Acid reflux and bad breath
There are many causes to bad breath, the most important is bacteria in the mouth, but numerous diseases can also cause bad breath, acid reflux is one of them.
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux, also known as reflux, heartburn or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is a medical condition where stomach acid reflux (flows back) into the esophagus or gullet.
Some common symptoms of acid reflux are:
- Sore throat and pain when swallowing
- Heartburn – burning chest pains
- Sour taste
- Breathing difficulties
- Chronic ear ache
- Inflammation of gums
- Feeling of having food stuck at the back of the throat
- Bad breath
How to cure bad breath caused by acid reflux with lifestyle changes
If you have bad breath, then acid reflux may be the cause. If this is the case, certain lifestyle changes can be done as a none-drug treatment of GERD.
Some foods are considered to promote acid reflux and each person must individually find out which of these foods they can eat and which they have to stay away from.
- Coffee, fruit juices, alcohol, soda and milk
- Chocolate and peppermints
- Acidic foods such as oranges and tomatoes
- Cruciferous vegetables such as onions, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach and others.
Additionally it is adviced to eat smaller meals and not eat right before bedtime.
Other lifestyle changes include:
- Sleeping on the left side.
- Elevating the head of your bed at least 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm)
- Weight loss
- Stop smoking
Bad breath acid reflux treatment with medicine
- PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitors) - reduces stomach acid production.
- Antacids - a base that increases gastric pH
- Alginic acid (Gaviscon) - a non-prescription drug that can decrease acid reflux, increas pH and coat the mucous membranes.
- Gastric H2 receptor blockers - can reduce stomach acid secretion
- Prokinetic - Speeds up intestinal transit
- Sucralfate - Useful in preventing and healing damage caused to the gullet (esophagus) by acid reflux.
Research suggests that PPI, a commonly used acid reflux drug can cause halitosis or bad breath. The result of a study at UNIFESP in Sao Paulo (Brazil) showed that 39% of the examined GERD patients was suffering from bad breath due to bacteria overgrowth from usage of PPI medicine.
Can living a low carb lifestyle treat acid reflux?
I have been interested in low carb diets since the end of 2005 and the first time I read about how carbohydrates can affect the digestion system was in a book by Christian B. Allan and Wolfgang Lutz called "Life without bread". A diet high in carbohydrate can increase the insulin level, this will disturb the body's production of gastric acid, which can cause heartburn and bad breath.
Norm Robillard, Ph.D, writes in his book "Heartburn Cured The Low Carb Miracle" how limiting your carbohydrate intake can cure heartburn. His theory is that acid reflux is caused by gas production from carbohydrates.