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Foods To Avoid Bad Breath

Submitted by Loring A. Windblad on May 27, 2010

Bad breath or Halitosis is typically experienced because of two main reasons namely the food we consume and the breakdown of this food by certain bacteria that are present in the mouth at all times. When food is consumed there are certain sulphur compounds that are absorbed by the digestive system from our food. These compounds are then carried into the bloodstream and then into the lungs from where they are expelled via exhaling of air or even through urine and sweat. Foods that are notorious for causing bad breath and that ought to be avoided are onions, cabbage, garlic etc.

Food has been broadly classified into 4 main categories which exhibit an increased amount of sulphur production thereby resulting in bad breath. The first category of Drying Agents includes desiccants like alcohol which dry out the mouth and cause bad breath.

Another common drying agent is smoking. Additionally activities like fasting, talking continuously for long periods of time, dieting etc. reduce the flow of saliva to the mouth thereby drying it. The next category is that of Dense Protein foods viz dairy foods such as cheese, yoghurt, milk etc which when consumed result in amino acid build up that is then converted into sulphur compounds and finally bad breath.

Other Dense Protein foods like chicken, beef and fish are also known to have a similar effect. The third category of sulphur producing foods is that of Sugars which is commonly found in candies, bakery products, chewing gums etc.These sugars not only result in bad breath causing sulphur production but also affect the overall health of the teeth and gums by causing a thick layer of plaque to form which further aggravates bad breath. The final category of foods is Acidic foods which includes foods such as tomato juice, grapefruit juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, coffee etc. Acids support bacterial reproduction and hence should be minimized.

Additionally, a diet that is low on carbohydrates but has a fairly high amount of proteins is also conducive to bad breath. This is because the body on account of being deprived of carbohydrates burns the protein and fat stored in it .When this happens, the stomach releases “ketones” which is a chemical that has a foul odor and is released from the body via our breath.

Diet and bad breath should supplement each other. Additionally proper dental hygiene should also be maintained by regular brushing and flossing of teeth.

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