Symptoms A-Z

Chronically Bad Breath Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your chronically bad breath symptoms, including 8 causes and common questions.

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8 Possible Chronically Bad Breath Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced chronically bad breath. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Dental cavity

A dental cavity (caries) is an infection of the tooth, which is the result of long-term acid production by bacteria that sit on your teeth. This can result in pain and the spread of infection into the tooth pulp, and, if untreated, into your jaw bone or bloodstream. The development of a cavity is ...

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums. It is typically caused by poor dental hygiene and the buildup of bacteria. Its hallmark symptoms are swollen, discolored, bleeding gums. The main risk factors for the development of the disease are increasing age, smoking, and dry mouth. It is both treatable and ...

Strep throat requiring throat swab

Strep throat, or "strep," is a sore throat specifically caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes, also called group A streptococcus.

The illness spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes and then someone else inhales the airborne bacteria, or touches a surface where it has landed and then touches their own face.

Children are most susceptible but anyone can be infected.

Symptoms include sudden throat pain, fever, headache, rash, body aches, and red, swollen tonsils. These symptoms can be caused by other illnesses, so a sample is taken by gently rubbing a sterile cotton-tipped swab over the back of the throat.

Testing will identify the organism responsible so that treatment with the appropriate antibiotic can begin. Be sure to finish all of the medication as directed, even after feeling better.

Untreated strep throat can lead to ear infections, kidney disease, scarlet fever, and rheumatic fever. These are serious illnesses. If strep throat is suspected, the person should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, nausea, sore throat, fever, rash

Symptoms that always occur with strep throat requiring throat swab: sore throat

Symptoms that never occur with strep throat requiring throat swab: general weakness

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Chronic sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is also called chronic rhinosinusitis. It is an inflammation of the sinuses, or open spaces of the skull, above and below the eyes. "Chronic," in this case, means the condition has persisted for weeks in spite of treatment and has probably followed several cases of acute sinusitis.

The condition may start with a viral, bacterial, or fungal upper respiratory tract infection; asthma; allergies; or nasal polyps.

Symptoms include facial pain, swelling, and nasal congestion. There is often fatigue; greenish or yellowish nasal discharge; loss of sense of smell; ear pain; cough; and sore throat.

Chronic sinusitis should be seen by a medical provider, especially if symptoms worsen. The condition interferes with quality of life and the ongoing infection can become serious.

Diagnosis is made through patient history; physical examination; sinus cultures; skin tests for allergies; CT scan of the head; and nasal endoscopy (rhinoscopy.)

Treatment may involve saline nasal irrigation; nasal spray corticosteroids; oral corticosteroids; antibiotics for bacterial infection; immunotherapy for allergies; and, in some cases, surgery to remove polyps or other obstructions.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, headache, trouble sleeping, congestion, runny nose

Symptoms that always occur with chronic sinusitis: chronic sinusitis symptoms

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Chronically Bad Breath Symptom Checker

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Acid reflux disease (gerd)

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) in infants refers to the passage of stomach contents into the throat causing troublesome symptoms, such as feeding intolerance, inadequate oral intake of calories and/or poor weight gain. Vomiting or visible regurgitation ...

Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (anug)

Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) is a relatively rare infection of the gums. It's also known as "trench mouth", as it was discovered in a large number of soldiers in WWI that were stuck in trenches. The pain caused by ANUG is what makes it different from chronic periodontitis, and it requires treatment by professionals.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: bleeding gums, gum pain, chronically bad breath, severe mouth pain, gum swelling

Urgency: In-person visit

Ludwig's angina

Ludwig's angina is a rare but serious infection of the space below the jaw and the floor of the mouth, under the tongue. This illness is not to be confused with "angina" which refers to cardiac pain due to coronary artery disease. The infection usually starts in the floor of the mouth th...

Dry socket (postextraction alveolar osteitis)

Dry socket (or postextraction alveolar osteitis) is a common cause of severe pain after a dental extraction (tooth pull). It's known to be related to how the extraction was done, menstrual cycle, tobacco smoking, age, sex, and whether you have had an extraction before.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: constant mouth pain, chronically bad breath, changed sense of taste, severe mouth pain, mouth pain at the site of a dental procedure

Symptoms that always occur with dry socket (postextraction alveolar osteitis): mouth pain at the site of a dental procedure, constant mouth pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Chronically Bad Breath

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Do you currently smoke?
  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Do you have a cough?
  • Do you have a runny nose?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your chronically bad breath

Chronically Bad Breath Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced chronically bad breath have also experienced:

  • 4% Fatigue
  • 3% Nausea
  • 3% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)

People who have experienced chronically bad breath were most often matched with:

  • 36% Dental Cavity
  • 36% Strep Throat Requiring Throat Swab
  • 27% Gingivitis

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Chronically Bad Breath Symptom Checker

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Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.