Why You Have Heinously Bad Breath After Eating Dairy, and How To Fix It

by | Oct 6, 2023 | Health

Milk breath, cheese mouth, and the lingering odour from a less-than-stellar date night. What causes this unpleasant phenomenon, and how can you combat it effectively? In this article, we’ll delve into the reasons behind post-dairy bad breath and provide strategies to mitigate it.

To begin, it’s crucial to comprehend the source of the issue. While we typically don’t consider our mouths as part of our digestive system, they play a vital role in digestion. Chewing food is just the initial step in this intricate process.

Dr. David Krol, former chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Oral Health, offers insight, explaining, “Imagine millions of bacteria feasting on particles of food and tissue in our mouth, some emitting foul-smelling waste.”

As these microbes engage in breaking down milk solids, such as lactose, proteins, and lipids, they occasionally produce excess hydrogen sulfide. This is the root cause of the foul breath experienced after consuming dairy products.

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So, what steps can you take to alleviate this issue?

While it may not be possible to completely eliminate the odor, you can manage it by targeting the primary culprits, which Dr. Krol refers to as gram-negative bacteria. This bacterial family, which also includes E. coli and chlamydia, tends to hide beneath your gum line, between your gums and teeth, and within the crevices of your tongue.

Regrettably, traditional mouthwash does not effectively address the issue of gram-negative bacteria; in fact, it can worsen the situation. Mouthwash indiscriminately kills all bacteria, including the beneficial ones, potentially exacerbating bad breath.

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To combat gram-negative bacteria, Dr. Krol recommends brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste at least twice daily, and for those with particularly potent post-dairy breath, after each meal. Ensure that you focus on the areas where these bacteria thrive and consider incorporating an affordable tongue scraper into your oral hygiene routine. Additionally, regular flossing can be beneficial.

In summary, practicing good oral hygiene is the key to combatting bad breath after consuming dairy products. The good news is that you don’t have to give up your favourite cheeses. By following these tips, you can enjoy dairy without the fear of unpleasant after-effects.

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