Bad breath can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'life-threatening'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose bad breath, we could:
|Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences||53%||Possible|
|Cigarette Smoke Damage||27%||Unlikely|
|General Toxicity||1%||Ruled out|
|Stomach Ulcers||1%||Ruled out|
|Tonsil Stones||0%||Ruled out|
Do you have bad breath?
Possible responses:→ No / don't know
→ Occasionally, minor
→ Often minor or occasionally moderate
→ Often moderate or occasionally very bad
→ Often very bad
The acetone resulting from a state of ketosis escapes through the lungs – giving Atkins Diet followers, for example, what one weight-loss expert calls "rotten-apple breath." [Health 19 (1996): p.102] The other ketones have to be excreted by the kidneys. In a study funded by Dr. Atkins himself, most of the people that could stick with the diet reported headaches and halitosis (bad breath).
A medical study conducted in 2007 found a strong association between tonsilloliths and bad breath. Among those with bad breath, 75% of the subjects had tonsilloliths while only 6% of subjects with normal breath had tonsilloliths.