What your bad breath can tell you about your health | Integrative functional medicine blog

"Any fool can Know. The point is to understand" - Albert Einstein

What your bad breath can tell you about your health

Your bad breath can tell you
a lot about your health.
bad breath

Bad breath isn’t just about what you ate that day. Most often it involves a deeper level of health, or lack thereof. While mints and breath “fresheners” may help temporarily, they may make things worse in the long run.

The medical or technical term for bad breath is halitosis. Due to one reason or another most people will experience or make someone else (more likely) experience bad breath. While it can be that garlic, fish, or onions you ate for lunch, if you have ongoing or recurring bad breath there are other reason why.
Typically there are 3 basic reasons for bad breath
1. Dysbiosis
2. Toxicity
3. Acidosis


Dysbiosis is just another term for GI issues as a result of intestinal bacterial levels not being in balance. To make it simple, you have too many bad bugs and not enough good bugs.
The result is that those bad bugs take what we eat, particularly sugars and carbohydrates, and use that as their own fuel. I the process they expel methane and hydrogen gases. Those gases work their way up and presto, you’ve got bad breath.

In order to deal with dysbiosis caused halitosis we have to get to the root cause of the problem and restore function and balance to the Intestinal system.
Check out our page on GI function for more info.


In an ever increasingly toxic world it’s not hard to see why toxicity can cause bad breath. There are many systems in the body that are involved in detoxing. Primarily they consist of the liver, kidneys and the intestines. The liver gets the toxins ready for detoxing and the kidney and liver do the work of actually getting them out of the body. The last step of detoxification is elimination (going #1 and #2).

toxic env

When there is a breakdown in how the body detoxifies, those toxins will build up on the system and can result in bad breath. For more info on detoxing check out our detox page.


This type of bad breath is often the result of excess ketones in the body. When we eat a diet very high in animal proteins, salt and sugar, combined with low intake of fruits and vegetables we will get high levels of ketones in the body = BAAD BREATH.

As a side note, acidosis as a result of excess ketones can cause a chronic state of mild acidosis. When the body is in this state for a prolonged period of time it can increase the risk of periodontal disease = BAD BREATH.

Smell you later,

Dr. Craig Mortensen

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