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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.

2. Alcohol

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.

8 Foods That Can Cause Bad Breath3. Garlic

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.

4. Protein

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.

5. Onions

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.

7. Sugar

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

Foods that may prevent bad breath1. Herbs

Oils found in parsley, basil, and mint can all temporarily cover up other less pleasant smells.

2. Apples

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.

3. Greens

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.

4. Water

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:

  1. Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing, flossing, and tongue cleaning allow bacteria to thrive in the mouth, leading to foul-smelling breath.
  2. Gum Disease: Gingivitis and periodontitis can produce bad breath due to bacterial infection and inflammation of the gums.
  3. Dental Issues: Tooth decay, cavities, and abscesses can release odour-producing bacteria, contributing to bad breath.
  4. 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.
  5. Tongue Coating: Bacteria and food particles can accumulate on the tongue’s surface, forming a white or yellow coating that emits odour.
  6. Tobacco Use: Smoking and tobacco products can lead to bad breath, as well as increase the risk of gum disease and oral cancers.
  7. 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.
  8. Medical Conditions: Some systemic illnesses, such as diabetes, respiratory infections, and liver or kidney disease, can produce bad breath as a symptom.
  9. 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.
  10. Dentures and Orthodontic Appliances: Bacteria can accumulate on dentures, braces, and other dental appliances, causing bad breath if not cleaned properly.
  11. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Detecting Underlying Issues: Persistent bad breath may indicate underlying dental or gum problems. Our hygienists can identify and address these issues during your appointment.
  3. 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.
  4. Preventing Gum Disease: Regular hygienist visits can prevent or manage gum disease, a common cause of bad breath.
  5. 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.
  6. Maintaining Oral Health: Regular hygienist appointments are essential for maintaining optimal oral health, preventing future bad breath issues.

What our patients are saying

Adam Mcskimming
Adam Mcskimming
Tremendous first impression of the surgery. Person centred and went above and beyond to ensure I understood next steps. Can't speak more highly of the patient centred care.
Leah Wilson
Leah Wilson
Amazing service from the receptionist, dental nurse Sam and especially Iain and Tin who has been amazing knowing how much of a anxious patient I am they are always there to support me and are extremely caring and I am very grateful for them looking after me Iain goes above and beyond each time for me and is so welcoming.
Dan Smith
Dan Smith
Absolutely fantastic recent had alot of work done by Sinead and jess and they have saved my teeth not been to a dentist in over 10 years and I can say I'm not afraid to go any more , I was in a right tacking wi me mouth and now they have fixed it thank you so much
Delwar Ullah
Delwar Ullah
I recently had three teas taken out at the top and because of my cerebral palsy and diabetes. I was in a lot of pain afterwards a week later I went back to the practice because it wasn’t getting any better and the pain was getting worse. My dentist Sophie was absolutely fantastic she took really good care of me And got me out of pain in no time and she was very thorough And I couldn’t thank you enough for what she had done for me. I’ve got to go back in a week to see if everything is okay no the dentist enormous 65 years in life has ever asked me to come back before but Sophie has top rank
sandra burgess
sandra burgess
Fantastic dentists. The reception team are always polite and helpful. I have had a number of dentists in the 20 years I have been a customer and all have been brilliant. I am currently with Holly who is amazing and has done a wonderful job with my Invisalign and then a few cosmetic changes. She has a great assistant too, which makes a usually stressful experience into a fun one. Highly recommend.
Debbie Tunstill
Debbie Tunstill
I had 3 teeth out Hanisha the dentist and Zoe the dental nurse was brilliant I have a bit of a fear of the dentist but they put me at ease could not thank them enough thank you both of you
Carol Slack
Carol Slack
Very efficient, quick and absolutely pain free
Derrol Palmer
Derrol Palmer
I'm a wuss when it comes to going to the dentist, but I've just had my smile spruced up by the hygienist, Sinead (hope I've spelt that right) and Sherron (hope I've got that right too) who both put me at ease with their banter and turned me out looking 10 years younger. Thanks Derrol
Kathy Wilton
Kathy Wilton
This is the best dental care I’ve ever received. I’m fearful patient dentist (Sophie) has always found a way to calm my anxiety and never rushed me. I asked that if it was possible for them not to tell me what they were doing if possible legally (obviously they have to tell me some things) and i know it’s silly but she didn’t make me feel silly and agreed. I have disabilities too which make laying in the chair uncomfortable but we worked out a system of me lifting my hand if I need to move while she’s working on me. My fears have always been taken into consideration and I’ve never been made to feel bad because of them (childhood trauma yay). They give me distraction techniques and said they’d stop if it got too much (so far not needed to do that). Even after telling them I’d need to be referred to hospital because of one of my conditions for extraction procedures they were great and told me that fine. I’ll never go anywhere else now. Thank you Sophie for helping get over my fears without making me feel like a baby

How to find us in Swallownest, Sheffield

We are conveniently located at 📍46 Worksop Road, Swallownest, Sheffield S26 4WD📍You can access our expert dental services by car or by  public transportation with ease. Ample parking is available.

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