I’m not going to lie, sometimes looking for clues can get a wee bit uncomfortable. Nobody likes to be told they have bad breath, and this is a clue that will likely require some help from someone who loves you. Kinda like scratching your own back… not easy!..... neither is smelling your own breath! So grab a partner should you be inclined, and let’s talk about odiferous exhalations.
There are roughly 10 major causes of halitosis. Gums, mints, and mouthwashes will only do so much good if you don’t address the root of the clue! Of course, some foods can leave malingering odors in the pie-hole and are not of concern. It’s the chronic bad breath that will be leaving you notable clues.
*Rotten or Decaying odors: This is most commonly caused by gingivitis, a rotten tooth, or medications that cause dry mouth. Dry mouth sets the stage for bacterial invasion, which of course, ultimately leads to tooth decay and plaque-induced gingivitis. There are over 400 medications that are known to cause dry mouth. This is but one reason to work really hard not to need medication in my opinion. Oral health and hygiene goes a LONG way to preventing other dis-ease states in the body (we will chat more about that topic another day). If you are not already using Thieves toothpaste and Thieves mouthwash, I encourage you to add it to your next order! Both are highly effective means for neutralizing odor caused by bad breath bacteria and help fight plaque induced gingivitis.
*A sweet / fruity odor: Officially, this is called ketoacidosis, and some people say it this type of breath also smells like acetone (nail polish remover). An odor like this often indicates an imminent health crisis if related to a diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) event. The body is burning fat instead of glucose at a high rate. It’s not harmful for the body to burn fat, as long as blood ketone levels do not rise too high in the process. Occasionally, people who engage in a “keto diet” may develop keto breath on the short term. In this instance, it’s not dangerous, but keep your Thieves mints or lozenges handy!
*Sour Acidic: This odor is most often related to reflux. Contrary to common thought, reflux is not often the result of too much acid in the stomach (oftentimes, the opposite is true!). If the very important process of enzymatic & acidic digestion is not occurring in an efficient manner, reflux may result. Essentialzyme caplets might well become your new BFF, should you choose to give them a try!
*Metallic: This is often a taste as much as a smell. An H. Pylori infection (which can be paired with reflux sometimes too) or certain medications are the most common contributors. Medications that have been found to leave the breath smelling/tasting metallic include some antibiotics, chemo meds, lithium, some arthritis meds, metformin, and some blood pressure meds.
*Faintly mothball like: Chronic allergies, sinus infections, and post nasal drip are the common contributors to this one. Yuck, right? Ya’ll have access to all the healthy tools to make this one go away! Not sure where to start? Ask a seasoned oily pro about their favorite diffuser recipes or DIY nasal spray recipe! Nobody’s got time to run around smelling like mothballs!
*Moldy-Musty: Also called “fetor hepaticus”...this is a symptom of liver disease.
*Significant morning breath: Everyone has some sort of dragon breath in the morning, but this is the difference between dragon and gecko breath. People who sleep with their mouth open ultimately wake up with a dry mouth which is prime real estate for bacteria colonization. Pair this with certain sleep medications (or any of the other 399 meds) that cause dry mouth, and tooth decay will often soon follow (refer to point #1!)
*Fishy-ammonia: This particular odor is typically related to kidney disease.
*Sour milk: Typically, this odor will be transient following the consumption of dairy products. It is indicative of lactose intolerance.
*Dirty Diapers: Gross, right? An estimated 10% of the adult population is prone to an odd little thing called tonsil stones. A tonsil stone is a semi solid “stone-like” build up of debris that gets lodged in the folds of the tonsils…… kind of like acne of the tonsils! Tonsil stones don’t generally lead to health complications, but they DO cause gross breath. Other tonsil stone clues may include: (no fever), sore throat, tonsil swelling, and ear pain of unknown origin. Tonsil stones are caused by chronic sinus issues or inadequate dental hygiene. Thankfully there are natural ways to dislodge them and prevent them! Gargling daily (hello Thieves mouthwash!), Oil pulling, staying well hydrated, and consuming probiotics daily are all helpful tools to avoid the dreaded dirty diaper breath!
If you’re like me, you just went and brushed your teeth and gargled with #alltheThieves oral care products after reading this! Truly tho, these are important health clues and identifying a trending of clues may give you the time to nip a problem before it has a strong foothold.
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!