This Morning: Dr Chris warns bad breath can indicate diseases
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Bad breath is extremely common and can be the result of eating strong-smelling foods, and gum disease in some cases. The type of smell it is can be a sign of the cause behind bad breath, which may need medical treatment. Experts have said a rotten egg smell that can be noticed when you burp can be a sign of a potentially dangerous condition.
Burps are normally harmless. They happen when your body is removing excess gas from your upper digestive tract.
The gas normally enters your body through your mouth or from food being broken down by gut bacteria.
But when you experience a rotten egg burp, which is the smell of hydrogen sulfide, this could be a sign of serious problems in your digestive system.
Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates said: “Hydrogen sulfide is one of the byproducts of digestion. While occasional hydrogen sulfide production is normal, excessive production is often an indication of a digestive issue.
“Sulfur burps can be caused by many conditions including stress… irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and bacterial infections like H. pylori.”
According to experts, sulfur burps can also be caused by repetitive acid reflux, known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).
GORD or GERD is when stomach acid regularly flows back into your throat from the lower parts of your digestive system.
Regular acid can cause inflammation to the lining of your oesophagus, and increase your risk of oesophageal cancer.
But sulphur burps may also be caused by the presence of certain food and drink in your diet.
MGA said: “Certain foods can also cause sulphur burps such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, garlic, dairy products, milk, and beer.”
The health body explained that the best treatment for breath that smells like rotten eggs is to treat the underlying cause.
Its main advice is to keep a food journal and notice the foods your eating that affect you the most. “You can try removing those foods from your diet temporarily,” MGA said.
If you experience sulfur burps, you should visit your doctor – especially if these are paired with other symptoms.
Difficulty swallowing and persistent vomiting or vomiting blood are other signs of GERD that you might notice.
There are some home remedies that you can introduce to reduce the symptoms of sulphur burps, although they might not fix them if there are underlying issues.
Green tea is reported to help aid digestion and has been shown to reduce sulphur burps.
Staying hydrated with water can also protect the stomach from bacteria. It also helps you break down sulphuric foods better.
The oral health brand Colgate also recommended: “Chewing more slowly and avoiding gum and hard sweets will reduce the air you swallow.
“Cutting back on sulphur-containing vegetables may also help with smelly burps, but the effect varies from person to person.”
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