Bad breath, medically referred to as halitosis, is an unpleasant odour that emanates from the mouth.
The most common cause of bad breath are bacteria that are naturally present in the mouth.
The over 600 bacteria that reside in the mouth feast on food particles and dead cells, producing sulfur compounds formed during protein breakdown, causing halitosis.
A proper oral-hygiene routine, which includes brushing, flossing, rinsing, tongue cleansing and regular visits to the dentist, are important activities that help to keep bad breath away.
However, here are eight healthy foods that can help you fight bad breath.
Cinnamon contains an organic compound called cinnamic aldehyde which freshens up your breath. It has antimicrobial properties that prevent the odour-causing bacteria, while its refreshing and fragrant aroma helps to keep your breath fresh.
Dry mouth, called xerostomia, contributes to oral microbial growth. Taking enough water stimulates saliva production and keeps the mouth moist. Water also helps flush out bits of food that lurk in the mouth for bacteria to feed on.
Strawberries have high water content, and prevent dry mouth. They’re also very high in vitamin C and create an environment hostile to bacteria and germs.
Drinking unsweetened black or green tea may help ward off bad breath. Both types of tea contain antioxidants called polyphenols that can help destroy the growth of bacteria that cause bad breath—although green tea contains more because it is processed in a different way.
Both teas prevent the growth of bacteria that can cause foul breath. They also decrease the bacteria’s production of stinky byproducts.
Chewing on sugar-free gum loosens food and dead cells from the teeth, gums, and tongue and fosters saliva production. Sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol is particularly effective for fighting bad breath because xylitol inhibits mouth bacteria.
Sugar-free probiotic yogurt reduces bad breath by helping to lower the levels of odour-causing sulfide compounds.
Active cultures in yogurt, such as lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus, compete with the bacteria in your mouth that contribute to bad breath.
It is also a great source of vitamin D, which helps reduce mouth bacteria and aids overall good oral health.
Parsley is a green vegetable that contains chlorophyll, a compound with antibacterial properties that are able to break down sulfur compounds that cause bad breath.
It also contains polyphenols compounds that break down the sulfur compounds in the mouth.
Like Parsley, Apples contain polyphenols that break down smelly sulfur compounds. Spinach is another polyphenol-rich food that is good at breaking down sulfur compounds.
Also, when you bite into an apple, you’re pushing plaque away from your teeth, thus eliminating the food matter that could cause bacteria in your gums and teeth.