As the holidays approach, many people are frantically buying food and finalizing their guest lists for Thanksgiving dinner. This time-honored tradition is known to cause indigestion and burst buttons, but did you know the foods you eat on the fourth Thursday in November are some of the prime causes of halitosis?
That's right. Not only do you have to worry about food coma and indigestion, but you'll also need to watch out for the inevitable bad breath that sets in after the Thanksgiving feast. Here's what happens.
In a general sense, pretty much everything you eat over the holidays has the potential to cause oral odor. After all, the microbes in your mouth aren't very particular about what they eat on Thanksgiving. By ingesting foods, oils and alcohol, you're giving oral bacteria a feast of their own.
Within hours of mopping up the last of the gravy and stuffing, your mouth becomes a cauldron of bacterial activity. Anaerobic microorganisms begin breaking down the food particles on your tongue and palate, giving off smelly compounds in the process. Ergo, you get some serious bad breath.
But which foods are the likeliest causes of halitosis? Here's a list:
- Turkey. This bird gives oral bacteria tons of protein to chew on. Plus, an especially dry slab of turkey can dry out your mouth in seconds, leaving microbes free to run wild, like a foul...ahem, fowl with it's head cut off.
- Gravy. Though it's great for adding a little moisture to your turkey, gravy is packed with lipids and oils that microorganisms love. As an added problem, thick gravy can stick between your teeth and to the insides of your cheeks, giving bacteria a toehold.
- Sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. They're sweet and tasty, for humans and microbes alike. You may consider rinsing with a specialty breath freshener after you finish the last bite of pie.
- Coffee. Oh dear. Polishing off a big meal with a cup of coffee can be very satisfying, but just remember that coffee breath takes just seconds to set it.