Bad breath or halitosis is a common problem among many individuals. Bad breath is often caused due to poor oral habits such as brushing and flossing, tongue debris, gum diseases, poorly fitted dentures and crowns, logged in food between the teeth, gum and pulp infections and inflammations and several other dental problems.
Bad breath is also caused due to several gastrointestinal problems and diseases. The main culprit behind bad breath commencing from the stomach is Helicobacter pylori. These bacteria have been found in the intestine and the stomach of humans. They are known to produce certain volatile compounds such as methyl mercaptan, dimethyl sulphide and hydrogen sulphide causing unpleasant stinky foul bad breath.
Causes of bad breath from the stomach-
Bacteria in the stomach-
Helicobacter pylori have been associated with bad breath coming from the stomach. These bacteria are often found in the mouth but they are also detected in the stomach. Infection by these bacteria can lead to stomach diseases such as gastritis, stomach ulcers, duodenum ulcers, gastric cancers, acid refluxes, and dyspepsia and bowel disorders. Any of these stomach diseases result in smelly bad breath.
Imbalances in good and bad bacteria-
Another cause of bad breath from the stomach is because of imbalance in the number of good and harmful bacteria. If the number of harmful bacteria increases than the beneficial bacteria in the stomach, it can lead to poor digestion resulting in acid reflux and overgrowth of yeast causing fermentation. Fermentation byproduct can lead to bad breath.
The most common cause of bad breath from the stomach is acid reflux. Acid reflux takes place when a valve called as esophageal sphincter muscles that controls the emptying of stomach contents including stomach acids and digestive enzymes is impaired. Normally, this valve is responsible for opening and closing of the lower esophagus which is emptied into the stomach. However, in an impaired or malfunctioning valve, it fails to build a barrier between the stomach and the esophagus allowing direct flow of the stomach contents along with the stomach acids, digestive enzymes and bacteria. This mixture of acid travels into the back of the mouth, throat and oral cavity and causes foul acidic taste odor while breathing out the air.
Lack of hydrochloric acid-
Another known cause of bad breath coming from the stomach is lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Hydrochloric acid is required for good digestion. So, insufficient hydrochloric acid can cause poor digestion. Undigested food particles will eventually flow directly into the intestine, the unbroken food pieces can become rancid (decomposed) and release obscene gas which upsurges and exits through the mouth while breathing out the air causing bad breath. Further, irregular bowel movements allow these undigested foods to putrefy and emit foul smelling gas. This is the cause of constipation.
Intestinal parasites can also lead to bad breath including symptoms of bowel disorders. Bad breath from the stomach can come from poorly digested stomach contents or it may be a sign of some serious underlying gastrointestinal diseases such as liver or kidney diseases and stomach cancers. Therefore, it is very important to evaluate the exact cause of bad breath and treat the underlying cause.
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