Which Foods Cause Bad Breath?

Trusted Health Products

Written By Kassandra Foreman / Reviewed By Ray Spotts

Some foods contribute to bad breath and there is little to be done other than to avoid them. These foods are often high in sulfur-related compounds, food and drink items that dry out the mouth, or foods that increase in odor when they are broken down within the mouth. There are some obvious foods on this list such as onions, garlic, and alcohol, but also coffee and often dairy.

Offending compounds that lead to bad breath

When food is eaten the digestive process begins right in the mouth. Here the teeth begin to break down the food into smaller pieces, and the saliva assists in washing it away. This process frees all the smaller components of the food and allows the compounds that make them up to breakdown, which can release the odor that comes with the food.

Some of the offending compounds contain sulfur, which is a strong smell and can remain for extended periods of time, and include onions and garlic. Tuna and other fish from a can are oxidized and that increases the smell leading to bad breath as those compounds are broken down during chewing. Dairy products are high in amino acids which can create an unpleasant smell as they break down in the mouth.

Dry mouth and bad breath

Other foods that can increase the occurrence of bad breath include those that cause dry mouth, which allows food and small particles to remain in the mouth where bacteria multiply more quickly and saliva doesn’t wash them away. When the mouth is dry there is bad breath no matter what food was eaten.

Drinking coffee is dehydrating and will cause both dry mouth and the bad breath that goes with it. Alcohol will have the same effect. To help avoid bad breath, keep well hydrated and ensure there are fluids consumed often enough to keep the mouth from becoming dry.

Citrus fruits and bad breath

Citrus fruits are highly acidic which allows them to increase the acidity in your mouth and throw off the natural balance. As some bacteria thrive in an acidic environment, consuming a lot of citrus fruits can lead to bad breath. Other foods that are high in acid can have the same effect including pasta and tomato sauces and foods that are spicy or have a high spice content.

When bad breath is a common thing, or an ongoing problem, it may be related to oral hygiene. Proper brushing, flossing, and mouthwash can be beneficial for food-related bad breath, but others may require dental care.

Try avoiding foods that cause dry mouth, such as caffeine, alcohol and dairy, foods that are spicy or have high concentrations of sulfur and related compounds, along with citrus and acidic foods. By avoiding these foods situational bad breath caused by the foods we eat can be limited or controlled. Chewing gum and increasing water intake after meals can also help.

Looking for a 100% all-natural liquid tooth oil and mouth rinse? Check out OraMD Original Strength and OraMD Extra Strength. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tipsnatural healthoral care, skincare, body care and foot care. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list

Written By:

Kassandra Foreman has been writing freelance for five years now and enjoys learning about new things to write about. When not writing she teaches yoga and meditation with a focus on health and fitness.

Reviewed By:

Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at

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