What are the signs of odor problems?

Odor symptoms are smells created by your body that include bad breath (halitosis), body odor, fruity breath, odor from stool, breath with fecal odor, ear odor, vaginal odor, or ammonia odor in urine. The most common odor symptoms are body odor and breath odors, which will be the focus of this article.

Body odor results when sweat is broken down by the bacteria on the skin. It often occurs with sweating while experiencing stressful emotions, including anger, nervousness or embarrassment. Sweating in a hot climate or during physical exercise can also lead to body odor.

Bad breath is commonly caused by bacteria located on the tongue that release malodorous compounds. Poor oral hygiene practices, such as not brushing or flossing the teeth regularly, can exacerbate bad breath. Infections of the gums (gingivitis) and salivary glands (parotitis) can result in bad breath, as can dry mouth, smoking or chewing tobacco, and respiratory infections such as sinusitis and bronchitis.

Other types of breath odors include breath that smells like feces, which is typically caused by gastrointestinal disorders. Breath with a fruity odor may be a sign of ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening condition. Finally, breath with an ammonia-like odor may be a sign of kidney failure.

Odor symptoms alone are rarely a serious problem. However, bad breath that smells like feces may be a sign of a serious gastrointestinal disorder, and breath with a fruity odor may indicate diabetic ketoacidosis. If you, or someone you are with, have any the following serious symptoms, seek immediate medical care (call 911): severe abdominal pain, high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit), prolonged vomiting, or difficulty breathing.

If your odor symptoms are persistent or cause you concern, seek prompt medical care.


What other symptoms might occur with odor symptoms?

Odor symptoms may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that affect the mouth may also involve other body systems.... Read more about odor symptomssymptoms


What causes odor symptoms?

Odor symptoms include any smell that is created by the body such as bad breath (halitosis), body odor, fruity breath, and breath with fecal odor. Body odor is commonly caused by sweating while experiencing stressful emotions, including anger, nervousness or embarrassment. Sweating in a hot climate or during physical exercise is also a common cause of body odor.... Read more about odor symptomscauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Skin, Hair and Nails

Top Features in Skin, Hair and Nails

15 Ways To Get Better Medicine

People who are actively involved in their medical care stay healthier, recover quicker when they're ill, and live longer, healthier lives.