Breath Odor Overview

Breath odor, also called Halitosis or “bad breath”, can occur due to personal hygiene issues or from a variety of diseases. Poor oral health, sometimes complicated by a dental infection, can cause breath odor. Various respiratory infections can cause breath odor (e.g. common cold, sinusitis, lung infection), as can many types of gastrointestinal disorder (e.g. reflux, GERD, appendicitis, esophagus disorders, etc.).

Specific types of breath odor have particular causes. Fruity breath odor (acetone breath) occurs in diabetic ketoacidosis and various other diseases. Fecal breath odor can occur from gastrointestinal blockage. Ammonia breath odor can occur with kidney disease and uremia. Musty breath odor can be caused by simple respiratory infections (e.g. sinusitis, common cold), or by severe liver failure.

Breath odor of the various types has a number of serious possible causes. Any type of breath odor needs prompt medical diagnosis by your doctor.

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.