We’ve all experienced bad breath from time to time, especially after eating a garlic heavy meal, or drinking a cup of coffee (if our guts even allow us to tolerate those luxurious things these days), but what if this ‘time to time’ phase slowly transitioned into something that became a little more full-time? Chances are that you’ve tried brushing your teeth twice per day, but often the cause of bad breath is a lot deeper than just the surface. Bad breath could be a huge indication that something isn’t so right with your gut, so what could be the issue?
Let’s start with the tongue…
The tongue is a very fascinating diagnostic tool to determine a lot about your digestive health. These practices are used in various alternative practices such as Traditional Chinese Medicine. A thick-coated tongue is a sign of weak or badly-functioning digestion. If your gut flora is imbalanced, you may experience more than just digestive discomforts.
Breath that smells can be a common symptom of dysbiosis – an imbalance of gut bacteria, as well as candida or yeast. This can also happen if you’ve eaten too much sugar. That’s because yeast, candida and bad bacteria feed on sugar and thrives when our diet is loaded with sugary goodness.
Okay so, what stomach issues can cause bad breath?
- Smelly food – Anything that you eat with an odour can cause bad breath from residual food in your mouth, from your stomach during digestions and lungs after digestion.
- Toxic Overload – A good sign of GI toxic overload is through the bad breath. It’s time to clean up your diet and avoid harmful chemicals in your food and on your body. Toxins are a burden on our organs. Including the liver, GI tract and skin. When these organs are overworked, they struggle to dispose of the toxins.
- GERD (acid reflux) – There are many other symptoms involved in determining whether you have GERD, but bad breath can be one of them. This is caused by the levels of stomach acid built up in your gut causing an odour and sometimes a taste and smell.
- Leaky Gut – Leaky Gut is also known as ‘permeability of your intestinal walls’ where toxins have leaked through, toxifying the bloodstream. Because it leads to systematic inflammation and hormonal imbalance, it can cause symptoms like bad breath.
What can you do to fix it?
Well, this is a difficult one! There are definitely ‘home remedies’ that you can practice to alleviate the smells, however, to diagnose the cause root of bad breath, it requires medical attention from a qualified nutritionist or dietitian. Otherwise, we can offer you some ‘gut balancing’ treatment that you can attempt at home, before forking out the cash in locating someone a little more qualified.
- Probiotics and fermented foods – Take a high dose of probiotics, to help better digest your food, while promoting loads of healthy bacteria to feed your flora. You could also go as far as integrating fermented foods into your diet, although humans with IBD should tread lightly with this route, as they can aggravate your histamine levels, causing inflammation.
- Fibre – Fiber should already be an essential part of your diet, but if it already isn’t then this is a great excuse to start integrating more of the good stuff. It helps you stay regular and will actually remove the toxins as they get processed through the body.
- Oil pulling – This is an Ayurvedic technique that involved swooshing oil around your mouth for 20 minutes, ideally in the morning. It’s meant to help remove any dead cells that were built up overnight.
- Digestive enzymes – Digestive enzymes can break down the food in your body, that could be the reason why you’ve got bad breath. Weakened immune systems have trouble breaking down food.
- Spices – Help boost your digestive health with warming herbs such as ginger, turmeric, fennel and black pepper. It’s best to drink this 20 minutes before your meal to get all the digestive juices flowing. Cloves are also a great anti-bacterial that helps relieve bad breath.
- Water and green tea – Dehydration causes bad breath. If you stay hydrated and avoid dry mouth by drinking water, then you’ll also help fight bacterial growth in the mouth. This goes for green tea too.
So, there you have it! Gastrointestinal issues can be related to bad breath. It may not be a serious thing, but if you’re consistently noticing the problem, then generally that’s a good sign that it needs to be addressed!