Foods and drinks that contribute to bad morning breath

Waking up with bad breath can start your day on a sour note.

Coffee contributes to bad breath [Openroadcoffee]

It's not necessary to completely cut out these foods and drinks from your diet, but being mindful of their consumption can help reduce bad breath.

While poor oral hygiene is a primary contributor to this unwelcome guest, the role of certain foods and drinks consumed the day before cannot be overstated. Understanding which dietary choices worsen morning breath is key to combating it. Here are some foods and drinks that contribute to bad morning breath and why they have this effect.

Garlic and onions are rich in volatile sulfur compounds that, when ingested, can enter the bloodstream and be expelled through the lungs, affecting breath quality. These compounds are also left to mingle in the mouth, where they can contribute to the bacterial feast that produces foul-smelling gases. The result? Bad breath.


Both coffee and alcohol have a drying effect on the mouth. Saliva cleanses the mouth and removes particles that can cause bad odours. A reduction in saliva production, known as dry mouth, creates an environment where bacteria can thrive, leading to morning breath. Furthermore, the acidity of coffee can contribute to the multiplication of odor-causing bacteria.

Dairy products, while an excellent source of calcium, can also contribute to bad breath. The amino acids in milk and cheese can react with bacteria in the mouth, producing unpleasant sulfur compounds.


Acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, can contribute to bad morning breath by creating an acidic environment in the mouth. This environment is conducive to the growth of bacteria that produce volatile sulfur compounds.

Sugary foods and drinks provide a feast for the bacteria in your mouth. As bacteria metabolise sugar, they release acids and gases that contribute to bad breath. High sugar consumption can also lead to tooth decay and gum disease, both of which are associated with halitosis. Reducing sugar intake can help mitigate these effects and improve breath quality.

High-protein foods can be harder for some people to digest, leading to the release of sulfurous gases during digestion. These gases can affect breath odour as they are expelled from the body. Additionally, the breakdown of protein in the mouth can feed bacteria, producing foul-smelling byproducts and contributing to morning breath.


Spicy foods, while delicious, can contribute to bad breath in a couple of ways. First, they contain garlic and onions, which we've already identified as culprits. Second, spicy foods can trigger acid reflux, especially when consumed in large quantities or close to bedtime. Acid reflux can bring stomach acids into the mouth, leading to a sour taste and bad breath in the morning.

Note that if bad breath persists despite these changes, it may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, and consulting with a dental professional is advised.

This content was created with the help of an AI model and verified by the writer.

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