If you frequently suffer from acid reflux, you’ll know all too well how the embarrassing side-effects of bad breath can wreak havoc on your self-esteem. The link between acid reflux and bad breath might even surprise you, but it’s important to know the real cause and then take action. Luckily, there are a few techniques you can incorporate into your day to prevent bad breath, so you don’t have to worry about awkwardly covering your mouth every time you have a conversation with someone.
What Causes Bad Breath In Those That Suffer Acid Reflux?
Bad breath is not always the result of eating pungent foods. It also affects those that suffer from stomach complications. In one detailed study, a strong link is found between acid reflux and halitosis (bad breath) due to:
- Acid reflux triggering a mucous response where mucous from your nose or sinuses run down the back of your throat. Therefore, mucous builds on your tongue adding to your bad breath.
- Stomach acid, and even food particles, passing back into the esophagus, causing a bad odor and bacteria to build.
- The actual damage of the sensitive esophageal lining.
There are many lifestyle changes you can implement into your day to reduce the occurrence of acid reflux. However, when you notice a bad taste in your mouth, or someone comments on your bad breath, it’s a strong indicator that you need to take more care of your health.
Step Up Your Dental Hygiene
How often are you brushing your teeth a day? What about flossing or other hygiene steps? Twice daily is essential if you find bad breath to be a side-effect of your reflux. Going the extra mile with your dental hygiene includes:
- Flossing after meals
- Brushing your tongue
- Try oil pulling, the ancient Ayurvedic remedy
- Salt water gargle or essential oil gargle (not commercial mouthwashes)
- Chewing sugar-free gum
These daily habits cover all bases, and if you’re doing all of these steps, then you’re doing everything you can to maintain a healthy mouth!
Keep Up Your Fluid Intake
As saliva helps to flush away bacteria in your mouth, you need to keep well hydrated to avoid that dry mouth feeling, as this will only increase your bad breath. If you engage in a lot of sport or exercise, you need to take extra precautions to ensure you have enough fluids on hand to prevent dehydration.
Maintain Your Overall Gut Health
Two thousand years ago, the great Hippocrates famously quoted “All disease begins in the gut”. Medical professionals, particularly in the Western World have only just started listening. Bad breath can stem from antibiotics that disrupt the gut flora, poor eating habits and lifestyle choices and is an indicator that something isn’t right in the body.
Looking after your gut health should be of primary focus when you suffer from acid reflux. You should ensure you’re taking a daily probiotic to balance the good and bad bacteria in your gut, therefore setting up a healthy digestive system and allowing your body to perform optimally. A diet rich in leafy greens and fresh fruit will also help to detoxify the system and banish both acid reflux and its nasty side effects, such as bad breath.