If you have a bad breath then that will surely embarrass you in a public situation. Though, thankfully you can mask it by making good food choices.

Halitosis or bad breath results from several factors.

It can be something you have eaten, the side effect of medicines, your dry mouth or bad oral hygiene.

While you should address the cause of the concern you can also find a quick fix in masking it.

Eating the right food can help decrease the foul smell.

In fact, the strong scents of these food items can reduce your bad breath.

Get to know more about these items in detail below!

halitosis cause

Causes of Halitosis

The causes of halitosis are usually due to lack of care or side effects.

If you do not take care of your oral hygiene then your mouth will have bacteria and plaque.

Improper oral care will accumulate bacteria that cause gingivitis, tooth decay and cavities.

If the plaque accumulation worsens then it leads to periodontal disease and eventually tooth loss.

However, another sign of having bad oral health is when your start having a bad breath.

As there is more bacteria in your mouth, they also accumulate onto your tongue.

Thus, when the tongue has bacteria it starts to smell bad.

However, this does not solely happen because of bad oral health.

Your oral health may be on point but the medicines you take might be impacting your oral health.

Some medications can reduce your saliva production by affecting your salivary glands.

As there is not enough saliva in your mouth it causes a dry mouth.

A dry mouth due to a lack of saliva can encourage the accumulation of bacteria.

Saliva is the first line of defense in your mouth.

It washes away food particles, debris and bacteria protecting your teeth and gums from harm.

But when the salivary glands do not produce enough then bacteria grows on your tongue, thus when you speak a foul smell is released.

Another cause can be eating or drinking foods and beverages that tend to give a bad smell.

Onions and garlic will not be the best to eat before an interview or a meetup with friends.

Similarly, drinking alcohol or smoking will also give you a bad breath.

You can treat this by using mouthwash often.

Though you may also simply mask the effect by eating other foods that reduce the smell.

food choices for bad breath

Food Choices for Reducing Bad Breath (Fruits and Vegetables)

Raw fruits and vegetables are crunchy.

Hence, your teeth play their part in breaking them down but do you what more happens?

They also facilitate the production of saliva.

Therefore, they mask your bad breath as they stimulate saliva production.

Moreover, fruits and vegetables contain lots of fiber.

Therefore, they are cleansing your teeth too, acting as a toothbrush.

Some popular choices are:

  • oranges
  • apples
  • berries
  • melons
  • pears
  • parsley

Apples and pears are crunchy therefore they produce saliva.

This in return helps to rebalance the ecology of the mouth and nourishes it.

In fact, apples can even reduce the bad breath caused by raw garlic.

vitamin c for bad breath

The likes of melons, oranges and berries are full of Vitamin C.

Moreover, it reduces bacteria inside the mouth hence decreasing your chances of getting gum disease and gingivitis.

These oral health problems also cause halitosis hence taking vitamin C in the form of melons, oranges, lime and berries.

Another unique fruit for reducing bad breath is cherry.

Cherries can counteract a bad breath-producing gas known as methyl mercaptan.

It is already present in food such as cheese and onions.

Similarly, lettuce also reduces this gas.

Other vegetables like celery, cucumber and carrots increase the saliva production therefore, it cleanses the mouth.

Herbs parsley and basil have polyphenols.

These chemicals work on reducing bad breath.

Also, they contain chlorophyll that helps to mask halitosis.

Chlorophyll in other leafy green vegetables also reduces bad breath.

So parsley, basil and other leafy green are good to consume.

Use them in place of garlic if you need the same zesty flavor.

Moreover, ginger breaks down sulfur compounds in our mouths.

6-gingerol present inside ginger stimulates another enzyme to break down the sulfur that may cause halitosis.

yogurt reduces bad breath

Other Food Choices for Reducing Halitosis

Besides parsley, other herbs and spices can also reduce the foul smell coming from your mouth.

The food choices in spices and herbs include:

  • coriander
  • cinnamon
  • eucalyptus
  • rosemary
  • cilantro
  • cardamom
  • tarragon
  • rosemary

The oils and strong flavors of these herbs and spices just like parsley can help combat bad breath.

Besides herbs, fruits and vegetables, simply eating probiotic yogurt can also do the trick.

