Causes of Garlic Breath
Garlic breath is an unpleasant condition that can be caused by the consumption of garlic. The compounds in garlic are responsible for the strong odour that lingers after consuming the vegetable. This odour can stick to your breath and cause social discomfort.
In order to reduce garlic breath, you must first understand the causes:
Consumption of garlic
Garlic breath is an embarrassment for many people as it often appears after consumption of garlic in foods or taking garlic supplements or extracts. The strong odor of garlic is due to sulfur compounds that are produced when the cells in the garlic are damaged. These sulfur compounds are carried into your breath and can remain there for more than 24 hours after you have eaten garlic.
There are several things you can do to reduce the odor of the garlic on your breath. First, brush and floss your teeth immediately after eating foods with a high content of garlic, such as fresh minced garlic or prepared dishes containing this vegetable. This should help reduce some of the smell that comes from deep within your mouth and throat. Drinking water directly after consuming foods with a high amount of garlic can also help wash away some of these odors and reduce their intensity.
You can also mix other ingredients with fresh or cooked garlic to help overall flavor and minimize the amount aromatic sulfurous gasses produced during digestion. When adding ingredients to cooked food like crushed raw onion, lemon juice, vinegar, parsley, peppermint oil, honey or yogurt you can add flavors that will help mask the taste of any sulfur compounds which might otherwise remain on your breath from consuming large amounts of the allium vegetables (like onion and leek). Secondly adding spices like black pepper, cumin, coriander can enhance flavour and provide additional benefits such as anti-oxidant capabilities which contribute to overall better health.
The use of garlic in cooking is common in many different cultures and its distinct aroma, flavor and pungency have been sought out for centuries. It’s also an incredibly healthy food that is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. However, it comes at a price.
Garlic-infused foods can produce sulfur-containing compounds produced by the Allium family of vegetables (including onions, chives and leeks). These compounds react with the enzymes in saliva to create a lasting bad breath known as “garlic breath.” Drinking or eating garlic results can result in breath that lingers for up to 72 hours after consumption.
The active component responsible for garlic breath is allicin. When garlic cloves are crushed, cut or chewed they release an enzyme called allinase which then acts on a compound called alliin to form an active component allicin. Allicin reacts with amine molecules found in saliva resulting in highly volatile sulfur-containing organic molecules, including methyl mercaptan and hydrogen disulfide – these are what produces the smells associated with garlic breath.
Consumption of other foods high in sulfur compounds such as mushrooms, eggs and cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli) can also contribute to strongly scented emissions from the mouth and nose for hours afterwards.
Garlic breath can be hard to get rid of and can be embarrassing in social situations. Fortunately, there are a few home remedies that can help reduce the pungent smell of garlic. In this section, we will look at some of the effective home remedies that can help take away garlic breath quickly and easily:
- Remedy 1
- Remedy 2
- Remedy 3
- Remedy 4
Chewing on fresh herbs
One of the quickest and most effective ways to neutralize garlic breath is to chew on fresh herbs. Herbs like parsley and mint contain antioxidants that have the power to counteract even the strongest odors.
Start by washing both the mint and parsley thoroughly and discard any wilted or discolored leaves. Chop a small half-teaspoon of each herb, combine in your hand, and then place in your mouth. Chew slowly until all pieces are broken down completely and swallowed. This should be done immediately after consuming garlic-rich foods to help mask odor-causing particles, but it can also be used to neutralize odors at later times throughout the day if necessary.
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables with strong smells such as apples, pears, bananas, pineapple, lettuce and celery can help remove the odor of garlic from your breath. These foods contain enzymes that alter the garlic molecules before they reach the mouth thus neutralizing their smell.
Additionally, apples have a cleansing effect by cleansing the mouth and pulling out odors while bananas coat your tongue in a thin film that traps odors. Similarly, lettuce contains oils that inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria, thus neutralizing the smelly garlic compounds in your breath. Carrots also provide some protection against bad breath. Eating a piece of carrot after consuming garlic can help decrease its odor in your mouth due to its fibrous structure that helps scrub off unwanted molecules as you chew them and swallow them down with saliva.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes are also known to reduce bad breath due to their high acidic content which helps eradicate bacteria from the teeth and gums by killing any microorganisms present on them.
Drinking water or tea
When it comes to home remedies, drinking the right amount of fluids is one of the most simple but effective treatments for many illnesses. Fluids like water and herbal tea provide relief from sore throats, congestions and headaches, without negative side-effects. Additionally, drinking liquids helps to thin the mucus and clears out bacteria or infection that may be present in your body.
For minor colds and fevers, it is important to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day in order to stay hydrated. Warm liquids like soups can also be helpful for relieving scratchy throats or irritations by reducing inflammation. Other healthy beverages like ginger tea or chamomile tea can also soothe sore throats and reduce pain in muscles due to colds. In some cases, herbal teas have been known to reduce stress levels as well as aid sleep when consumed at night before bedtime.
