11 health issues that can be indicated by bad breath?

 What bad breath may say about your health

I am pretty sure; you all have been guilty of the stank breath moments!! Did you ever meet someone with a breath so bad that you wished you could evaporate in a heartbeat?

However, the fact remains that none of us really wake up with a pleasant breath in the morning. On the other hand, there are few people who regularly brush, floss and may be doing a quick rinse with a mouthwash a few times a day. But still, it may happen, that their mouth stinks!!

Before scouting for some quick solutions, here are the reasons why your breath smells like you have been eating raw onions and garlic all day.

What does bad breath say about your health??

1. Lack of oral hygiene

If you are among those who forget to gargle your mouth after meals, then your mouth might have trapped food particles, serving as a feast for unwanted bacteria.

This in turn produces Sulphur compounds that give away foul smell. Furthermore, this foul smell is intensified by the sticky plaque formed by those bacteria.  

So, it is necessary to brush them off!! Proper brushing or flossing regularly help treat these foul odours

2. What you eat is what you show

Certain foods like onions, garlic, certain spices or non-vegetarian food when eaten, enter into your blood stream and then goes into your lungs producing foul odour in your breath.

Sipping in some coffee or regular alcohol drinks further creates a hospitable environment for such oral bacteria and germs.

Also smoking or chewing tobacco can create a smelly breath.

3. Dehydration

Saliva is known to keep your mouth fresh by fighting off the bacteria and keeping it off the mouth.

But when you are dehydrated, there is less production of saliva in your mouth. In the absence of sufficient saliva, your mouth becomes a storehouse of bacteria build up.

Bad breath, in this case indicates a dry mouth. Dry mouth can be due to dehydration, keeping your mouth open while sleeping, too much boozing or even crying lots.

4. Acid reflux

In this condition, gastric acids flow backward, i.e., the wrong way. It might bring up bits of food particles or liquid causing a sour smell in your breath. Acid reflux damages your throat and mouth, creating a hotspot for bacteria.

Also H. Pylori bacteria is linked to stomach ulcers and cancer too. It is responsible for stinky breath indicating that you may have nausea, heartburn, stomach-ache or indigestion. You might get foul smelling burps too!!

5. Gum disease or infection

A metallic smell in your breath, might indicate bacteria overgrowth under your gum line further causing inflammation and infection.

An injury or cut inside your mouth, produces bacteria that has an odour. This even happens after your dentist pulls out your tooth or even after a gum surgery

6. High blood sugar levels or Diabetes

When your body uses fat for fuel instead of sugar, your mouth gets that fruity breath!!

It indicates that your body is producing very less insulin. Also, now a days, keto diets which are nil carbohydrate and high fat diets also causes the body to breakdown fats for energy. This too creates a fruity odour in the mouth.

7. Respiratory tract infections

In cough, cold or sinusitis, there is mucus production in your respiratory tract. This mucus filled with bacteria is thrown out through your nose and mouth producing a fowl smell!! However, after complete cure, the smell goes away

8. Tonsil stones

Many times, food gets trapped into your tonsils- calcium can collect around it forming tonsil stones. Usually, they are harmless.

They might sometimes irritate your throat and cause bacteria to grow on them, leading to a foul smell.

9. Certain medications

Certain medications dry out your mouth. They release chemicals that can make your breath smell foul.

Also taking too many multivitamin pills can cause the same. They can leave a metallic taste and odour in your mouth too.

10. Liver failure

A commonly known condition called as- Fetor hepaticus, can create a sweet, moldy smell in your breath. It indicates that your liver isn’t working well or even jaundice.

11. Kidney failure

When your kidneys are not able to throw out the waste that it should, it leads to a fishy breath.

This condition is usually observed in ESRD- End stage renal disease. However, treatment like Dialysis or kidney transplant can help kidneys do their function properly.

The bottom-line

There are people who worry too much about their breath even though they have little or no mouth odour, while there are some other people who have bad breath and don’t even know about it.

Checking your breath may not only save you from those awkward social moments, but also save your life. From dehydration to indigestion, bad breath has a lot to talk about your health by just opening your mouth




Sneha Jain, Dietician

Sneha is a Post graduate with specialization in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a university topper and holds 5+ years of experience in Apollo hospitals, VLCC, slimsutra and first cry fit-kids . She has successfully counselled clients all over India for weight loss, weight gain, diabetes, hypertension, PCOD, hypothyroid, Pregnancy and lactation and growth charts for children. She has her own diet consultation e-clinic (diet_diariez)

She believes in  customized diets and eating local and seasonal foods. Her counselling not only involves diet planning, but also lifestyle modification and stress relief strategies. 

Related Posts

7 Incredible Health Benefits of Red Rice
7 Incredible Health Benefits of Red Rice
Here are 7 reasons why red rice is considered to be a healthy choice and a simple but wholesome recipe for you to try.
Read More
8 Reasons Why You Should Include Beetroot in your Diet
8 Reasons Why You Should Include Beetroot in your Diet
In addition to bringing a pop of colour to your plate, here are 8 amazing benefits of beetroot and a must-try quick reci
Read More
10 Health Benefits of Ragi
10 Health Benefits of Ragi
Here's an introduction into the numerous health benefits and simple cooking tips of the nutritional powerhouse - Ragi.
Read More

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published