How Long Can Food-Based Bad Breath Last?

Certain foods-like garlic, cabbage and onions-are known to promote bad breath, but pretty much anything you eat can leave your breath smelling sour. Some people can eat garlic on a Friday, and on Monday still have its odor not only on their breath, but emerging from their body, as well; whereas others experience virtually no odor, even hours after eating it.

Surprisingly, protein-rich meats, fish and dairy products, as well as acidic foods like citrus and tomato juices, can also lead to bad breath. Once your body breaks down the food, bacteria feed on the proteins, in turn forming odorous compounds.

According to many dentists, gum, mouthwash and mints should not be relied upon to correct bad breath because they only temporarily mask the smell. Some food is simply so strong to begin with that, until your body completely eliminates the item, you'll be able to smell it on your breath.

The solution? Steer clear of foods that will negatively effect your breath-sorry, garlic lovers-and load up on crunchy fruits and vegetables, which naturally sweep away debris and bacteria. Try to avoid processed foods, as well. These choices will help you avoid foul breath now, and hours-maybe days-later.