It is important to remember that drinking fluids can replace lost electrolytes from sweat due to a fever or other illnesses. To get the most out of your drink, make sure you are choosing plain or lightly sweetened options that are low in calories—this will ensure you get hydrated fast without any unhealthy additives. With these tips in mind, taking advantage of drinking more fluids may just be what you need if you’re feeling sick!
If you’re suffering from garlic breath and over the counter solutions don’t work, it could be time to consider professional treatments. Professional treatments can range from in-office treatments, such as certain types of mouthwash, to more serious medical procedures, such as gum surgery. Let’s explore the different professional treatments available to get rid of garlic breath:
- In-office treatments, such as certain types of mouthwash.
- More serious medical procedures, such as gum surgery.
Mouthwash can help to kill the bacteria which cause bad breath. This can be an effective way of taking away garlic breath. It is important to choose a mouthwash that contains antibacterial agents such as chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride, as these agents are specially formulated to break down the bacteria which cause bad breath. Some brands may contain alcohol, so it’s probably best to avoid these if you have a sensitive mouth.
When using mouthwash, make sure that you swill it around your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out.
Using professional breath fresheners
Using a professional breath freshener, such as a BreathRx or Oxyfresh products, for a fast and effective way to get rid of garlic breath. A breath freshening treatment usually consists of three steps:
- Cleaning removes the existing bacteria in the oral cavity.
- Coating refers to the application of a film that is left behind to coat and protect against plaque-causing bacteria.
- Eliminating kills any remaining bacteria on your tongue, teeth and gums that may be causing garlicky breath.
The treatments come in strips you place on your tongue or hygiene brushes you can use at home to clean your teeth and gums after eating food with garlic. These products contain multiple oxygen molecules instead of chlorine molecules which is more effective at killing bad breath-causing bacteria while being gentle to the mouth tissues.
After using these professional products it is important that you brush your teeth with toothpaste so that any residue from the product will be eliminated!
Taking preventive measures is the best way to avoid garlic breath in the first place. This means being mindful of what you eat and how it can affect your breath. Avoid high-sulfur foods, such as garlic and onions, to reduce the risk of having garlic breath after eating. Additionally, eat parsley, green tea, apples, and dairy products like yogurt or cheese, as these are known to help reduce bad breath.
Let’s look at some more ways to prevent garlic breath:
Avoiding garlic-infused foods
Garlic can be used to add flavorful notes to many dishes, but its pungent odor can also linger on the breath for an extended period of time. If you are looking for some ways to avoid garlic-infused foods and take away the garlic breath, here are a few tips:
- Limit your intake of items that have a strong garlic flavor, such as pasta sauces and pizza toppings.
- Opt for dishes that are based on non-garlic ingredients such as low-fat yogurt or nuts.
- If you have to have garlic, try using substitutes such as onion powder or ginger.
- Include crunchy fruits and vegetables in your meal; chewing on apples, carrots or celery can help break down the odor molecules in your mouth.
- Choose neutral flavored oils; olive oil is great, but it also has a strong flavor that could compound the effect of garlic breath.
- Avoid processed foods like canned soups since they tend to contain garlic powder and onion powder which further enhances the smell of garlic on your breath.
Eating other aromatic foods
If you just had a tasty garlic-heavy meal, one of the quickest ways to combat bad breath is to eat other aromatic foods. Eating certain spices, herbs, and fruits can actually help replace the smell of garlic with a more pleasant scent. Here are some suggested options for masking garlic breath with fresher aromas:
- Parsley – This herb is a time-tested remedy for combating garlic-induced bad breath. It’s easy to chop finely and sprinkle on top of dishes or use as an inflammatory in sauces–just make sure to swallow it after traditional brushing and flossing at night.
- Orange or Lemon Peel – Citrus fruits have long been used in alternative medicine as natural remedies to tackle an array of problems, from upset stomachs to headaches. Both taste and smell great! Try grating orange or lemon peel and adding it over your dish before serving if you’re on the hunt for a potent solution.
- Cinnamon – This popular spice offers a warm flavor that smells like holidays past. Just sprinkle some over your meal before serving it (or even afterwards!) and instantly your garlic breath will be masked by its inviting aroma.
- Mint Leaves – Fresh mint leaves come with flavor as well as fragrance addition – they add sweetness while masking any lingering odors from the garlic you just ate! Try sprinkling them on salads or desserts – they won’t overpower the flavors like heavier herbs can.
Drinking lemon water
One of the most effective methods for controlling garlic breath is to drink plain water or lemon water to flush out odor-causing particles. Research suggests that drinking lemon water may be an effective way to mitigate garlic breath, as the citrus juice in lemons has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
In a study published in the journal Food Chemistry, researchers found that lemon juice had strong antibacterial efficacy against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Given that many bad breath issues are due to bacteria buildup, drinking lemon water could potentially help reduce garlic breath intensity.
If using regular water just isn’t cutting it for you, try adding some freshly squeezed lemon juice or even peel some slices of the citrus fruit into a glass of cold water for extra hydration and good oral health. Adding mint leaves to your drink can also help absorb funky odors and leave your breath feeling minty fresh after eating foods like garlic.