If you happen to experience bad breath regularly, stomach ulcers might be a probable cause. The subsequent stomach ache is usually known to stem from an infection of H. pylori, a common strain of bacteria that can be directly linked to gum diseases or periodontal diseases and bad breath.
Stomach ulcers mostly require a strong and consistent dosage of antibiotics and various other steps to reduce the amount of acid inside the stomach and the body. You can easily save yourself all the trouble if you eat well, take some time out to relax, reduce the consumption of alcoholic beverages and quit smoking, and avoid excessive or unnecessary use of common anti-inflammatory drugs.
What Are Stomach Ulcers?
Stomach ulcers can easily be defined as open sores or lesions that form on the inner lining of the small intestine or the stomach. They are also called peptic ulcers. They develop over time and might also occur in isolation or clusters.
As we have already mentioned, stomach ulcers are known to be caused by Heliobacter pylori, or H. pylori strain of bacteria. This strain attacks and weakens the inner lining of the stomach. Should this happen, the tissues of your stomach become vulnerable to the acid present in your system, and the ulcers start to take shape in response to this constant and increases exposure.
People usually have H.pylori bacteria lying dormant inside their systems. This is not even a matter of concern, because this strain of bacteria is usually harmless. However, only a tiny portion of people tend to develop ulcers as a response to exposure to the acid.
Stomach ulcers might also come into existence from the medications that you take. Many anti-inflammatory medicines, also known as NSAIDS, are formulated to inhibit the usual mechanisms your body employs to save the inner lining of the stomach from the acid inside it. Acids that can lead to the formation of stomach ulcers.
The urea breath test is an easy process used by professional doctors to test the presence of the H.pylori virus. The patients are first required to breathe inside a special medical bag that is used to measure the presence of carbon dioxide. They are then given a chemical solution containing urea. The virus reacts to the presence of urea by breaking it down into carbon dioxide. If the second bag contains significantly more carbon dioxide when compared to the first bag, the H.pylori content in your system is concerning. The doctors then mark you as infected by the bacteria and your chances of getting an ulcer are pretty high.
There are other methods used by doctors, which seem to be comparatively more invasive in nature. These methods include endoscopy or biopsy, to derive a more concretized result to detect the presence of ulcers. However, these methods are only put to use when the results derived from the urea breath test are not as conclusive as they should have been.
Why Do Ulcers Affect Your Breath?
The reason behind the bad breath is not the ulcer, it is the H. pylori bacteria that is causing the breath to smell bad. Studies show that people suffering from halitosis, otherwise simply known as bad breath, are more likely to have H. pylori in their system than people in control groups. Having said that, not everybody who is infected struggle with bad breath or halitosis, the exact connection between these two are yet to be completely discovered. This bacteria is so versatile in nature that it can also be connected to periodontal or gum diseases, which might also be held accountable for the causation of bad breath.
The presence of stomach ulcers itself indicates that you might have extra amounts of acids in your body, which might also lead you to struggle with additional inconvenient medical conditions like acid reflux, which adds to bad breath.
It is important that you don’t let your stomach ulcers go unattended. Seeking proper medical help will help control stomach ulcers and reduce the acid levels in your stomach, which in turn will reduce the signs and symptoms of these conditions as well.
Try making your gut healthier, because a healthy gut will only help you curb the bad breath in your system. Probiotics can restore the acid balance in your digestive system, so you’re less likely to suffer some adverse effects or prevent it from getting any worse.
Signs and Symptoms of Bad Breath from Ulcers
Bad breath is not the only indicator of a possible ulcer formation in your stomach. Many other symptoms might help you confirm if it is the ulcer that is causing all the inconvenience:
- Burning or gnawing pain in your abdomen
- A loss of appetite
- Unintentional weight loss
- Generally feeling ill
There are certain symptoms of peptic ulcer that might also hint at some way graver than you can imagine, including complications like internal bleeding. When you let these symptoms go unattended, things might go way out of hand and might cause irreversible damage, possibly even death. You might want to immediately seek medical help if you notice or experience the following:
Vomiting blood (this may be ordinary red blood or dark and grainy-looking like coffee grounds
Passing dark, sticky stools that resemble tar
Feeling a sudden and sharp pain in your abdomen that worsens over time
When stomach ulcers play the antagonist in your health scenario and cause you to have bad breath, only taking care of your oral health and dental hygiene will not possibly suffice.
If you are sure that all the discomfort and inconvenience are caused by the H. pylori bacteria, it is advisable that you seek medical help from an expert to get the bacteria out of your system. Make sure that you take the entire course of the medicine as prescribed by the doctor, even if you are feeling better before the course ends. Not finishing the whole course might cause the bacteria to resurface and cause infection, which will only take you back to square one.
If there is some other reason behind your ulcers, or if your case is slightly more serious than it should have been, your doctor might also prescribe proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), cytoprotective agents, or acid blockers to bring down the acid content in your stomach. They may also recommend that you take an antacid in the future to relieve the discomfort of your symptoms.
After your stomach ulcer has been taken care of, it is important that you take good care of your dental health and oral hygiene, and see your dentist at regular intervals. This will help you keep all kinds of periodontal diseases in your mouth and also freshen your breath in the process.
How Do You Prevent Ulcers and Bad Breath?
There is no possible way in which you can eliminate all the chances of getting affected by a stomach ulcer, you can take certain steps to try to keep things at bay. They include:
Avoid trigger foods.
Not everybody is built the same way, but most people react poorly to spicy or fatty, or acidic foods. Should this happen, you might want to try and avoid these food items to create a surge of acid in your system and skyrocket the chances of developing or resurfacing ulcers.
Limit your consumption of over-the-counter medications.
Should you have to take what we call NSAIDs, it is advisable that you take them post-meal. This mitigates the effects of the medicines in your body and lets the stomach’s natural mechanism function in its own way.
Control your vices.
Try to quit smoking if you can, and limit your alcohol consumption and usage of nicotine and tobacco products as early as possible. These substances can increase your acid levels if you are exposed to too much of them over prolonged periods.
Reduce your stress.
Previously stress was also considered one of the primary factors that play a significant role in the formation of ulcers, which is not completely true. However, it can lead to the production of excess acid in your stomach which can then cause the formation of sores and lesions.