Diet can have a range of effects. There are few more important things that individuals can do to support their health than improving their diet. However, choosing unhealthy foods can result in a drain on many of the body's processes.
These effects also extend to oral health. While it may be well known that sugary foods like candy and soda may contribute to cavities and gingivitis, there are certain items that can actually support dental health, reducing the risk of bad breath and other oral conditions.
The most prominent food that supports a healthy mouth is water. Simply drinking water throughout the day moistens the oral cavity and stimulating saliva production. This helps to sweep the mouth of debris that has accumulated between brushes and reduces the likelihood of bacterial growth.
A dry mouth is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. While many of these microbes are harmless - some even promote oral health - others are more malicious. Odor-causing bacteria thrive in a mouth that has little moisture.
Switching from drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine may be one way to significantly improve salivary function. The caffeine in drinks like coffee or tea is known to contribute to dehydration, particularly in the mouth. The same is true for alcoholic drinks, like beer or wine.
However, drinking more water isn't the only way that individuals can improve their oral health through diet. There are more interesting and flavorful foods that have been shown to have positive effects for the mouth, which may reduce the risk of halitosis.
For example, Philip Tierno, an oral health expert who has written books on the subject, told the New York Daily News that apples, berries and yogurt all help to end halitosis. The high fiber content of apple and most other solid greens can loosen food particles that may have become lodged around the teeth.
Yogurt, on the other hand, reduces the amount of sulfur that individuals have in their mouth. Sulfur is produced during the digestion of many foods, and is one of the leading causes of persistent bad breath. However, compounds in yogurt have been shown to neutralize sulfur.
While these remedies may be effective at eliminating occasional bad breath, individuals who experience persistent halitosis may need to look for more powerful cures. Specialty breath freshening products may be appropriate for these halitosis sufferers.