No matter what you eat, there's a good chance it's going to leave your mouth smelling a little funky. That's because the breakdown of food particles in your oral cavity emits an odor, caused partially by the bacteria that call your palate home using these bits as their meal, according to the Mayo Clinic. Bacteria aren't picky about what they eat, which is why it's not just onions and garlic that can leave you with bad breath.
Still, there are many people who believe that certain snacks and herbs hold the ability to freshen their breath. If these individuals are choosing food over alcohol free mouthwash, they may find themselves with worse halitosis than what they started with. Let’s take a look at some suggestions made in an article published by MSN for foods that will "cure" bad breath and see what works - and what definitely doesn't.
Herbs - not your best bet
The news source spoke to Christine Gerbstadt, M.D., who recommended that people use coriander, spearmint, tarragon, eucalyptus, rosemary and cardamom to fight halitosis. While these herbs may temporarily mask bad breath, they are still just more fodder for bacteria to snack on. They won't do much to bring about long-lasting relief.
The information provider also chatted with Cynthia Sass, American Dental Association spokeswoman and registered dietitian, who suggested that people snack on apples, carrots, celery and other fiber-rich foods to improve their halitosis. Now, while these foods won't do much to mask the smell of bad breath, they may help combat dry mouth - a common cause of oral odor.
"Inside your mouth, plaque build-up causes odors," said Sass, quoted by the news source. "Eating foods that increase saliva production keep the mouth moist - and rinsed out. Also, many carbs and proteins can get stuck in your teeth - even healthy foods like whole grain cereal or chicken breast."
Probiotics are a better choice
One helpful suggestion in the MSN article was that people with bad breath consume more probiotics. These healthy bacteria can help balance out the bad bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease, which is why many people use specialty oral care probiotics.
Remember, no food can take the place of a healthy dental care routine. To eliminate halitosis, your best bet is always to brush and floss your teeth regularly and use an alcohol-free mouthwash.