Surprising Foods That Cause Bad Breath

It may be embarrassing but bad breath is a problem that affects many people.

How stinky your breath is depends on the level of bacteria and decaying cells in your mouth. There are many sources or underlying causes of bad breath but in this article, we’ll identify the key offenders that are right under our noses – the foods we eat.

Basically, all food is broken down in the mouth as you chew and if you eat certain food with strong odors, they leave behind more than just taste. The use of mouthwash or brushing your teeth simply covers up the odor temporarily, until the food is completely flushed out of your body. If your breath has been a little off lately, one of these 5 breath busters is probably the culprit.

  1. Garlic. Horrid-smelling enough to scare off even vampires, it doesn’t come as a surprise that garlic tops the list. Labeled as the ‘King of Stinky Food’ by many, the taste is not only hard to wash out of your mouth but chewing garlic releases smelly sulfur compounds that are absorbed into your bloodstream. It then makes its way into your lungs and is expelled when you exhale, causing bad breath. Excessive garlic consumption, especially eaten raw, may cause the odor to be emitted through the skin pores too. Find out how to get rid of garlic breath.
  2. Onions. Onions and garlic come from the same allium plant family, which produces Cysteine Sulfoxide, which gives these cloves theirs distinct odor and taste. These sulfuric compounds can linger in your mouth and sabotage your breath for up to a day.
  3. Canned Tuna and Seafood. When seafood oxidizes, it creates oxygen-loving (anaerobic) bacteria that cause bad breath. As for canned tuna, the oxidization process is intensified due to the dark, metallic can it’s stored in. If you’re planning to have a tuna sandwich for lunch, be prepared for nasty and fishy breath. Freshen Up Your Breath. Pop a piece of sugar-free gum into your mouth to freshen up. Chewing gum helps stimulate saliva to wash away any food particles that might be stuck in your mouth. To help reduce the ‘fishy’ smell, we also encourage fish lovers to splash some vinegar or lemon onto your fish before consuming. 
  4. Dairy Foods. Dairy foods such as milk and cheese contains high amount of protein, lactose and lipid, and millions of bacteria found in our teeth, tongue, palate and gut ‘feeds’ on them. Over time, this digestive process produces ‘Hydrogen Sulphide’, which emits a strong sour smell when exhaled. Freshen Up Your Breath. It may be hard to believe but you can fight dairy breath with more dairy – it just has to be the right kind. Swap your cheese and milk for yoghurts with live probiotics and healthy bacteria that will help your body digest the food you eat.
  5. Caffeinated Beverages & Alcohol. Mouth bacteria loves dry environment. Dehydrating drinks such as coffee, tea and alcohol are major contributors to bad breath because they reduce the level of saliva, which encourages bacterial growth inside the mouth. Freshen Up Your Breath. Drinking water regularly, especially after meals, helps flush out the bacteria and alleviate the bad breath associated with dry mouth.

None of this however, should be the reason to swear off the above foods completely. Just don’t overdo it and make sure you brush and floss your teeth regularly after meals. Also, keep yourself hydrated.

At Smilefocus, bad breath is something that we’ve dealt with frequently, so don’t be shy to seek help if this problem persists, as it can also be a sign of other serious problems. Call us at 6834 0877 or book your dental appointment here

 

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