The live active cultures i.e the probiotics in yogurt overpower the bad smell coming from your mouth.

This is because these are good bacteria.

They balance with the bad bacteria inside your mouth to reduce its impact on your breath.

People who ate three ounces of sugar-free yogurt twice a day saw a significant decrease in the compounds that cause bacteria and bad breath.

Moreover, nuts such as almonds are rich in fiber.

Fiber prevents your teeth from staining and keeps them healthy and white.

It also prevents the bacteria that produce odor from giving you a bad breath.

Essentially, fruits, vegetables and nuts with fiber are like a toothbrush for your teeth.

If you do not want to rely on the food you always have a quick fix in Sugarless gum.

Flavored chewing gum will not only freshen your breath thanks to its flavor, it also helps to loosen up the food and dead cells.

Bacteria need these two in order to produce bad breath.

Therefore, when you keep chewing gum you are also helping your mouth clear some bacteria by stimulating saliva.

The saliva clears the food debris.

However, remember that you should only chew on a sugar-free gum.

Sugar-free gums contain alternatives for sugar such as xylitol and other sweeteners.

Whereas chewing sugary gum constantly can lead to decay. Hence, avoid that.

drinks and food choices for halitosis

Drinks and Food Choices for a Fresh Breath

Green Tea 

Green tea contains antioxidants that can get rid off the bacteria in your mouth.

These are catechins and are present in abundance in green tea.

Since bacteria causes bad breath and these catechins help to reduce it then there are lesser bacteria in your mouth for it to smell foul.

Also, green tea contains polyphenols.

This is also present in herbs such as parsley and basil.

Polyphenols are a natural remedy for halitosis.

Hence when you drink green tea your mouth will not smell as bad as it can after drinking black tea or coffee.


Drinking water is the best for your oral health.

No other drink can be as healthy for your entire physical health and oral health as water.

As you drink water, you stimulate saliva in your mouth.

Therefore, it helps to clean the stuck food particles as well as the dead cells.

Water washes away the food and debris making your mouth cleaner.

When the bacteria do not have any food particles and debris to feed on, they do not cause bad breath.

Hence, if you drink water right after you eat something smelly, then your mouth will not smell as bad.

Furthermore, your mouth will no longer be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Therefore, when you have no other fix, just drink a glass of water if you think your breath smells bad.

Thus keep yourself hydrated at all times to have a fresh breath.

reducing halitosis

Other Ways to Freshen Your Breath

Besides food choices, you have other ways of taking care of your oral health to maintain a fresh breath.

One of these is using a mouthwash and brushing your teeth.

If you are not outdoors then you can simply rinse your mouth with mouthwash.

If you do not have that then you can brush your teeth.

This will help to eliminate the bacteria that accumulate in your mouth by rinsing off the food and debris.

Besides using mouthwash and brushing, check if the smell is coming from a lack of proper hygiene.

Thus, remember to brush twice and floss once daily.

Skipping brushing one time can also accumulate lots of bacteria on your tongue.

In fact, even when you are outdoors keep a disposable toothbrush and dental floss with your everywhere.

If you suffer from really bad breath then it is better to brush and floss after every meal or eating snacks.

Moreover, see if there are other causes behind your bad breath.

It could be the medications you take that are causing a dry mouth.

Ask your dentist to replace the medicines with a similar alternative if possible in case halitosis is your big concern.

Also, if you wear retainers, Invisalign or false teeth i.e. dentures then make sure that they are always clean.

Use cleaning solutions to clean them daily.

Soak and rinse them once a day in the solution and brush off the excess plaque and debris.

Though, remember to not damage them by using toothpaste.


Your food choices can make your breath smell bad.

But they can also help mask it.

Thus, make wise food choices whenever you are in a public situation and always look for ways to cover for the bad breath.

Follow dietary guidelines to choose healthier foods in a food group.

Establish good eating habits by generally avoiding processed foods, saturated fat and fat milk.

Consume only small amounts or a smaller portion size if you want to keep eating healthy food.

On the other hand, encourage healthy eating by consuming protein foods, fruits and vegetables loaded with vitamin and also do some physical exercise.

These food choices will not only keep your physical but oral health well too.