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How can I prevent bad breath from acid reflux?

Dr. Peggy Rosen
Dentist

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.
  • Eating 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.

You can help prevent bad breath from acid reflux by brushing your teeth after eating, flossing daily and using mouthwash on a regular basis. Acid reflux occurs 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. If bad breath from acid reflux persists, see your doctor or dentist to rule out a more serious medical or dental condition. Treatment may be as simple as an over-the-counter proton pump inhibitor (like omeprazole or lansoprazole), but you should get a proper diagnosis to confirm the right treatment. It also may help to avoid meat and alcohol, both of which can cause bad breath. Limit meal size and avoid large evening meals.

Dr. Rita Medwid
Dentist

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.

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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.