Bad breath, or halitosis, can be one of the most embarrassing health issues to deal with that can cancel all the impact your looks and charisma create on people. There are many kinds of bad breath, some that even brushing or mouthwash can’t seem to get rid of.
Halitosis can be caused by a number of different reasons, and some may even be a warning that you need to visit a doctor. So whether you’re wondering, “why does my breath smell like poop,” or like vomit, or something similarly foul, here’s a complete guide on the possible causes and treatments.
7 Causes of Bad Breath
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#1. Poor Hygiene
Poor dental hygiene is usually the prime suspect behind bad breath. Bad breath is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grow in the mouth. Brushing your teeth regularly and visiting your dentist to get a professional cleaning from time to time can help to prevent this. Poor dental hygiene alone, however, is not enough to cause poop breath.
#2. Bowel Obstruction
The source of the bad breath may not always be your mouth. If you’ve been practicing proper dental hygiene and using mouthwash regularly but still can’t seem to fight off bad breath, bowel obstruction could likely be the culprit.
Bowel obstruction occurs when there is a blockage in your small or large intestine that obstructs the pathway of digested food. The trapped food and feces begin to ferment and make your breath smell like poop. This may be a sign of a dangerous medical emergency as it impedes the digestion of newly ingested food.
This should be a no-brainer but vomiting leaves both a foul taste and a disgusting odor in your mouth. If you’ve recently vomited, try gargling and rinsing your mouth with both regular water and mouthwash. Brush your teeth after.
#4. Sinus Infections
Sinus and respiratory infections can also cause bad breath. They lead to the production of more bacteria that moves up to your nose and throat, causing bad-smelling breath. You can take care of this yourself with a course of antibiotics and eating vitamin-rich foods.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, occurs when the stomach’s acid contents leak up towards your esophagus, which is the tube that connects the throat to the gut.
Sometimes, the valve at the end of your esophagus doesn’t close properly when food first passes down. So if you’ve consumed anything high in acids, the backwash can flow back up your esophagus. This will leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth and create a pungent odor. More than poop, it will smell like an apple going rancid.
Excessive vomiting paired with bad breath may be a sign of ketoacidosis, which is a serious complication of diabetes. Ketoacidosis causes people to produce high levels of a particular type of acid in their blood. The result is severe dehydration, dryness in the mouth, and profuse vomiting. Yet another possible cause for why your breath smells like feces.
#7. Liver Failure
Liver failure can also make your breath smell foul. Liver failure means your liver is having trouble filtering out toxic substances. This can cause dehydration and a condition known as fetor hepaticus, which is when your breath has a strong musty smell.
The bad breath from fetor hepaticus has often been described as that of rotten eggs and garlic. This is a serious condition and must be treated immediately.
8 Different Types of Bad Breath
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Bad breath is bad breath, but it can manifest as many possible smells aside from feces. None of them are in the least bit pleasant, so it’s pointless to compare them. Some of the common types of bad breath are:
#1. Rotten eggs
#3. Fecal smell
#4. Fishy smell
#5. Moldy or fungus smell
#6. Garbage smell
#7. Rancid smell
#8. Urine smell
There’s probably more, but what you can take from this is that figuring out what’s causing your bad breath is important. And the best way to do that is to start from what the breath currently smells like.
Here are some things you can do and some things to avoid doing to improve your breath and prevent any serious conditions that may lead to bad breath:
#1. Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day.
#2. Use mouthwash.
#3. Quit smoking and drinking.
#4. Minimize intake of garlic, onions, dairy, and coffee.
#5. Make sure to include plenty of probiotics in your diet to aid digestion.
#6. Avoid acid-causing foods during periods of indigestion.
#7. Clean your tongue regularly.
#8. Drink lots of water every day; stay hydrated.
#9. Drink green tea.
#10. Minimize intake of junk foods.
#11. Eat lots of fresh fruits and leafy green vegetables.
If you’re having a hard time getting rid of the foul breath yourself, there are some professional services you can look into to help solve your problem or mitigate its effects.
If you visit a dentist, you may be referred to any of the following treatments depending on your diagnosis:
#1. Teeth cleaning
#2. Cavity filling
#3. Antimicrobial mouth rinse
#4. Dead tooth removal surgery
#5. Root canal operation
If the source of your bad breath isn’t your mouth, you would need to be physically diagnosed. If the result comes back as diabetes, GERD, bowel obstruction, or liver failure, you may require hospitalization and surgery to fix the health conditions causing your bad breath.
When to See a Doctor
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms in conjunction with poop breath for days without relent, you should probably visit a physician to get yourself checked out.
#1. Decreased appetite
#2. Swelling of abdomen
#5. Severe vomiting
#7. Severe pain in the abdominal region
#9. Inability to pass gas
The best cure is prevention. Try to refrain from eating or drinking habits that bring out a litany of problems, only one of which is bad breath. Practice good oral hygiene and remember to clean the tongue too.
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