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How to Get Rid of Bad Taste or Odor After Flossing

It tastes and smells like something died in your mouth.  Sometimes described as a burnt or rotten taste or smell, this particular odor or taste is both unpleasant and worrisome.

There are many causes of mouth odor and a bad taste in your mouth. But, I'm talking about that taste or odor that occurs right after flossing.  

Even those with great flossing habits can have a spot or two with this issue.  In this article learn the causes and more importantly the cure for bad taste or bad smell after flossing.


The odor may be caused by tissue that is inflamed.  Even if you floss everyday, you may occasionally notice an odor or taste.  

There are some teeth that are more difficult to floss due to gaps between the teeth or bulky filling or crown margins that make it hard to remove all the the plaque.

When there is plaque there is bacteria and eventually, inflammation.

What to do

1. Keep flossing. Even if the area is sore.  Be sure you are using proper flossing technique.  More about how to floss properly here.

2. Tie a small knot in your floss and gently pull the knot back and forth between the teeth.  The knot will clean areas that flossing may miss.

3. Use a flosser with a plastic toothpick.  I like Plackers brand floss picks because the plastic toothpick is flexible and small enough to go between most teeth. It will fit where wooden toothpicks will not.  

4. Use Listerine.  Swish with Listerine for 30 seconds a day or dip your toothbrush in Listerine and gently massage into the gums.  

See your dentist if there is no improvement or if you have other symptoms

What You Should Know About Bad Tastes or Odors

There are other reasons for bad or unusual odors or tastes in your mouth.  Things like tooth decay to a gum problem may cause a bad taste or odor.  Sometimes treatment is needed.  See your dentist if there is no improvement after following the above suggestions.  See your dentist if you have other symptoms.

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