GERD And Bad Breath
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD, is a disease characterized by acid reflux that occurs two or more times per week. The most common symptom associated with this disease is heartburn, but GERD can also cause hoarseness, chronic coughing, difficulty swallowing, and bad breath. That’s right, if you have bad breath it could be a result of your digestive tract rather than your oral hygiene.
GERD occurs when acid from the stomach flows back into the esophagus, and the presence of these digestive juices can cause an unpleasant odor. The best way to treat halitosis caused by GERD is to prevent acid reflux in the first place. Some ways to prevent acid reflux include:
- Avoiding cigarettes and alcohol
- Avoiding foods that trigger reflux, including fatty, spicy or citrus foods
- Eating smaller, more frequent meals instead of three large meals
- Eating more slowly and chewing properly
- Losing weight
If these lifestyle changes do not resolve acid reflux or the associated bad breath, over-the-counter antacids such as Tums or Alka-Seltzer may help neutralize the acid in your stomach. You can also get H2 blockers, such as Pepcid AC, without a prescription. These medications are designed to reduce the production of acid in your stomach. Your doctor may also prescribe proton pump inhibitors, which prevent acid production more effectively than H2 blockers. In rare cases, surgery may be recommended to resolve your GERD and related bad breath.