Which Foods Should You Avoid? What Causes Bad Breath?

Which Foods Should You Avoid? What Causes Bad Breath?

April 1, 2022

Daily brushing and flossing, along with regular dental exams and professional cleanings, are all great ways to maintain good oral health and breath. However, from time to time, your breath can get a little offensive. Your diet and dental hygiene are the key factors to blame for this. However, bad breath could also indicate an underlying condition such as dental abscesses, gum disease, and diabetes.

If you have bad breath caused by dietary issues, contact a doctor or dentist near me for proper diagnosis and treatment. Let’s have a look at how the food can affect your breath, familiar foods that cause bad breath, and the appropriate remedies to combat bad breath.

How Does Food Affect Breath?
Typically, many foods and drinks can impact the quality of your breath. Food particles and other debris stick to your tongue and teeth when you eat or drink something, leaving a strong odor. Similarly, strong-smelling food can enter the bloodstream, causing a specific scent.

In other cases, the bacteria in the mouth feeds on our food, especially carbohydrates and sugary items. These bacteria release harmful acids that cause a bad odor. These acids also erode your tooth’s enamel, increasing your risk of cavities and decay. Bacteria can also attack the gum tissues, causing gum disease and lousy breath.

Foods that Cause Bad Breath

  • Garlic and onions

While very healthy, garlic and onions leave smelly sulfur compounds on your tongue and mouth, causing bad breath. Garlic can also be absorbed in the bloodstream and then expelled when you exhale. Fortunately, you can get rid of the foul odor by brushing, flossing, and rinsing thoroughly after eating.

  • Coffee and alcoholic beverages

Coffee and alcoholic beverages have a drying effect on the mouth. Saliva is essential for washing away bacteria and food particles trapped in the mouth. Reduced saliva creates a favorable environment for bad breath and bacterial growth. Fortunately, you can prevent dry mouth and bad breath after drinking coffee or alcohol by staying hydrated.

  • Daily products

Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are essential for your overall well-being. However, they contain certain amino acids that react with the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth, releasing sulfur compounds that cause a sour odor. Brushing with fluoridated toothpaste can help eliminate the bacteria that causes the odor. Alternatively, you can rinse your mouth thoroughly and drink enough water to wash away bacteria and leftover particles in the mouth.

  • Protein

When you consume excess protein, your body produces more ammonia during the digestive process. Which could cause you to omit an offensive aroma.

  • Fish

While fish such as tuna and salmon are highly delicious, they can mess with your breath, especially if canned. Fish contains a specific compound, trimethylamine, which produces a smell. You can use acidic juices from vinegar, oranges, and lemons to eliminate the unsavory odor from your mouth. Acidic ingredients help trimethylamine bind to water, significantly reducing its potency. Chewing flavored but sugar-free gum and brushing after eating fish can also help with the odor.

How to Stop Smelly Breath?

Fortunately, you don’t have to dodge your favorite foods and beverages to avoid bad breath. Simply brushing and flossing well after a meal can prevent the food we eat from causing bad breath. On top of that, you can use certain products such as sugar-free gum and mouthwashes to freshen your breath. Research by the University of Michigan suggests that eating a low-fat diet with lots of vegetables and fruits can freshen your breath.

In some cases, bad breath could signal an underlying medical condition. If bad breath doesn’t go away even with good oral hygiene and dietary changes, it may be time to consult your dentist or doctor. Common conditions associated with bad breath include:

  • Blocked sinus passages
  • Periodontal disease
  • Lung
  • Tooth decay
  • Diabetes
  • Lung disease
  • Kidney and liver disease
  • Autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren’s
  • Chronic irritation of the esophagus and stomach
  • Chronic dry mouth

Treating or managing these underlying conditions can restore your fresh breath. Contact New Vision Dentistry to speak with our dentist in Citrus Heights for more information about a bad breath treatment.

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