Respiratory system

Breath smells like Poop: 17 Causes you need to know

Breath smells like Poop! Have you ever heard about it? Many people might not know about it. Yet, many other people face embarrassing situations in social life, at work and home due to breath that smells like poop or bad-smelling breath.

You might be in the middle of a meeting at work. Suddenly, you start talking and if you get bad breath or breath smelling like poop, you will be embarrassed. Apart from causing embarrassment, the foul-smelling breath can also be due to some underlying disease.

In some people, the bad odour from the mouth can be due to simple oral problems or due to the food we ate previously, but in some people, it can indicate major disease. So, we need to consult a physician to evaluate the cause of the breath that smells like poop and to get proper treatment.

Breath smells like Poop Causes:

Breath smells like poop
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There are several causes of breath smelling like poop. Let us try to explore them below:

Oral Hygiene:

If you don’t maintain oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing between your teeth, food particles tend to accumulate between the teeth.

These food particles attract bacteria that degrade the food and produce bad breath that smells like poop. Not maintaining oral hygiene can also contribute to gum disease which further aggravates the problem.

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If you are having Diabetes, your body is either not producing sufficient insulin or your body parts are resistant to insulin. So, to meet the glucose requirements, your body tries to metabolize fatty acids leading to the production of ketones. This is the reason for having breath that smells like poop in some Diabetic people.


You can become dehydrated due to not drinking adequate water, working or staying in a hot environment, drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea excessively, or even due to medical problems like diarrhoea and vomiting.

If you are dehydrated, there is increased production of ketones in your body, which also plays a role in causing foul odour or breath when you are dehydrated.


Ketoacidosis is a dangerous condition which can develop in Diabetic people. It mostly develops in Type 1 diabetic people, but occasionally in Type 2 Diabetic people.

If the person having Type 1 Diabetes stops taking insulin for few days or if he is subjected to severe stress like any infection or injury, there will be excess production of ketones in the body leading to acidosis. It can lead to foul breath, excess urination, thirst, dehydration. It is a medical emergency which needs urgent treatment.

Renal failure:

Generally, kidneys excrete toxins from the body. If our kidneys are not working properly, our body tries to remove the toxins through the lungs. This can lead to breath that smells like poop.


Many people might not be aware that allergies are also one of the common reason for developing foul breath. When you have an allergy, you have a cold, cough, etc. The doctor might give you certain anti-allergic medications like loratadine, cetirizine, etc. They cause dryness of mouth leading to bad odour.

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Bowel Obstruction:

When a person has bowel obstruction, he experiences various symptoms like abdominal pain, cramps, vomiting, not able to pass faeces and gas, etc. As the faeces or stool is accumulated within bowel without coming out, it might cause breath that smells like poop.


If you have been vomiting for more than a day, you might sense that you have got breath that smells like poop. This is due to various reasons like dehydration caused by vomiting, dryness of mouth, the passage of gastric contents to mouth during vomiting, and also due to the bugs or microbes causing vomiting.


If you suffer from any type of upper respiratory tract infections like Tonsillitis or swelling of tonsils, Pharyngitis or swelling inside the throat, etc, it is more likely that you have a foul odour.


There are several types of lower respiratory tract infections like Bronchitis, Pneumonia, etc which affect the lower airways. Generally, they cause bad breath due to the presence of microbes or bugs.

Sinus Infections:

Sinuses are air spaces beside the nose. If they are infected, we have a condition called sinusitis. In this condition, we have a headache, pain in the face, nose blockage, cold, along with breath that smells like poop.


GERD is the abbreviation of gastroesophageal reflux disease. In this condition, there is reflux of acidic contents from stomach or gut into the mouth. This is one of the common reasons for halitosis or bad breath among people.

Liver failure:

If your liver is not working properly, there is an accumulation of toxic waste products in the body within the blood. This can produce a bad odour.

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Tooth Abscess:

If you are having an infection of your teeth or your gums, you will have pain in the gums, pain in the face along with breath that smells like poop.


It is a rare genetic condition in which the affected person has foul-smelling breath. In this condition, the affected person cannot breakdown a substance called choline in his body, leading to the accumulation of a substance called Trimethylamine.


Menstruation is a time when there are many hormonal changes in a woman’s body. During this time, a woman can have abdominal pain, uneasiness and some women may also notice that their breath smells like poop.

Drug side effects:

There are several drugs which cause breath that smells like poop as a side effect. Some examples of such drugs are the ones which are used for the treatment of conditions like allergies, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, etc.

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