What Bad Breath Really Says About Your Health

No one wants to be told that they have bad breath. While a bit of morning breath is probably pretty normal, bad breath all day long every day is not only problematic for our social life, but it may point to some serious health concerns. While some extra brushing may help in the short term, fixing the more serious health problems may be the only thing to help long term. To find out if your bad breath is more than normal, check out these health implications that may be diagnosed by your bad breath.


Ok, this one is really bad, and more than likely it’s not what is causing your bad breath. But, because of the serious health implications that come with it, it is definitely worth mentioning. Bad breath may be indicative of both stomach and lung cancer. The theory is that the cancer produces certain compounds that can be found in the mouth and on the tongue. Though these compounds are not malignant in and of themselves, they often indicate that cancer can be found elsewhere in the body.

Kidney Failure

Over the years, doctors have found that patients with kidney failure often have an ammonia smell to their breath. When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Urine, which is what is excreted by the kidneys, is a very large portion ammonia. So, when the kidneys aren’t working properly, the ammonia comes out elsewhere or stays in the body causing the smell. If you are unsure what an ammonia smell is, many people liken it to a slightly fishy smell. If you consistently have this smell on your breath, and are not a big fan of seafood, it may be time to head to the doctor.


If you don’t know what GERD is, we’ll spare you the long technical name and go straight for layman’s terms. GERD is a disease where the body has a harder time digesting food, often leading to heartburn and general reflux. It can be quite uncomfortable, but it can also cause bad breath. If you consistently have bad breath, especially after you eat, you may have a problem with your digestive tract.

While bad breath can certainly be annoying, it can also be a tell-tale sign of a more serious health condition. If you find that your breath is always a little worse than it should be, or even worse have others complaining about your bad breath, and brushing and flossing isn’t working, head over to the doctor for a check-up.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Peter Halling Hilborg

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.