Foods That Cause Bad Breath


Your favourite foods may taste delicious, but they’re having an impact on your breath. Along with a healthy smile, fresh breath is the key to self-confidence and demonstrates positive oral health. If you regularly suffer from bad breath, it could be from the foods you consume.

Before we get into the foods that cause bad breath, there are other causes too. The food you eat may not even be a problem. Other causes could be:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Respiratory infections
  • Poor Oral Hygiene

The causes above are signs that you could be experiencing something more than just bad breath. You could be experiencing Halitosis, a condition where bacteria build up in the mouth due to underlying conditions such as gum disease. Ensure you book a dental check-up at the dentist for further dentist advice.

Let’s take a look further into your diet, and identify whether you eat one of these foods that cause bad breath.



Garlic is a very popular ingredient for many people due to its strong odour and flavour. Although, Garlic is absorbed in your bloodstream and spreads odour through to your tongue. Whilst you don’t need to avoid garlic altogether, it isn’t something you should eat in isolation. Ensure garlic residue is cleared from your mouth through brushing and flossing. You can also perform tongue scraping to reduce bacteria build-up.


Onions are another popular ingredient, however, like garlic, it can spread a bad odour inside your mouth. The sulphuric compounds get absorbed in the bloodstream. Brushing and flossing your tongue and teeth will give the extra protection from the odour.


If you’re a fan of coffee, you’re doing more harm to your mouth than good. Caffeine is a savour for many people and helps people start their day, however, it has more repercussions and not just bad breath. Coffee can cause dry mouth and reduce saliva flow, which are triggers for the bad odour to get stronger. Stay hydrated by drinking water regularly as well.

Citrus Fruits

Bad breath occurs when bacteria, the decay of debris from the foods you eat, land on the tongue. You’d be surprised to know that citrus fruits can cause a bad odour in the mouth. Citrus is an acidic property, and an acidic environment thrives on bacteria to cause a bad odour.

Dairy Products

Not all dairy products, but Cheese, in particular, contains amino acids that react to the oral bacteria to develop sulphuric compounds. Sulphuric compounds are sour and make your breath sour. When consuming cheese, either remove the bacteria with a tongue scraper or rinse your mouth to remove the bacteria and particles inside your mouth.

Bad Breath - Dental Check Up Ashfield

If you avoid these foods as part of your diet, then the problem may be even deeper and could be due to an underlying health condition that can cause it. The dentist is best placed to determine the cause of the bad odour if it doesn’t come from the foods you eat.

Bad breath doesn’t have to be a problem. By making sure the bacteria and acidic particles remain inside your mouth, a bad odour will release when you speak and eat. Therefore, ensure you adopt strong oral hygiene that involves keeping breath fresh by brushing and flossing thoroughly every day.

If you’re concerned about bad breath, contact us at Ashfield Family Dental for an appointment with one of our helpful dentists, who would be delighted to assist you. Book an appointment with us now!

Disclaimer: The content provided on this website is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. Any reliance you place on the information provided in these blogs is, therefore, strictly at your own risk. We shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage resulting from the use of the information provided on this website.

by Dr Johnson Tang

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