How to Get Rid of Bad Breath with a Diet

Since bad breath can have its origin in some foods, we can also help fix it through food. In addition, there are some ingredients that help as a complement to control this problem. Did you know this?
How to Get Rid of Bad Breath with a Diet

Last update: 23 August, 2021

Do you want to get rid of that annoying bad breath? Bad breath can be caused by several reasons, one of them can be consuming certain foods. Here are some tricks to eliminate bad breath through food. Put them into practice and get the fresh breath you want!

Eliminate bad breath through food

Bad breath or halitosis isn’t a clinical sign of a health issue, but it’s very annoying. It’s usually caused by the release of gases resulting from bacterial fermentation. If you’ve noticed you have this problem, keep in mind that you aren’t alone, nor is it something new: halitosis affects 25% of the population.

Although there are many types and intensities of what’s considered bad breath, we can also indicate that about 90% of cases are caused by the millions of bacteria that live in the oral cavity.

These bacteria, by fermenting food, can produce sulfur compounds that don’t have the best odor (to give you an idea, rotten eggs generate sulfur compounds).

Main causes of bad breath

A woman with bad breath.
There are many factors that indicate the appearance of bad breath. Bacterial plaque, as well as some foods, can be triggers.

Dental plaque

The mouth is one of the places in the body with the greatest quantity and variability of microbes. In terms of odor, dental plaque is related to bacterial putrefaction of a cocktail that includes food debris, blood, cells, and saliva.

When the microbial balance is lost, dental plaque can produce enough sulfuric compounds, diamines, or short-chain fatty acids to generate this symptomatology.


Different types of foods have been linked to bad breath:

  • Onion and garlic: They’re rich in sulfur compounds that can produce this characteristic bad breath, both in the mouth and later, when we absorb and eliminate it by pulmonary gases.
  • Dairy products: Several bacteria that live in the mouth can ferment the amino acids present in dairy products, generating residues with names such as cadaverine or putrescine.
  • Canned fish: In general, everyone can identify the smell of rotten fish. During canning time, fish continues to degrade and produce biogenic amines that are associated with certain types of bad breath.
  • Fast-fermenting carbohydrates (FODMAP): These are a type of carbohydrate molecule that is easily fermented by the natural bacteria present in the mouth and intestine, favoring the development of gas, abdominal bloating, intestinal motility disorders, and, of course, bad breath.

Tobacco and alcohol

Consuming alcoholic beverages with high frequency could increase the intensity of bad breath because ethanol is a dehydrating agent and causes the volatilization of bacterial products. Tobacco also has an influence, enhancing the effects of alcohol.

Treatment to get rid of bad breath through diet

A woman drinking a glass of water.
Sometimes, it’s enough to review eating habits and increase water consumption to combat bad breath. However, we shouldn’t forget about hygiene.

Find out the cause of bad breath

The first thing you should do before starting any treatment is to find out the root cause of your bad breath. Perhaps you just need to be careful with garlic and onion consumption, or keep your mouth hydrated.

Avoid tobacco and alcohol

As mentioned above, tobacco and alcohol can aggravate the symptoms of bad breath. If you drink or smoke, it’s essential to avoid these habits in order to curb this problem.

Eat a maximum of three meals a day

The greater the number of daily intakes, the greater the alteration of the oral pH, the longer the time bacteria spend feeding, and the greater the risk of food debris accumulating. In addition, snacks between meals are, in many cases, sweet and appetizing for bacteria. Needless to say, this doesn’t help you get rid of bad breath. It just makes matters worse.

Perform good oral hygiene and rinse with coconut oil

According to studies, the act of brushing is more important than toothpaste. In addition, if you suffer from bad breath, when you finish brushing your teeth, we recommend that you periodically rinse with coconut oil. Coconut fat is rich in lauric acid, a substance that has shown positive effects in combating various pathogens.

  • So, when you finish brushing your teeth, take a tablespoon of coconut oil and rinse for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, you can do this process for up to 20 minutes. Once the time has elapsed, don’t swallow it, spit it out.

Chew certain herbs

Chewing parsley, mint, cloves, fennel and some herbs such as alfalfa, cardamom, chamomile, myrrh, rosemary, and sage, also helps to treat halitosis.

Some useful nutritional supplements

Pills on a table.
Oral probiotics may help treat bad breath. However, ask your doctor before taking them.
  • Zinc: Several studies show that zinc salts transform sulfur compounds into odorless gases.
  • Probiotics: In general, the bacteria that should remain in the mouth of healthy people is Streptococcus salivarius. However, in people with bad breath, low levels or even the absence of this bacteria have been identified. That’s why it seems that oral probiotics can help solve this type of problem.

In conclusion, if you want to get rid of bad breath, space out your meals, moderate fast-fermenting fiber and try coconut oil rinses. In many cases, these measures are enough to combat this discomfort. If symptoms persist, we recommend that you visit a professional.

It might interest you...
Four Ways to Remove Tartar from Your Teeth
Step To HealthRead it in Step To Health
Four Ways to Remove Tartar from Your Teeth

Tartar on your teeth creates a bad image. It makes us look bad, and also increases the risks of getting cavities. What's the best way to remove tar...

  • Kim JS, Park JW, Kim DJ, Kim YK, Lee JY. “Direct effect of chlorine dioxide, zinc chloride and chlorhexidine solution on the gaseous volatile sulfur compounds. “Acta Odontol Scand. 2014 Nov;72(8):645-50.
  • Jayakumar A, Padmini H, Haritha A, Reddy KP.” Role of dentifrice in plaque removal: a clinical trial.” Indian J Dent Res. 2010 Apr-Jun;21(2):213-7.
  • ratibha PK , Bhat KM, Bhat GS. “Oral malodor: a review of the literature.” J Dent Hyg. 2006 Summer;80(3):8.
  • Scully C, Rosenberg M. “Halitosis.” Dent Update. 2003 May;30(4):205-10.