Like most working adults, you may drink some coffee throughout your day. Depending on its blend, the beverage can be a tasty and energizing way to stay alert. However, you’ve probably experienced one of its side-effects firsthand: coffee breath. Why does a drink so crucial for so many make your mouth so smelly?
Well, your local dentist is here with the answer. Read on to learn why coffee breath occurs and what you can do to end it.
Why Does Coffee Make Your Breath Smell?
Generally, coffee-related bad breath stems from a combination of dry mouth and bacterial growth.
Research shows that caffeinated products dry out your mouth. More specifically, they reduce your production of bacteria-fighting saliva. Naturally, mouth bacteria are left to feed on leftover food particles, which can produce unpleasant odors. This outcome is likely when you have coffee after brushing your teeth, thus allowing it to dry out your mouth for extended periods.
The odds are good that you add some milk, cream, or sugar to your coffee each day. Unfortunately, these ingredients can cause an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth. Sugar is especially known to attract and multiply surrounding bacterial strains.
When these mouth bacteria consume proteins, they release volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). The latter is simply another name for sulfur gas, which is what’s perceived as bad breath or halitosis. Many people tend to think of it as a rotten odor. In short, your coffee-saturated mouth spews that smell into the air.
Tips for Eliminating Coffee Breath
Fortunately, there are ways to counteract coffee breath and give your mouth a more neutral smell. Consider following these tips after drinking your next cup of joe:
- Brush your teeth: As soon as you finish drinking coffee, brush your teeth to keep the beverage from sitting in your mouth for too long.
- Use the right toothpaste: Toothpaste that has zinc or clove oil lessens the effects of coffee breath.
- Sugar-free breath mints or gum: Try chewing mints or gum after drinking a cup of coffee for a quick breath freshener.
- Rinse with mouthwash: Rinsing with mouthwash kills the oral bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Drink a large glass of water: Drinking water washes away excess coffee particles and bacteria.
It may even be possible to prevent this breath all together, as some research shows cutting milk and sugar from coffee drastically reduces halitosis.
Remember the tips above so you can have breath that’s as good as your coffee — your mouth will thank you for it!
About the Practice
University Dental Professionals has been one of the premier dental practices in Chicago, Illinois, for over thirty years. Led by an excellent team of dentists, they’re a comprehensive family practice that can meet every oral health need with customized treatment plans. Their offers include preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, including emergency dental services. For more information or to book an appointment, they can be reached at their website or by phone at (773)-684-5702.