For most people, having bad breath is a common problem that often impacts how they feel about themselves and how they communicate or interact with friends, coworkers, and family. The foods that can be the cause of bad breath are listed below.
Foods that Can Cause Bad Breath
1. Coffee and Tea
Certain foods can decrease mouth moisture, providing sustenance for odour-causing bacteria. Balancing them in your diet, while adding flavour, can be challenging for your breath. Taste buds may not thrive on a breath-friendly diet.
Coffee and tea, both notorious for drying the mouth and their strong scents, are daily staples in the UK. In fact, Britons consume 165 million cups of tea daily, equivalent to 20 Olympic swimming pools!
Eliminating both could reduce the risk of bad breath, though your morning ritual may not see significant improvement. After your coffee, consider a glass of water to rinse your mouth and restore moisture.
Alcohol, with its high sulphite content, is known to be a beverage that can contribute to bad breath. Its potent drying effect provides an environment conducive for harmful bacteria to thrive. Consider opting for water, tea, or coffee as alternatives and minimize alcohol consumption whenever feasible to maintain fresh breath.
While garlic adds richness to curries, spaghetti sauces, and more, it’s a known culprit for causing bad breath. Its strong aroma can persist, even entering the bloodstream and exiting through the lungs, making the taste linger for days after consumption, impacting your breath long after the meal.
You may have noticed that enjoying dishes like spaghetti bolognese, wine, and coffee isn’t the best choice for fresh breath. While protein itself doesn’t have a noticeable odour, it can trigger processes leading to bad breath. When your protein intake is significantly higher than fats and carbohydrates, the body converts excess protein into energy through ketosis, producing ketones with a strong odour that brushing or flossing can’t eliminate.
However, reducing your protein intake may not be feasible or advisable depending on your dietary needs, so prioritising overall health is crucial. One way to mitigate the effects of a high-protein diet is by increasing your water intake, which can help freshen your breath.
Due to their high sulphur content, consuming onions can lead to unpleasant breath originating from both the mouth and the lungs. Consequently, thorough mouth washing may only tackle part of the problem.
6. Canned Fish
While opting for canned fish like tuna makes for a convenient and speedy lunch choice, it’s important to note that it often results in bad breath. The fish begins to oxidize within the can, emitting an odour that can linger in your mouth even after your midday meal.
Sugar is an ideal fuel for the bacteria responsible for bad breath. While gum chewing can help keep your mouth moist, it’s essential to choose sugar-free gum; otherwise, you’re simply feeding the germs!
8. Highly Acidic Foods
Foods with high acidity, such as sauerkraut, tomatoes, blueberries, and grapes, create an environment favoured by harmful bacteria. While fruits and vegetables are crucial for a balanced diet, acidic ones can harm dental health. This highlights an important concern: an oral-friendly diet may not meet overall nutritional needs due to the exclusion of certain foods and nutrient imbalances.
Foods that can prevent bad breath
Oils found in parsley, basil, and mint can all temporarily cover up other less pleasant smells.
You may significantly reduce your risk of developing bad breath if you can replace acidic foods with apples.
Apples act as a natural mouthwash by breaking down the substances that cause bad breath.
Melons are another excellent fruit choice because of their high vitamin C content, which not only controls bacteria but also helps in the prevention of gum disease and gingivitis.
By balancing internal PH levels, spinach fights bad breath.
As well as spinach, foods like kale, lettuce, and cabbage may all help in the fight against bad breath.
By preventing the bacteria of a dry mouth, where they thrive, drinking plenty of water helps to keep your mouth hydrated and saliva levels high. Moreover, water will wash away food odour-causing particles.
Other potential underlying issues for bad breath
Besides food, bad breath can also be caused by various underlying issues, including:
- Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing, flossing, and tongue cleaning allow bacteria to thrive in the mouth, leading to foul-smelling breath.
- Gum Disease: Gingivitis and periodontitis can produce bad breath due to bacterial infection and inflammation of the gums.
- Dental Issues: Tooth decay, cavities, and abscesses can release odour-producing bacteria, contributing to bad breath.
- Dry Mouth: A lack of saliva can result in a dry mouth, making it easier for bacteria to cause bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by medications, medical conditions, or mouth breathing.
- Tongue Coating: Bacteria and food particles can accumulate on the tongue’s surface, forming a white or yellow coating that emits odour.
- Tobacco Use: Smoking and tobacco products can lead to bad breath, as well as increase the risk of gum disease and oral cancers.
- Diet: Consuming pungent foods like garlic, onions, and certain spices can result in temporary bad breath. Additionally, crash diets and fasting can cause an unpleasant odour.
- Medical Conditions: Some systemic illnesses, such as diabetes, respiratory infections, and liver or kidney disease, can produce bad breath as a symptom.
- Sinus and Respiratory Issues: Postnasal drip and sinus infections can lead to bad breath due to the buildup of mucus and bacteria in the throat.
- Dentures and Orthodontic Appliances: Bacteria can accumulate on dentures, braces, and other dental appliances, causing bad breath if not cleaned properly.
- Alcohol and Mouthwash: Overuse of alcohol-based mouthwashes and certain medications containing alcohol can contribute to dry mouth and worsen bad breath.
What should you do?
If you have bad breath, booking an appointment for our hygienist services is essential for several reasons:
- Effective Deep Cleaning: Our hygienists are trained to perform thorough cleanings that remove built-up plaque and tartar, which can be a source of bad breath.
- Detecting Underlying Issues: Persistent bad breath may indicate underlying dental or gum problems. Our hygienists can identify and address these issues during your appointment.
- Tailored Oral Care: We provide personalised advice and recommendations to improve your oral hygiene routine, including brushing, flossing, and tongue cleaning, which can help combat bad breath.
- Preventing Gum Disease: Regular hygienist visits can prevent or manage gum disease, a common cause of bad breath.
- Fresh Breath Confidence: Our hygienist services can help restore your confidence by addressing the root causes of bad breath and ensuring a fresh, pleasant breath.
- Maintaining Oral Health: Regular hygienist appointments are essential for maintaining optimal oral health, preventing future bad breath issues.
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