Bad breath (halitosis) is a common and an embarrassing condition, which can also cause anxiety about social interactions. It’s not a wonder that our local stores are overflowing with mints, gums, mouthwashes, and tablets for bad breath from the stomach. However, these products simply mask the real problem and are therefore only temporary measures. That’s why you have to find out what causes bad breath from the stomach.
When it comes to bad breath, most of us know how to avoid repeat offenders such as periodontal infections, gum diseases, tooth decay, and strong-flavored foods. But did you know that bad breath can emanate from your stomach?
If you know how to tell if you have bad breath. then it’s high time you found out what causes it from stomach.
Bad breath from stomach
Compared to other breaths such as those caused by the mouth, cigars or chronic diseases (get rid of chronic bad breath) such as liver and kidney diseases, the occurrence of stomach breath is considerably lower. The reason behind lower occurrence rate is because gastrointestinal issues that could lead to bad breath are usually pervasive enough for someone to seek treatment. Yes, the digestive system is good at expressing itself when things are not right-from bloating, rumbling, belching, to breaking wind. However, it’s still a concern for many.
However, unlike mouth breath which is more of a straightforward issue, stomach breath is a bit perplexing because it’s harder to identify, to diagnose/isolate and treat. Still, identifying the causes of the different stomach-related breaths can help you decide if your breath is just from a garlicky lunch or it’s more serious issues.
Below, we look at the connection between our stomachs and the bad breath.
What causes Bad Breath from the Stomach
Bacteria in the stomach
Helicobacter pylori is the main culprit associated with bad breath from the stomach. According to MedicaNewsToday (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/130539.php), Helicobacter pylorus is responsible for a myriad of stomach infections such as gastric cancers, peptic ulcers, duodenum ulcer, bowel disorders, dyspepsia and stomach ulcers.
In addition to the above infections resulting in bad breath, a study conducted by Dr. Nao Suzuki- “Detection of Helicobacter pylori DNA in the saliva of patients complaining of halitosis.”
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19018029), the Helicobacter Pylori can emit volatile sulphuric compounds including hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, and dimethyl sulfide, which produce that unpleasant odor.
Imbalances in good and bad bacteria
Bacteria in your stomach can be one of your strongest allies, or worst enemies. Having gut imbalance is more common than you may think and can lead to a myriad of digestive problems, including stomach breath.
Your stomach has a gamut of bacteria, which are not only instrumental in food digestion, but also in fighting harmful bacteria.
However, in case there’s an imbalance in the number of good and harmful bacteria, and the harmful bacteria increases than beneficial bacteria in the stomach, it can lead to a poor digestion process.
A study by HSP Online(https://www.livestrong.com/article/187021-bad-breath-and-stomach-problems/) demonstrates that when lactobacillus, a “friendly” probiotic bacteria, levels are low in the colon, there’s partial digestion meaning that some of the food is not digested therefore decaying, and producing foul gas, toxemia and consequently bad breath.
Without adequate bacteria enzymes in your stomach to break down food, it just sits idle in your stomach for days/weeks and becomes toxic.
Another common cause of bad breath from the stomach is acid reflux, medically referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/symptoms-causes/syc-20361940).
Patients with GERD have impaired esophageal sphincter muscles that control the emptying of stomach contents including stomach acids and digestive enzymes. This results in stomach contents such as such as digestive enzymes, acids and bacteria traveling back to the mouth, throat, and oral cavity and causes foul acidic taste odor while breathing out the air.
Aside from bad odor, Nemours ( http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/gerd.html) asserts that GERD can also result in tooth corrosion due to acid from the stomach, damage to the throat and oral structure.
Lack of hydrochloric acid
The multi-billion dollar antacid industry has you believing that stomach acid is bad for you. However, Hypochlorhydria (http://www.ndhealthfacts.org/wiki/Hypochlorhydria_(Low_Stomach_Acid)), or rather an inadequate production of hydrochloric acid by the parietal cells in the stomach has far-reaching consequences.
Just like inadequate levels of acids in the stomach can result in bad breath, insufficient hydrochloric acid can lead to poor digestion. If the digestive tract does not have enough acid, the unbroken food particles flow directly into the intestine and become rancid. The decomposed food particles will them release an obscene gas which upsurges and exits through the mouth while breathing out the air causing bad breath.
By the way, you can also find about causes of fetid breath, which are really similar.
Infections in the digestive can also cause bad breath from the stomach. Gastrointestinal diseases such as liver or kidney diseases and stomach cancer are some of the common infections associated with bad breath from the stomach.
Yes, this is an obvious one. Watch out any food you consume as it may contribute to bad breath from the stomach. When we eat, our digestive system breaks the food we have consumed down into its component molecules; some of which have very unpleasant and characteristic odors.
How to fix bad breath from stomach
The first step toward finding a cure for bad breath from the stomach is identifying the underlying cause. Once you’ve figured the root of the stomach breath, you can you can consider other treatment options to keep unpleasant scents at bay.
- Avoid your triggers .i.e. keep away from spicy and garlicky foods that may worsen your stomach breath condition.
- Consider a probiotic to address the bad breath from the gut. Probiotics help in restoring the balance of acid in your digestive system, so you’re unlikely to suffer from bad breath due to an imbalance of acids in your stomach.
- According to American Dental Association(https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/for_the_dental_patient_sept_2012.ashx?_ga=2.38701216.2028392150.1511422458-679622756.1511422458), chewing on sugar-free gum can help banish bad breath before you address the real issue.