Halitosis is an oral health condition where a person experiences persistent bad breath, resulting in a foul smell coming from the mouth. The condition occurs due to several factors, with lack of dental hygiene being the major one. Bad breath can be treated according to the cause and recently, a new study showed that probiotics in fermented foods can help reduce the effect of this condition.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms, particularly bacteria and yeast, that have a good effect on the body. These live microbes improve gut health, assist in food digestion, and maintain a balance of microbial activity in the body.  Probiotics also improves the immune system and keeps the person healthy.

How probiotics in fermented foods help fight bad breath?

Halitosis occurs when anaerobic bacteria (microbes that do not require oxygen for growth and survival) produce volatile sulphuric compounds (VSCs). These compounds are the main source of bad breath that comes from the mouth. 

A recent study found that four probiotics can help fight against the condition and keep bad breath at bay for a short period of time. The probiotics in fermented foods mentioned are Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus reuteri, Streptococcus salivarius, and Weissella cibaria. These types of probiotic bacteria are gram-positive, whereas the ones contributing to the production of VSCs are gram-negative.

Will a probiotic help bad breath?

According to the study, the antibacterial properties of probiotics were able to fight these gram-negative bacteria, showing a remarkable decrease in halitosis. Although, they were unable to fend off other causes like plaque buildup, and tongue-coating.

How do I permanently get rid of chronic bad breath?

In order to permanently get rid of chronic bad breath, one should find the cause of the condition. It would be easier to find a remedy when the root cause of bad breath is found. Also, to avoid the onset of bad breath, one can follow these steps:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss regularly
  • Brush and clean your tongue
  • Washing your mouth after consuming any food, using mouthwash is recommended

Bacteria in fermented foods

Bacteria in fermented foods are live microbes that contribute to beneficial effects in the body. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB), Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, and Leuconostoc are the most common bacteria found in fermented foods. These microbes enhance the availability of nutrients, making it easier for the body to absorb and utilize the same. They also tend to improve the existing flavors in foods, giving it a more acceptable taste.

Best fermented foods for bad breath

Now that it is proven that fermented foods can help decrease the impact of bad breath, one can include some fermented foods in their diet to keep this condition at bay. Make sure to include probiotics in fermented foods including Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus reuteri, Streptococcus salivarius, and Weissella cibaria. It is advised so, since these microbes effectively contribute to fighting bad breath. Some of the best fermented foods for bad breath include:

  • Yogurt
  • Sourdough bread
  • Kimchi
  • Fermented vegetables
  • Miso
  • Sauerkraut
  • Fermented cheese

In some cases, underlying gum diseases can be the cause of bad breath. If you still have bad breath, consult with a dentist or an oral specialist who can help you resolve it.