[11 Types] of Bad Breath And Their Causes

wisdom teeth bad breath

50 millions of persons are suffering from the chronic condition known as Halitosis (bad breath) in the US However, many people aren’t seeking help because they’re embarrassed. 

wisdom teeth bad breath

It’s a shame, because while bad breath is usually due to oral issues however, other causes can be linked to other health issues. Bad breath could be a sign of a serious illness.

Studies have shown that 5-10% of the bad breath-related problems stem from problems outside of the mouth. This is 2-5 million people who’s bodies are alerting that they have a serious issue.

Bad breath and dental disease

The majority of bad breath originates from the breakdown of proteins in your mouth. If bad breath is the result of oral health issues, it generally is odors like rotten eggs. 

It is due to an enlargement of the cysteine on the mouth’s front or in the gums. It’s an indication that you’re not taking care of your oral health.

Infrequently the cause of dental bad breath could be a fecal smell similar to an odor emanating from the gums or the surface of your tongue. 

It can be caused by a lack of balance within the mouth , or due to broken down proteins in the tongue and gum tissue.

If you’re suffering from bad breath, the first step is to have a dental examination and a good dental hygiene. The mouth-body connection means that bad breath smells can inform you about issues within your body.

Kinds of Bad Breath

If your doctor or dentist determine the kind of smell you’re experiencing in your breath, this could help to determine the source of the problem. This oral-systemic link implies that your dentist can spot issues within your body, similar to an optician could through examining your eyes.

Here are some examples of smells associated with various systemic diseases. bad breath:

  • unpleasant smellusually is a sign that your breath is due to nasal origins.
  • fruity scent could indicate an uncontrolled case of diabetes because of an increase in
  • scent that smells fishy could be a sign of kidney problems, since increased urine levels can lead to an unpleasant smell like in (trimethylaminuria)
  • A strong, unpleasant smell could be an indication of cystic fibrosis or asthma.
  • aroma of ammonia could be a sign of kidney problems.
  • sweet, musky smellmay be a sign of liver cirrhosis
  • smell of fecesmay be a sign of an obstruction of the bowel

There are 12 different types of bad breath caused by a disease that affects your body

  • Tonsil breath
  • Sinus breath
  • Lung breath
  • Gut breath
  • Metabolic breath
  • Breath of diabetes
  • Drug breath
  • Liver breath
  • Trimethylaminuria breath
  • Menstrual breath
  • Bad breath induced by drugs
  • Halitophobia

1.) “Tonsil Breath ” The Bad Breath Effects of Bad Breath and Tonsils

Tonsillitis, or tonsil stones, could be the cause for your bad breath.


Tonsillitis is a cause of bad breath. It can be present in chronic, acute and recurrent types of tonsillitis.

The tonsils are small glandular pads on both sides of the throat’s back. 

They are part of your system of immune defense, producing antibody and white blood cell that combat the presence of bacteria in your mouth. They’re the primary defence against bacteria found in food and air.

The signs of tonsillitis are:

  • Spots of yellow or white pus that appear on the tonsils.
  • A sore throat or discomfort in the throat is occasionally severe, particularly after swallowing. It may last for longer than 48 hours.
  • The lymph glands are swelling beneath each cheek
  • Bad breath
  • Infection or earache
  • Small children can be afflicted by abdominal pain.
  • Headache
  • Voice loss or changes in the voice
  • A red throat
  • Tonils that have swollen up, and sometimes covered or dotted with white spots of pus
  • It could be it’s a fever (high temperature)

Between 15 and 30 percent of tonsil inflammations are caused by bacteria , generally a streptococcus bacterium (strep throat). Some can be caused by viral. 

wisdom teeth bad breath

It is sometimes difficult to pinpoint the reason for tonsillitis. Therefore, your doctor might perform an swab of your throat (gently rub a sterile cotton wool bud onto your tonsil) to be sent for testing.

Antibiotics only work for fighting bacteria and can’t treat tonsillitis caused by viruses.

Tonsil stones, also known as “tonsiliths’

Sometimes, food debris, bacteria mucus, dead cells and other particles can become stuck in the crevices of your tonsils. These substances can accumulate and, eventually, cause calcification (harden) to form tonsil stone (tonsoliths). 

This is more often seen when people suffer from chronic inflammations of the tonsils or frequent bouts of tonsillitis. A bad breath (halitosis) that is associated with an infection of the tonsil is the most obvious sign of a stone in the tonsil.

Patients who suffer from post-nasal issues typically complain of small, white , smelly stones. Along with the mucus that is in the throat, may indicate problems with the nasal passages that can cause bad breath..

Tonsil stones are composed of mucus, compressed sulfur compounds and a variety of bacteria. A study of patients suffering from chronic tonsillitis was able to detect volatile sulfur compounds in breath of the subjects. 

They found that the presence of odorless compounds provide evidence objective for bad breath. Researchers have found the 75% the people who had abnormally high levels of these compounds also had tonsil stone.

