Is It Something I Ate?

Obviously, nobody wants to walk around with bad breath, medically known as halitosis. But according to the experts, over half of us suffer from it. And even worse, many don’t even realize they have it! The odor is usually caused by bacteria in the mouth, the decay of food particles, and poor dental hygiene. The decay and debris produce a sulfur compound that causes the unpleasant odor.

You can do a self-check for bad breath by wiping the surface of your mouth with cotton gauze, and then smelling it. Or you can lick the back of your hand and let it dry, then take a sniff. If you notice an odor, it’s because sulfur on your tongue was transferred to your hand.

So what causes bad breath?
There are easy to identify causes of bad breath that everyone should be aware of, such as sleeping with your mouth open, smoking or chewing tobacco, gastric reflux, and taking certain medications. And of course: FOODS. Obvious culprits are onions, garlic, and coffee, but they are not the only foods you should watch out for:


We’re not just talking stinky cheeses here, but milk and other dairy products as well. Dairy tends to linger in the mouth, which can create an odor. Plus, if you are lactose-intolerant you could have dairy-induced halitosis, because you lack the enzymes to break down the dairy adequately.
Solution: You may actually be able to treat this problem with MORE dairy by swapping cheese and milk for yogurt with live probiotics. Healthy bacteria will actually help your body process the food. 


Red meat is full of protein, so when you eat a steak, your body has to work hard to digest that protein. It needs stomach acid and digestive enzymes in order to break the protein down, and without enough enzymes available, the meat is not properly digested, resulting in halitosis. 
Solution: If you notice bad breath after eating red meat, try to increase the level of digestive enzymes in your body. You can take over-the-counter digestive enzymes to help boost your levels, or you can try to increase them naturally through your diet. Supplement your diet with foods that offer large amounts of digestive enzymes, such as papaya, pineapple, mango and kiwi, as well as sprouted seeds and legumes, avocado, and coconut oil. If all else fails, freshen up with a stick of sugarless gum.


Everyone knows that coffee can cause bad breath. But like coffee, alcohol and energy drinks can also be a problem, since they can all be dehydrating. And a dry mouth can be a stinky mouth, as saliva is a natural breath protector. 
Solution: Using a mouthwash with alcohol can temporarily fix the problem, but since the alcohol will dry your mouth out even further, the effects don’t last. And electrolyte drinks will re-hydrate you, but the acid they contain will dry out your mouth, too. The best way to fix the problem is with good old WATER. Having a few beers with friends? Chase each one with a full glass of water. 


We all know that candy can cause cavities, but did you also know that it can cause bad breath? When combined with sugar, the bacteria in your mouth release sulfur, which causes bad breath. And because candy is sticky, it’s often hard to remove, so can stay in the mouth longer than other foods, increasing the time that bacteria and sugar react.
Solution: Beyond the obvious recommendation (avoid candy), there are a couple of things you can do to reduce its impact. Brush your teeth after you eat candy, and make sure to brush your tongue thoroughly as well, since it harbors lots of bacteria. And don’t forget to floss, as the sugar can get stuck between your teeth.