If you have bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth after brushing your teeth, you aren’t imagining things. The minty freshness of toothpaste plus the scrubbing power of your toothbrush may not be enough to fix some underlying issues.
We have between 2,000 and 8,000 taste buds in our mouths, mostly on our tongues. With so many taste sensors, it’s easy to detect a lingering flavor — especially if you don’t like it. You may experience a bad taste in your mouth — even after brushing — because of these factors:
What causes bad breath or bad taste in your mouth after brushing teeth?
• Medication: Antidepressants, neurological medications, and anti-thyroid medicines can leave a metallic taste in your mouth. The severity varies for individuals. Talk to your dentist and your primary care physician about this. They can recommend a mouth rinse to help with taste and dryness.
• Pregnant women in their 1st trimester: A bitter taste is typical because of increased levels of estrogen in the body while you’re pregnant. These side effects are temporary. Talk to your dentist and your primary care physician about this to see what they recommend. Click here for more on visiting the dentist while pregnant.
• Acid reflux: Stomach acid can cause a similar bitter taste in the mouth if you experience reflux. Discuss your symptoms with your primary care physician and dentist right away if you haven’t already. Click here for more on how reflux can impact your oral health.
• Dental problems: Tooth decay, gum infections, and other problems can cause a bad taste in the mouth due to the presence of bacteria. Visiting the dentist at least every six months will help ensure you’re addressing any issues. Click here to find a dentist near you.
• Halitosis: Bad breath can also be a problem on its own. Bacteria in the mouth caused by food particles stuck between teeth can contribute to the foul taste and smell. It’s important to floss, brush your tongue, and use mouthwash. Brushing your teeth alone is not enough. Chronic bad breath could be a sign it’s time to see the dentist.
• Bad habits: Smoking or a poor diet can also lead to a bad breath and taste in the mouth. Good oral health is the key to removing this bad taste and breath and improving your health. Click here to learn how to quit smoking.
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