When it comes to bad breath, the first thing that comes to our minds is either pungent foods or a lack of good oral hygiene. But what if the problem goes deeper than that? Halitosis can sometimes have underlying causes such as stomach problems. In such cases, it can be hard to identify the root cause, let alone treat it.
Whether we like it or not, our digestive system has a significant influence on oral health - much more than we think. So bad breath from the stomach is a real thing! In this case, the first thing you need to do is identify the deeper cause of your smelly breath. Here are some common stomach problems that can lead to halitosis –
Ulcers: Research has found a possible link between halitosis and H. pylori bacteria, which commonly causes peptic ulcers, and even dyspepsia. These bacteria can cause ulcer bad breath. Additional research about this link between the two is still underway but this could be a reason for bad breath.
GERD or Reflux: GERD stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. If you tend to have reflux or heartburn often, be careful, because it can literally cause bad breath from the stomach. This happens due to the excess acid produced by the digestive tract. This bad breath from stomach acid caused by GERD is sour in nature and can lead to stinky breath - even if you take care of your teeth. So if you suspect you have GERD bad breath, do consult your doctor.
Bowel obstruction: Bad breath from stomach often occurs when there is a bowel obstruction. When nothing is able to move down the digestive tract, the food in the intestinal tract starts to ferment and contributes to halitosis.
Kidney disease: If your breath smells fishy or has an ammonia-like smell, check with your doctor at the earliest. Sometimes, a bad smell from the stomach could be a sign of an underlying kidney malfunction and sometimes chronic kidney disease.
Persistent bad breath without an apparent cause can be because of all these stomach problems and more. Consult with your doctor and discuss all the symptoms, if any, to prevent halitosis. In addition to that, you can also take the following precautions:
Avoid the triggers: Observe which foods make your breath smell worse. Foods such as onions, garlic, spices, and dairy can become a trigger and make your digestive system act up. Stress can also impact the stomach and contribute to bad breath.
Keep gum handy: Keeping a chewing gum handy can help you avoid bad breath in social situations, where a mouthwash or a toothbrush can’t come to your rescue. But make sure that you opt for a dental-approved, sugar-free variety of chewing gum. If you choose sugar-loaded gums, then you are in for more trouble as it can lead to tooth decay and make your halitosis worse.
Consider taking probiotics: Talk to your doctor about adding a probiotic to your diet. It could be a bowl of yoghurt every day or probiotic supplements. This is because fresh breath starts with a healthier gut. So, take good care of your gut health as it will not only improve your overall health but also leave you with fresh breath.
Take care of mouth health: Along with taking care of the gut, you also need to take special care of your mouth. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day - in the morning after waking up, and once right before bed. This will ensure that the leftover food in the mouth is removed and does not interact with bacteria to form plaque. Also, rinse with a dental-approved mouthwash as it can kill the bacteria as well as leave a pleasant smell and taste in the mouth. Do not forget to floss well afterwards.