Bad Breath & The Top 5 Foods That Cause It

Ever wonder what causes bad breath? It’s not necessarily that someone doesn’t brush their teeth or floss, it can also be caused by what we eat. The fancy term for bad breath is halitosis and can be something that is long-term (chronic) or creeps up once in a while.

So to help combat bad breath you should watch what you eat!

The Nasty 5 Bad Breath Causing Foods

  1. Garlic – So this one is a no-brainer. You go out for dinner, have a nice steak and some great garlic bread. The next morning you wake up and it seems like you slept with a garlic clove in your mouth. What may surprise you is that garlic is also absorbed into your bloodstream, making its way into your lungs then our of your mouth when you exhale. However, don’t go swearing off garlic for life just yet! Floss and brush your teeth and tongue after you have garlic to prevent offending your friends and family the next day.
  2. Onions – This culprit is similar to garlic which is also absorbed into the bloodstream. Floss and brush after having an excessive amount of onions and you should be alright!
  3. Dairy – Milk is great for your teeth and bones but may cause some foul smelling odor to come out of your mouth. The naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth feed off the amino acids in milk and cheese which can cause bad breath.
  4. Canned Tuna – This one is a whole new level of bad breath. Seafood naturally becomes sour smelling as it oxidizes but seafood in a metallic can will make things even worse. Try fresh seafood instead!
  5. Horseradish – The taste of horseradish exists in the plant to protect itself from hungry animals. Once this has been digested the smell and taste tends to linger for a little while thanks to a chemical compound called isothiocynate.

Please don’t let this list scare you from eating these wonderful foods. After all, the distinctive taste of them that causes the bad breath is the reason why we eat them. Just practice good oral hygiene techniques such as brushing your tongue, your teeth and flossing and you should be just fine.

For more information about halitosis please visit the Mayo Clinic, here.

Stay tuned next week for the top 5 foods that will combat bad breath!

Dr Christopher Sims

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