When you have acid reflux, good oral hygiene can help improve the foul odors that arise from the regurgitated stomach contents and belched gases that have traveled up into your esophagus and mouth. Gargling with a flavored mouthwash can at least temporarily mask this bad breath. Mouth bacteria and their waste products are also responsible for unpleasant mouth odors, and rinsing with an effective mouthwash can be beneficial. The mouthwash ingredients chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium can help control this offending bacteria, and mouthwashes that contain chlorine dioxide and zinc help neutralize the foul-smelling sulfur compounds these bacteria create in your mouth.
In addition to its effects on your breath, acid reflux can erode your teeth and oral tissue. Be sure to see your dentist for regular exams and cleaning and if you experience any pain in your mouth. If you have frequent episodes of heartburn that require medications, see your doctor to determine if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease. Also contact your doctor if they said you experience any other worrisome symptoms of uncontrolled acid reflux, such as hoarseness, chronic cough, or persistent ear and sinus infections. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience persistent chest pain, especially if it’s accompanied by shortness of breath, jaw pain or arm pain, since the symptoms of heartburn and a heart attack can be similar.
Brushing your teeth and tongue after meals, cleaning your dentures if applicable, and flossing between your teeth daily can also minimize odors and keep your mouth clean. Most of your mouth’s odor-creating bacteria live on the tongue, so brushing your tongue well can be an effective strategy in controlling your bad breath. The extent acid reflux affects breath odors may be linked to the severity of the condition. However, good oral hygiene is important to counteract bad breath whether your acid reflux is mild or severe enough to be classified as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
Bad breath (halitosis) is an unpleasant condition that can be cause for embarrassment. If you don’t brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Food that collects between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums can rot, leaving an unpleasant odor. Although bad breath is not usually serious, it can be an indicator of a medical disorder, such as a local infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment.