Why Does My Breath Smells Like Poop and Diarrhea?

Learn From Doctor Team
Learn From Doctor Team is made up of well-qualified doctors of different fields with brilliant academic results and professional careers. The article is written and reviewed by doctors of this specialty.

Breath smells like poop or feces

There are some benign causes for breath smells like poop and diarrhea, but most of the issues that cause this problem are more serious and require medical attention.

Almost everyone experiences breath odor at any stage in their lives. It can be concerning and irritating to have a strong unpleasant odor on your breath that brushing and mouthwash don’t seem to help — especially if your breath smells like feces or poop.

First, let us know some about them, then we’ll discuss breath smells like feces.

Types of Halitosis(Bad breath)

Breath Smells Like Rotten Eggs 

A breath that smells like rotten eggs often suggests a problem originating from the digestive tract. Since sulfur is broken down by the gut microbiota, an eggy-smelling gas is released. This may be caused by Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD.

When the stomach acids crawl back up the esophagus, GERD occurs.

Breath Smells Like Sweet or Fruity

Ketoacidosis, which is a diabetes complication, also gives the breath a sweet or fruity odor. This happens because diabetic patients often suffer from insufficient insulin output, which induces fat burning and results in ketone production.

A fruity odor similar to acetone is then produced by ketones. Chronic kidney disease, which is another symptom of diabetes, may also cause this smell.

Breath Smells Like Moldy Or Fungus Aroma

Microbial buildups, growths, or sinus infections, in some cases, lead to a breath that smells moldy or fungal-like. Sometimes, sinus infections cause thick, yellowish, or green mucus to drip down the back of the throat from the nose.

A surplus of bacteria, foreign particles, and metabolites build up as we breathe, resulting in a very unpleasant breathing smell.

Breath Smells Like Poop or Feces

As horrible as it might sound, it is very possible that you have an obstructed bowel if your breath smells like fecal matter. When the feces starts to back up, a bowel obstruction happens and the large and/or small intestines are no longer able to absorb the waste.

In addition to constipation, breath that smells like feces is a positive indication that you have a blockage of the intestines.

Breath Smells Like Fishy

It’s your kidneys that are responsible for urine creation. The kidneys extract contaminants from the blood that are toxic.

The contaminants and waste begin to accumulate throughout the body when the kidneys become so weakened that they are no longer able to remove waste. This condition can result in a fishy-smelling breath.

Read Bad Breath on Baby.

Breath Smells Like Poop and Diarrhea Causes

Poor Oral hygiene

Poor oral hygiene can make poop smell like your breath. Since plaque and bacteria grow on and between your teeth, failing to brush and floss your teeth properly and consistently will make your breath smell.

Food that is not extracted by flossing remains between your teeth, causing unpleasant breath.

Gum disease may lead to foul-smelling breath as well. It’s caused by oral hygiene being ignored. Neglecting your oral health often contributes to an overgrowth of bad mouth bacteria that can cause your breath to smell.

Extreme halitosis can also be caused by dentures that are not adequately cleaned on a regular basis.

Breath Smells Like Poop
Brushing teeth is the first step of oral hygiene

Bowel obstruction

Intestinal obstructions are dangerous medical emergencies that happen in either your large or small intestine when a blockage forms. In addition to the feces that are stuck within your intestines, a blockage in your intestinal tract can cause breath that smells like feces, but also because of food, you have consumed that can not pass down your intestinal tract.

Within the digestive tract and ferments, something you eat that is unable to perform a bowel movement stays and causes bad breath.

In addition to the unpleasant odor of air, someone with an intestinal obstruction can experience:

  • Reduced appetite
  • Severe bloating
  • Swelling of the belly
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach distress
  • severe abdominal cramps
  • inability to pass gas or stool


Because of dry mouth, excessive vomiting and the resulting dehydration can cause bad breath. Saliva cleans the mouth and eliminates odor, but in serious situations, you will not produce adequate saliva in cases of dehydration.

Vomiting may cause your breath to smell like feces as a result of bowel obstruction.

Sinus Infections 

Sinus and respiratory infections can cause breath smell like feces. Bronchitis, viral colds, strep throat, and more can cause these. It can cause your breath to have an extremely unpleasant odor as bacteria migrate from your nose to your throat. Any other sinus infection signs can include:

  • Thick nasal drainage and yellow-green in color
  • A cold which lasts for more than 10 to 14 days
  • Low-grade fever
  • Irritability and exhaustion
  • Postnasal drip, which is manifested by nausea, vomiting, cough or sore throat
  • Swollen eyes
  • Headache

Children are more likely than adults to develop sinus infections after a viral cold, but both can experience similar symptoms.


Bad breath can be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), including breath that smells like poop. This is how the acid flows backward into the esophagus from your stomach.

