Ew, I have bad breath
December 1, 2006 7:27 AM   Subscribe

How do I fix the problem of bad breath from dry mouth (due to medication)?

I am taking Wellbutrin and recently increased my dosage to the max amount. Ever since I did that, I've noticed a metallic taste in my mouth, and I've needed to drink a lot of water. An honest person at work told me that I usually have bad breath. Sometimes pretty bad, sometimes really bad. I did a little research and realized that the bad breath is from the dry mouth which is from the Wellbutrin. Many questions:

1. Is the bad breath caused by something specifically associated with the medicine or dry mouth condition? Like a specific bacteria, or a specific thing that I might be doing, for example?

2. It is very embarassing having someone constantly offering me breath mints, so I'd like to be able to figure out myself if my breath smells so that I can do something about it. So - how can I tell if my breath smells? The whole covering your mouth and nose and sniffing thing does not work, and the metallic taste is not always there when my breath smells, so I can't use that as an indicator.

3. How do I fix this issue or at the very least mask the smell or make it temporarily go away? Is there a specific mouth wash, method of brushing my teeth (I already brush, floss and use a tongue scraper twice a day out of habit), food I should be eating, or something that I should be doing? And how frequently should I do it?

Thank you in advance, you can email me at ewihavebadbreath@gmail.com if you're embarassed about your bad breath too or want to ask me anything.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm omnivorous, but eating less meat will definitely help out bad breath.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:37 AM on December 1, 2006

try biotene mouthwash

and altoids
posted by milarepa at 7:40 AM on December 1, 2006 [1 favorite]

I second the biotene idea.
posted by christinetheslp at 7:48 AM on December 1, 2006

Thirding the biotene. That's we recommend in our periodontal office.
posted by Ruki at 8:06 AM on December 1, 2006

Toms of Maine makes a drymouth toothpaste. But it's peach flavored, and kinda gross.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 8:17 AM on December 1, 2006

I had the same problem when I was taking Wellbutrin. I just made sure I always had a pack of mint gum with me at all times. Chewing the gum fights dry mouth by promoting saliva production, which mints don't do.
posted by blueskiesinside at 8:40 AM on December 1, 2006 [1 favorite]

There's been a recent discussion on my Hodgkin's Disease board about this sort of thing (well, the dry mouth part at least) and eating pineapple has been suggested as a surprising cure to drymouth. Apparently it's an old wive's tale that might just be worth something. I haven't tried it myself, but it's worth a shot, right?

I don't know if bad breath is associated with wellbutrin, but it's certainly associated with bad breath. I believe it's something to do with bacterial production, though I could be wrong.
posted by Moondoggie at 12:41 PM on December 1, 2006

I found some quickly inhaling chloraseptic mist (or naturopathic equivalent) products help in these sort of circumstances, since, as I understand it, the odor is lung based rather than mouth.

As an aside, many who have bad breath solve the problem with flossing. Although that is not the problem here, you would be surprised how many people's bad breath is caused by unflossed teeth and deterioration food particles. (Gross.)

Lastly, have you tried flavored hydrogen peroxide? I have seen this also work wonders.

Lastly, this piece is refreshingly insightful.
posted by mongonikol at 2:23 PM on December 1, 2006

Wellbutrin user here: yep, gum!
posted by pullayup at 5:13 PM on December 1, 2006

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