Lactose Intolerance Can Cause Bad Breath

Kelvin Ho asked:

Bad breath is a common condition that many people face throughout the world. It is also a very sought after topic among individuals of all ages.

There are different factors that account for the development of bad breath and hence different solutions are needed to combat it. In this article we are going to understand the connection between bad breath and lactose intolerance.

First of all we have to understand what lactose intolerance is? Firstly, lactose is a sugar, which is found in milk and other dairy products. After these foods are eaten, the lactose will be metabolized (broken down) by an enzyme known as lactase.

Unfortunately, sometimes the body does not produce lactase or there is decreased production of lactase in the body. When this happens, it will result in gastric problems and the lactose will not be broken down in the gastrointestinal tract.

When the lactose is not broken down due to the absence of the enzyme lactase, this will result in symptoms which are similar to stomach virus and hence it is difficult to discern whether the person is suffering from lactose intolerance or stomach flu.

Usually, it is only through examining each individual’s medical history and different tests that it is determined that the culprit is lactose intolerance. If you suspect that you are suffering from lactose intolerance, do share with your doctor the list of specific foods that cause you to feel uncomfortable. This will help your doctor to make a diagnosis sooner.

The signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance are nausea, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea and an exceptionally bad breath.

These symptoms occur because the body is not accepting the lactose. Usually, the symptoms will start to clear up once the lactose is removed from the body. Among the most significant symptom is the occurrence of very foul breath. It can be so bad that your friends around you can smell it even if they are many feet away.

Typically, people would assume that the individual is suffering from poor oral hygiene but in reality the individual is suffering from lactose intolerance.

The lactose when ingested by lactose intolerant individuals results in gastric symptoms mentioned above and the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract acts upon the lactose rich foods and results in fermentation that produces foul smelling gas. This gas unfortunately is exhaled out through the lungs and that is how bad breath and lactose intolerance are connected.

The connection between lactose intolerance and halitosis can be further confirmed through a hydrogen breath test. Normally there is a very little amount of hydrogen present in the breath but in a lactose intolerant individual who has ingested lactose rich foods, the hydrogen content is going to be much higher than the normal. This shows that the lactose is not broken down properly.

After you have understood the connection between bad breath and lactose intolerance, you may be wondering how did you become lactose intolerant in the first place. That answer lies in your genes. Lactose intolerance can also occur with the advancing age. So if you find out that you are having halitosis and unable to find any apparent cause to it, then you must look into lactose intolerance as this might be the culprit causing this problem.