Bad Breath

What’s that smell? Do you have bad breath? Or perhaps you just ate a meal that contained lots of garlic and onions. Delicious! But don’t worry, the bad breath that comes after eating something like that is totally normal.


Garlic and onion breath can be annoying, though. It doesn’t smell great, and it can linger in your mouth for a long time after you eat. Our Star Dental Group Riverside pros are here to show you some of the best tips and tricks for getting rid of that pesky odor as fast as possible!

Why Do Onions and Garlic Cause Bad Breath?

Before learning some of the ways to get rid of this bad breath, we must first understand what exactly causes it. Why are onions and garlic the culprit of bad breath, but no other foods have that effect?


The answer: sulfur compounds.


If you are familiar with sulfur, you know that in its gaseous form it can cause quite a distinctive odor. Well, a lot of foods have sulfur compounds within them, and in fact, that is what gives them their unique flavor. This is especially true of garlic and onions, which come from the allium family. Not only are they closely related, but they have the same kind of sulfur compounds that cause bad breath.


This family of foods releases bacteria when it’s cut up or mashed together. This bacteria emits its own gas, which is what causes your breath to smell bad. During the digestive process, this gas is absorbed into the bloodstream and the lungs, which makes every exhale filled with that stinky scent.


It’s not bad for you, but it sure is smelly! So, let’s talk about some of the best ways to get rid of it.

1. Brush Your Teeth

This may be the most obvious answer, and perhaps it’s something that you already practice after eating an onion or garlic-filled meal. Remember the gas-emitting bacteria we mentioned above? It can get stuck on your teeth and tongue. Taking a toothbrush and your favorite toothpaste to your teeth can definitely reduce the amount of bad breath you have after this meal.

2. Use Mouthwash

Aside from brushing and flossing, using a mouthwash that contains chlorine dioxide may also be helpful. The U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health conducted a study showing that mouthwash with chlorine dioxide is effective against bad breath, and can greatly reduce it. This applies to all forms of bad breath, from halitosis to that famous onion and garlic smell.

3. Drink Some Whole Milk

This is a lesser-known secret that may help you get rid of that garlic/onion breath fast. There are certain compounds in milk – whole milk, specifically – that can break down the bacteria and compounds that are causing the bad odor. If you happen to have some whole milk at home, pour yourself a glass after a particularly smelly meal and you won’t have to feel embarrassed about your bad breath!

4. Chew Parsley or Mint

It’s time to freshen up! Mint and parsley are both herbs that can mask the breath odors caused by garlic and onions. Not to mention, these herbs have natural cleansing properties that can clean your mouth of all sorts of bad bacteria! Why do you think so many dental care products are mint flavored?

5. Eat Fresh Produce

We never hesitate at the opportunity to promote healthy eating habits! But, in this case, we want to promote eating fresh fruits and veggies because they can work wonders at covering up smelly breath. The Journal of Food Science reports that eating raw produce, such as an apple, can dramatically reduce the amount of odor found on your breath after such a smelly meal.

Schedule Your Regular Cleaning Today!

Tired of your bad breath? Teeth feeling particularly icky? After using some of the methods mentioned above, you may want to use this as an opportunity to schedule a regular cleaning. Our dental experts can help your teeth get the deep-clean they deserve, while also helping you identify any warning signs of a bad condition. Our preventative measures can give you a better peace of mind that you are treating your teeth right. Learn more about our friendly staff and our wide range of services by contacting us online! You can also give us a call at (951) 680-1777 to schedule your consultation. We look forward to seeing you and your family soon!