Which systemic diseases cause distinct chemical odors in breath?
Some diseases have symptoms related to bad breath. Sinus or lung infections, bronchitis, diabetes, and some liver or kidney diseases may be associated with bad breath.

    Bad breath may be the sign of a medical disorder. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your primary care physician.

    Some serious illnesses can cause your breath to have a strange chemical odor. The smell is different from halitosis, or bad breath caused by poor oral hygiene. The breath of someone with uncontrolled diabetes, for example, may have a sweet or fruity odor. It's a sign of a life-threatening condition called ketoacidosis. Liver disease may cause breath with a musty, ammonia-like smell. An intestinal blockage may cause the breath to smell like feces. Breath that has a fishy or urine smell could mean kidney failure. Other possible causes of unusual breath odors include sinusitis, lung abscess, and esophageal cancer.
    Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
    Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
    Sometimes a systemic disease produces distinct chemical odors in breath:
    • A sweet or fruity odor may indicate uncontrolled diabetes.
    • A mousy ammonia odor may indicate liver disease.
    • A urine-like fishy odor may indicate chronic kidney failure.
    • Fecal odor may indicate an intestinal blockage.

    To find out if you have foul-smelling breath, ask a truthful friend, or lick your hand and smell the saliva.

    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com

    Continue Learning about Bad Breath (Halitosis)

    Bad Breath (Halitosis)

    The easy cases of bad breath can be fixed by brushing and flossing. Drink lots of water. Use mouthwash and remember to brush your tongue too. But there are other things that can cause bad breath. Smoking is an obvious culprit. Foo...

    ods like garlic and onions can cause bad breath long after you brush them out of your mouth. Dry mouth can cause bad breath, drinking plenty of water helps, as does chewing gum. Some illnesses and medicines may also cause bad breath, and plaque or tartar on teeth and gum disease may also contribute.

    Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.