Suffering from bad breath? You may want to take a look at what you eat. Even if you have good dental hygiene, brush twice a day and floss once a day, you can still suffer from bad breath, and it could be a result of your diet.
What Causes Bad Breath?
The most common cause of bad breath, also called halitosis, is bacteria. Bacteria form from the residual food and dead cells left in the mouth after eating a meal. Brushing and flossing are very important and removing residual food particles and dead cells. It is also important to clean the tongue, as it is often overlooked when brushing and can contain contribute to bad breath.
Some foods, like coffee and garlic, can make your breath smell for hours due to the ingredients and compounds in them.
- Garlic and onions – Garlic and onions top the list of foods that cause bad breath. The smelly sulfur compounds in both onions and garlic are absorbed into the bloodstream and are expelled when you exhale, causing bad breath.
- Coffee and alcohol – Coffee and alcoholic drinks encourage oral bacteria growth, which can lead to bad breath. They can also dry out your mouth, reducing saliva creation. Less saliva means the smell-causing bacteria can live longer in your mouth.
There are some foods you can try to improve the smell of your breath, like water and gum.
- Water – Water helps flush the mouth to free lodged food and encourage the production of saliva. Saliva helps to cleanse the mouth of bacteria.
- Sugarless gum – Chewing gum can loosen the food stuck in teeth and gums, and promote the production of saliva. In addition, sugar-free gum has a sweetener called xylitol, which is effective for inhibiting bacteria.
Possible Medical Conditions Causing Bad Breath
If you have improved your dental hygiene and diet, and still suffer from halitosis, it may be time to consult a doctor or dentist. Common health issues that cause halitosis include periodontal disease, xerostomia, and ketoacidosis.
- Periodontal disease is a serious inflammation of the gums that can cause tooth and bone damage and causes bad breath.
- Xerostomia is a condition of dry mouth resulting from reduced or absent saliva flow.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis is a buildup of acids in your blood caused by high blood sugar levels. These high blood sugar levels can cause a fruity breath smell.