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Food and Your Breath

June 24, 2016

There are several things you never want to find out after meeting and having a conversation with somebody, no matter the relationship; food in your teeth, a stain on your shirt, and, worst of all, bad breath are three of the biggest surprises. From an early age, we are all made well aware the importance of avoiding bad breath.


There are a lot of possible causes and fixes for bad breath. Often times it’s caused by something you eat or drink, and can be easy to fix. Everybody knows the most common culprits for bad breath such as onions and garlic, as well as how easy it is to combat them with a quick brush, gum, or a mint.


Whenever somebody asks us about issues they are having maintaining fresh breath throughout the day, we will ask about their diet. People are often surprised to learn the wide range of foods that can hurt their breath, and on the flip side that there are dietary choices that can actually help combat bad breath.


Food and Drink Causing Bad Breath

As a general rule, along with foods that naturally have a strong odor such as onion and garlic, bad breath can be fueled by foods containing protein and sugar. Everybody knows how coffee can cause bad breath, but loading it up with creamer and sugar can make it even worse. The dairy, protein and sugar makes eggnog a particularly bad culprit around the holidays.


Spices and sauces are major culprits for bad breath, so you may want to check ingredient lists to see what could be eliminated. Common components including horseradish, coriander, cumin, and chili peppers are just a few you will want to look out for.


Your protein intake could also be causing bad breath. Fish is notoriously bad, especially tuna, but any fatty, high-mineral meat can cause problems. The body’s process of breaking down protein can lead to funky breath, especially if you are eating a low-carb, high-protein diet.


Food and Drink to Fight Your Bad Breath

One of the main tactics to combat bad breath throughout the day is to stay hydrated. Drinking water can work wonders, as well as any sugar-free candy or gum. Candies and gum can have a natural scent booster, and they also increase saliva flow, which will further combat your bad breath.


Foods that are crunchy will naturally scrub your teeth and gums as you eat, helping clean as they go. Reach for crunchy healthy foods like apples, carrots, and celery for a breath-boosting snack. Research has found other healthy foods including cherries and lettuce to be your friend when it comes to fighting bad breath.


The active cultures in a serving of unsweetened probiotic yogurt can reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth. Likewise, the antioxidants in a cup of unsweetened black or green tea can ward off unwanted bacteria and odors.


Periodontal Gum Disease and Bad Breath

And while consuming foods that naturally scrub your teeth and gums as you eat is a great way to fight bad breath, it’s still critical to maintain strong dental hygiene. When you’re not, bacteria in your mouth builds, leaving you susceptible to periodontal gum disease – which not only causes bad breath but also breaks down the tissue that holds your teeth in place.


Preventing bad breath and gum disease is about being thorough about your cleaning and dental care. Proper brushing, cleaning, and hygiene will do more than the best and worst food and drink can. It is possible that the cause of bad breath could be something more than dietary. If you want professional input from our team, you can contact us for an appointment today.