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Bad breath (halitosis) is an unpleasant condition that can be cause for embarrassment. If you don't brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Food that collects between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums can rot, leaving an unpleasant odor. Although bad breath is not usually serious, it can be an indicator of a medical disorder, such as a local infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment.
If you think you have constant bad breath because of acid reflux, keep a log of the foods you eat and make a list of medications you take. Maintaining good oral health is essential to reducing bad breath. Schedule regular dental visits for a professional cleaning and checkup.
To prevent bad breath from acid reflux, you need to correct the cause of acid reflux. The common causes of acid reflux are:
- Hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia is a condition when part of the upper portion of the stomach moves above the diaphragm.
- Lying down immediately after meals.
- Eating large portions of food at one time.
- Eat foods that cause acid reflux, such as citrus fruits, fried foods, alcohol, carbonated beverages, tea, coffee, garlic, onion, and spicy foods.
- Taking some medications such as muscle relaxants, blood pressure medicine and aspirin.
The best way to prevent acid reflux from destroying the enamel on your teeth or causing a bad taste or bad breath, is to chew xyitol gum. Or gargle and rinse your mouth with a non-alcohol mouthwash, or baking soda and warm water. It is best to avoid brushing for at least 20 minutes, even rinsing with water will help. You are trying to neutralize the acid, which is a high ph, and get it down to an alkaline ph. Acid reflux has been found to wear out the lower back chewing teeth. A sugar-free hard candy, preferably a sour one, will stimulate your saliva flow. Your saliva is a wonderful healer and will help balance the ph. If you have a dry mouth and acid reflux, make sure you see your dentist regularly. There are special fluoride pastes that will help you.
You can help prevent bad breath from acid reflux by brushing your teeth several times a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash on a regular basis. Acid reflux can lead to bad breath when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. You may notice a sour taste, or re-taste the food you have already eaten; in either case, bad breath can result.
It also may help to avoid meat and alcohol, both of which can cause bad breath. Limit meal size and avoid large evening meals. Antacids are often used to treat acid reflux; try mint-flavored versions to combat bad breath. If bad breath from acid reflux persists, see your doctor or dentist to rule out a more serious medical or dental condition.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.