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When my patients come into see me, I often ask them to stick out their tongues. In TICM, we can tell a lot about your health by your tongue colour. But beyond just the appearance of their tongues, I can sometimes catch a whiff of what might be aggravating their health problems, their breath. Your breath is actually a very key indicator as to what is going on with your health and this goes well beyond what you ate for lunch.

Rotting smell: if you have a rotten tooth, then your breath will definitely be letting you know that something is wrong. If that is the case, then it is necessary to make an appointment with a dentist. Gingivitis and periodontitis are the 2 conditions associated with rotting teeth and bad odour from your mouth.

Moth ball smell: allergies or any other respiratory diseases, such as common colds or cases of the flu may cause bad breath, thus making it easier for you to understand what the problem is behind it. The bacteria that enters your mouth becomes the reason for the bad smell. It usually disappears on its own when you get well. However, if you have chronic sinusitis, then you might have to discuss the matter with your doctor.

Sour smell: if your breath smells sour, then there is a condition associated with it, acid reflux. In order to control the smell and make it disappear, you will have to take control of your condition first. Also, changing your diet and excluding certain foods such as alcohol, garlic, spicy food, and coffee may also help.

Fruity smell: a fruity smell from your mouth would not be considered a problem if it weren’t for the fact that it’s a symptom of a much more serious issue. Such an odour can only appear when a person is about to develop a diabetic ketoacidosis. Make an appointment with an endocrinologist if you notice this type of breath.

Metallic smell: a metallic taste in your mouth with a similar breath odour is a typical sign of a serious condition, Stomach cancer at advanced stages. However, it must be noted that sometimes certain medications can give similar bad breath.

Rotting smell 2.0: Lung cancer just any other cancer, is known to produce a certain odour in the breath and it’s often described as a rotting smell. So, if your breath has changed and is definitely smelling of something rotten, then it’s absolutely time to investigate.

Fishy smell: if you have had a fishy smell when you exhale that might mean that you have a kidney failure. Basically, it stops getting rid of the waste it usually “filters” from your system. The disease is very serious, so putting off going to a doctor is out of the question.

Sweet and mouldy smell: a sweet yet mouldy smell means that your liver is not working well, or even maybe failing at this moment. Another symptom of this condition is the yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes.

Sour smell: A sour milk smell is definitely a sign of a lactose intolerance, meaning your body cannot break down protein in the milk. There will be plenty of other symptoms such diarrhea and cramps.

Stinky diaper smell: Tonsil stones is yet another condition connected with bad breath. Patients describe this odour as dirty diaper smell. Tonsil stones accumulate in your throat on the tonsils, and one of the ways to treat this condition is a visit to a doctor. He or she will use special medical instruments to get rid of the calcium and bacteria accumulated on your tonsils

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