10 Foods and Drinks You Probably Didn't Know Will Give You Dragon Breath

Onions and garlic aren’t the only foods that will give you bad breath
10 Foods and Drinks You Probably Didn't Know Will Give You Dragon Breath

Thinkstock

Face it: Right now, at this very moment, your breath probably smells pretty bad. Whether it’s from the coffee you drank this morning or the raw onion on the burger you had for lunch, you probably shouldn’t talk into anybody's face right now. And even if you've avoided the obvious offenders, there are still plenty of foods and drinks out there that will destroy your breath. 

10 Foods and Drinks You Probably Didn't Know Will Give You Dragon Breath

10 Foods and Drinks You Probably Didn't Know Will Give You Dragon Breath

Thinkstock

Face it: Right now, at this very moment, your breath probably smells pretty bad. Whether it’s from the coffee you drank this morning or the raw onion on the burger you had for lunch, you probably shouldn’t talk into anybody's face right now. And even if you've avoided the obvious offenders, there are still plenty of foods and drinks out there that will destroy your breath. 

Alcohol

Totally apart from the reek of booze itself, alcohol (like coffee) has a drying effect on the mouth, which reduces saliva production and promotes bacterial growth. 

Candy

When sugar mixes with the bacteria that are present in the mouth, those dreaded sulfur compounds rear their ugly heads, and the effects are amplified when the sugar gets stuck to your teeth. 

Citrus Fruit

Citrus fruits are some of the most acidic foods on the planet, and the bacteria that cause bad breath thrive in acidic environments. Avoid that morning cup of OJ if you’re looking to keep your breath fresh. Other acidic foods include tomatoes, peppers, and eggs. 

Dairy

Dairy

Photo Modified: Flickr / Frédérique Voisin-Demery / CC BY 4.0

While yogurt can have a positive effect on breath, other dairy products, including milk and cheese, can linger in the mouth and lead to bad breath once the sugars begin to break down. The effects are amplified for those with lactose intolerance, because these people lack the enzyme that breaks the dairy down. 

Dried Fruit

Dried Fruit

Photo Modified: Flickr / Christina Claßen / CC BY 4.0

Dried fruit contains a ton of sugar, and the fiber in the fruit also does a great job of getting stuck between your teeth. Sugar converts to bad breath on its own, and when it gets stuck in your mouth the result is even worse.

Energy Drinks

Caffeine is dehydrating, and energy drinks contain a ton of it. They also usually contain a lot of sugar, so these drinks pull double duty in the breath-killing department.

Horseradish

Horseradish

Thinkstock

Horseradish gets its kick from a chemical compound called isothiocyanate, which also serves as a natural defense against animals who are thinking about eating it. Unfortunately, that compound doesn’t go away when you eat it, and it lingers in your breath. 

Kimchi

This Korean staple is usually made with a fair amount of garlic, and just about every other ingredient — including cabbage and chile peppers — contains odor-causing compounds. The fact that the dish is fermented also adds insult to injury. 

Kombucha

Kombucha

Photo Modified: Flickr / Nan Palmero / CC BY 4.0

Kombucha is essentially fermented tea, and it contains many odor-causing compounds, including aldehyde, which can make your breath smell like nail polish remover. Another compound can make your breath smell like a rotten orange.

Red Meat

The protein fibers in red meat can easily get stuck in your teeth, and can be quite difficult to remove without flossing or some targeted tooth-picking. If that meat is allowed to remain in your teeth for a while, the smell can become noticeable. Excess protein in the body is also broken down into carbohydrates with ammonia as a byproduct, which can add another negative element to the party.