Can bad breath mean illness?

Infections or chronic inflammation of the nose, sinuses, or throat, which can contribute to postnasal dripping, can also cause bad breath. 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. The main symptom of halitosis is a bad smell from the mouth that is considered to be beyond a socially acceptable level. The smell may worsen in the morning or after smoking, drinking coffee, or eating certain foods, such as garlic.

While most bad breath is caused by bacteria that cause the bad smell, there are a number of other health conditions that may be contributing to the problem. Bad breath can be a warning sign of the presence of other diseases or ailments. Runny nose, respiratory and tonsil infections, sinus problems, diabetes, liver and kidney problems, and certain blood disorders can cause bad breath. In some less common cases, bad breath could be a sign of cancer or other serious conditions, such as metabolic disorders.

Bad breath, also known as oral odor or halitosis, is a very common and treatable condition in many adults. This happens naturally while you sleep, so most people find that their breath smells a little bad when they wake up. In addition, some medications, when broken down in the body, release chemicals that can be carried through the bloodstream to breathing. For example, if bad breath is due to poor oral hygiene, dental cleaning and better oral hygiene at home are likely to help.

However, bad breath that won't go away (chronic halitosis) can mean that you have an oral health problem or a condition that affects another part of your body. A diet high in sugar can cause bad breath and could be the culprit of halitosis because of the way that sugars interact with existing bacteria in the mouth. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, a salivary gland disorder, or by always breathing through the mouth instead of through the nose. Poor oral hygiene also causes other oral health conditions, such as tooth decay and gum disease, which are also associated with bad breath.

Aimee Janoski
Aimee Janoski

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

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