What Causes Bad Breath?

We all know that embarrassing feeling: after enjoying a delicious lunch with lots of tasty garlic and onion, we then have to face returning to the office contending with bad breath all afternoon. Some foods, such as onion and garlic, linger in the system and cause bad breath, or halitosis. The good news is that you can still enjoy the foods you love that cause unpleasant breath. There are some foods and drinks that mask bad breath so simply consuming one of these after your meal will help your mouth stay fresh afterwards:

  • Parsley: Parsley is probably one of the best-known foods that can fight bad breath. It’s the oil the parsley leaves that helps to mask unpleasant odours. Other herbs such as rosemary, eucalyptus and cilantro or coriander also work in a similar way.
  • Crunchy fruits and vegetables: Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, celery and cucumbers stimulates the production of saliva, which assists in rinsing the mouth of odour-producing bacteria.
  • Yoghurt: Yoghurt is full of good bacteria, which helps to combat the bad bacteria that causes bad breath and re-balance the ratio of good and bad bacteria in the mouth.
  • Green tea: The active ingredient in green tea that helps to mask bad breath is catechin, a powerful antioxidant that helps to fend off bacteria.
  • Nuts: Nuts such as almonds work in much the same way as crunchy fruits and vegetables in that they help to stimulate the production of saliva. Their consistency also helps to remove bacteria on the teeth as well.
  • Water: Simply having a glass of water after eating helps to rinse out your mouth and wash away bacteria.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum: This not only serves to mask the odour of your breath with a pleasant, minty aroma, but it also stimulates the production of saliva.
  • Breath mints: Popping a breath mint after eating will help to mask bad breath, at least for a little while.

Long Term Solutions to Bad Breath?

In the end, masking bad breath is only a short-term solution. Practising good oral hygiene is the most important way to minimise halitosis. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day, including your tongue where odour-causing bacteria like to live, as well as remembering to floss daily. If bad breath continues to be problematic for you, discuss this with your dentist or dental hygienist during your next routine check-up.

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