What Causes the Bad Smell of Alcohol Breath

Drinking BeerAlcohol breath and alcohol bad breath bring two distinctly different pictures to mind.

Did you ever wake up the morning after an evening of celebrating with friends, thinking that you smelled of alcohol and your breath smelled worse? Have you heard of a breathalyzer test that measures blood alcohol levels?  The smell of alcohol can come through your pores but it also can do smelly things in your mouth.

Do you use a mouthwash, only to find that your breath has gone nasty only a short time later? As far as bad breath is concerned, these events are pretty much one and the same thing.

The main cause of alcohol causing bad breath is that alcohol dries you out and it dries out your mouth. The bacteria in your mouth that are the main cause of bad breath thrive in dry conditions and diminish in moist conditions. If you have a dry mouth, the bacteria there will increase in numbers, decompose more proteins into volatile sulfur compounds, and create more bad breath.

Don’t Head For Just Mouthwash – Use Only Non Alcohol Mouthwash

Want to get rid of that telltale breath? The interesting thing about about your body is that it doesn’t care whether the alcohol comes from beverages or from your favorite mouthwash. Yes, the mouthwashes that are supposed to freshen breath can do just the opposite and create the problem they are supposed to eliminate. Many mouthwashes have a very high alcohol content.

This list will give you an idea of the alcohol content of some familiar liquids:

  • White Wine (average) 12%
  • Red Wine (average) 14%
  • Budweiser Beer 5%
  • Michelob Light Beer 4.3%
  • Jack Daniels Black Label Whiskey 40%
  • Listerine Natural Citrus Mouthwash 21.6%

Then there is the second type of bad breath caused by alcohol. The alcohol breath that is measured by a breathalyzer test isn’t from your mouth. Alcohol isn’t digested as food and drinks normally are. It goes directly into the bloodstream. When the blood circulates through the lungs, some of the alcohol molecules pass into the lungs and are breathed out when a person exhales. This air will smell of alcohol and it will contain approximately the same percentage of alcohol molecules that are in the bloodstream. Other people can smell it and a breathalyzer can measure it.

What Should You Do About Alcohol and Bad Breath?

The first type of bad breath is one that can be lessened. By keeping your mouth moist, the anerobic bacteria won’t be encouraged to increase. Drinking more water, drinking less alcohol, tasting some lemon juice to increase saliva flow will all help reduce halitosis.

The Bottom Line Is That Alcohol Makes Your Bad Breath Worse

There are no two ways about it. If you want to have a drink of alcohol or if you want to use a standard mouthwash, you are going to have nasty breath.

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