Lactose Intolerance and Bad Breath

By | September 18, 2016

Can Lactose Intolerance Cause Bad Breath?

Yes, being lactose intolerant can cause bad breath.

lactose intolerance, bad breath

Here’s why?

Lactose intolerance refers to the inability for the stomach to digest the sugar, called lactose, in dairy products such as milk. The enzyme called lactase, responsible for breaking down lactose is either absent or does not function properly. This results in large amounts of gas being released during the digestive process, which passed through the mouth and causes bad breath.

Self Test to Check for Bad Breath

Cheek Pulling Method
  1. Pinch your cheeks and pull them out away from your teeth.
  2. Push them back towards your teeth.
  3. Repeat this a few times faster and sniff at the same time.
  4. If you smell a bad odor, then your breath is probably bad.


The Solution:

Having bad breath is no fun and is even less fun if you encounter people that have bad breath. Here are few tips to prevent this awkward and unpleasant situation:

  • Do not consume dairy products if you are lactose intolerant. Apart from bad breath, you will experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and bloating.
  • If you want to consume dairy products, make sure you take an enzyme such as Lactaid or use enzyme drops in the milk.
  • Eat or drink products that are lactose-free or dairy-free such as lactose-free milk, almond milk or rice milk.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day.
  • Use a non-alcoholic mouthwash once a day.bad breath, lactose intolerance
  • If need be, use an anti-bacterial gel .
  • Visit your dentist 2-3 times a year for thorough clean.
  • Drink water! This will prevent a dry mouth or any particles stuck in the mouth between the teeth.
  • Consume food that is less acidic such as the foods listed below.

Which foods are good to prevent bad breath?

  • Fresh herbs such as parsley, spearmint, and rosemary.
  • Apples, celery, and carrots
  • Gingerorange-papaya-and-carrot-smoothie
  • Vitamin-C enriched foods such as bell peppers, oranges, strawberries, papaya.
  • Green tea
  • Sugar-free gum (make sure it contains no milk protein)

What else causes bad breath?

Consuming dairy products when you are lactose intolerant is not the only reason that is causing your bad breath. Other factors that cause bad breath include:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene
  • Food particles from  foods like garlic and onions
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Acid Reflux
  • Smoking



Consuming dairy while you are lactose intolerant can cause bad breath. The best way to avoid bad breath due to lactose intolerance is to stop consuming dairy products. There are other ways to prevent bad breath by chewing sugar-free gum, using a mouthwash or brushing twice a day to mention a few. There are other reasons that cause bad breath such as poor oral hygiene.

Hope this helps alleviate your bad breath. Please feel free to comment in the section below.



14 thoughts on “Lactose Intolerance and Bad Breath

  1. Ralph

    Great stuff! Oh boy did I check the cheek method just to check since I am Lactose intolerant. Just to let you know, I passed. What is interesting is that milk kills my stomach but other dairy products do not like cheese. I pretty much use almond milk for everything now. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Uwais Post author

      Hi the reason why milk hurts and cheese doesn’t is due to their lactose content. Milk has a higher lactose content than cheese. To learn about the benefits of almond milk, please click here

  2. EoinMc

    It’s amazing the number of things that can cause bad breath, I guess, but this is one that wouldn’t have occurred to me.
    I don’t have data but came across something recently that said lactose intolerance is on the increase. That’s not good given that dairy consumption is so high in the general population.
    Does anyone know what the symptoms of lactose intolerance are and how it is diagnosed?
    Great info – cheers

  3. David

    Really helpful stuff right here! Didn’t knwo that lactose intoerants had that problem. The cures for bad breath can be useful for anyone… I hate it when people have bad breath haha, I try to disregard it but I really can’t.

  4. Chris

    Wow, very informative article. I was not aware that this was an issue for people with lactose intolerance. Come to think of though, I have a cousin who has breath issues, as well as lactose issues. will pass this post along to him.

    Thanks so much!


  5. Xdeem Li

    That was very interesting to say the least. Does that mean all people with bad breath are lactose intolerance? Just kidding. Good article.

  6. Alanna

    Wow! Very interesting! I’ve had a dairy intolerance for years now and switched to soy milk when I discovered it. Had no idea that lactose intolerance could actually cause bad breath! But it all makes perfect sense. Thanks for the information! Alanna

  7. Brandon

    What a great article Uwais! I know some people who can benefit from this ‘bad breath syndrome’. It’s not a matter of being mean to them though, oftentimes it can actually be a disease rather than just needing to brush your teeth. Actually I’ll be the nice one and send them to this page.

    Thank you for this awesome post.


  8. Will

    Wow, this is a helpful post. I had no idea these foods can help prevent bad breath. I have some friends around me who suffer from bad breaths. Good article to share with them!

  9. John

    I am not Lactose intolerant, the bad breath test is still useful. I will give the list on what causes bad breath to my brother, his breath is always bad. The Almond milk is also a good milk to drink in any case. I like your list of foods that prevent bad breath, is there foods that produce bad breath that should be avoided.


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