Question: I love to have a few drinks when I go to parties. But, my breath starts to smell really bad. By the end of the party, I’m usually too embarrassed to talk anymore. I’ve tried keeping a breath mint in my mouth as I drink, but it doesn’t help. Why does this happen? What can I do to avoid this problem?
Answer: Beer, wine, mixed drinks, and similar beverages contain alcohol. Alcohol dries your mouth out. In addition, as your body tries to rid itself of the liquor, it increases urination. This can lead to dehydration, which makes the dry mouth problem worse.
Have you ever noticed that many smokers have smelly breath? Smoking drys the mouth out in record speed, and this causes bad breath. A dry mouth usually doesn’t smell very good.
Saliva is full of natural enzymes that help control breath odor. And, saliva helps wash away bacteria. With a dry mouth, saliva is sparse.
Most breath mints are full of sugar and are useless for freshening breath. They simply feed bacteria, which creates more odors. So, a common mint is the last thing that you need with a dry mouth. You may have a minty taste in your mouth, but your breath will still smell.
If you must use a mint, find one with xylitol in it. Xylitol is a sweetener that cuts through bacteria and plaque, instead of making the problem worse. Chewing gum increases saliva, so that would be a better option than mints. Again, try to find a chewing gum with xylitol added, instead of sugar.
Also, drink water to counteract the dehydration and dry mouth. This is very important, and will work better than anything else.
Try to avoid very sweet drinks, as the sugar fuels the bacteria. Or, step into the restroom and rinse your mouth out after having a mixed drink.
You can also chew on a few popular breath freshening herbs, like parsley, mint, or cardamon.
Drinking water will help prevent a hangover in the morning, so it is helpful in more than one way.