Bad Breath – Foods to Avoid and the Reasons Behind

Were you aware there are certain foods that may result in bad breath?

For example, if food sits out too long it will spoil. That spoiling action is a result of anaerobic bacteria breaking down proteins in that specific food. In milk, the odor of sour milk is brought on by relatives of those bugs that create bad breath when they break down proteins in the milk (and basically in all dairy foods). A reaction takes place where ‘the bad breath bugs’ extract sulfur compounds from the amino acids in these proteins. The same analogy applies to meat if it sits out too long.

Everybody knows that onions and garlic will create bad breath. But do you understand why? It’s because the odorous molecules in onions and garlic are actually sulfur compounds themselves called Mercaptans. Sulfur is nature’s way of creating odors. You’re all comfortable with the skunk. Its odor is created by a defense and/or assault mechanism. Skunk odor is made up of skatoles, which can be naturally occurring sulfur compounds. In a similar fashion, bacteria in your mouth creates the volatile sulfur compounds of bad breath and taste disorders.

There are 4 food categories that will result in an increase in sulfur production because these categories have a stimulating effect on the germs that cause bad breath:

1. Drying Agents

2. Dense Protein Foods Sugars Acidic Foods

Let’s look carefully at each of these food groups and how they provoke bad breath!


The most typical drying agent in foods is alcohol. Alcohol, of course, is that the cornerstone of all”adult” beverages like wine, beer, and hard liquor. It’s also used, unfortunately, in many types of toothpaste, you find in the grocery stores, which just produces a bad breath problem worse.

Alcohol, known as a desiccant, is used quite often in laboratories to”dry out” difficult to reach places in test tubes and beakers. The same result takes place from the nasal cavity.

Although cigarettes are not really food, smoking is most likely the fastest way to dry your mouth out with alcohol being the second. If you smoke, you’re certain to have bad breath!

Dairy foods are notorious for producing bad breath. An article that appeared in the”Los Angeles Times” formerly noted that over 50% of the populace in Southern California was”lactose intolerant”. With respect to bad breath, many of these individuals (numbering in the tens of millions) end up using more dense proteins available as bad breath gas for the bacteria than those who don’t have any problem with dairy foods like cheese, milk, yogurt, ice cream, etc.. The final result is a buildup of amino acids, which can be easily converted to volatile sulfur compounds by the anaerobic bacteria found within the surface of the tongue and throat.

To a lesser extent, people have exactly the exact same problem with different types of food that are considered to be dense in protein such as poultry, beef, and fish.

Another issue, thankfully infrequent, has to do with people who have an inability to break down certain proteins found in legumes. This condition is called TMA (Trimethylaminuria) and can be called the”Fish Odor Syndrome,” because the odor generated is comparable to sterile fish. The odor consists of sulfur compounds, plus nitrogen compounds (amines). People with this illness have to abstain from beans and other types of food that are packed with protein.


Would not it be good if we can get rid of bad breath by chewing on M&Ms? Or what if the cure for bad breath were Hershey Kisses?

That is what the manufacturers of Altoids would have you think. Altoids and other products of the same ilk are trying to fool the public into believing that a powerful”good” taste in your mouth is equivalent to the”freshness” of your breath. This is so anti-scientific it’s absurd! If you consider it for a moment, it really does not make any sense.

By using concentrated mint flavorings, your taste buds pick mint up as a taste. But, Altoids comprises two types of sugar which again, are a fuel for the bacteria to reproduce and create more sulfur chemicals – hence terrible breath. In addition, the frightening part is that other bacteria may remove the sugars and create glycan strands, which in turn end up causing thick layers of plaque onto the enamel of the teeth and around your teeth. This leads to tooth decay and gum disease – and you guessed it – worse breath than you started with!

Since you can not smell your own breath, then you just go merrily along with that great strong mint taste in your mouth, while others close to you are backing off – backing away from your increased bad breath, jagged teeth, and gross, swollen, bleeding gums!

Stay away from candies, mints, and chewing gum should they contain sugar!


Foods with a high acidic content are a problem as well. PH is a term used to describe the acidity of an environment. The oral cavity has a normal pH of 6.5 (7 is considered neutral). Some of the foods that you should keep an eye out for our coffee and lots of citrus juices. Acids are contained by both regular and decaffeinated coffee. But, tea is fine. Among the citrus juices, those with the highest acidic material include tomato juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, and grapefruit juice.

We all know that acids create the bacteria replicate much faster. To be able to lower the production of odorous sulfur compounds, the acidity environment needs to be neutralized.

What do you learn from all this? Avoiding foods that contribute to, or even cause bad breath is vital if you want clean fresh breath. Even though this is a difficult undertaking, being aware of these halitosis-causing elements is the first step in creating confidence in your breath. Additionally, it’s important to use oral care products which are free of alcohol, sugar, which have a high pH level.