February 24, 2024

Mouth odour also known as bad breath, also called halitosis, can be embarrassing and in some cases may even cause anxiety. It’s no wonder that store shelves are overflowing with gum, mints, mouthwashes and other products to fight bad breath. But many of these products are only short-term measures. That’s because they don’t address the cause of the problem.

Certain foods, health conditions and habits are among the causes of bad breath. In many cases, you can make bad breath better by keeping your mouth and teeth clean. If you can’t solve bad breath yourself, see your dentist or another healthcare professional to be sure a more serious condition isn’t causing it.Bad breath odors vary, depending on the cause. Some people worry too much about their breath even though they have little or no mouth odor. Others have bad breath and don’t know it. Because it’s hard to know how your breath smells, ask a close friend or relative to confirm if you have bad breath.

Some cancers can cause a distinctive breath odor. The same is true for disorders related to the body’s process of breaking food down into energy. Constant heartburn, which is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, can lead to bad breath. A foreign body, such as a piece of food lodged in a nostril, can cause bad breath in young children.Your risk of bad breath is higher if you eat foods known to cause bad breath, such as garlic, onions and spices. Smoking, not keeping your mouth clean and some medicines also can play a part, as can dry mouth, infections of the mouth and some diseases. In addition, other conditions such as GERD or cancer can lead to bad breath.

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Body odor on the other part, is what you smell when your sweat comes in contact with the bacteria on your skin. Sweat itself doesn’t smell, but when the bacteria on your skin mix with your sweat, it causes an odor. Body odor can smell sweet, sour, tangy or like onions. The amount you sweat doesn’t necessarily impact your body odor. That’s why a person can have an unpleasant body odor but not be sweaty. Conversely, a person can sweat excessively but not smell. This is because body odor is a result of the type of bacteria on your skin and how that bacteria interacts with sweat, not the sweat itself.

Sweating is the secretion of fluids by sweat glands onto your skin’s surface. There are two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Apocrine glands are responsible for producing body odor.

Eccrine glands

Eccrine glands secrete sweat directly to the surface of your skin. As the sweat evaporates, it helps cool your skin and regulate your body temperature. It doesn’t produce a smell. When your body temperature rises due to physical exertion or being hot, the evaporation of sweat from your skin produces a cooling effect. Eccrine glands cover most of your body, including palms and soles.


Apocrine glands

Apocrine glands open up into your hair follicles. Hair follicles are the tube-like structure that keeps your hair in your skin. You can find apocrine glands in your groin and armpits. These glands produce sweat that can smell when it comes in contact with bacteria on your skin. Apocrine glands don’t start working until puberty, which is why you don’t smell body odor in young children.

Sweating is a natural body process, but due to certain foods we eat, hygiene practices or genetics, sweat can have a bad smell once it comes into contact with your skin. Changes in the amount you sweat or the smell of your body odor could indicate a medical condition.

Who is more likely to experience body odour

People assigned male at birth (AMAB) have more frequent problems with body odor because they have more hair (so they have more apocrine glands). Apocrine glands become active once a person reaches puberty, so body odor doesn’t begin until adolescence.

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What causes body odor?

Body odor happens when bacteria on your skin come in contact with sweat. Our skin is naturally covered with bacteria. When we sweat, the water, salt and fat mix with this bacteria and can cause odor. The odor can be bad, good or have no smell at all. Factors like the foods you eat, hormones or medications can affect body odor. A condition called hyperhidrosis makes a person sweat excessively. People with this condition may be more susceptible to body odor because they sweat so much, but it’s often the eccrine sweat glands that cause the most discomfort with sweaty palms and feet.

Every time you sweat, there’s a chance you’ll produce an unpleasant body odor. Some people are more susceptible to foul body odor than other people.

Other factors that can affect body odor are:


Stress or anxiety.

Hot weather.

Being overweight.


We can specifically say that body and mouth odor can be a sign of a health problem, but not in all cases. While most body and breath odors are normal, some can signal an underlying medical condition. For example, fruity breath can be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis, and strong body odor can be a sign of skin, liver, or kidney disease, among other conditions

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