Bad breath is a social faux pas. People make judgements about your cleanliness and hygiene standards. While most cases of halitosis can be attributed to poor oral hygiene, sometimes bad breath can also be caused by underlying health problems. Each has a distinct kind of odour which can help doctors identify the diseases that is causing it in the first place. Here are seven types of bad breath and what they indicate.
Fruity or citrusy breath: A fruity odour from the mouth is a sign of type 2 diabetes. The smell could be caused by ketoacidosis, a metabolic state associated with diabetes. A high concentration of ketone bodies is the culprit.
Acidic breath: A sharp, acidic smell emanating from the mouth could be indicative of asthma or cystic fibrosis. Asthma forces sufferers to breathe out of the mouth which causes bad breath associated with a dry mouth.
Ammonia breath: The distinct sharp odour around a urinal is caused by the presence of ammonia in the urine. When the person's breathe smells like ammonia, it is an indication that he or she may be suffering from kidney problems.
Musty breath: A musty or a mouldy smell emanating from the person's breath could point towards liver trouble. Hepatic cirrhosis is a stage in which causes the liver is scarred due to certain diseases and conditions. It's also commonly seen in alcoholics.
Foul fishy breath: Trimethylaminuria is a condition in which the body cannot break down trimethylamine, a compound that has a fishy odour. Typically, a person suffering from the condition will have a foul fishy breath.
Cheesy breath: A strong, cheesy smell on someone's breath could be a sign of nasal malodour. Post-natal drip causes collection of thick mucus in the nose, which can cause foul breath.
Faecal odour: When the breath smells like faeces, it could indicate stomach problems like bowel obstruction.