What Does Halitosis Smell Like

Halitosis is persistent bad breath that can be a sign of an underlying medical issue that could need immediate attention. There are different types of halitosis to be aware of, and determining which can help your dentist diagnose an oral problem or if you need to see your general practitioner to be tested for other medical problems.

What does halitosis smell like?

Having bad breath is never pleasant and unfortunately, can come in an array of odors. Below are some halitosis smells that you may experience and why they happen.

* Rotten eggs/sulfur: Can indicate a problem in the digestive tract. For example, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), in which stomach acid washes back up to the esophagus causing damage to the esophageal lining.
* Sweet or fruity: A symptom that a diabetic patient may experience when they suffer from ketoacidosis is sweet-smelling breath. The production of ketones is what causes the fruity odor and can be an indicator of kidney failure.
* Fishy: Another odor that can be linked to kidney disease. When the kidneys are damaged and no longer filter properly, toxins and waste begin to accumulate and can cause a fishy smell on the breath.
* Mold or fungus: A sinus infection can cause a post nasal drip at the back of the throat, allowing microbes and foreign particles to become trapped and buildup in the mucus, causing the breath to smell like mold or fungus. This will typically resolve itself as the sinus infection is treated.
* Fecal: Unfortunately, a bowel obstruction can cause a fecal smell on the breath. When the large and small intestines are no longer able to process waste, stool backs up and anything you eat remains trapped in the digestive tract. As the food in your digestive tract and the stool trapped in your bowels begin to ferment, it can give your breath a fecal smell.

Periodontal disease also causes a specific odor on the breath that smells like decay. As bacteria invade the gum tissue and eventually bone structure, those materials begin to essentially die and emit a foul odor that is typically referred to as "perio breath”. Fortunately, with proper treatment for periodontal disease, the bad breath associated with it goes away! Patients that have a history of periodontal issues may be advised to have dental cleanings more than twice a year.

Those concerned with halitosis may benefit from incorporating oral care products that contain fluoride or antibacterial agents to help clear away germs and bacteria that can build up and cause plaque and bad breath throughout the day. Your dentist will be able to advise you on different products and help you find one that works for you.

What is Halitosis