Bad breath can come from numerous places in the body. The foul odor can originate from the tongue, gums, teeth or even from the stomach. Millions of people out there suffer from bad breath. About half of the population suffer from bad breath which is as a result of their lifestyle such as drinks, foods, smoking and poor oral hygiene. Another part of the population suffer from bad breath due to health problems that is beyond their control. Bad breath from stomach may be a sign of certain health issues such as digestive disorder, diabetes, liver failure, kidney disease or infection.
The bad breath that originates from the digestive system is described to have the smell of rotten egg. Although, most people experience more rotten, putrid smell. Chronic odor from the stomach is usually as a result of sulfur break down by sulfur-reducing bacteria and other microorganisms. These sulfur reducing microbes, tend to release hydrogen sulfide which smells like rotten egg. Excessive prodution of hydrogen sulfide from sulfur compounds can make your burps and breath to smell like rotten eggs.
Causes of Bad Breath From Stomach
GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is among the most common cause of bad breath that originates from the stomach. GERD is a health condition that causes the flow of acids from the stomach back up the esophagus into the mouth. It occurs repeatedly causing burning sensation in the chest or throat. According to studies, gastroesophageal reflux disease is associated with some common symptoms which includes: chronic sore throat, throat infections, gum disease, mouth ulcers, erosion of teeth enamel, burping, pain when swallowing, sour taste in the mouth and persistent bad breath.
When stomach acids are carried frequently to the mouth, It weakens the teeth enamel causing tooth erosion. The damaged throat surfaces and oral tissues are mostly inhabited by infectious and odor-causing bacteria resulting to persistent bad breath. Patients suffering from GERD are always advised to seek for proper medical treatment. If you bad breath is as a result of GERD, curing the GERD can stop your bad breath permanently.
There are lots of factors that can cause stomach ulcers in human. Most of the ulcers caused by bacteria leads to bad breath. A research report confirmed that chronic bacterial pathogens in human body causes ulcers in the stomach. One of these dangerous pathogenic bacteria is known as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). H. pylori lives within the digestive tract, it’s responsible for more than 40% of duodenal ulcers and stomach ulcers in human. The bacteria is found commonly in older adults and in people who live in crowded or dirty environments. It’s easily transmitted through mouth-to-mouth contact and also by sharing foods and body fluids.
Fortunately, antibiotics are very effective for eliminating bacteria that causes stomach ulcers. The use of suitable antibiotics can resolve bad breath as well as kill the bacteria that are responsible for the problem. Some antibiotics such as amoxicillin, tetracycline, metronidazole, or clarithromycin are usually prescribed by doctors for H. pylori. (1)
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
Naturally, in a human body there are lots of bacteria living on the walls of the large intestine due to the nature of the place. The small intestine is designed in such a way that it helps in nutrients absorption. The small intestine has little or no need for bacteria, but sometimes bacterial overgrowth occurs there. SIBO as the name implies, is simply a medical condition which involves the overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine.
If you are experiencing frequent gas, burping and bloating then it’s advisable that you should see your doctor, SIBO may be the cause of your bad breath. If it turns out that SIBO is identified as the cause of your bad breath, you doctor may recommend suitable antibiotics for you. He can also give you a meal plan that can help to reduce or eliminate unwanted bacteria from your small intestine.
Constipation can make your breath to smell. Bad breath by constipation is described to smell like feces. As we all know, constipation is a condition when there is large accumulation of undigested food in the bowels. There are lots of factors that can cause complications, passive lifestyle and lack of exercise are the most common causes. Eating tons of unhealthy foods each day without taking enough water and exercising is not good for your digestion.
If your bad breath is due to constipation, you should try avoid those things that encourage constipation. Try to avoid eating much of foods that contains fat, increase your intake of fiber. Also try to drink enough water every day. You can visit your doctor for more solutions and treatment plans.
Digestive System Infection
Certain infections along the digestive tract can cause bad breath. If you experience chronic bad breath alongside with improper digestion and frequent diarrhea, it may be as a result of internal infection. Some digestion problems such as Giardiasis, Crohn’s Disease and Celiac Disease can lead to excessive production of hydrogen sulfide. These may result to bloating, diarrhea, farthing, smelly burps and chronic bad breath. Severe cases of Crohn’s Disease and Celiac Disease may limit digestion, they make more undigested food available for sulfur-reducing bacteria to break down.
Giardiasis being an infection can be transferred or contacted in a number of ways. Coming in contact with giardia can get you infected. Giardia can be gotten from: feces of an infected person or animal, infected water or ice made from infected water sources or body fluids from an infected person.
Most of the digestive system infections and disease can be cured with the help of antibiotics. Your doctor may recommend metronidazole (Flagyl), tinidazole (Tindamax) or nitazoxanide (Alinia).
It’s safe to say that many people who think they have bad breath actually don’t. (2) There are few sophisticated tests that can be used to identify the presence of excessive sulfur and odor-causing bacteria. If you think that the odor is coming from your stomach, your dentist can carry out a test to measure the amount of hydrogen, methane and hydrogen sulfide gas produced by bacteria in the digestive tract.
However, persistent bad breath may be a sign of serious problem, present deep in the digestive system. As we have seen, certain factors such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Stomach Ulcers, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, Constipation and Infections can all lead to bad breath from stomach. Bad breath that come from deep in the digestive system is very stubborn and can last for years if it’s left untreated.
Whatever the cause of your bad breath may be, ensure to see your dentist or doctor for proper evaluation and treatments. In most cases, constant travel of stomach acids into your mouth can lead to more serious dental issues. The acids don’t just promote bad breath, but they can also damage teeth enamel as well as the dentin.