How to Stop Bad Breath With 10 Dietary Tips

There is no substitute for good dental hygiene. Bad oral health is the source of 90% of cases of bad breath. This usually comes from poor oral hygiene in general, periodontal disease, unclean dentures, faulty tooth restorations, tongue coat, oral carcinomas, and throat infections. Bad breath can be a serious turnoff. If you or someone you love suffer from bad breath, or in medical terms, halitosis, do not lose hope. There is certainly something that can be done to prevent it. 

The state of your health can significantly impact your mouth and breath’s overall health. Bad breath can also come from an immobile bulk of feces in the digestive tract, which can leave a very bad odor from the mouth.

Moreover, the bacteria naturally found in the mouth, rather than the smell of the food itself, may produce sulfur compounds that create bad breath. They break down dead cells and food particles from the mouth. 

So, if you’re trying to stop halitosis, here are 10 action steps to consider that really work and are all-natural:  

Water

Staying hydrated will naturally flush away food and bacterial remains, which prevents your mouth from becoming the breeding ground for breath-causing bacteria. Most mouth bacteria are anaerobic, which means that they thrive in a dry mouth, so drinking water helps rinse away food particles and bacteria that are stuck. Drinking water also boosts the production of saliva, which works as a natural mouth cleansing agent. 

Fresh fruits and vegetables 

Crunchy fruits and vegetables, like apples, carrots, pears, and celery, help produce saliva, which flushes out the bacteria in your mouth. Crunchy fruits and vegetables, also act as natural toothbrushes due to their fibrous texture.

Fiber-rich foods 

Regular consumption of fiber-rich foods such as whole grains and legumes is an excellent way to maintain regular gut activity. The fiber in these foods prevents the feces from becoming too dry and immobile, thereby preventing the odor from coming up from the digestive tract into the mouth, causing bad breath.

Parsley, basil, a raw apple, spinach, and mint leaves

Certain foods are known to cause bad breath, including onions, fenugreek, and garlic. That’s because they have around 33 sulfur compounds that naturally exist in them. They stay in your mouth and are absorbed into the bloodstream, and you can feel them when you exhale. In the case of fenugreek, it is released through the skin and causes a strong overall body odor in some people. Parsley, basil, raw apple, spinach, and mint leaves can help prevent this. The polyphenols in these foods cause enzymatic deodorization. This involves the oxidation of polyphenolic compounds by enzymes. The oxidized polyphenols stop the bad breath that comes from sulfur-containing foods. (1) For maximum effect, it’s best to combine garlic and either basil, mint, spinach, or parsley in the same dish.

Tea

Studies show that drinking unsweetened green tea can help fight bad breath. This type of tea also contains antioxidant polyphenols that help prevent the development of bacteria that cause bad breath. (2). Polyphenols can also inhibit the nasty smell of sulfur compounds as with the foods mentioned previously. 

Cherries

Studies have found that cherries fight the smell of methyl mercaptan. This gas exists naturally in foods such as some cheeses and onions. 

Citrus and melons

The Power of Vitamin C is well-known for oral hygiene. Regular intake of citrus fruits, melons, and other foods high in Vitamin C can prevent halitosis that is caused by all oral health problems. While some people do not favor the smell of some citrus fruit on the breath, vitamin C can also be taken daily through supplementation to support oral health when required.

Chlorophyll

Although It’s not exactly a food, you can find this pigment in leafy green vegetables. Although Chlorophyll doesn’t technically eliminate bad breath, it helps mask it.

Ginger

Thanks to a compound called 6-gingerol, ginger stimulates an enzyme in the saliva that helps to break down sulfur particles. (3) Try mixing pressed ginger, lemon juice and warm water for a mouth rinse liquid instead of the regular ones found in the shops. The regular mouth rinses have alcohol in them. The presence of alcohol causes them to kill off the healthy bacteria that are important for oral health along with the harmful bacteria in the mouth and are not recommended.

Sugarless gum

Technically not food, but gum helps to remove dead cells, and food remains from your teeth. Sugar-sweetened gum can be counter-productive, causing dental decay, so you should try gum that’s sweetened with a natural alternative like natural stevia.


To summarize

High fiber-rich foods will prevent bad odors from coming up from the digestive tract leading to breath-odors. Also, the specific foods mentioned on this list will help keep your mouth and gums in prime shape, preventing any foul smells.

References:

  • (1) Munch R1, Barringer SA. “Deodorization of garlic breath volatiles by food and food components.” J Food Sci. 2014 Apr;79(4):C526-33. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12394. Epub 2014 Mar 4.
  • (2) Marie-Pierre Morin, Telma Blanca Lombardo Bedran, Jade Fournier-Larente, Bruno Haas, Jabrane Azelmat, and Daniel Grenier corresponding author “Green tea extract and its major constituent epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibit growth and halitosis-related properties of Solobacterium moorei,” BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015; 15: 48. Published online 2015 Mar 10. doi: 10.1186/s12906-015-0557-z, PMCID: PMC4415245, PMID: 25880992
  • (3) “Pungent tasting substance in ginger reduces bad breath. How food ingredients affect our taste perception,” Date:July 30, 2018 Source:Technical University of Munich (TUM)

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