Food & Diet

Chronic Bad Breath? Your Diet Could Be The Culprit

A perpetually stinky mouth that causes your co-workers, friends and even family members to avoid having prolonged face-to-face interactions with you can be embarrassing. An unusual suspect may be to blame for your smelly plight- your diet!

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Chronic Bad Breath? Your Diet Could Be The Culprit
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It has been reported that one out of every four individuals suffers from bad breath on a regular basis. Chronic bad breath is not only socially debilitating and a great source of anxiety for the sufferer but it may also signal issues with general bodily health.

Let’s first take a quick look at some of the more commonly known causes of bad breath.

Trigger Foods such as Onion and Garlic

Onion and garlic both contain sulphur compounds that give them their distinct pungent flavour. Despite their many health and medicinal benefits, the consumption of such vegetables can cause lingering foul breath that may even last overnight. Alcohol, fish and coffee fall in the same category.

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Poor Oral Hygiene

Improper oral hygiene can lead to a build-up of bacteria on the teeth and tongue. Additionally, it may also cause plaque formation and cavities. All of these can cause your mouth to smell.

Dry Mouth

Reduced saliva production, while sleeping or due to congestion or some medication, inhibits the cleansing processes in your mouth thus causing a greater build-up of bacteria in the oral cavity leading to bad breath.

Respiratory Issues

A blocked nose due to the flu, or respiratory infections such as bronchitis and sinusitis with their accompanying microbial build-up and discharges may also cause bad breath.

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Is Your Diet to Blame?

While poor hygiene oral hygiene remains the leading cause of chronic bad breath, a smelly breath despite top-notch personal hygiene could be due to your diet.

Acid Reflux

High intake of processed, deep-fried and fast food can increase the frequency of heartburn in people suffering from acid reflux. Alcohol and caffeine-rich drinks can also worsen the situation. Acid reflux is caused by the inflammation of one’s oesophagus. Stomach acids travel up to the oesophagus and into the mouth causing foul breath. While professional medical opinion must be sought to figure out the underlying cause of your acid reflux, avoiding the above-mentioned food and drinks can prevent heartburn and the resulting bad breath.

Not Eating Enough

Fad diets for losing weight quickly are too numerous to count and some of them such as the practice of intermittent fasting can lead to chronic bad breath. This is because not eating for prolonged periods can reduce the saliva production in the mouth causing the inhabiting bacteria to easily multiply. In addition, an empty stomach also causes changes in the bacteria and enzymes in the mouth leading to funky smells. Regular intake of water and healthy snacks can help nip this problem in the bud.

Keto Breath

Ketogenic or keto diet, as its popularly known, is a low-carb, high-fat diet that forces your body to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. This means that this diet lets you scarf down fat rich food items such as ham, eggs and bacon without an ounce of guilt. However, a nasty side-effect of this diet could be a foul-smelling breath.

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While on a keto diet, your body is forced to create ketone molecules as a substitute for glucose as a fuel. One such ketone is acetone which has a particularly unpleasant odour. The excess ketones are passed by the body through urine or your breath. The good news is, keto breath tends to dissipate once your body gets used to the change in your diet.

Paleo Diet

Just like the keto diet, paleo is a low-carb diet but with its core focus on protein intake. Increase in protein intake causes the body to produce excess ammonia which leads to your breath smelling ‘fishy’. If suffering from paleo breath, one must practice impeccable oral hygiene by brushing the teeth twice a day, tongue-scraping and daily flossing.

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Your very diet causing your bad breath may be a less than ideal situation but as it turns out, once you figure out the source of the problem, the solution is quite easily attainable.

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