Foods to consume and avoid to treat bad breath

Is there a stench in your breath even after brushing your teeth twice daily, cleaning your tongue and flossing? It might be something entirely unrelated to cleaning routine, maybe be certain foods you eat are causing it. Based on the studies conducted by Bad Breath Institute, over 30 percent of people in U.S have bad breath or halitosis. Of course habits and preconditions such as inflammation in gums, tooth decay, medication, and smoking could cause bad breath. But in average and healthy people, food is one of the key factors behind bad breath.

Although many people at some point realize that their breath smells, they tend to do nothing about it. They either ignore it or are too embarrassed to seek medical help. Bad breath is not a serious, life-threatening disease, but it can make people around you including friends, family, and colleagues uncomfortable during oral interactions. In fact, there’s nothing worse than you knowing that your breath smells like garlic, onion, tuna, stale coffee or worse and continuing to talk with the person in front of you with hesitation.

How can small shards of food create such a bad smell? Well, medically speaking there are over 600 types of bacteria working behind the scene in an average mouth. Many of these feed on the leftover bits of food and produce smelly gases – sulfur. This is why garlic and onion having inherent sulfur compound get such a bad rap.

Everyone has to tackle bad breath at some point in their life. You shouldn’t be embarrassed about it. With right food habits, which is avoiding certain foods and consuming ones that counter the problem, you can manage good breath and oral hygiene.

Foods that fight bad breath

Yogurt with berries

Home remedies to remove bad breath

For people who are busy, yogurt added with berries is an easy food to help prevent bad breath. Consume Yogurt (sugar-free) with berries twice daily to reduce bacteria and hydrogen sulfide levels in the mouth. Berries contain vitamin C which prevents breeding of bacteria in the mouth. You can also consume fruits that are rich in vitamin C such as oranges and star fruit.

Green tea

Researchers have found polyphenols in green tea which can ward off numerous mouth problems. Some of them include mouth cancer, bad breath, and tooth cavities. Polyphenol – an antioxidant destroys bacteria efficiently and promotes mouth health.You can consume this super tea twice a day to protect oral health. Green tea is also beneficial in treating Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiovascular disease.


When bacteria in the mouth feed on the leftover food, it releases Methyl mercaptan gas. This gas builds up a nasty odor in the mouth that can make a person feel low and create stomach aches. But, studies have shown that this chemical could be broken down with the consumption of lettuce leaves. Add a few chopped lettuce leaves into your meals or consume 2 leaves after every meal to get rid of stinky mouth.


Does your mouth stink after consuming a large meal? Inadequate hydration can be the cause of it.  Water is an essential fluid that aids in various internal processes of our body. Since the main reason for bad breath is the leftover sticky food in the teeth and tongue, drinking copious amount of water flushes this food in the mouth into the digestive tract and helps to combat bad breath.After every meal, make sure to cleanse your mouth with a big glass of water. Water aids in digestion processes and also gets rid of bacteria that cause bad breath.

Foods that can cause bad breath


Home remedies for yellow teeth

Excess protein consumption can cause bad breath. The body takes alonger time to digest proteins and during the process, it releases ammonia which is expelled through the mouth. Ammonia makes mouth stink.Avoid eating red meat, sausages, beef, bacon etc. that are rich in protein. A vegan diet can improve digestively and thereby get rid of unpleasant breath. If you don’t want to switch to a vegan diet, you can eat seafood as an alternative.

Alcohol and smoking

Dry mouth is a perfect playground for bacteria growth. Consumption of alcohol lowers the levels of saliva in the mouth. Lower levels of saliva can inhibit the process of bacteria kill. In a similar way, smoking can cause your mouth to stink of smoke.


The dreadful smell of garlic comes from the presence of allyl methyl sulfide compound in it. This compound enters the bloodstream, moves into the lungs and expels the smell on every exhale. This gas is also excreted through theskin. Make sure to strictly avoid the king of stinky foods – garlic in your diet.


Sugar is sweet to taste but an enemyto your mouth.  It promotes bacterial growth in the mouth that causes tooth decay and bad breath. When the bacteria decompose sugar, sulfide is released that will give you the bad odor in the mouth.