We know there are any number of reasons for smelly breath, like not frequently brushing or flossing, tooth decay, possibly gum disease but if you’re in good health what is it that keeps you holding your hand to your mouth? One of the main reasons patients go to the dentist is to resolve bad breath. “Many patients don’t realize their everyday diet and the foods they ingest impact their breath,” says Dr. Espinosa.
Certain foods you eat when mixed with your body chemistry may be the culprit. You’re probably not surprised by garlic and onions, but you may find some unsuspecting foods you eat have a lasting impression on your mouth. Discover these foods below, why they cause bad breath, and tips to help you keep that smile fresh.
• Coffee – caffeine tends to dry out your mouth, slowing down the production of saliva, which in turn causes bad breath. Saliva helps kill bacteria in your mouth, plus it removes food particles keeping your mouth clean and fresh. Coffee already has a pungent smell, so when combined with dry mouth and bacteria causes serious odor.
• Alcohol – similar to coffee, alcohol has a dehydrating effect. Your body treats alcohol as a toxin and tries to convert it to a less harmful chemical, an acetic acid. This is then released through your respiratory system and out your mouth emitting an unpleasant odor.
• Curry – it tastes so good, but boy it smells so bad. Spicy food can often times lead to indigestion. When your stomach is upset it produces excess acid which can backflow into your esophagus, which you then exhale with a release of stinky breath.
• Horseradish – a plant with a natural defense to keep animals away, may also have the same effect on your friends. Horseradish gets most of its flavor from a chemical compound that detours animals from eating it. Once this compound is digested in the human body, it has a long lasting impact on your breath.
• Dairy – the amino acids in milk and cheese are a feeding frenzy for bacteria in your mouth. The result, foul breath. While milk does a body good, it doesn’t have the same result for your breath.
• Tuna – most seafood, naturally smelly, gets even worse as it oxidizes – a reactional change when exposed to oxygen. When stored in a metal can, like tune, this process becomes compounded. Thus, leaving you with a pungent residue in your mouth.
• Garlic and onions – of course they both made the list, as they are the biggest offenders when it comes to bad breath. They both contain sulfuric compounds that get absorbed in your bloodstream, making their way into your lungs and surface with a killer odor when you’re least expecting it.
Now, how do you rid your mouth of such odor? First, remember it’s all about moderation, especially when it comes to the more harmful foods like coffee and alcohol. But the other foods have so many health benefiting qualities, we don’t want you to avoid them entirely. Remember to brush and floss after eating. Drink lots of water to cleanse the mouth. And chew on sugar free gum to freshen your breath. Also, don’t forget, there is a reason for the saying misery loves company! Always make sure you’re enjoying these aromatic foods with others. Then no one will notice if it’s you or them.