Bad Breath from Stomach Problems

Are Stomach Issues Ruining Your Breath?

Among the many possible causes of bad breath, it can also be produced by gases from the stomach. Several stomach problems can cause bad breath and some will require medical attention. 

GERD or Acid Reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, and acid reflux are two terms that refer to the same symptoms, but the frequency is different. Acid reflux occurs when the food and acid in the stomach can go upward into the esophagus and possibly into the mouth because of a faulty valve at the top of the stomach. GERD refers to the chronic condition where it occurs at least twice a week. 

It is estimated that about 15 million Americans have problems with acid reflux. If the food and acid enter into the esophagus frequently, it can cause serious erosion. If it is not treated, it may result in other complications which can be serious including hoarseness, asthma, pneumonia, cancer, chest congestion, and laryngitis. It will also damage the enamel on your teeth if it enters your mouth. 

Burps That Smell Like Rotten Eggs

This type of problem is the most common when you have digestive system related bad breath. Some of the microbiota in your stomach will produce hydrogen sulfide – and when you burp it will smell just like rotten eggs. 

Helicobacter pylori

Helicobacter pylori, often referred to as H. pylori, are bacteria that are present in about half of the world’s population. Normally, it does not cause a problem, but some stomach conditions can upset the natural balance, causing it to get out of control. 

When this bacteria is able to reproduce faster than normal, additional symptoms beside bad breath may be present – but not always. These may include bloating, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, burping, and ulcers. 

It is also possible that H. pylori may be the cause of GERD. Antibiotics are normally used to reduce H. pylori. 

SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)

The occurrence of SIBO is often the result of material not moving through the small intestine. This can result in an excess of bacteria which may also cause abdominal pain, fatigue, nausea, constipation or diarrhea. Weight loss and vitamin deficiencies may also occur. Diverticulitis may increase your risk factors for SIBO, as well as narcotic medications, diabetes, and frequent use of antibiotics. 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

This bowel problem primarily affects the large intestine. In most cases it is not severe, enabling it to be controlled mostly by managing the diet, lifestyle changes, and reducing stress. The symptoms are abdominal pain, excessive gas, mucus in the stool, and diarrhea or constipation. Most often, your symptoms will improve or become worse after you have a bowel movement. When there is a possibility of IBS, the doctor may test for other medical problems.


The condition called gastroparesis is caused by a narrowing of the stomach that slows down the rate at which it empties itself of its contents. It can be caused by an injury to the vagus nerve, diabetes, medications, viral infections, and more. Symptoms include heartburn, vomiting of undigested food, feeling full quickly, changes in their blood sugar levels, nausea, and having a poor appetite – leading to weight loss. This condition can cause many problems, including some that may be life-threatening. Because the stomach empties slowly, this condition can produce halitosis.

Dental Conditions

Even though stomach problems can result in bad breath, there may be another possible cause. Most of the time, problems with halitosis originate in the mouth. If you are not sure that the problem is stomach related, you may want to visit your dentist. There are several dental problems that can also cause bad breath. 

  • A Cavity – The bacteria in your mouth causes a cavity and it will produce bad breath with deeper cavities. Your breath problem will be resolved when the cavity is filled.
  • Gum Disease – The bacteria that cause gum disease (periodontitis) will cause inflammation as your immune system reacts with it. It will cause the destruction of your gums and jawbone, which creates halitosis. You will need the help of a dentist to remove it.
  • Damaged Dental Work – Crowns or bridges can crack, which will let bacteria live under them. As it multiplies, it will produce bad breath. 
  • An Abscessed Tooth – This serious infection will require the help of a dentist. The inflammation will surround one or more teeth and it will be painful. This is a potentially very serious condition. 

When the cause of bad breath is a dental problem, a dentist can provide you with bad breath treatment. Regular dental visits can also help prevent these issues.

If you have bad breath symptoms and believe it to be a dental problem, you can get a bad breath cure and have your fresh breath restored. Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, MS, MBA, FDSRCS, a Board Certified Periodontist, provides treatment for chronic bad breath in his Carrollton, Cedar hill, Mockingbird/SMU and Grapevine, TX offices. Most dental insurance plans are accepted. For a consultation or information about a halitosis treatment, you can contact his office today at 214-731-0123