Your esophageal lining may be irritated by this acidic backwash, causing intense discomfort. An individual with GERD may experience:

  • Mild reflux that occurs once or twice a week
  • At least once a week, mild to extreme reflux
  • After feeding, heartburn in your stomach, which could be worse at night
  • Difficulties with swallowing
  • Sour liquid or food regurgitation
  • The feeling of having a lump in your throat
  • Laryngitis
  • Persistent cough
  • New or worse asthma than before
  • Sleeplessness or failure to remain asleep


For individuals who are suffering from diabetes, ketoacidosis is a serious complication. It most commonly happens in people with type 1 diabetes, when a high amount of acids called ketones produced by the body in the blood.

It’s a medical emergency that, along with hospitalization, needs urgent treatment. Breathing that smells like feces due to dry mouth or excessive vomiting associated with the disorder may be caused by ketoacidosis.

Ketoacidosis signs include;

  • Extreme thirst
  • Continuous urination
  • Dry mouth and skin
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Stomach distress
  • High levels of blood sugar
  • High levels of urinary ketones
  • A flushed face • Fruity-smelling breath
  • Fast breathing
  • Tiredness

Liver Failure 

It is likely that liver failure is chronic or acute. Suddenly, acute liver failure may occur and requires urgent medical attention. Because of diarrhea and any resultant dehydration, it can also make the breath smell like feces.

A person with liver failure can experience;

  • Loss of weight
  • Jaundice
  • Diarrhea
  • Tiredness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Simple bruising or hemorrhaging
  • Ascites (fluid buildup in the abdomen)
  • Edema (fluid buildup in the legs)

Breath Smells Like Poop and Diarrhea Treatment

Bad breath management depends heavily on the underlying cause. Methods such as better oral hygiene, tongue washing, the use of mouthwash, and flossing should be used in the initial care efforts. While there is some evidence that patients have demonstrated an increase in the use of a tongue cleaner, it is not sufficient to draw important conclusions.

In order to appropriately resolve bad breath, addressing any underlying condition that may include gum disease, tooth decay or gastroesophageal reflux disease may be efficient.

Breath Smells Like Poop
Using mouthwash is a good choice

Related Article – Dental Cleaning

Poor oral hygiene

Visiting the dentist for cleaning could help if your bad breath is caused by plaque accumulation due to poor oral hygiene. It’s necessary to treat it if you have gum disease and get the inflammation in your mouth under control.

Bowel obstruction 

Seek emergency medical treatment if you believe you might have a bowel obstruction. Bowel rest with IV fluids can be recommended by your doctor to treat partial obstruction. Surgery might be needed for serious obstructions. Antibiotics, pain medicine, or nausea relief medication can also be prescribed for you.

Sinus infections

The majority of sinus infections are treated with your doctor’s prescribed antibiotics. To relieve discomfort caused by the infection, over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication may also be needed.

Read Migraine. 


GERD may be treated with OTC or prescription medicines such as antacids, inhibitors of the proton pump, or medicines that enable the lower esophageal sphincter to remain closed. You should avoid foods that aggravate your symptoms if you have GERD. Surgery may be required in serious cases.

Breath Smells Like Poop
Every day flossing is a great decision.


To normalize blood sugar and insulin levels, a person experiencing ketoacidosis will undergo a combination of treatments in the hospital. This includes treatment with insulin, replacement of fluids, and replacement of electrolytes. If your ketoacidosis is caused by an infection or other illness, you may receive antibiotics.

Liver failure

If your condition is severe, your doctor can treat acute liver failure with medication to reverse the effects of poisoning or liver transplantation. You may be treated for alcohol dependency, prescribed hepatitis medication, recommended to lose weight, or treated with other drugs that control the causes and symptoms of cirrhosis for conditions including cirrhosis that may lead to chronic liver failure.

If your condition is not severe, you can treat it with easy remedies at home that may help reduce the odor of your breath.

Any of these therapies at home include;

  • Brushing teeth after every meal
  • Everyday flossing
  • Using daily recommend amount of mouthwash
  • The elimination of bacteria and food particles by using a tongue scraper
  • Chewing natural mint leaves or parsley
  • Chewing sugar-free mint gum or sucking on mint without sugar
  • Stopping smoking and foods that make your breath smell bad.
  • Drinking plenty of water and using a dry mouth mouthwash
  • Drinking plenty of water and using a dry mouth mouthwash
  • Oil pulling (swishing coconut oil or other oil for 15-20 minutes in your mouth and spitting it out until done)


Your long-term outlook is fine for readily treatable or short-term problems like bad oral hygiene, vomiting, sinus infection, or GERD. Within two weeks, medication should cure or overcome poor breath. If the underlying cause is adequately handled, it can minimize or remove the odor of your breath.

Prompt emergency treatment is crucial in cases of serious conditions, such as intestinal obstruction, ketoacidosis, or liver failure. These situations are very severe and may be catastrophic. However, it’s important to remember that early care is crucial. Your long-term outlook can be very effective, if you notice any of the above problems early, then you may able to make a complete or near-complete recovery.

Read Breath Smells Like Mothballs. 

Last Updated on April 11, 2022 by Learn From Doctor Team

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