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Understand Halitosis or bad odor

Some of you might be suffering from chronic or acute foul
odor from mouth, medical science terms it as Halitosis.We normally neglect this
symptom which actually gives us a clue about a dormant acute or chronic disease.
By checking this symptom correctly we could understand the underlying disease
and thus can cure it from the root.

Some disorders will produce specific, characteristic odors
to the

1. A fruity odor to the breath occurs as the body attempts
to get ridof excess acetone through the breathing. This is a
characteristicsign of ketoacidosis, which may occur in diabetes, and is a
potentially life-threatening condition.

2. A fecal odor to the breath (the breath smells like
feces) can occur with prolonged vomiting, especially when there is a bowel
obstruction. It may also occur temporarily if a person has a nasogastric tube (a tube placed through the nose or mouth to the stomach to drain the stomach contents) in place.

3. The breath may have an ammonia-like odor (also described
as urine-like or fishy in people with chronic kidney failure.


If previously normal breath turns into halitosis, causes
could include:

• Food or beverages consumed (such as cabbage, garlic, raw

onions, or coffee)

• Vitamin supplements (especially in large doses)

• Poor dental hygiene

• Dentures

• Cavities

• Tobacco smoking

• Alcoholism

• Throat infection

• Sinusitis

• Lung infection

• Gum disease (gingivitis, gingivostomatitis)

• Abscessed tooth

• Impacted tooth

• Foreign body in the nose (usually in children)

• Often (but not always) there is a white, yellowish, or

bloody discharge from one nostril

• Drugs

• Paraldehyde

• Triamterene and inhaled anesthetics

• Insulin - injection


Diseases that may be associated with breath
odor (not presented in

order of likelihood -- some are extremely unlikely):

• Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis

• Acute necrotizing ulcerative mucositis

• Acute renal failure

• Bowel obstruction (can cause breath to smell like feces)

• Bronchiectasis

• Chronic renal failure (can cause breath to smell like


• Diabetes (fruity or sweet chemical smell with

• Esophageal cancer

• Gastric carcinoma

• Gastrojejunocolic fistula (fruity-smelling breath)

• Hepatic encephalopathy

• Diabetic ketoacidosis

• Lung abscess

• Ozena, or atrophic rhinitis

• Periodontal disease

• Pharyngitis

• Zenker's diverticulum


Home Care/How to prevent

1. Use proper dental hygiene (especially flossing), and
remember that Mouthwashes are not effective in treating the underlying

2. Fresh parsley or a strong mint are often effective ways
to fight temporary bad breath. Avoid smoking. Otherwise, follow
prescribed therapy to treat the underlying cause.


When to Contact a Medical Professional

• Breath odor persists and there is not an obvious cause

 (such as smoking or eating odor-causing foods).

• You have breath odor and signs of a respiratory

such as documented fever, cough, or facial pain with nasal


The medical history will be obtained, and a physical


Medical history questions documenting breath odor in detail


> • Is there a specific odor?

> • Is there a fishy smell?

> • Does the breath smell like ammonia or urine?

> • Does the breath smell like fruit or is there a sweet-

> chemical smell?

> • Does the breath smell like feces?

> • Does the breath smell like alcohol?

> • Has the person recently eaten a spicy meal, garlic,

> cabbage, or other "odorous" food?

> • Does the person take vitamin supplements?

> • Does the person smoke?

> • Does good oral hygiene improve the odor?

> • What home care measures have been tried? How effective

> they?

> • Is there a recent sore throat, sinus infection, tooth

> abscess, or other illness?

> • What other symptoms are also present?

The physical examination will include a thorough
examination of the

mouth and the nose. A throat culture may be taken if the

has a sore throat or mouth sores.

In rare cases, diagnostic tests that may be performed

• Endoscopy (EGD)

• X-ray of the abdomen

• X-ray of the chest

• Blood tests to screen for diabetes or renal failure

Antibiotics may be prescribed for some conditions. For an
object in

the nose, the doctor will use an instrument to remove it.

lease observe your digestive system, in most of the cases
it is main

reason behind bad breath.


Ayurvedic view point

One way to observe is to observer your stool habit &
observe if you

are getting allot of pitta generated in your stomach if you
stay empty

stomach after you have completed morning activities(no
water/no food).


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