Can Yogurt Fight Bad Breath?

The solution for bad breath may be in the dairy isle at the local supermarket, according to a study by Japanese microbiologists.

In a small study partly funded by a Japanese yogurt maker, researchers found that a diet that includes two 3-oz. servings of plain, sugarless yogurt each day may attack bacteria that breed on the tongue. As these bacteria process food particles, they can release unpleasant odors which are then exhaled through the mouth.

Yogurt-eating participants showed an 80 percent decrease in their levels of hydrogen sulfide-a bad breath-causing compound-on their tongues and in the air inside their mouths after six weeks of eating yogurt.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential to keeping your mouth healthy and your breath fresh. Most types of bad breath can be controlled by brushing twice a day, including the tongue, with a fluoride toothpaste and using floss or an interdental cleaner to clean between teeth daily.

Schedule regular dental visits for professional cleanings and checkups. Discuss health problems, such as recent surgeries or illness, and medications you take with your dentist.

© 2017 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Foul-smelling breath, usually caused by the breakdown of food. Other culprits include poor dental hygiene, dry mouth, disease, infection, tobacco use and severe dieting.


Most bad breath starts in your mouth, and there are many possible causes that include:

  • Food particles from stinky foods like garlic and onions
  • Smoking
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Acid Reflux
  • Poor Oral Hygiene

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