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4 Reasons You Stink—And How To Fix Them

Cologne and gum can only cover up so much stank. Here’s how to solve your biggest odor problems—from funky-smelling hair to monstrous morning breath.

Problem: Minty gum or a good brush isn’t cutting it anymore—your breath perma-reeks.

Solution: Your first stop here should be the dentist chair: “Bad breath is primarily caused by the breakdown of food particles remaining in the mouth,” says Joseph Banker, DMD, a dentist with Creative Dental Care in Westfield, New Jersey. Aside from simply giving you a good cleaning, your dentist will check for cavities, gum disease, and something called “low salivary flow” —all of which can be causing that nasty odor escaping from your mouth. Your dentist can also advise you on some better at-home care. For his patients, Banker typically recommends a steady diet of brushing and flossing after meals, an antibacterial rinse like Listerine, and something called a “tongue scraper,” which will remove any bacteria and (gross) decomposing cells.

 

Problem: You’ve been skipping sex because of a (not-so-sexy) odor down there.

Solution: Okay, so all men have their signature scent below the belt. But when you notice a new odor—or that smell gets fouler or stronger, even after washing—something’s up (no pun intended). Washing with a lathering antibacterial soap is obviously important (aim for morning, night, and post-workout), but completely drying off and avoiding dampness throughout the day is just as crucial when it comes to fighting bacteria and odor-causing fungal growth. So apply baby powder mixed with a jock itch powder like Tinactin Jock Itch Powder Spray to absorb moisture and freshen your scent, trim pubic hair to reduce sweating, and wear light cotton underwear, which allows your skin to breath. (Still no improvement? See your doctor, who can suggest a prescription-strength treatment.) 

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