Health for All

Having Bad Breath or Halitosis? What you need to know

Having Bad Breath

Having Bad Breath or Halitosis? What you need to know…

Bad breath

It is also known as halitosis is a common problem that some of us may be experiencing. It does not only affect the sufferers but also those who are close. This causes a lot of inconveniences as it is difficult to bear with. Sometimes it is thought to be impolite to tell straight to the face of the person with bad breath. Bad breath may not ruin your body, but it surely is detrimental for a relationship or career especially if the work has to involve many social interactions.

In fact, bad breath serves as a barometer (indicator) for the health status of several different body systems. Therefore, having bad breath also means the health is not at a desired level. With the advancing technologies in the current healthcare system, the treatment for halitosis has make its way beyond flossing and surprisingly this works for most people. Mouth bacteria is known widely as the main cause of halitosis as the bacteria flourish in the gums and teeth that are hard to brush. However, studies also showed that the oral bacteria actually fully reflect the germs in the gut. These bacteria are responsible for secreting the volatile sulphur compounds (VSC) which create the foul-smelling gases and toxins and cause bad breath.

C-reactive protein

The bad gases produced can also increase the body’s production of inflammatory proteins called C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is found to promote heart disease, stroke and any inflammation-related problems such as joint pain, swelling and even brain degeneration. These gas-producing bacteria  are accumulated between the teeth and the back of the tongue. By scraping or brushing the tongue can help with halitosis. Unfortunately, bad breath is not necessarily an easy condition to tackle because the root cause can be complex and related to the things we normally wouldn’t think of.

Sinus infection

It is not uncommon that the nose and nasal track can be the cause of breath problems. Sinus infections are common and can be a chronic condition. It will leads to accumulation of gram-negative bad bacteria that tipped the breath the wrong way. The swelling and inflammation of sinus infection may begin as a viral infection and then progress to bacterial in a matter of days. As a result, the pressure and irritation increase causing headache, sinus pressure and bad breath. The tremendous numbers of bacteria that grow then protect themselves from your body’s defences and antibiotics through production of a slimy biofilm which also cause bad breath.

To determine if you have breath issues, simply hold the nose and breathe out slowly for 10 seconds while your best friend smells the result, then close your mouth and breathe out slowly from the nose. You or your friend should be able to distinguish the offending orifice in instant. The other option is to lick the back of your risk, wait for it to dry and smell it or try blowing the nose and smell the result.


Gerd or gastroesophageal reflux disorder is sometimes called heartburn. This is a condition where the stomach acid is forced up into the oesophagus by gut pressure. It is not due to too much acid produced but a problem of too much pressure developed by the small

intestine. This acid irritation causes a predictable bad breath. The stomach acid is similar to pieces of food regurgitating up into your throat. Breath arises from GERD is particularly bad. It is usually associated with other symptoms like stomach pain, heartburn or even tooth erosion. It can begin with just a bit of throat irritation or persistent cough. Hence, this will change the environment of the mouth and promotes the growth of wrong bacteria and resulting in breath problems. New study shows that 64% percent of irritable bowel patients (IBS) had GERD so if you have IBS, the chances are you have GERD as well. The same study also showed that these conditions should be treated at the same time.

 Helicobacter pylori

The bacteria Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori is responsible for an infection of the stomach. It causes stomach ulcers which also give out bad breath. In a recent study, patient that had a H. pylori infection showed an increase in gas that led to bad breath called methyl mercaptan. These people also had higher chances of having gum disease and the breath that goes along with that. Th test for H. pylori infection is a breath measurement of hydrogen or methane, showing that these bacteria are clearly affecting the breath.


SIBO is an abbreviation for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. The colon is an organ that harbours all the microbes you need to generate vitamins, collect energy, digest fibre and stimulate healing of the gut wall. The small intestine however shouldn’t have as many bacteria as the large intestine should contain. In fact, the large intestine should have at least 10,000 times more bacteria. When the bacteria in the small intestine over grow, they cause all sorts of problems like bloating pain and gas. As these gases build up, bloating increases and so does bad breath.

It is also more common when sugar is consumed. This is because it promotes the growth of yeast and bacteria that feed on sugar and refined carbohydrates.Hence, this  worsens the breath. As hydrogen and methane are produced by bacteria in the small intestine, it can be easily detected and find a solution to the problem. This is essential because it can be confused with IBS. The test for SIBO is a breath test, reflecting its connection to bad breath.

Ways to counter

With a full understanding on the underlying cause of halitosis, it is important to direct the cures to the problem. Probiotics can be a helpful therapy. This is because since the gut bacteria can influence the mouth bacteria, it signifies the importance of a balance gut flora. A balance gut microbial community will naturally inhibit the smelly bugs in the oral cavity. A healthy gut should have a balance of somewhere near 85% for good bacteria and 15% that are neither good or bad bacteria, a group called commensals. Fermented foods are also one of the ways to repopulate the mouth and the gut with good bacteria. Natural antimicrobial supplements are next effective method at arresting bad bacterial and yeast infections in the small intestine, such oregano oil, over RC and berberine.

Digestive enzymes

Digestive enzymes are another approach to normalizing stomach function. While we aged, our digestive enzymes dramatically decrease. This allows undigested food to putrefy and affect the breath in a bad way. Mouth washes can also be helpful. One study had found that products that can improve the symptoms like Dental active with anti-plaque agents combined with essential oils. Finally, it is very important to approach a doctor who is well-verse with infections. The Doctor knows well how intestinal conditions can lead to problems up the chain. Like, the small intestine, stomach, throat and sinuses.  This will ensure that the root of the problem can be solve effectively. In a nutshell, optimizing gut flora will be the most effective way towards preventing halitosis. It strengthens your immune system, decreases toxicity and inflammation.


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