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For most people, having bad breath is a common problem that often impacts how they feel about themselves and how they communicate or interact with friends, coworkers, and family.

Sometimes, having bad breath can indicate a more serious health issue, ranging from Gingivitis, which are manageable gum issue, to Periodontitis, a severe gum disease that causes bone erosion.

The foods that can be the cause of bad breath are listed below, along with those that improve breath and some advice on how to reduce the effects of problematic diet components.

Foods that cause Bad Breath

#1. Coffee and Tea

Certain foods cause the mouth to become less moist, which feeds the bad breath-causing bacteria. Since they can all be included in a balanced diet and many of them also contribute flavour to cuisine, it may be difficult to fully ignore these foods. The taste buds may not benefit much from a diet that is great for your breath.

Both coffee and tea reduce saliva production by drying out the mouth, and they both have an intense smell on their own. In Britain, 165 million cups of tea are consumed daily, which is equivalent to 20 Olympic swimming pools!

The chance of having bad breath would be reduced if you eliminated both from your diet, but your morning routine might not be significantly improved. After your morning coffee, drink a glass of water to help rinse your mouth and restore moisture.

#2. Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the odour-causing beverages due to its high sulphite content. Alcohol has a strong drying effect that makes it ideal for harmful bacteria to persist and flourish.

Drinking water can be helpful, just like drinking tea or coffee, and avoiding alcohol whenever possible.

#3. Garlic

Even though garlic enhances food flavour by giving curries, spaghetti sauces, and other dishes a richer flavour, it also often contributes to bad breath.

Garlic’s smell lingers to the point where it can enter the bloodstream and leave through the lungs, which is why some people feel like they can still taste garlic days after eating. As a result, garlic can affect your breath long after you’ve eaten any food in which it was present.

#4. Protein

You may have already realised that eating spaghetti bolognese and drinking wine and coffee are poor choices for your breath.

Although protein doesn’t necessarily have an odour, it can trigger processes that result in bad breath.

The body will turn excess protein into energy if there is a high amount of protein compared to fat and carbohydrates. The process by which the body converts protein into energy is known as ketosis, and the by-product, ketones, has a strong odour that can’t be cleaned up by brushing or flossing.

Reducing your protein consumption may not be possible, or good for you, depending on other dietary requirements, and you shouldn’t put your breath above other health-related concerns.

By drinking more water, you can lessen the effects of a high-protein diet.

#5. Onions

Because onions contain a lot of sulphur compounds, eating them can cause foul breath that comes from both the mouth and the lungs. As a result, even the most thorough mouth washing sometimes only addresses half the issue.

#6. Canned Fish

Even though eating fish, such as tuna, out of a can is a quick and simple lunch option, it will almost certainly lead to bad breath.

The fish starts to oxidise while it’s in the can, which produces the scent, which lingers in the mouth for a while after the lunchtime bite.

#7. Sugar

For the bacteria that cause bad breath, sugar is a perfect fuel. Gum chewing is a common method for those with bad breath to keep their mouths moist, but this only works if the gum is sugar-free; if the gum contains sugar, you’re only nourishing the germs!

#8. Highly Acidic Foods

Highly acidic foods like sauerkraut, tomatoes, blueberries, and grapes also create an environment that these bad bacteria love to take advantage of.

Although fruit and vegetables are a vital component of a balanced diet, when they include acid, they can seriously harm dental health.

This points out a significant issue. A diet that is ideal for the mouth may not be ideal for overall health since it would be lacking in some foods and fail to provide the necessary balance of nutrients.

Foods that may prevent bad breath


Oils found in parsley, basil, and mint can all temporarily cover up other less pleasant smells.


You may significantly reduce your risk of developing bad breath if you can replace acidic foods with apples.

Apples act as a natural mouthwash by breaking down the substances that cause bad breath.

Melons are another excellent fruit choice because of their high vitamin C content, which not only controls bacteria but also helps in the prevention of gum disease and gingivitis.


By balancing internal PH levels, spinach fights bad breath.

As well as spinach, foods like kale, lettuce, and cabbage may all help in the fight against bad breath.


By preventing the bacteria of a dry mouth, where they thrive, drinking plenty of water helps to keep your mouth hydrated and saliva levels high.

Moreover, water will wash away food odour-causing particles.