• Shruti GOCHHWAL

What Your Bad Breath Says About Your Health

Bad breath is commonly assumed to be caused due to poor dental hygiene. While this may be true, it may not necessarily be the only cause of bad breath.

Our body is equipped to warn us in the form of signs and symptoms whenever there is a problem with any body system or bodily functions.

Here are some of the causes of bad breath that is related to health problems:

●    Diabetes

Diets and food products that have a high sugar and protein content can cause bad breath and this is a major problem faced by diabetics.

High blood sugar increases the levels of glucose in the saliva. The accumulation of glucose acts as a medium for bacteria to grow and feed on it.

As a result, there is a bacteria buildup in your mouth which leads to dental plaque, tooth decay, and gum problems which will eventually lead to bad breath when the bacteria turn the sweet glucose into sour-smelling substances.

●    Liver issues

Fetor hepaticus is a condition that occurs when the normal functioning of the liver is compromised and as a result, your breath starts to smell foul.

This is because the liver fails to carry out its normal function –  filtering out toxic substances from the blood. Due to this, harmful and undesired sulfur substances get accumulated in your bloodstream and eventually make their way to your lungs.

This, when the person will exhale, the smell of sulfur gets carried out and gives your breath a rotten egg or garlic smell.

Thus, the only way to treat bad breath in this condition is by treating the problems related to the liver. In addition to that one can manage complications by:

  1. Exercising

  2. Avoiding alcohol consumption

  3. Consuming a low salt diet

Bad breath

Bad breath, Credit: Pixabay


●    Kidney problems

Similar to liver problems, kidney problems are also a common cause of bad breath. This is because a healthy kidney is responsible for filtering urea and deciding what the body needs to absorb, reabsorb, and excretion.

Thus, when your kidneys start to fail, excessive amounts of urea get accumulated in your bloodstream and the spread creates a foul order.

Moreover, a renal disease also affects the calcium absorption of bones and as a result, jaw bone mass can disintegrate and decay, causing more oral problems leading to bad breath.

●    Digestive problems

Poor digestive conditions such as acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), constipation, or bowel disorders are the causes of bad breath.

Digestive conditions either delay or prevent the food consumed from processing or digested efficiently.

This causes an accumulation of undigested food in the digestive tract which can start to decay. In addition to that, it can also cause bacteria buildup or overgrowth in the stomach and intestine which could lead to conditions like SIBO and bloating with all having bad breath as a symptom.

Moreover, the backflow of stomach acid to the esophagus can also cause foul, rotten smell in your mouth as they carry odors of the recently consumed foods back into your throat.

garlic fragrant

Garlic-like odour due to bad breath, Credit: Pixabay


●    Mouth, nose and throat problems

If your mouth is dry that means there is less saliva produced. If less saliva is produced, that means there are less of its antibacterial properties.

Thus, this can cause a bacteria buildup in your mouth which contributes to bad breath. Chronic dry mouth is usually caused by problems related to the salivary glands.

Bad breath can also be caused by problems related to the tonsils. Tonsil stones are caused when food particles, mucus, and bacteria get trapped in small pockets on your tonsils as a result of improper oral hygiene. This buildup causes swelling, infections, and eventually leads to bad breath.

Lastly, bad breath could also be caused due to inflammation of your nose or sinuses too.

Bottom line

If one maintains good oral health and hygiene and still faces uncontrollable problems of bad breath, chances are that the person may be suffering from some underlying health problems.

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