Bad Breath From Stomach Problems
Think about a time when you had a stomach illness or intense heartburn. Do you remember also having a sour taste in your mouth? If you did, you most likely had smelly breath, too. Bad breath from stomach problems is a struggle for people dealing with stomach-related health issues and certain diseases.
There are several medical conditions related to your stomach, lungs and kidneys that can also have a direct impact on your breath. If you are being treated for a chronic illness, you may not realize that your breath has developed a bad odor. This can be made worse since many medications also cause dry mouth, another contributor to bad breath.
What causes bad breath from the stomach?
If you have been diagnosed or are being treated for a serious disease, be aware of any changes in your mouth. Those can be your first signs of bad breath. Here are just a few stomach illnesses that can lead to bad breath:
Chronic acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – This is when some of the stomach’s content flows back up into the esophagus. When this acid is regurgitated, it causes a burning sensation or heartburn. It also changes the taste in your mouth.
Gastrointestinal disease – These can include a variety of conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, colon polyps and cancer, in addition to other medical issues related to digestion. These, in turn, can create heartburn, burping and other symptoms that can lead to changes in your mouth and bad breath.
Stomach ulcers – When the stomach lining is irritated or inflamed, it can’t protect against acid, which causes an open sore that can be easily irritated with smoking, drinking alcohol, excessive stress or eating spicy food. Burning stomach pain is a fairly typical sign of having a gastric ulcer. The heartburn and belching can have a direct impact on your breath.
Kidney disease – When kidneys aren’t properly cleaning waste product and toxins from the bloodstream, you may notice significant changes in urination, lower back pain, swelling in your feet, hands or face and shortness of breath. Having a metal taste in your mouth is another symptom, which means your breath is starting to smell like ammonia.
Follow these steps to treat your breath
There are many ways to get rid of bad breath from the stomach. You can make changes in your daily habits to help relieve both your stomach and breath issues.
- Avoid food and drinks that can irritate your symptoms like spicy, fried and fatty foods, caffeinated coffee and tea, alcohol, chocolate and peppermint
- Drink plenty of water
- Increase your activity levels
- Quit smoking
- Brush and floss your teeth more often
- Use alcohol-free mouthwash, which won’t dry out your mouth
Know when to see your doctor
If you’re noticing early signs of stomach problems or if your condition is getting worse, it’s time to contact your doctor. Depending on your symptoms, diet and family history, your doctor may suggest using over-the-counter antacids to relieve your heartburn. If you have severe symptoms or you are having complications, your doctor may recommend:
- An endoscopy to evaluate your esophagus
- A pH test to measure the acidity of your esophagus
- A Barium X-ray to see the outline of your digestive system
- A urine test to check for high levels of protein in your kidneys