What you eat affects how your breath smells when you exhale. This is because as food is digested, it is absorbed into your bloodstream, and remnants are eventually released by your lungs when you breathe.
Most people are aware that eating pungent foods and alcoholic drinks can cause short-term bad breath. Regularly consuming foods such as garlic, onions, fish, and strong spices can lead to chronic bad breath and body odor. In addition, sugary foods serve as the primary nutrient source for odor-causing oral bacteria. By ingesting sugary foods frequently, you are enabling bacteria to produce acid that contributes to tooth decay and causes an unpleasant odor. Acidic food and drink are also primary factors of tooth erosion and bad breath. And finally, unhealthy processed foods can hinder the liver’s detoxification process and release smelly byproducts into the bloodstream, which are then also exhaled through the lungs.
To alleviate bad breath, try snacking on raw carrots, celery, or apple slices. Watery fruits and vegetables can help clear your mouth of odor-causing debris. Drinking plenty of water will also reduce pungent breath odors. Additionally, limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks that you consume, especially if you will not be able to brush your teeth immediately afterward. When taking liquid or chewable medicines, opt for sugar-free medicines, as these do not leave sugary deposits in the mouth. Reduce the amount of acid that comes into contact with your teeth by avoiding high amounts of carbonated drinks and fruit juices. Also, try to drink acidic drinks quickly and avoid swishing them around in your mouth for any period of time.
For long-term oral health and reduced bad breath, make sure you thoroughly clean your teeth within an hour of eating or drinking anything, especially if your meal included pungent, acidic, or sugary foods and drinks. Although this may not completely prevent bad breath, it can help reduce its severity when performed regularly and efficiently. If you think certain foods may be causing your bad breath, it is often helpful to keep a log of the food you eat and bring it to your dentist for him or her to review.