Researchers have also suggested that tonsil stone should be looked at when the reason of bad breath is not clear.

A visit to an specialist in ear, nose and throat expert is recommended if are suffering from tonsil problems and have bad breath.

Treatments and remedies of tonsil stones

  • There is no Treatment. Many tonsil stones particularly those that are not symptomatic need no particular treatment.
  • Removal at-home. It’s possible to safely remove tonsil stones at home using the help of swabs or picks. Don’t attempt to use instruments that are sharp.
  • The salty water gargles. Gargling with warm salty water could aid in relieving the pain of tonsillitis, which is often associated with tonsil stones.

2.) “Sinus Breath” Sinus Breath: Bad Breath is the cause of and Sinuses

Bad breath is often caused by microbial build-up, growth , or infection of your sinuses.

Sinusitis or sinusitis

Sinusitis refers to an irritation of nasal sinuses. It could be a temporary acute inflammation that results from an infection. 

In other instances, it may be a chronic, long-term problem, caused by allergies or structural issues within the nasal. Chronic sinusitis can seriously impact the quality of your life.

Nasal sinuses can be found inside the cheeks, in as well behind it. They are able to humidify, warm and clean the air that comes into the nasal sinuses. They also assist us in making certain sounds.

Sinusitis symptoms depend on the severity and what sinuses are affected. They can also be associated with bad breath.

Possible symptoms include:

  • The thick, green or yellow-colored mucus coming out of the nose or in the throat’s back
  • The loss of smell sense or loss of taste
  • Taste of bad breath in your mouth
  • Cough and sore throat
  • Tiredness
  • Shivers or temperatures (fever)
  • Congestion of the face (a sensation filledness) and discomfort
  • Headache
  • Toothache
  • The sensation of pressure gets worse when moving toward the forward direction.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Drips post nasal

Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are a soft, like a jelly-like growth on the sinus lining. They appear like grapes at the end of stalks.

They are not the only cause of symptoms. Because they tend to develop through the passageway which connects the sinuses with the nasal cavity, they can result in obstructions to the nose. 

But, they block airways, that can cause sinus infections. They can also cause bad breath because of the overflow of nasal drip.

Post Nasal Drip

The respiratory system creates mucus, which is a lubricant. Mucus is an extremely thick, wet substance that helps moisten the respiratory system and assists in keep out viruses and bacteria before they can cause infection.

Sinusitis nasal polyps, sinusitis, and post nasal drips can all lead to bad breath because they promote the growth of microbes, foreign substances, and metabolites which cause bad breath.

3.) “Lung Breath”: Poor Breath is the cause of Lung Infection

Lower R Espiratory tract infection

Bad breath can result from lung diseases and diseases like bronchitis tuberculosis, pulmonary abscess the emphysema condition, and pneumonia.

Lung infections can be classified into:

  • The condition is called bronchitis (infection of the airways large or the bronchi)
  • Croup (infection of the windpipe or trachea of children)
  • Influenza (widespread disease of the lower and upper respiratory tract that includes the throat, the nose and, sometimes, the lung and bronchi)
  • Pneumonia (infection that affects and around the alveoli and lung tissue surrounding it)

Lung cancer is usually associated with a distinct bad smell, and breath tests are now being utilized to detect cancer early.

If a respiratory tract infection in the lower respiratory tract is accompanied by an increase in mucus production it can be challenging to identify the root of the unpleasant breath. It is unfortunate that, besides treatment of the root of the infection such a bad breath could have no other remedy other than waiting.


Asthma sufferers tend to experience dry mouth. It is due to asthma limiting airflow, which makes sufferers more likely to breathe through their mouths. The inhalers’ medication can also dry the mouth, causing irritation, often leading the mouth to ulcers, or even thrush.

Cystic Fibrosis

A genetic disorder that affects a variety of organs, like the stomach, the lungs and sinuses. Patients are likely to have swelling mucus that is thick and rigid that causes sinus blockage in the lungs.

The most frequent symptoms are respiratory. They include wheezing, chronic cough and recurrent upper and respiratory infections of the lower part. 

Patients suffering from upper respiratory symptoms usually have severe nasal polyposis and thick, tenacious mucus.

4.) “Gut breath”: Bad Breath in the Digestive System

Digestive disorders

A digestive tract can cause a variety of cases that smell bad. Any issue that permits gastric air to flow through the esophagus, and into the oral cavity could cause an increase in halitosis. 

It is true that smelly breath due to the Gut is typically an indication of a general digestion problems.

Causes of digestive problems could be a result of:

  • GERD signs or symptoms of symptoms of GORD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder), which causes acid reflux (heartburn). Any kind of condition that causes stomach acid/heartburn/stomach distress may cause an odor, especially if you’re aware of an unusual taste; this is nearly always accompanied by a smell.
  • Bloating gas, bloating or the burp The digestive problem that causes you to belch (burp) could result in bad breath. This can be caused by imbalances in digestive issues such as IBS or food intolerances, as well as the consumption of sugar at a high level.
  • Bowel constipation or obstruction: when your body isn’t digesting food properly and toxins, one of the side effects could be bad breath that is reminiscent of stool.

