Bad Breath After Brushing

Everybody has bad breath once in a while, especially after waking up in the morning. However, most cases of bad breath can be remedied simply by brushing your teeth. If you still have bad breath after brushing your teeth, you may have a condition called halitosis. Halitosis can make your mouth still smell very foul no matter how many times you have tried to brush, floss, or gargle with mouthwash. But why does it happen and is there any way to help?

brushing teeth

Why Do You Have Bad Breath Even After Brushing?

1. Food

When you eat, food particles get broken down in your mouth and remain trapped in and around your teeth where they can start to smell bad. Certain food like onions, garlic, and other spices can also affect your breath as they are carried to your lungs through bloodstream.

2. Tobacco Products

Smoking can cause you to have bad breath because of the tobacco particles trapped in your mouth. Over time, excessive use of tobacco will also lead to the development of gum disease, which also worsens bad breath.

3. Poor Dental Hygiene

Neglect to brush and floss daily will make food particles decay in your mouth and plaque to develop on your teeth. This will lead to the multiplication of odor-causing bacteria. The tongue is also a place to trap bacteria that produce the foul odors.

4. Dry Mouth

Xerostomia is a condition characterized by chronic dry mouth because of lack of saliva. Without saliva to help cleanse your mouth regularly, odor-causing particles will be trapped inside, causing bad breath after brushing. This condition usually occurs because of a problem in the salivary glands, or because of another underlying disease.

5. Medications

Some medications have been known to produce bad breath as a side effect. They can release chemicals once they have been broken down in your body, which can be carried out through your breath, causing foul odors.

6. Infections in Your Mouth

Surgical wounds from tooth removal may cause infections in your mouth that lead to bad breath. Other causes of infections include gum disease, mouth sores, and tooth decay.

7. Other Mouth, Nose and Throat Conditions

Small stones can sometimes form in your tonsils, and these are full of bacteria that cause foul odors that come out through your breath. Surprisingly, even sinuses and chronic inflammation in your nose can cause postnatal drip and consequently, bad breath.

8. Other Causes

Other causes of bad breath after brushing include some diseases such as cancers, metabolic disorders, and chronic reflux of stomach acids. Though it doesn’t happen often, aspiration pneumonia, bronchiectasis, bowel obstruction, ketoacidosis, and chronic kidney failure have also been known to cause bad breath.

When to See a Doctor

If you have persistent bad breath even after brushing, you can drink a lot of water, try floss, and use mouthwash after every meal. If the situation doesn't improve with these changes, consult with your dentist immediately. Your bad breath may be caused by a more serious underlying condition.

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath Permanently

1. Brush and Floss

Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, so the first step to getting fresh breath is to make sure your mouth is clean. The best way to do this is to brush your teeth after every meal and to floss once a day, removing any food particles that may attract bacteria.

2. Clean Your Tongue

Your tongue is yet another part of your mouth that can collect bacteria over time. Make sure to use a tongue cleaner to scrape your tongue and get rid of food debris, dead cells, and bacteria.

3. Wet Your Whistle

Bad breath often occurs in the morning because less saliva is produced during sleep. Saliva is important to maintaining fresh breath because it contains oxygen which inhibits bacteria growth. Drink lots of water throughout the day so you stay hydrated and stimulate saliva production.

4. Don't Rely on Mint Gums

Chewing on mints is only a temporary solution, as it doesn’t really kill bacteria in your mouth. In fact, if the mint has sugar in it, bacteria will actually feed on the sugar and reproduce faster. Plus, bad breath stemming from underlying medical conditions definitely won’t be cured by just chewing on a piece of gum or mint.

5. Know the Culinary Culprits

Some foods such as garlic and onions can be causes of bad breath. However, more surprising culprits include meat which is notorious for getting stuck along the gum line and in between teeth, attracting bacteria. Meanwhile, high-protein and low-carb diets trigger a condition called ketosis, which is known for causing bad breath after brushing.

6. Rinse After Eating and Drinking

Rinse every time after eating and drinking, but stay away from acidic beverages, coffee, and alcohol. These drinks release chemicals in your bloodstream that will eventually release foul odors through your breath. They also disrupt the acidity in your mouth, allowing bacteria to grow. Instead, just rinse your mouth with water after every meal or drink.

7. Use Herbs

Green tea is great for fresh breath because it contains antibacterial compounds that combat bacteria and bad breath. Cinnamon, mint, cilantro, dill, basil, and parsley also have essential oils that fight against foul odors.

8. Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits high in vitamin C such as oranges, berries, and melons have the double benefit of killing oral bacteria and keeping your breath smelling sweet. Foods rich in fiber like apples, celery, and carrots are also great for removing any food stuck between your teeth.

9. Skip the Cigarettes

Apart from releasing chemicals into your mouth, cigarettes also cause plaque buildup, dry up your mouth and lead to infections and disease. All of these factors add up to bad breath. So quit smoking if you want to get rid of the annoying bad breath.

10. Visit Your Dentist

Visiting your dentist at least twice a year is an essential part of maintaining oral hygiene. Having your teeth cleaned professionally removes any underlying dental problems, which will surely help cure your bad breath.

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