Some people eat yogurt every day for its probiotic content. This creamy, delicious treat is rich in good bacteria that support gut health and digestive function. When consumed regularly, it may protect against diabetes, obesity, inflammation, and cardiovascular problems, notes Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Perhaps not surprisingly, the probiotic bacteria in yogurt and other foods may also help curb bad breath.
According to a recent review published in the journal BMJ Open, probiotics can eliminate halitosis for up to four weeks by reducing the levels of hydrogen sulfide and other volatile sulfur compounds in the month. Researchers investigated the effects of Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus salivarius, Streptococcus salivarius, and other probiotics in supplement form. These microorganisms also occur naturally in fermented foods, including yogurt. For example, Lactobacillus salivarius can be found in garlic, fermented milk products, bananas, chicory root, and other whole foods.
Another study suggests that probiotics may also help prevent or reduce cavities, gum disease, and plaque buildup, reports the journal Pharmaceutics. Both plaque buildup and gum disease can cause halitosis, so treating these conditions can lead to fresher breath. Moreover, probiotics help suppress inflammation and harmful oral bacteria while protecting the gums and surrounding tissues.