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June 19 2011

6 Foods and Drinks that Give Bad Breath

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Smelly breath, or halitosis, is more common than we think…over 90 million people suffer from it! Its common place of origin is in the tongue and gums. It is obvious that microorganisms are the causes, but do we recognize how the process works? An Atlanta dentist, Dr. Debra Gray King, shares her knowledge on the subject:

Foods and Beverages That Create Smelly Breath

1.            Spicy foods:

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A majority would agree that foods such as onions, garlic, and exotic seasonings such as curry are the most common in causing bad breath. The oils of these foods are absorbed into the bloodstream, and then transferred into the lungs where you breathe them out of your body, over and over again. Following on the list of foods that contribute to bad breath are stinky cheeses (Roquefort and Camembert), fish (anchovies and tuna), and spicy deli meats (pastrami and pepperoni). Yet these are merely the beginning. Just about any food that hangs around long enough, begins to stink. Left-over food in our teeth and especially dental crowns needs to get broken down, usually by anaerobic bacteria, that disintegrate the protein when the food has sat too long in the mouth. And in the end, the waste products left behind by the bacteria as they digest the protein, is what usually causes bad breath.

2.            Foods that contain dense proteins:

Dairy also commonly generates bad breath. A cousin of anaerobic bacteria (the ones that live in our mouth) lives in dairy products and are the ones who break down the amino acids in order for us to get our proteins. However, this process eventually creates VSC, causing bad breath. Anaerobic bacteria work the hardest on proteins, which would mean fish, beef, eggs, and chicken. Once we ingest these, they also have a meal to digest, leaving behind waste product that create our bad breath. Some other protein sources include cereal grains along with their products, nuts, as well as the seeds from things like lentils, beans, and peas.

3.            Foods and beverages that contain a great deal of sugar:

Anything with big amounts of sugar are also a problem, for the bacteria that live in the back of the throat feed of things such as candy, drinks (colas), and high-sugar foods. A double-whamy is found in cakes and pies, for they are not only high in protein but sugar as well. Sugar that contains mints as well as chewing gum equally create VSCs, the minute the anaerobic microorganisms break them down.

4.            Foods and refreshments that dry out your mouth:

Liquids such as wine, beer, and liquor all have the most popular drying agent, alcohol. Majority of these can also bring about digestive problems that aggravate smelly breath. Alcohol is also used, regretfully, in numerous mouthwashes, where it could only exacerbate the problem. In the same way, even though cigarettes are not food, smoking is just about the best way to dry out your mouth, together with alcohol the second.  If you smoke, you are certain to have bad breath!

5.            Beverages with significant acidic content:

Coffee is a organic diuretic and it’s common knowledge that coffee may easily give you “coffee breath.” But in addition to the dehydrating effects of the hot beverage it is also acidic.Presently there are several other members among the category of acidic foods which could help with bad breath: 

•             coffee and tea (decaffeinated and regular)

•             tomato juice

•             citrus juices, including orange and grapefruit juice

•             pineapple juice

6.          Meals with glucosinolates:

Foods with glucosinolates have sulfur, the reason for the bitter or sharp flavor of mustard, radish, horseradish, cress, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and turnips.    

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