How Your Diet Can Affect Your Breath
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The way your breath smells has a lot to do with your diet. Certain foods leave your mouth with a foul smell, while others can freshen your breath. While bad breath is not usually the sign of a major health issue, it can be embarrassing.

People may not want to be rude when they speak with someone who has bad breath, but it is difficult to be polite when the individual's breath smells so unpleasant. Many people will quickly find reasons to leave the conversation and get some fresh air. Bad breath can be a lot more than a source of embarrassment, it can have a negative effect on your social and professional life.


The most common source of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. When you fail to take care of your mouth, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. However, bad breath is not always a direct result of the bacteria in your mouth. There are many others reasons why you might end up with bad breath, including the types of foods you eat.

The Relationship Between Your Breath and Diet

Foods that can cause bad breath include garlic, onions, fish and coffee. The good news is that the effects of these foods are temporary, so you can get rid of the smell by brushing your teeth and tongue. The type of bad breath that leaves most people frustrated is when you have not eaten anything smelly but still have bad breath. A common cause of bad breath is also the bacteria population in the mouth.

While it is normal to have a variety of bacteria in your mouth, poor oral hygiene can allow too many species of bacteria to form in the mouth and cause bad breath.

You can also end up with bad breath if your mouth does not produce enough saliva. Saliva helps to clean your mouth. When there is a lack of saliva production, the bacteria count in your mouth goes up. Being dehydrated or having diabetes are two common reasons why people do not produce enough saliva.

Of course, not all bad breath comes from the foods you eat or the bacteria in your mouth.

Respiratory, gastrointestinal and endocrine system issues can all lead to persistent bad breath. In such cases, the underlying issues need to be addressed before your breath goes back to normal.

Getting Rid of Bad Breath

Getting rid of bad breath isn't normally difficult. It only involves developing proper oral hygiene habits to ensure you have a healthy amount of bacteria in your mouth. Things you can do include:

  • Brush at least twice a day. One of those times should be right before you go to bed since your saliva production is reduced while you sleep
  • Floss your teeth daily to clean the spaces between your teeth
  • Always clean your tongue when you brush
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing. It will help to reduce the bacteria in your mouth
  • Avoid eating foods with horrid smells

Contact us to learn about other things you can do to combat bad breath.

Request a dental appointment here: or call Portola Dental Group at (760) 201-4085 for an appointment in our Palm Desert dental office.

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