Foods That Are The Causes Of Bad Breath
Of course, everyone knows that Onions and Garlic will create bad breath. But do you know why? It’s because the odorous molecules in onions and garlic are actually sulfur compounds themselves, called Mercaptans. (Sulfur is nature’s way of creating odors.) You’re all familiar with the skunk. Its odor is created as a defense and/or attack mechanism. Skunk odor is made up of sulfur compounds (skatoles, etc.) which are natural sulfur compounds.
Food, if it sits out too long will spoil. That action is due to anaerobic bacteria breaking down proteins in that particular food. In milk, the odor of sour milk is caused by relatives of the bugs that create bad breath, when they break down proteins in milk (and all dairy foods). A reaction takes place where ‘the bad breath bugs’ extract sulfur compounds from the amino acids in these proteins. Specifically, the amino acid Cysteine is converted to Hydrogen Sulfide (the rotten egg smell) and Methionine becomes Methyl Mercaptan (which smells like a cross between old socks and garlic.) The same analogy applies to meat if it sits out too long. There are 4 categories of foods that will result in an increase of sulfur production because these categories have a stimulating affect on the bacteria:
1. Drying Agents
2. Dense Protein Foods
The most common drying agent in food is Alcohol. Alcohol of course is the basis of all “adult” beverages such as Beer, Wine, and Hard liquor. It is also used, unfortunately in mouthwash, where it only makes the problem worse.
Alcohol is a drying agent, known chemically as a desiccant. It is used quite often in laboratories to “dry out” hard to reach areas in test tubes and beakers. The same end result takes place in the oral cavity.
Although cigarettes are not really food, smoking is probably the quickest way to dry out your mouth, with alcohol the second. If you smoke, you are bound to have bad breath!
Dense Protein Foods:
Dairy foods are notorious for creating bad breath. An article in the Los Angeles Times once noted that over 50% of the population in Southern California was Lactose Intolerant which is the inability to digest significant amounts of lactose, the predominant sugar of milk. With regards to bad breath, it has been found that these people (numbering in the tens of millions) end up with MORE dense proteins available as ‘bad breath fuel‘ for the bacteria than those who have no problem with dairy foods (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.) The end result is a buildup of amino acids, which are easily converted into volatile sulfur compounds by the anaerobic bacteria found within the surface of your tongue and throat.
To a lesser extent, there are people who have the same problem with other dense protein foods such as: Beef, Chicken, Fish.
Another problem, thankfully rare, has to do with people who have an inability to break down certain proteins found in beans. This condition is called TMA (Trimethylaminuria) and is sometimes known as the “Fish Odor Syndrome”, because the odor produced is similar to decaying fish. The odor consists of sulfur compounds, plus nitrogen compounds (amines). People with this condition must abstain from beans and other dense protein foods.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could get rid of bad breath by chewing on M&Ms? Or what if the cure for bad breath were Hershey Kisses?
That’s what the makers of ALTOIDS would have you believe. Altoids, and other products of the same ilk, are trying to fool the public into believing that a strong “good” taste in your mouth is equivalent to the “goodness” of your breath. It is so anti-science, as to be absurd. If you think about it for a minute, it doesn’t even make sense.
By using concentrated MINT flavorings, your taste buds pick up MINT as a a taste. However, ALTOIDS, contains 2 types of sugar, which are Fuel for the bacteria to reproduce and create more sulfur compounds. In addition, and here’s the frightening part, other bacteria can take the sugars and produce glycan strands, which in turn end up causing thick layers of plaque on your enamel and around your gums. This leads to tooth decay and gum disease – and of course worse Breath than when you started.
But, since you can’t smell your own breath, you just go merrily along with that great strong mint taste in your mouth, while others close to you are backing away – backing away from your increased bad breath, decayed teeth, and gross swollen, bleeding gums!
Stay away from candies, mints, and chewing gum if they contain sugar. As an alternative, you can use TheraBreath Oxygenating Chewing Gum. It releases Oxygen molecules directly in your mouth and also contains the antibacterial agent, Zinc Gluconate (found in many cold medications). In addition, as a sweetening agent we chose Xylitol, which is a natural ANTI-DECAY compound (Not SUGAR!)
Acidic foods are a problem as you’ll read below. Some foods you should watch out for are:
Coffee – both decaf and regular have acids (Tea is OK)
pH is a term used to describe the acidity of the environment. (see table) The oral cavity has a normal pH of 6.5 (7 is neutral) which is in the acid range.
We know that acids make the bacteria reproduce much faster. In order to decrease the production of odorous sulfur compounds, we need to neutralize the acid environment. TheraBreath products are the only ones to be pH balanced in such a manner to do this most effectively. That is why TheraBreath products do not leave a strange aftertaste like other bad breath treatment products.
Update January 21, 2013:
TheraBreath is a very “user-friendly” anti-halitosis system. It features a mouthwash (oral rinse), toothpaste, breath spray, concentrated powerdrops, ZOX breath mints, oxygenating chewing gum, AktivOxigen tablets, and Nasal Sinus Drops, all designed to attack the root of the problem throughout the day with the utmost of convenience. Some breath-refreshing systems rely solely on mouthwash to fight bad breath. There is an image listed below that shows the great results that some people have gotten from using TheraBreath. If you want to learn more about TheraBreath, then please click here!