Bad Breath: Is it a Medical Condition?

Diseases, such as some types of cancer, and conditions such as metabolic disorders, can cause a characteristic odor in the breath as a result of the chemicals they produce. Chronic stomach acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD) may also be associated with bad breath.


is an oral health problem in which the main symptom is an unpleasant smell from the mouth. In most cases, finding the cause of bad breath is the first step in treating this preventable condition.

Bad breath can be caused by poor dental hygiene habits and can be a sign of other health problems. Eating certain types of food and unhealthy lifestyle habits can worsen halitosis. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent and treat bad breath at home and with the help of your dentist or doctor. Halitosis is mainly caused by sulfur-producing bacteria that live on the surface of the tongue and in the throat.

When these bacteria break down proteins at a high rate, odorous volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) are released from the back of the tongue and throat. It is estimated that 2.4% of adults suffer from bad breath. A diet high in sugar can cause bad breath because of how sugars interact with existing bacteria in the mouth. Some medications, when broken down in the body, release chemicals that can be carried through the bloodstream to breathing.

Additionally, when your body breaks down fat, it releases chemicals that can cause an unpleasant smell in your breath. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, a salivary gland disorder, or by always breathing through the mouth instead of through the nose. This happens naturally while you sleep, so most people find that their breath smells a little bad when they wake up. Poor oral hygiene also causes other oral health conditions, such as tooth decay and gum disease, which are also associated with bad breath.Bad breath is a very common and treatable condition in many adults.

With proper dental hygiene habits and lifestyle changes, you can reduce or eliminate bad breath and improve your overall oral health.

Aimee Janoski
Aimee Janoski

Devoted bacon scholar. Professional internet practitioner. Lifelong web evangelist. Typical tvaholic. Passionate internet enthusiast.

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