While our Lake Forest cosmetic dentist can give you a complete smile makeover, restoring your teeth and improving your self-confidence, you cannot fully benefit from your artistic cosmetic dental work if you struggle with halitosis. After all, how can you show off those brand new pearly whites when you are afraid to offend people with bad breath? There are multiple causes of bad breath, but the condition is preventable. One of the easiest ways to keep your mouth smelling fresh is to stay away from foods that contribute to halitosis.
Why Certain Foods Lead to Bad Breath
Foods themselves do not actually cause bad breath. The breakdown of food particles in the mouth and the absorption of certain oils into the blood stream do. The emission of sulfur compounds by bacteria as they break down food in the mouth cause your breath to stink. Sulfur compounds are actually behind many of nature’s most offensive smells. Skunks, for example, emit sulfur compounds to ward off potential threats. That means your friends and loved ones are not too far off when they say your breath smells like a skunk.
Certain food oils actually contain sulfur. Onions and garlic are some of the worst offenders on the list of bad breath culprits. The reason for this is their oils, rich with sulfur compounds, are absorbed into your blood stream after consumption. The oils travel through your blood, eventually reaching the lungs, where they are released into the air you breath out.
Types of Food You Should Avoid
You can defend against bad breath by avoiding certain types of foods known to contribute heavily to halitosis. We have already covered onions and garlic. Others include alcohol, protein-rich dairy, sugar, and acidic drinks.
- Alcohol dries out your mouth, which increases the amount of oral bacteria that release sulfur compounds when breaking down food. Because there is less saliva in your mouth to wash away food particles, these bacteria have a feeding frenzy that leaves your breath smelling foul and unattractive.
- Protein-rich dairy items contribute to bad breath because they build up amino acids in your mouth, which oral bacteria then convert into smelly sulfur compounds. Additionally, those who are lactose intolerant are more prone to bad breath than those who are not.
- Sugars actually contribute to bad breath in two ways. Like other foods, oral bacteria break sugar particles down and convert them into sulfur compounds. Sugars also contribute to plaque build-up. Plaque is the collection of bacteria that cause gum disease. Bacterial infection resulting in gum disease also causes bad breath. For this reason, stay away from sugary mints to mask halitosis. These will only make the problem worse.
- Acidic drinks cause bad breath because acid encourages the growth of oral bacteria. That means an increase in the bacteria that break down foods and cause halitosis. Stay away from coffee, which has acid in it. You should also avoid tomato, orange, pineapple, and grapefruit juice.
Schedule an Appointment
Dr. James Fondriest specializes in cosmetic dentistry and can help improve and restore your smile, whether or not you struggle with bad breath. To schedule a consultation with him, please call our Lake Forest dentist office at (847) 234-0517. We serve the Chicago, Illinois area.