5.) “ Metabolic breath “: Bad breath is a cause of bad breath and certain types of diet

Ketone (fat-metabolism) breath

Diets that are ketogenic or low-carb can cause your body to use fat as fuel instead. The ketones are chemicals which are released in your breath, which creates an odd fruit-and-nut , or an acetone-like smell.

The good news is that , if you’re suffering from bad breath it’s likely that you’ve been following your low-carb diet and, often the problem is only temporary as you adjust your body to the fat metabolism.

Hunger breath

This can be caused by eating a light diet or not fasting, which may reduce levels of saliva present in your mouth. Dry mouths can prevent the elimination of harmful bacteria, which can cause an unpleasant sulfuric smell.

6.) “Diabetes breath” : Bad breath caused by insulin “Diabetes breath” is caused by insulin

Diabetics are affected by an insufficient insulin production, which causes them to burn fat and generate ketones. This is why they are susceptible to the “ketone breath’ mentioned above. Another cause of bad breath for diabetics could be chronic kidney disease .

A chronic kidney disease

The breath can cause is “fishy” or resembles ammonia. It is also known as “uremic fetor,”” the large concentration of urea found in saliva and its conversion to ammonia is the cause of the smell.

7.) “Liver breath”: Bad Breath Causes and Liver Disease

Sometimes the liver can be the cause of halitosis.

Frank liver disease that can lead to a the coma of the liver is usually accompanied by a musty, sweet-smelling breath smell as the body attempts to expel amino acid that is sulfur-containing. Cirrhosis can cause breath odor that is described in terms of decayed blood or eggs that are rotten.

Liver failure in late stage can also result in bad breath, referred to as “Fetor hepaticus” – an unpleasant, sweet smell due to dimethyl sulfide not ketones. 

This led to Belgian researchers to publish their findings in Journal of Chromatography suggesting that bad breath is possible diagnostic tool to detect liver issues.

8.) “Trimethylaminuria breath”: Bad Breath Causes and Genetic Disease

An undiagnosed condition, known by the name of TMAU also known as fish-odor syndrome could affect as much as one percent from U.S. citizens. 

It is a cause of breath odor and body smell that’s usually described as “fishy” but can also be akin to the smell of rotting eggs, garbage or urine.

This genetic disorder impairs the ability to breakdown the choline and causes the accumulation of trimethylamine. The fishy odor is released by sweat, urine blood, saliva, as well as air exhaled from the nose and mouth. 

People suffering from trimethylaminuria might need to cut down or limit their consumption of foods high in choline like broccoli, beans eggs, legumes, kidneys, and livers.

9.) “Menstrual Breath”: Menstrual Breath: Breath causes and Menstruation

Researchers have found that women’s bad breath tends to be more prevalent before and during menstrual cycle. 

It was noted that during menstruation women’s average breath smell contained more VSCs than the male counterparts. 

Although oral bacteria levels were similar for both genders, females were less salivary during menstrual cycles, which could be the reason for their bad breath.

If the halitosis symptoms are temporary and appear in the same period as you experience your menstrual cycle (PMS) It’s due to hormonal fluctuations.

10.) “Drug Breath”: Breath that is not healthy Breath causes and medication

Many medications are known to cause bad breath through drying the saliva. Seven of the top 10 medications prescribed have dry mouth as an adverse result.

The most damaging culprits tend be the medicines which treat:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Allergies
  • Nasal congestion
  • Obesity
  • Acne
  • Epilepsy
  • Hypertension
  • Incontinence in the urinary tract
  • Asthma
  • Parkinson’s disease

If you’re on one of these medications and experience bad breath, speak to your dentist and doctor. Be sure to stay away from diuretics like coffee, which can make dry mouth even worse.

11.) “Halitophobia” : Fear of Bad Breath

Most people are worried about how the breath smells a few people, halitosis fear becomes a fear. While severe halitophobia is not common with a prevalence of just 1% adult however, it could be an extremely serious issue.

Dentists have found that between 25% and 25% of those who visit them with Halitosis have a problem with the fear of halitophobia. If not treated, it can cause a massive impact on the sufferer’s life and self-confidence, causing:

  • Social anxiety
  • Refraining from social settings
  • The fear of vocal projection in speaking (in extreme instances even not speaking in any way)
  • Fear of being near to other people and physical affection
  • Constant chewing of gum or sucking mints
  • Refusal to eat certain food items
  • Believing that you will offend the people who have bad breath
  • Too much brushing of the teeth

Find the reason for foul breath.

Why does bad breath have any significance?

First of all, as we’ve learned that bad breath could be an indicator of bad oral hygiene and poor oral health.

The second reason is that halitosis, which is a excessive bad breath may be an indication of a condition in the digestive system or other organs.

There are a variety of home remedies, supplements and natural treatments to aid in removing bad breath.