Bad breath warning: These FIVE hidden health problems could be REVEALED by foul smell

Bad breath is a common problem that could affect anyone, and while it is generally just unpleasant it may also reveal a more serious health problem.

According to the NHS, around one in four people in the UK suffer from it on a regular basis, and in these cases it is known as halitosis.

Foul smelling breath is usually down to poor oral hygiene, such as not brushing at least twice a day and flossing regularly.

This allows bacteria to build up in your mouth, and toxins are produced which affect the smell.

From a fishy smell to the scent of rotting flesh, certain types of bad breath can point to different types of health problems, according to Dr Harold Katz, developer of the The Breath Company.

Kidney and liver problems

A fishy smelling breath could mean you have a kidney or liver problem.

“Nitrogen is the main culprit when it comes to giving out fishy smells,” said Dr Katz.

“That means that if your breath has a distinct fishy odour it might mean your kidneys or liver are to blame. 

“This is because of the inclusion of nitrogen in the breakdown of kidney and liver tissue.”

He recommended that if you notice a fishy smell on your breath, you should see your GP as soon as possible.

Tonsillitis and cirrhosis

Rotting flesh could point to tonsillitis, or cirrhosis of the liver.

“When your tonsils are infected and inflamed it makes it difficult for the anaerobic bacteria at the back of the tongue to break down chemicals as usual,” said Dr Katz.

“Sulphur producing bacteria breed deep in the tonsil crypts which the infected tonsils struggle to break down and it’s this sulphuric smell, similar to that of rotting flesh, which makes the breath smell so bad when someone is suffering from tonsillitis or tonsil stones. 

“In rare cases this smell could also indicate cirrhosis of the liver.”

He added that tonsillitis should clear up within a week, and suggested that people drink lots of water and try gargling with a mild antiseptic solution to relieve symptoms.

Infected gums

The scent of faeces may be a sign of infected gums, revealed Dr Katz.

He said: “Rotting tissue can mimic the smell of faeces because of the production of similar chemicals by anaerobic bacteria.

“The number one infection in modern humans is infected gums, so the smell of faeces can just as easily come from a lack of flossing as from a blockage in the bowel. 

“It’s an unfortunate myth that bad breath is linked to digestive issues and one that can lead sufferers to have unnecessary medical procedures.

Dr Katz said flossing, brushing and paying regular visits to the dentist could help prevent this.