Dealing with the ups and downs of acid reflux, heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) can be a real nightmare. They each come with their own laundry list of unpleasant symptoms, but there may be one more not so obvious drawback that those suffering from gastrointestinal issues have been overlooking—bad breath. So, if you have had or are scheduled to have reflux surgery, this may be one more benefit for you to look forward to!
Although bad breath is not necessarily directly related to gastrointestinal issues, the causation sure does seem to make sense. Bad breath, whether caused by sinus issues, tonsil issues or anything else, can be a terrible condition to deal with, but there’s something about bad breath caused by stomach issues that makes it a little bit worse. Stomach breath is seemingly worse than other types of bad breath because, truthfully, it stinks—and not in the same way morning breath does.
There are numerous causes for stomach breath, most of which stem from certain stomach-related disorders. Bad breath might not always be listed as a distinct symptom of these gastrointestinal disorders, but that doesn’t make it any less of an issue. If you think about it, stomach issues usually cause stomach acid and pieces of food to travel up through the throat, so you can logically assume it’s going to carry an odor along with it.
If you put two-and-two together, you might start connecting your own issues, whether they are acid reflux, heartburn, or GERD as possible causes for less than pleasant breath. Think about it—acid reflux occurs when the digestive acids in the stomach leak back into the digestive tract, traveling up the esophagus and eventually, can release foul odor via the mouth.
Sometimes bad breath caused by stomach disorders can be dealt with by simply altering your diet. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding spicy foods, dairy products and red meats can help cut down on bad stomach breath. Also, try reducing portion sizes; this helps because the stomach won’t need to produce as much acid as it does with larger meals.
What You Can Do to Help
When dealing with bad stomach breath, it’s usually more complicated than a simple diet change, so here are a few quick fixes in the meantime:
- Brush your teeth after every meal
- Use a strong mouthwash with bacteria fighting capabilities
- Keep breath mints in your desk and car
- Try chewing a fresh-flavored gum or freshening mouth spray
Bad breath is terrible to deal with no matter what the cause is, but sometimes constant bad breath could be a sign of something more serious going on. Make sure you talk with Dr. Ihde if you think this symptom could be the cause of a more serious gastrointestinal issue.