According to a new study published in BMJ Open, eating fermented foods like sourdough bread, miso soup, and yogurt could help combat bad breath. The study found that probiotics, or “good” bacteria, found in fermented foods could help reduce volatile sulfuric compounds, which are associated with bad breath. The researchers examined data from seven clinical trials involving 278 participants who were given either a placebo or probiotic supplements for two to 12 weeks. Results showed that those who took probiotics had significantly lower levels of volatile sulfuric compounds and less measurable breath odor.
The study adds to a growing body of evidence supporting the use of probiotics in fermented foods and supplements to alleviate bad breath, as well as prevent cavities and gum disease. The beneficial microorganisms in fermented foods may limit smelly by-products by slowing the breakdown of amino acids and proteins in the mouth. However, the study’s limitations include the use of various methods to assess changes in breath odor and different types of probiotics used in smaller studies.
Dentists recommend steps to address bad breath, such as using mouth rinses, treating gum disease, brushing teeth after meals, flossing, and changing one’s diet to avoid foods like garlic and onions. Probiotics are easily accessible in fermented foods and beverages like yogurt, sourdough bread, miso soup, kombucha, and kefir, making it an easy addition to one’s daily diet.