Bad breath can be a terribly offensive, humiliating problem, and one that we all face on a regular basis. No matter how much we care for our teeth before bed each night, we commonly wake up with a rotten smell in the morning. On top of that, the foods that we eat can exacerbate the problem.
Halitosis (bad breath) is often caused by sulfur-containing compounds called Mercaptans, particularly Hydrogen Sulfide and Methyl Mercaptan. Some foods that contain these compounds are well known, including onions and garlic.
Other well-known foods that cause bad breath are tuna and fish, which contain trimethylamine (TMA), according to the American Society of Nutrition. If you want to reduce this smell after eating, rinse your mouth with water or consume lemon, tomato, or other acids, which bind the TMA and decrease the smell.
Other agents that cause bad breath by drying out the mouth are called dessicants. Alcohol is one of the most prominant dessicants. While we all know of common drinks that contain alcohol, some alcohol-containing mouthwashes can also decrease saliva production and cause temporary dry mouth, which can make bad breath worse. Caffeinated products, such as coffee, also have a similar effect. If you struggle with chronic bad breath, you might have a condition known as xerostomia, which can be caused by certain medications or from salivary gland issues, among others disorders.
Interested in eating foods that might actually cause good breath? You should try water, sugarless gum, broccoli, or yogurt, which have had evidence of reducing halitosis. If you consistently have problems with halitosis even after practicing good oral hygiene, it could be a sign of a bigger problem, such as periodontal disease, or even a problem with your esophagus, kidney, or liver (check with your doctor for official diagnoses).
If you have any questions about halitosis or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.
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