Struggling with a bad breath? Have you felt socially handicapped due to bad breath that you are trying to get rid of? If yes, you must know what could have caused it. There are many causes of bad breath that can easily be found out. However, there are times when our bad breath is a reflection of a more serious health condition.1 It can also be a side effect of certain medicines and therapies. Whatever be the cause, it is not easy to ignore or live with chronic bad breath conditions.
There are certain health conditions that can cause bad breath and a few of them are directly related to oral diseases and disorders of the mouth.2 Some are, however, the revelation of certain other diseases. Read on to find out what health conditions can bad breath reveal.
1. Gum Disease
Unhealthy gums will of course, cause bad breath. It has been found that periodontitis and gingivitis are gum diseases that cause bad breath. Chronic bad breath is also known as halitosis, which results from the bacteria that inhabit in the mouths of people suffering from gum diseases.3 4 In such a case, you must visit a dentist for help.
When you are suffering from an allergy, bad breath can also affect you along with the stuffy nose, scratchy throat, and watery eyes you are already suffering from. Mucus and nasal drip provide a breeding ground for nasty germs that cause bad breath.5 6 In fact, when you try to eliminate the symptoms of allergy, you often experience a dry throat that also causes bad breath. Although bad breath due to your allergic conditions may seem impossible to treat, you can easily get rid of nasal drips and keep your mouth clean by feeling free from allergies and bad breath to some extent.
There is inadequate production of insulin in diabetics, which leads the body to burn fat. This fat-burning tendency of the body due to inadequate insulin is known as ketoacidosis. This leads to an increase in the number of ketones, and the body tries to eliminate these ketones through urine and the lungs. This process of elimination through the lungs often leads to bad breath with a fruit-like odor. This odor contains acetone as it is a by-product in the production of ketones.7
4. Candida Albicans
Candida albicans is often a cause of bad breath. Candida albicans is a yeast that is often present in those people’s mouths who choose to get tongue piercings done. It has also been found that this yeast is present in denture wearers or in those people who use dental appliances such as retainers.
5. Liver Disease
Those people who suffer from liver diseases often experience bad breath. The musty smell, known as fetor hepaticus or the breath of the dead, indicate serious liver issues.8 Visit the doctor if you assume your bad breath to be the result of underlying liver diseases.
6. Kidney Failure
Bad breath has also been found to be associated with possible kidney failure.9 It has been speculated that this might be due to the metabolic changes in the body that lead to a dry mouth, lack of the flow of saliva, and an altered sense of taste.
7. Chronic Acid Reflux
Chronic acid reflux is quite painful. The influx of acids and other partially digested material into the mouth cavity and esophagus can pose as a threat to your breath even if you are trying to keep the oral cavity clean.10
Bad breath doesn’t mean that you have cancer already. In certain cases, one’s breath can help in revealing early stages of cancer, while in other cases, mouth cancer can affect the quality of one’s breath.11 In fact, a symptom such as chronic bad breath can actually save your life if it detects early stages of cancer.
|↑1||Attia, E. L., and K. G. Marshall. “Halitosis.” Canadian Medical Association Journal 126, no. 11 (1982): 1281.|
|↑2||Lu, Dominic P. “Halitosis: an etiologic classification, a treatment approach, and prevention.” Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology 54, no. 5 (1982): 521-526.|
|↑3, ↑5||Rosenberg, Mel. “Clinical assessment of bad breath: current concepts.” The Journal of the American Dental Association 127, no. 4 (1996): 475-482.|
|↑4, ↑7||Spielman, A. I., P. Bivona, and B. R. Rifkin. “Halitosis. A common oral problem.” The New York state dental journal 62, no. 10 (1996): 36-42.|
|↑6, ↑9||Porter, S. R., and C. Scully. “Oral malodour (halitosis).” BMJ: British Medical Journal 333, no. 7569 (2006): 632.|
|↑8||Van den Velde, Sandra, Frederik Nevens, Daniel van Steenberghe, and Marc Quirynen. “GC–MS analysis of breath odor compounds in liver patients.” Journal of Chromatography B 875, no. 2 (2008): 344-348.|
|↑10||Moshkowitz, M., N. Horowitz, M. Leshno, and Z. Halpern. “Halitosis and gastroesophageal reflux disease: a possible association.” Oral diseases 13, no. 6 (2007): 581-585.|
|↑11||Davies, A., and Epstein, J. Oral Complications of Cancer and its Management. Oxford University Press, 2010.|