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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Good and Bad Foods For Your Breath

Dr. Vincent Wan


It is well known that garlic, onions, canned tuna and alcohol are bad for your breath.  Are there any foods or drinks that are good for your breath?  Let’s have a look at the good and the bad foods and drinks for your breath:

The Bad:

Garlic, Onions and Spices

The smelly compounds in garlic, onions and a lot of spices are particularly potent as they linger in the mouth and are absorbed into the bloodstream as well.  You not only get bad breath due to having them contact your oral tissues, but a secondary smelly effect through the pores of your skin and when you exhale via the lungs too.


Fish, most notably canned tuna, has that distinctive odour.  Seafood naturally produces a sour smell as it oxidises, with the process of storing it in a tin can multiplying the effect.

Coffee and Alcohol

Coffee and alcohol create an environment in which odour-causing bacteria thrive.  They also dehydrate you and cause dry mouth, which also can cause bad breath.

The Good:


Water is neutral and odourless.  It is good for your body and your breath.  Drinking plenty of water flushes the mouth of bacteria and foods that can cause bad breath.  It also increases saliva which is antibacterial, buffers acid and dilutes the mouth of odour-causing bacteria and food.


Bad oral bacteria break down dietary proteins and produce sulphur, which causes bad breath.  Yoghurt contains probiotic good bacteria which helps keep the balance between good and bad bacteria.  Eating yoghurt helps reduce the oral levels of odour-causing sulphur.

Fruits and Vegetables

Many fruit and vegetables are rich in vitamin C.  Vitamin C produces an environment that odour-causing environment cannot survive.  Eating them raw also helps cleanse the mouth as they are crunchy and abrasive which helps remove food particles and bacteria.