Health, Lifestyle

Is there ANYTHING worse than bad breath?

Melissa Imbesi by Melissa Imbesi
April 5th, 2016

If there’s one thing the world can agree on, it’s bad breath. Nobody wants it and I’m 3000% sure nobody wants to smell it. The thought of having bad breath freaks me out big time, which is why I am rarely without a chewy in my mouth and get all kinds of awkward around people who are close-talkers. And morning breath? Peak gross.

This past week on the podcast, Monty and I had a chat about her partner Sam’s incredibly loud chewing, which then somehow rolled into me explaining why avoiding a dry mouth is important for keeping pong breath at bay. She was skeptical about what I was saying… and I was totally confident.

‘Cos I’m right.

And this deep-dive into avoiding and rectifying breath that smells like you’ve been chowing down on shit sandwiches explains it all…


Dry mouth: One of the culprits of the dreaded morning breath. Because you’re not taking in any fluids during the night and your saliva production is at a low, your mouth gets super dry and yuck. According to Medical Daily, Dr Hugh Flax says, “During the day, your mouth produces a significant amount of saliva, but while you sleep, saliva production goes down.” Saliva is so important because it gets rid of all of those particles of food that left to their own devices, will just hang around the joint and collect bacteria. Especially if you’re a mouth-breather or snorer, chances are pretty likely that you’re gonna wake up smelling like a dog’s arse has set up camp in your mouth. Sex-ay. 

Food and drink: We all know this one, right? If you’re looking to score the worst breath possible, chow down on garlic and onions, because they’re at the top of the “your breath could kill an entire community” list. The culprit is the sulfur, which lingers in your mouth and is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Damn you garlic and onions, damn you and your gift of deliciousness with embarrassing consequences. Other food and beverage freshness-destroyers are alcohol, excessive dairy and meat, sugar, processed foods, coffee and soft drink. Basically, all the delicious stuff. Reserve them for your closest loved ones to deal with.

Tasty going in, FOUL coming out. Choose wisely

Tasty going in, FOUL coming out. Choose wisely

Medical conditions and medications: Minor ailments such as sinus issues and post-nasal drip from colds and viruses can mess with your breath, but are likely to be temporary. According to Paul Vankevich, professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, consistently bad breath can point to more serious medical conditions such as Periodontal disease, autoimmune conditions, even kidney or liver disease. If you’ve got a case of stink mouth that never seems to go away, it’s worth seeking medical advice. Certain medications can also dry out your mouth, resulting in bad breath.


Good oral hygiene: Make sure you’re brushing twice a day, flossing once, and for the love of God, SCRAPING YOUR TONGUE. I’ve been doing this for years and I’ll tell you, the stuff that comes off your tongue is revolting times eight billion. I scrape first, then brush my teeth and then brush my tongue. You can find tongue scrapers all over the place these days, but if you are keen to try before committing, try running a spoon along your tongue,  and see what goodies are waiting for you at the end. It’s like the pot of gold at the bottom of the rainbow, but totally disgusting.

Tongue scraping. You're mad if you don't.

Tongue scraping. You’re mad if you don’t.

Keep your mouth MOIST: Poor ‘moist’ gets such a bad rap, but when it comes to your breath, is so important. Keep a bottle of water by the bed and as soon as you wake, get hydrating. Drink plenty of H2O during the day and go easy on the coffee and ciggies if that’s your (literal) poison.

Eat well: Yes, yes, very boring but also very true. In addition to lots of water, fresh fruits and vegetables are dynamite at keeping your mouth clean, healthy and smelling fresh as a…..cucumber? Apples and celery are winners. Chlorophyll-rich parsley is also a good one for keeping that breath from being a nostril-offender, as are mint leaves.

Probiotics: You know those Inner Health Plus ads you’re always seeing on TV? Ever wondered exactly what a probiotic does? Simply put, they give your body the enzymes required to break down the food in your gut properly and stop it from sitting in there, stewing and fermenting and making its way back up and out of your pie hole. Ewwwww.  Dr Debra Glassman, an NYC-based cosmetic dentist, recommends popping one daily to keep your gut happy and healthy.

So Pharmacists and budding inventors, one of you clever cats needs to invent a tablet that eliminates bad breath immediately. Just think, you can have your garlic AND a pash (or at the very least a close convo) without worrying about leaving a trail of devastation behind you. Get that idea on Shark Tank and you’re a gazillionaire.

You can hear Monty and I talking all things bad breath, working from home and the TikTok EVERYONE is talking about in the pod ep below. Strap on some cans and have a listen… and don’t forget to subscribe here for heaps more.