In “The Simpsons,” Homer Simpson is known to drink Duff Beer on a regular basis; however, you’d be hard-pressed to find an episode where Marge kisses Homer when he’s drunk, probably because of all he had to drink at Moe’s Tavern. If Homer drank less, he would probably enjoy more loving from Marge. The same thing could happen to you, if you take the steps to avoid and get rid of alcohol breath.
Alcohol breath is usually caused either by aromatic or strong-smelling drinks, but it can also be caused by overindulgence. Alcoholics, winos, and drunkards smell the same because of the alcohol that has seeped through their system, causing that tell-tale odor. If you have problems with alcohol odor reeking from your mouth, here are some ways to bring back the freshness in your breath.
How Alcohol Makes Your Breath Smell Bad
Excessive alcohol consumption can cause bad breath in three ways:
- The odor of the drink. What you eat and drink will make its way into the cells and tissues of your mouth, throat, and the rest of your digestive system. Alcohol has a very powerful odor that can mingle with saliva and the cells of your digestive system, and cause bad breath.
- Dehydration. Alcohol can draw out the water and moisture content from some of the cells and tissues in your mouth and tongue. It can also dry out and numb your salivary glands. Alcoholics do not make enough saliva to keep their mouths moist. A dry mouth, or not producing enough saliva, can cause halitosis. (Learn how to cure bad breath)
- The beginnings of fermentation.For alcoholics who have been drinking highballs for a long time, the alcohol may have built up enough to cause food and cells to ferment. Fermentation is the same process used to make alcoholic drinks like wine and beer. A chronic alcoholic’s breath will smell exactly like the drink he or she is dependent on.
Watch What You Drink
If you’re going out for a night of drinking and you don’t want your breath to smell like what you drink, here are some ways to get around the problem:
- Don’t mix drinks. Your breath is going to smell like your drink one way or another. The best way to prevent this problem is to stick to one drink you prefer, and drink that all through the party. Different drinks have different odors. When these odors mingle, you’re going to get all sorts of funky smells in your mouth that will make you smell like the air from an old tavern.
- Stay away from aromatic drinks. Drinks infused with spices, herbs, and other ingredients usually have a more powerful odor than ordinary liquor or beer. There’s no harm in trying a few shots of an exotic drink, but make sure that the smell is just enough to flavor the drink, not to knock out the next person you’ll talk to.
- Drink only what you can handle. If you drink too much, you’ll end up smelling exactly like what you had to drink. Don’t drink hard liquor or cocktails that have a very strong alcohol scent if you’re worried about alcohol breath.
Moisten With The Munchies
One of the reasons why many bars and drinking spots serve complimentary peanuts and offer snacks at a fairly low price is to keep yourself filled when you drink. Food absorbs the excess alcohol you drink so that it will not harm or irritate your stomach lining. Food also stimulates the production of saliva, which prevents your mouth and tongue cells from getting dehydrated. Don’t be too greedy on the snacks, though; it’s impolite to just keep eating while the rest of your friends drink.
One reliable way to get rid of alcohol breath is to chew gum. Chewing gum can make your salivary glands produce more saliva than candy, because of the chewing motion needed to consume it. Any sort of chewing gum will do, but here are two effective chewing gum types that can best remove alcohol breath:
- Sour fruit-flavored gum. Sour gum can stimulate your salivary glands because of the tart flavor. Whenever you can, buy as sour a gum as you can handle. The flavor will make you cringe, but the sourness will eventually go away the longer you chew it.
- Mint gum. Mint-flavored gum is often used as a breath freshener and breath deodorizer. Chew the gum with the most powerful menthol flavor you can find.
The morning after your drinking party, not only do you have a heavy hangover, but you also probably have a very dry mouth and foul-smelling breath. Instead of a “morning-after” shot of what you had to drink the previous night, it’s better to drink two tall glasses of water to moisten your mouth, and also to replenish the water lost from the alcohol you consumed. Water also helps to relieve some of the side-effects of the hangover. (For hangover remedies, read how to cure a hangover)
Brush, Floss, and Gargle
The best way to get rid of alcohol breath is to brush, floss, and gargle right before you go to sleep and let the alcohol take effect, or when you wake up the morning after. With all that you had to eat and drink, microbes and all sorts of food particles have already made their way into your mouth and cause odors and possible decay. If you drink a lot, you should pay more attention than usual to your teeth:
- Brush for an extra two minutes. Take the extra time to brush out what you can of alcohol residue and alcohol-soaked food from your teeth. Alcohol can corrode the enamel coating your teeth.
- Don’t forget to floss. Pay special attention to food particles stuck in between your teeth. For best results, use unwaxed dental floss.
- Use mouthwash. After you’re done brushing your teeth, it helps to rinse and gargle with mouthwash. Don’t use mouthwash full strength if it contains alcohol: you’ll only end up aggravating and irritating the dehydrated cells in your mouth. Instead, use two capfuls of alcohol-based mouthwash for every four capfuls of water.
Alcohol breath is the least of your problems if you drink too much. Alcohol breath is often a sign that something is wrong with your liver or your digestive system. Drink responsibly and consume alcohol in moderation to avoid the risk of cirrhosis (Learn how to get rid of cirrhosis), liver disease, or stomach cancer. If you have persistent alcohol breath, consult your doctor.
While you can’t take Duff Beer away from Homer, there are times that he is sober and loved by Marge. Compare that to his friend Barney Grumble, who doesn’t have a wife or a significant other, except his mug of beer. With these ways to get rid of alcohol breath, you don’t have to go through the same problems Homer does whenever he drinks. If you’re interested reading this article, you’ll surely enjoy learning how to get rid of alcoholism too.