From cancer to kidney failure: recurring ‘bad breath’ could signal 3 underlying health conditions
In most cases, bad breath reflects poor oral hygiene that has caused bacteria to build up in the mouth. However, sometimes bad odors are due to poor bowel health. Some odors should be cause for concern, experts say, as they may hint at an underlying malignant tumor that requires further investigation by doctors.
The Mayo Clinic explains that bad breath varies greatly depending on its underlying cause.
However, in most cases, diseases such as dry mouth, tonsillitis, and acid reflux are the cause.
Complications such as gastroesophageal reflux disease can also cause bad breath, as this disrupts stomach acid and causes it to rise up the digestive tract.
Alternatively, the body may smell like fish breath if the kidneys fail and the respiratory system is affected.
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This may mean that the body is struggling to eliminate dangerous toxins that accumulate in several parts of the body.
Bill McKenna, founder of Cognomovement, added: “Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common problem that can have many causes.
“In some cases, bad breath can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, including cancer.
“While bad breath is not always caused by cancer, certain types of human breath should be of concern.
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“When it comes to cancer, there are certain types of odors in a person’s breath that should be alarming.”
The expert explained that a metallic smell could indicate lung cancer or other cancers that have metastasized to the lungs.
A moldy smell can be a sign of lung or throat cancer, while a musty smell can be a sign of liver or kidney cancer.
“It’s important to note that bad breath is a common problem that can have many causes, and not always bad breath is caused by cancer,” McKenna added.
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“If you have bad breath and are concerned about it, it’s important to see your doctor for an evaluation.”
When cancer causes bad breath, the odor is usually associated with high polyamide concentrations in the cells.
Some research has shown that it can help dogs detect specific odors of cancer-specific chemicals circulating in the body.
Research like this has been looking to see if breathing can reveal other conditions, and it appears that breathing can also be linked to heart failure.
In fact, a 2013 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that patients with heart failure could be identified using breath tests.
One factor common to heart disease and bad breath is gum disease, which can cause inflammation throughout the body.
The AARP explains: “Bacteria can enter your bloodstream through bleeding or diseased gums, which has been linked to inflammation, clogged arteries, and stroke.”
This is why researchers often find a strong correlation between people with periodontal disease and people with cardiovascular disease.
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