Does H. pylori cause bad breath?
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Q:

Does H. pylori cause bad breath?

A:

Quick Answer

According to a study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, the Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori, bacteria can indeed cause bad breath. Known as the bacterium that causes stomach ulcers and cancer, H. pylori is now thought to cause bad breath and gum disease when it occurs in the mouth.

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Full Answer

H. pylori is a spiral-shaped bacterium found in the stomach. Studies show that it is responsible for roughly 80 percent of stomach ulcers and 90 percent of ulcers occurring in the upper end of the small intestine, or duodenum. It can also cause gastritis (stomach inflammation) and spur the production of excess stomach acid. With time, an H. pylori infection can even lead to an increased risk of stomach cancer, WebMD notes.

When the H. pylori bacterium takes root in the mouth, it can point to periodontal disease, which in turn leads to chronic bad breath—known as halitosis. Results of a Japanese study found H. pylori in the mouths of 21 out of 326 participants with halitosis, or 6.4 percent. The concentration of bad breath gas and the level of oral disease was considerably higher in these participants than in those without the bacterium, Science Daily reports.

According to U.S. News, H. pylori is just one potential cause of bad breath. Other common culprits include poor oral hygiene, medications that cause dry mouth, diet, skipping breakfast, mouth breathing, heavy alcohol consumption, respiratory tract infections and ongoing illness.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is H. pylori?

    A:

    H. pylori is an abbreviation for Helicobacter pylori, also previously known as Campylobacter pylori, a bacteria of the stomach that plays a role in the development of stomach ulcers. H. pylori accomplishes this by infiltrating and weakening the stomach lining, making it vulnerable to gastric acids, according to WebMD.

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  • Q:

    How do you get H. pylori?

    A:

    Although it is still not known exactly how H. pylori bacteria is transmitted, it may be contracted by ingesting infected food and water, according to WebMD. Commonly associated with low-grade inflammation of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract, the bacteria has infected approximately 50 percent of the world's population, says eMedicineHealth.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    How do you kill H. pylori bacteria naturally?

    A:

    There is no effective, natural way to kill H. pylori bacteria. The only reliable way to kill H. pylori is through antibiotic therapy. There are natural treatments to effectively manage the symptoms of H. pylori-induced ulcers, but these therapies do not kill the bacteria.

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  • Q:

    Why does my breath smell like metal?

    A:

    The smell of metal on the breath can be a symptom of gum disease, notes WebMD. Foul breath in general may be caused by numerous other throat or mouth conditions, such as having an infection, cavities or cancer.

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