How Food Affects Your Breath?

Bad breath or halitosis is a common problem many people face despite perfect dental hygiene or health conditions. 

Many times, bad breath results from medication, more significant liver or kidney problems, tobacco products and more. 

In an attempt to rectify the situation, individuals overdo oral hygiene and hurt their teeth and gums due to excessive product use. They focus on their health negatively without looking at the foods they are consuming. 

Food is a major factor affecting your breath even when you take all precautions. This is based on how oral bacteria work. This bacteria feasts on food particles and dead cells in your mouth, producing sulfur which causes bad breath. When such bacteria eat the remains of the carbohydrates consumed, they produce acid, which can cause foul breath. 

More flavourful foods also result in a similar phenomenon by entering our bloodstream.

Nevertheless, halitosis can be treated by watching the foods you eat. Or if you do not wish to give up your taste for more flavourful items, use safe dental products like Smile Brillliant’s chewable dental probiotics to fight bad breath.

Let's look at some foods that cause bad breath:

Garlic, Onion and Spicy Foods

By disposition, these foods have a strong flavor. Therefore, when consumed can cause bad breath almost instantly.

Solution: Try consuming a sugar-free chewing gum after these foods or throughout your day. If possible, brush your teeth or rinse with mouthwash after consuming flavourful foods.

Alcoholic and Caffeinated Drinks

These items tend to dehydrate your body and dry your mouth, which causes a lack of saliva production leading to halitosis. 

When there is less saliva production, the bacteria in your mouth linger for longer. Smoking and tobacco products cause a dry mouth, leading to bad breath. 

Solution: Hydrate before and after consuming such items to keep your mouth feeling fresh.


Fishes and other canned seafood products are high in protein which can also lead to bad breath. Further, canned food is characterized by a fishy odor that can remain in your mouth after consumption. 

Solution: Always lace your seafood with a bit of vinegar to reduce the fishy odor, and use mints or mouthwash after eating. 

Dairy Products

Dairy products, such as cheese, have amino acids on which oral bacteria feed, producing extra hydrogen sulfide. This leads to smelly breath.  

Solution: If you identify dairy products to be the cause of your bad breath, try switching to fluoride toothpaste or drinking water to flush down dairy remains so the bacteria do not feast on it. 

Citrus Fruits and foods

Acidic fruits and food or mixed with other ingredients are feasting grounds for bacteria. This means dishes that might not even cross your mind as a cause can be the reason behind your bad breath such as tomato sauce pasta. 

Solution: Resulting lousy breath can quickly be dealt with regular sips of water in between or after eating such foods. 

Protein Rich Food

Last but not the least, protein is bacteria's favorite. A typical example is bad breath after peanut butter or a protein shake. 

The ammonia produced on protein breakdown is the cause of bad breath. It then becomes essential to track how much protein one consumes in a day and not overdo it. 

Solution: Alternate between zinc-rich items and proteins such as chickpeas and use other solutions discussed for bad breath resulting from protein-rich food. 


This list is not exhaustive, but a general overview of what kinds of food might be contributing to or causing bad breath. 

In fact, if food can cause bad breath, food can also fix it. In addition, items such as herbs or probiotics can prove extremely useful in nullifying lousy mouth odor. 

If you do not see a difference despite making dietary changes, then perhaps the problem lies elsewhere. You should investigate other health concerns and medications you are taking to know the reason behind such bad breath. Since it can also be a symptom or indicator of a larger problem. 

On the other hand, the solutions suggested here might not work for everyone. Therefore, don't fall for the this-is-it trap. Consult a doctor or get a prognosis if your problem has persisted for too long. 

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