The bad-breath days in your cycle–and how to fix it

/The bad-breath days in your cycle–and how to fix it

The bad-breath days in your cycle–and how to fix it

tonguePlanning to kiss a cutie, work in close quarters with a colleague or need your breath fresh for any other reason? Keep this tidbit in mind:

A 2008 study in the journal Archives of Oral Biology shows that during your period week and your premenstrual week your mouth has a higher concentration of volatile sulfur compounds–the stinky stuff produced by microorganisms that give you bad breath.

The problem is that low estrogen on these days reduces your mouth’s production of saliva, which means it’s less effective at naturally washing away these foul-smelling substances.

Luckily, keeping your breath fresh is easy: Simply brush your teeth and tongue more often on these days, floss regularly and use an alcohol-free mouth rinse (ones with alcohol lead to dryer conditions in your mouth, which can actually worsen the odor problem).

If those aren’t handy, studies show that sipping unsweetened green tea or black tea can freshen breath by killing the stench-causing microorganisms. And, even drinking plain ol’ tap water can help by simply rinsing away the malodorous compounds.

By | 2018-09-04T20:58:51+00:00 April 10th, 2015|hormonology tip, Week 1, Week 4|4 Comments

About the Author:

Gabrielle Lichterman is the founder of Hormonology, author of 28 Days: What Your Cycle Reveals about Your Love Life, Moods and Potential and creator of the popular Hormone Horoscope menstrual cycle tracker apps. In 2005, Gabrielle pioneered the growing movement among women to live in sync with their menstrual cycles and learn about the many ways their hormones impact their moods, health and behavior with the publication of her book, 28 Days. She's also a longtime women's health journalist whose articles have been published in major publications around the globe. Gabrielle's new updated and expanded version of 28 Days is due to be published December 2018. You can help get this book published by contributing to her crowdfunding campaign at


  1. Gabrielle Lichterman August 28, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    I’m glad you found it helpful, Megan 🙂

  2. Megan August 26, 2016 at 12:25 am

    Great and quick read, I have always wondered about this and thought it was my imagination. Thanks for the info?

  3. Gabrielle Lichterman November 19, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Joy, your fatigue could be related to the sharp dip in estrogen and testosterone and rise in sedating progesterone that occurs at ovulation and for the few days thereafter. Check out my female hormone cycle page to see what I mean:

    Sugar cravings (and fatty, salty and carb-rich cravings) are common during the second half of our cycle due to progesterone, which pushes us to eat, eat, eat, and descending estrogen, which lowers the brain’s level of serotonin, so we seek to re-balance it with carb-rich foods. I’ve written about great premenstrual tips here: But, just quickly, research shows you can rein in cravings by taking a 10-minute brisk walk (which distracts you till the craving passes and triggers mood-lifting endorphins) and playing video games for a few minutes (one study shows Tetris is pretty effective, but any video game that sucks you in will work since, again, it distracts you until the craving passes).

    Hope these tips help!

  4. Joy November 17, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I am delighted with your website. I have pcos so my cycle can be irregular. I get very tired around ovulation and bad sugar cravings at certain times during the month, any tips please? Keep up the good work, thanks.

Leave A Comment