Foods that Cause Bad Breath
Bad Breath Foods: Foods to avoid that cause bad breath
There are certain foods to avoid that cause bad breath. Some foods are prone to cause a foul smell to develop on peoples breath more quickly than others. It is common knowledge that foods like garlic and onions cause bad breath but here is a list of foods and types of foods that cause bad breath. Remember that brushing your teeth, flossing, and gargling mouthwash after eating these foods will remove most of if not all the negative effects that these foods will have on your breath. If you are out and about or do not have access to a toothbrush it is always a good idea to sip some water and swish it in your mouth for about 10 seconds and spit it out to remove food particles from your mouth. If you are even more desperate you may use a spoon as a tongue scraper. This will reduce the affect it will have on your breath.
- Foods that contain sugars
- Foods that are acidic
- Foods that dry out your mouth
- Foods that get stuck in the mouth
- Foods with a strong odor
Foods that contain sugars
Sugary foods are the most important to avoid if you are concerned about foods that cause bad breath. The sugar provides a quick food source for bacteria, and allows them to reproduce quickly. Also some bacteria cause the buildup of plaque that coats your teeth and gums if they have access to sugars. When eating sugary food, be sure to brush your teeth after or at least give your mouth a good rinsing. Avoid breath mints and chewing gum that contains sugar as those will do more harm than good. Also lay off of the sugary drinks such as soda pop, coffee, etc.
Foods that are acidic
The mouth has a normal pH level of 6.5. In the pH scale 7 is considered neutral so foods with a pH lower then 7 are considered acidic. Foods that are acidic lower the pH level in the mouth. Bacteria that cause bad breath thrive in this acidic environment. Here is a list of acidic foods:
Although bacteria do like an acidic environment, eating acidic foods does not negatively affect breath nearly as much as eating foods that contain a lot of sugar, dry out the mouth, or that are naturally just smelly like garlic.
Foods that dry out your mouth
Drinks with alcohol will dry out your mouth. A dry mouth helps the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath because these anaerobic bacteria are killed when exposed to oxygen which is found in saliva. So a dry mouth will not have as much oxygen that kills bacteria. Smoking also drys out the mouth very quickly.
NOTE: Unfortunately alcohol is also found in many mouthwashes. Be sure to use one that does not contain alcohol so it does not dry out the mouth.
Everyone knows that smoking makes your breath small bad. If you want fresh breath, quit smoking or switch to e-cigarettes.
Foods that get stuck in the mouth
Your saliva usually does a pretty good job of breaking food down and washing it down the throat and to the stomach through swallowing, but some foods are either fibrous or sticky and easily get stuck in between or on teeth. These left over food particles will act as fuel for the odor causing bacteria and will cause bad breath in time. Make sure to floss after eating foods like these. Here is a list of foods that easily get stuck in your teeth.
- Various sticky candies like Jolly Ranchers
Foods with a strong odor
This is where garlic, onions, salsa, and your mother-in-law's curry belongs. The reason why foods like garlic make you have such bad breath is because garlic contains sulfur compounds. VSCs (Volatile Sulfur Compounds) are what the bacteria produce that causes bad breath. So when eating these foods the bacteria do not even have to do anything and you are going to have breath because the sulfur compounds will get in your mouth from these foods. Be sure to brush, floss, and gargle mouthwash very well after eating these foods to rid your mouth of these sulfur compounds. I find it is also necessary to use a tongue scraper or scrub the tongue well after eating these foods.
For a better understanding of why these foods cause bad breath, read our article on What Causes Bad Breath. Also it would be a good idea to lower the population of the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath so it will take longer for bad breath to develop after eating these foods. In order to learn how to do that read our article on How To Get Rid of Bad Breath.