Bad breath may reflect serious local or systemic conditions in some cases, including gingivitis, periodontal disease, diabetic acidosis, hepatic failure, or respiratory infection. Your role as the primary care physician is first to determine whether the odour has an oral or nonoral cause. Liver disease or kidney disease, for example, can lead to bad breath because of the smell of toxic substances that would be filtered out of your body by adequately functioning kidneys or liver.
- 75% of the time, bad breath is caused by the mouth and not an external factor.
- Consult your dentist if a poor diet causes your bad breath.
- Bad breath, if left untreated, can allow bacteria into the bloodstream creating other problems.
“Recent research suggests a link between oral disease and systemic diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, respiratory infections and Alzheimer disease) and other medical conditions.”