There are multiple reasons for why someone might have bad breath, from gum disease and smoking to diet and lifestyle, but one of the most common causes of bad breath is, usually, down to the food we eat. Where we can’t always help but consume these foods and beverages, it could help to explain why your breath does not smell particularly pleasant. Here are seven different foods that could be the reason for your bad breath problem:

1. Tea & coffee

Whether you are starting your day or are on a break at work, tea and coffee makes up a large part of our lives. We are consuming either tea or coffee almost everyday. According to the UK Tea & Infusions Association, Britain consumes roughly 100 million cups of tea daily. Despite claims that Brits were swaying more towards coffee, UK citizens drink around 70 millions cups of coffee a day; around 30 million cups less than tea.

Regardless of the tea and coffee consumption ratio, it is clear that Britain relies heavily on these hot beverages, but where there are advantages to consuming them, such as to give you a caffeine boost or to warm you up on a cold day, the disadvantage is that they can also dehydrate you. If your mouth is dry and dehydrated, it can actually feed the bacteria that causes bad breath.

Something you can do to avoid this is to make sure you drink a glass of water after drinking your tea or coffee, and ensure you are staying hydrated throughout the day. Not only will water rehydrate your mouth, but it will also act to cleanse the mouth, ridding it of any tea or coffee that could have found its way into your teeth. As a result, this will also help to reduce tooth staining that comes as a result of consuming a lot of tea or coffee.

2. Garlic & onion

Garlic and onion are a staple when it comes to making many dishes, whether it be for lunch or for dinner. Both can add texture and flavour that elevates a meal from mediocre to exceptional. But don’t worry, we’re not suggesting that you avoid using these ingredients in your cooking. It is well-known that both garlic and onion have a pungent smell and a strong taste, so it is no surprise that these two foods have made it onto this list. However, what can you do to reduce the issue of bad breath whilst still including it in your recipes?

Firstly, you should eat a breath mint or some chewing gum after you have eaten your meal. Secondly, you should look to brush your teeth as soon as possible and take the time to carefully floss your teeth in order to eliminate any food that may have been left behind. Using mouthwash is also an effective solution to bad breath as a result of garlic and/or onion consumption. There are plenty of options available to you that will enable you to restore your breath back to a fresh-smelling odour.

3. Protein

Any source of protein is often going to cause bad breath. This is because it is not always the protein itself that will cause the issue; it is actually involved in certain processes that are followed that will often lead to bad breath. For example, if you have a high level of protein in comparison to fat to carbohydrate content, the body will then generate its energy from the protein, and not from the fat or the carbs.

This is called ketosis, but the bi-product of this, called ketones, will have a strong, and often unpleasant smell associated with it that cannot be rectified through the brushing or flossing of teeth alone. If you are wanting to mitigate this problem, try drinking more water and staying hydrated. You could also throw in some extra ingredients that contain zinc, such as chickpeas, pumpkin seeds and spinach, to name a few, to help control plaque build up.

4. Canned fish

Although this might sound a little strange, tinned fish, such as mackerel, anchovies and tuna, can cause bad breath. This is because, whilst the fish is in the can, the fish will oxidise. This is what causes a strange odour. Not only can it emit smells directly from the can, but it will also linger long in the mouth, even a considerable time after its consumption.

To help offset this, use a very small amount of lemon juice or lime juice to help offset the smell caused by the trimethyl amines compound, which is a compound that is found in fish generally, whether canned or fresh. You could also try putting a few drops of vinegar on it.

You should also make sure you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day. For an immediate elimination of bad breath when a toothbrush is not handy, swish your mouth out with fresh water or mouthwash. You could also try eating a breath mint or chewing on some mint-flavoured gum.

5. Sugary foods

Sugar is directly feeding that bad-breath-causing bacteria that lies dormant in our mouths. Make sure you are consuming sugar in moderation and, if you do end up eating sugary foods, ensure you are brushing your teeth afterwards, and flossing in between your teeth. You should also swill your mouth out with some mouthwash to make doubly sure that you are ridding your mouth, and your teeth, of any sugar you have consumed. You should avoid sugar, generally, to avoid tooth decay. So choose sugar-free options where you can.

6. Citrus fruits

Much like sugary foods, citrus fruits and acidic vegetables will also feed the bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath. This is a difficult balance to maintain because fruit and vegetables are a staple to a healthy diet and lifestyle. The trick is to simply reduce the amount of acidic fruit and vegetables you are eating, whilst looking to offset any that you do eat with other food products that aren’t acidic, in order to cancel it out. If you have eaten an orange at lunchtime, eat a breath mint, swill your mouth out with mouthwash or clean water or just brush your teeth, if you can.

7. Dairy products

It might sound odd to say that dairy products cause bad breath, because it is the complete opposite of acidic fruits and vegetables, but dairy food is just as culpable as their acidic counterparts. This is because many dairy products produce sulphur compounds that can cause breath to smell sour. As these compounds remain in the mouth, they will eat the milk solids present in the mouth, this creates excess hydrogen sulphide. In turn, your breath will go from smelling sour to smelling, almost, like rotten eggs. If this happens, then mouthwash might not do the trick. What you will need to do is brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste.

Quorn Dental Practice & Implant Clinic is pleased to offer expert dental treatments that will help to reduce the risk of bad breath issues. From periodontal treatments and teeth whitening to general check-ups and hygienist appointments, you will always be able to count on us for exceptional dental treatments in Loughborough and the surrounding areas. If you would like further information, get in touch with a member of our friendly, professional team today – we are always pleased to hear from you.