Skip to content

Food & Recipes

Yogurt: An Antidote to Bad Breath?

Active Ingredient in Yogurt May Fight Bad Breath
Font Size
WebMD Health News

Forget the breath mints. Pass the yogurt.

A new study suggests that a daily dose of yogurt may keep your breath fresh and fend off offensive odors.

Researchers found that eating 6 ounces of yogurt a day reduced levels of odor-causing compounds, such as hydrogen sulfide, in the mouth.

They say the results suggest that the active bacteria in yogurt, specifically Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, may have a beneficial effect on odor-causing bacteria in the mouth.

Yogurt vs. Odor-Causing Bacteria

In the study, which was presented this week at a meeting of the International Association for Dental Research in Baltimore, researchers looked at the effects of eating yogurt on bad breath and bacteria in the mouth.

Before the study began, 24 healthy volunteers were asked to avoid yogurt and other foods containing the same bacteria found in yogurt, such as cheese and pickled vegetables, for two weeks.

Researchers then took saliva and tongue coating samples to measure bacteria levels as well as odor-causing compounds, including hydrogen sulfide.

During the study, the participants ate about 3 ounces of yogurt twice daily for six weeks.

At the end of the study, researchers took samples again. They found that odiferous compounds, namely hydrogen sulfide, decreased in 80% of participants.

In addition, levels of plaque and the gum disease gingivitis were also significantly lower among yogurt eaters.

Although further studies are needed to confirm these results, researchers say the study suggests that adding yogurt to the diet may be a safe and effective way to fight bad breath.

Today on WebMD

Four spoons with mustards
What condiments are made of and how much to use.
salmon and spinach
How to get what you need.
grilled veggies
Easy ideas for dinner tonight.
Greek Salad
Health benefits, what you can eat and more.

WebMD Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

roasted chicken
grilled steak

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

vegetarian sandwich
fresh vegetables
Foods To Boost Mens Heath Slideshow