yourself to potential gum disease down the road (if not already).  According to the CDC, smokers have twice the risk of gum disease compared to non-smokers.  In addition, the more you smoke and the longer you smoke, your risk will also rise.

While “smokers breath” may be just a temporary side effect of having a cigarette, the long term consequences of gum disease will make you susceptible to having bad breath.

Dry Mouth (xerostomia) Will Also Cause Bad Breath

If your mouth feels a bit on the dryer side, then this may be the reason for your halitosis.  When your mouth becomes dry, bacteria can multiply at a much faster rate.

Conversely to what many think, saliva actually acts as a cleansing agent for your mouth.  When your saliva goes across your gums and tongue, it will slow down the growth of bacteria on the surface.

A few causes of a dry mouth may be a lack of enough water in a given day (remember, the suggested serving of water per day is eight 8-ounce glasses).  In addition, if you are having coffee or soda, these are natural diuretics which will reduce the amount of saliva that you produce.  To treat dry mouth you can simply use a oral rinse regularly.  A great product to check out would be biotene (no its not just for old people).

Hitting a Low Carb Diet or Another Fad Diet? It May Be Your Reason For Smelly Breath

bad breath

When your body gets into ‘fat-burning’ mode (i.e. ketosis), it will naturally release ketones.  These ketones will cause your breath to smell.  Even if you do all the proper treatment options listed below, you unfortunately won’t be able to effectively combat this.

It’s recommended for folks on the crash diet lifestyle to stick to their favorite mint or piece of gum in order to cover up or mask the smell of their breath.

If You Are Sick, Bad Breath Is Possible

Whether you are under the weather for a sore throat or any other tonsil related illness, suffering from a classic case of bronchitis, a mouth infection, diabetes, or other disorders that effect your digestive tract may also attribute to halitosis.

Naturally your body will have to run its course before you can work on getting your breath back in check.  However, with that being said, if you are sick, bad breath should be the least of your worries!  Make sure you get plenty of liquids and make an appointment with the doctor if necessary.

Proper Oral Hygiene Is Important To Healthy Smelling Breath

toothbrush for fresh breath

When it comes to taking care of your mouth, most people understand that its important to brush twice a day.  However, when it comes down to reality, many folks may just brush in the morning and thats it.

If you are combating halitosis, a morning brush just simply isn’t enough.

Instead what you need to be focusing on is completely ridding your mouth of any and all bacteria.  Therefore you should make sure that you have the proper tools in order.

First and foremost, you want to make sure that you are flossing properly.  A good floss pick where you can manually get between every tooth will work wonders at loosening up the food that is wedged between your teeth.  In addition to food, a floss pick will help to wipe away the film of plaque before it develops into tartar which requires removal from a dental hygienist or dentist with appropriate tools.

If your budget allows, we highly recommend picking up a water flosser if possible.  These machines come in either a sink top version that requires it to be plugged into an outlet or battery powered.  If you have normal teeth or braces (as opposed to a bridge or implant) a portable water flosser will suffice as well – and it won’t take up much counter space.

So why is a water flosser so great?

Well first and foremost, a water flosser is incredibly effective at washing away plaque from your teeth and gum line.  In addition, a water flosser will flush out all bacteria throughout your mouth and food bits that are wedged between your teeth.

In addition to being so effective at flushing out bacteria near your teeth, water flossers typically also come equipped with a tongue cleaner that will wipe your tongue clean.

Another aspect to the water flosser that is really nice, especially when compared to traditional flossing, is that many of them have pressure settings on the side of the machine, allowing you to easily fine tune to exactly the setting that you want.

This way when you use the flosser, not only do you get your mouth clean, but you won’t have a bloody mess on your hands like you would experience when using a traditional waxed dental floss.

Now if a whole machine dedicated to your mouth just simply isn’t your thing and you wish to maintain the old manual way, in addition to floss, you should check out a tongue scraper.

Tongue scrapers are incredibly cheap, yet a very effective way to literally remove all the bacteria from the top of your tongue.

For best results its best to grab your tongue scraper and go as far back as you can tolerate (yes you may gag, but yes your breath will smell much better). You should always use a tongue scraper every day during your regular morning routine.

We recommend checking out something like Dr. Tung’s as it can be easily reused and does a great job at getting all the bacteria off effectively.

Enjoy Your Great Smelling Breath

While many may think that there is more to halitosis than meets the eye, those are some of the major reasons for your bad breath.

To put it simply, if you are suffering from bad breath, you have complete control as to whether or not you want to take care of it.  If you don’t want to do it for yourself, at least think of the recipients to whom you talk throughout the day, they will sure appreciate it!


Shawn Burns | @toolsofmen

Hi, I'm Shawn! A beard and shave enthusiast! I am an aspiring writer that wants to give guys great tips on how to pick up better grooming habits!From beard oil to using a double edge safety razor (yes I do get rid of my beard every now and again), I wanted to create this site where readers can get great information about men's grooming.

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