What Causes Bad Breath?

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Bad breath due to tonsils is a different condition from bad breath caused by bacteria living on the tongue and breaking down proteins and cells naturally present in the mouth. When bacteria colonize and infect the tonsils, the problem is tonsillitis, and it’s an infection that needs medical attention.


The germs that cause tonsillitis are nearly always Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria – many individuals understand the condition as strept throat. The infected tonsils become extremely inflamed, developing pockets of pus in the tonsillar crypts and resulting in a very sore throat, often accompanied by nausea and fever. When the tonsil produces pus bad breath results.

Bad breath due to tonsils includes a rotten meat odor that’s subtly different from the rotten egg sulfur odor produced in normal bad breath. Additionally, the unfortunate individual with tonsillitis generally feels extremely unwell and there’s absolutely not any doubt that something serious is happening. Bad breath due to tonsils isn’t the worst result of strept throat. A greater danger is that the possibility of the disease being followed by scarlet fever, or rheumatic fever, which can damage the heart.

Good to know

Most instances of strept throat will get better on their own, but treatment with antibiotics prevents another diseases from developing later. When a tonsil produces pus bad breath and fever, see your physician and get a diagnosis. If you’ve got strept throat, you’ll need an antibiotic. Not all sore throats are caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, however – many sore throats are caused by viruses, or from bacteria that don’t have any serious consequences.

They simply result in misery for a couple of days, then they are gone. Your body’s immune system needs to be able to look after those transient infections and no antibiotic therapy is needed.

Final note

An infected tonsil produces pus bad breath normally only in strept throatnonetheless, should you get bad breath due to tonsils with a sore throat that’s not due to Streptococcus pyogenes, the issue should fix when the sore throat does. If you feel you have bad breath due to tonsils, but you do not have a very sore throat, the odds are that the issue isn’t found on the tonsils, but on the tongue or in different areas of the mouth where sulfur compound-producing germs thrive. This is a different story entirely. If the issue is continuing, see your dentist or physician for a professional opinion, then handle it with a few of the numerous available remedies.

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