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Bad Breath Revisited: A Closer Look At Digestive Disorders

Bad breath (halitosis) is a frustrating and embarrassing problem that affects many people.  While many people may think that bad breath is caused by poor oral hygiene, did you know that it can also be a sign of an underlying gastrointestinal problem?  In this article, I will explore the link between bad breath and digestive diseases and provide some tips about what you can do to address it.

Before I dive into the connection between digestive diseases and bad breath, let’s first look at some of the common other causes of halitosis:

  • Poor oral hygiene.  Bacteria that live in the mouth and gums can cause bad breath if not removed through regular brushing and flossing. The best way to prevent bad breath is to ensure that you practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash. There are plenty of great dentists in Dubai – if the bad breath persists despite these measures, they will be able to advise whether there may be other oral health issues that could be contributing to the problem.
  • Food and Drinks.  Certain foods and drinks, such as garlic, onions, coffee, and alcohol, can cause temporary bad breath.  Good food and drink are one of the pleasures of living in Dubai but try to steer clear of foods that might be exacerbating the problem.
  • Dry Mouth.  Saliva helps to wash away bacteria in the mouth. If you have dry mouth, you may be more susceptible to bad breath.  Try to stay well hydrating by drinking plenty of water – especially during the hot summer months in Dubai.  If your mouth is persistently dry despite adequate hydration speak to your doctor or dentist about whether there may an underlying issue causing it.
  • Smoking and tobacco use.  Smoking not only causes bad breath by itself, but also increases the risk of gum disease, which can also lead to halitosis.  Quitting smoking will not only be a positive step in helping reduce your bad breath, but also in improving your overall digestive and general health.

Link Between Digestive Diseases and Bad Breath:

Now we’ve got those other causes out of the way, let’s take a look at the links between digestive diseases and bad breath.  There are several gastrointestinal problems that can result in bad breath.  These include:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).  Gastroesophageal reflux disease (or ‘acid reflux’) is a condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing heartburn, chest pain, and other symptoms. GERD can also contribute to bad breath by allowing stomach acid to enter the mouth.
  • Gastritis.  Inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis) is a potential cause of bad breath.  Common causes of gastritis include Helicobacter pylori infection, smoking and use of anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen.
  • Gastrointestinal infections.  Certain gut infections such as giardia can promote the production of sulphur- or methane-containing gases in the small intestine resulting excessive bad-smelling (“eggy”) burps.
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).  SIBO is a condition in which there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. This can cause bloating, gas, and bad breath.
  • Liver Disease.  Liver disease can cause bad breath by releasing toxins into the bloodstream that are then excreted through the lungs.


Bad breath can be a frustrating and embarrassing problem, but it doesn’t have to control your life.  The first step to address the underlying cause.  If you have persistent bad breath that is not due to poor oral hygiene, come and see me in my Gastroenterology clinic here in Dubai.  I’ll help you determine if there is an underlying digestive cause for the problem and work with you to find an appropriate treatment option.  Take control of your digestive health today.

For Queries regarding Gastroenterology feel free to reach out on
Whatsapp me at +971506708472
Visit me at @healthbayclinic ‘s Day Surgery Center, 977 Al Wasl Road, Dubai

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