Bad breath, or halitosis, is a common condition that many people may face in their lives. 

In fact, around 2.4% of Adults in Australia may experience this condition.


In most cases, bad breath may be the result of poor oral hygiene or other dental conditions, such as tartar build-up or canker sores.


Sometimes the cause of constant bad breath may not be restricted to the mouth; it may be caused by your gut.

Which gastrointestinal problems may cause bad breath? 

The cause of constant bad breath may be accredited to the following gastrointestinal conditions:


GORD


Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is known to cause bad breath in some individuals. 


GORD is a chronic disease that causes stomach acids to flow back into the oesophagus due to the weakening of the lower oesophageal sphincter muscle.


While this is not a life-threatening condition, if left untreated, it may lead to health complications like Barrett’s oesophagus.


Intestinal obstruction


Intestinal obstructions may occur due to several reasons, such as a foreign object getting lodged in your intestines or tumours growing in the intestinal walls. 


These obstructions may prevent food from getting through, causing the food to ferment, which may lead to bad breath.


Liver disease


Breath that smells of sulphur may be a sign of liver disease. 


People suffering from this condition have a high level of dimethyl sulphide in their bodies, which causes the breath to smell of sulphur.


Liver disease is a very serious condition and must be treated as soon as possible.


Stomach cancer


This is another very serious condition, for which bad breath might be a symptom. 

Stomach cancer is a slow-growing type of cancer, making it difficult to detect during the early stages. If this cancer spreads into other parts of the body without detection, patients may only have a 6% chance of survival.

Can bad breath be cured? 

If the cause of constant bad breath is a gastrointestinal condition, diagnosing and treating the condition may cure bad breath.


That said, this condition could be a recurring issue for patients with chronic illnesses such as GORD.


You could keep bad breath at bay by changing your diet and taking over-the-counter oral treatments like mouthwashes.


Can bad breath be cured? 

If the cause of constant bad breath is a gastrointestinal condition, diagnosing and treating the condition may cure bad breath.

That said, this condition could be a recurring issue for patients with chronic illnesses such as GORD.

You could keep bad breath at bay by changing your diet and taking over-the-counter oral treatments like mouthwashes.


Consult a gastrointestinal specialist for help
 

Dr Suhirdan Vivekanandarajah is a hepatologist and gastrointestinal specialist based in Sydney, Australia, delivering clinical support and treatment for a wide range of gastrointestinal conditions.


If you experience symptoms—apart from bad breath—of any of the conditions mentioned above, contact Dr Suhirdan for a diagnosis.

Dr. Suhirdan

Meet Dr Suhirdan Vivekanandarajah

Interventional Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist

Bsc (Med) | M.B.B.S. (Hons) | FRACP

Consult Dr Suhirdan at these locations 

St Vincent's Clinic
Sydney-Specialist-Suites

FAQ

What kinds of food can help prevent bad breath? 

Can H. pylori cause bad breath? 

What other symptoms accompany bad breath caused by gut problems? 

Get in touch for treatment and support.