Ask someone why smoking causes bad breath, and you will probably hear a litany of answers - the smoke leaves residue on the tongue, smoking leads to tooth decay, tobacco use increases the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Now, new research points to another way that smoking can leave your mouth smelling funky.
A study published in the Journal of Dental Research, Dental Clinics, Dental Prospects found that smoking may cause the mouth to produce less saliva. Without moisture on your tongue, oral bacteria can run wild, resulting in dental damage and, of course, some seriously bad breath.
Researchers from the Kerman University of Medical Sciences in Iran discovered that smokers tend to experience a roughly 0.20-milliliter/minute reduction in the flow of their saliva, compared to non-smokers.
Furthermore, participants who smoked were three times as likely to have xerostomia, a condition in which the mouth is chronically dry, and one that rinsing with a specialty breath freshening product can relieve.
Besides cutting back on tobacco, people who smoke may consider using a specialty tongue scraper, an oral care probiotics treatment or a mouthwash that neutralizes bad breath.