How does my diet affect my breath?

Posted on March 6th, 2013

The smell of your breath isn’t just a result of your oral health care, but it’s also affected by your gastrointestinal health. So if you are eating foods that cause bacteria to build-up in your mouth, you can still have smelly breath, even if you take good care of your teeth.

Low-Carb Diets Cause Bad Breath

As food is digested, it's absorbed into your bloodstream and is expelled by your lungs when you breathe. Low-carb diets especially give you bad breath because during a low carb diet certain chemicals called ketones are released in the breath as the body burns fat instead of carbohydrates. As ketones get into saliva, it can cause horrible breath. 

If you have bad breath as a result of a low-carb diet, there is little a dentist can do. Some simple ways to mask it are to chew sugarless gum and suck on sugarless mints. 

How You Can Prevent Bad Breath

Other food can cause bad breath such as coffee, garlic, onions and spicy food. Coffee contains acids that decrease oxygenation of the mouth, which increases the production of odor-inducing bacteria. Spicy foods, garlic and onions contain smelly sulfur byproducts that are absorbed into the bloodstream and expelled by the lungs.

Some simple ways to prevent bad breath are to:

  • Eat carrots, celery and apples, which help clear your mouth of food debris that can create stinky bacteria.
  • Drink water or milk, which helps to rid your mouth of bacteria.
  • Avoid eating garlic, onions, spicy food and drinking coffee.
  • Cut back on alcohol, which can lead to dry mouth. 

If you suffer from bad breath or any other oral health issues, we would love to help. Contact the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry today and set-up your appointment.

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