Bad Breath: How It Works

Bad Breath clipart.comStinky breath? Blame bacteria.

Don’t reach for those curiously strong mints. Most halitosis is caused not by smelly foods but by anaerobic bacteria in your mouth, which produce stinky volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). The bacteria buildup can come from gum disease, tooth decay, dry mouth, and sinus problems.

To conquer these underlying causes:


  • 1.

    Brush and floss twice a day,

    and see your dentist regularly for cleanings.

  • 2.

    Use a tongue scraper twice a day.

    “Think of the tongue as a carpet. Some people have shags that are harder to keep clean,” says Anthony Dailley, DDS, of the Center for Breath Treatment near San Francisco.

  • 3.

    Use a neti pot

    (a teapot-like container that rinses and cleans the nasal cavity) or a higher-tech electronic sinus irrigator (a water pick for your nose).

  • 4.

    Don't use alcohol-based mouthwashes

    They dry out the mouth, says Dr. Dailley, making the problem worse. Drink lots of water to flush the bacteria away.

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.