Bad breath can be an embarrassing problem, but it’s by no means a rare one; Colgate estimates that there are nearly 60 million people in the United States with chronic halitosis. If you regularly struggle with bad breath, you’ve probably tried combatting it with mints and sugarless gum. But there’s one other step you can take that you might not have thought of: eating more yogurt. Here’s what you need to know about this surprising connection.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath can have a few different causes, but the most common is related to leftover food particles in your mouth. Oral bacteria can feed on this leftover food and release sulfur compounds such as hydrogen sulfide as a byproduct, resulting in foul-smelling breath.
Other common causes of bad breath include:
- Dry mouth
- Pungent foods like onions and garlic
- Low carbohydrate diets
- Certain health conditions
How Yogurt Can Help Fight Bad Breath
Multiple studies have shown that sugarless yogurt can help combat the harmful bacteria that cause bad breath. In fact, one study presented at the International Association for Dental Research in Baltimore found that eating six ounces of yogurt every day was linked to a significant decrease in hydrogen sulfide. Adding yogurt to your everyday diet can go a long way toward helping you freshen your breath by fighting bacteria and the odor-emitting compounds they create.
What Else Can You Do to Fight Bad Breath?
Of course, while eating yogurt can be beneficial for your breath, it’s not the only step you’ll want to take. To keep halitosis at bay, you should also start following these habits:
- Good Oral Hygiene: Brush and floss thoroughly at least twice a day. Bacteria can build up anywhere in your mouth, so don’t just clean your teeth; also pay attention to your gums and tongue.
- Change Your Toothbrush Regularly: An older toothbrush won’t do as good a job of keeping your mouth clean. Switch to a new toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. A good way to remember is to switch whenever the seasons change.
- Drinking Plenty of Water: Water helps rinse out your mouth, removing harmful bacteria as well as food particles.
- Keep Visiting Your Dentist: During checkups, your dentist can clean the areas of your mouth that you haven’t been able to reach on your own. They can also check for any oral health problems that might be contributing to bad breath.
Is bad breath starting to hurt your everyday life? Eating yogurt and following the other tips listed above could help you overcome this problem! Be sure to reach out to your dentist; they may be able to give you additional advice for fighting bad breath.
About the Author
Dr. Gretchen Anjomi has over two full decades of experience in the dental field so far. She graduated from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, and she’s a member of the American Dental Association and the Massachusetts Dental Association. During your regular checkups, she’s more than happy to offer advice for maintaining fresher breath. To schedule an appointment with her at Newton Corner Dental Care, visit her website or call (617) 332-6232.