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What is bad breath from the back of the mouth a sign of?

Find out why bad breath may warrant a visit to a gastrointestinal clinic.

What is bad breath from the back of the mouth a sign of?

Find out why bad breath may warrant a visit to a gastrointestinal clinic.

Could bad breath from the back of the mouth signal an illness?

Bad breath may be caused by many things; from the build-up of bacteria in the mouth to poor oral hygiene, which is called halitosis.

Bad breath may not always originate from the mouth, however—the source of bad breath may be coming from deeper inside the body.

While bad breath from the stomach may be mistaken for halitosis, it may be a sign of an underlying gastrointestinal condition that needs to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

What causes bad breath at the back of the mouth?

Several gastrointestinal conditions may be linked to bad breath from the back of the mouth.


Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a disease caused by the gastrointestinal tract not being able to keep content from the stomach out of the oesophagus. This happens when a circular muscle in the oesophagus called the lower oesophageal sphincter fails to close properly, allowing stomach acid to back up into the oesophagus.

This can cause bad breath.

Bowel obstruction

This is a serious condition where the intestines become blocked.

The blockage may be caused by a foreign object getting lodged in the intestines or the growth of tumours. When the intestines become blocked, food in the intestines and stomach cannot move along the digestive tract, causing it to remain in the intestines until they start to ferment, producing an unpleasant smell.

In this case, a patient’s breath may carry a faecal smell.

Hepatic Foetor

This condition causes a patient’s breath to have a distinct smell of garlic and rotten eggs.

Hepatic Foetor may indicate that the patient is at the last stages of liver failure. If the bad-smelling breath is accompanied by certain symptoms, like yellow skin or a bloated stomach, immediate medical attention may be required.

Should you visit a gut clinic?

While bad breath may be caused by problems related to oral hygiene or simply consuming certain kinds of food, bad breath from the back of the mouth or bad breath from the stomach may indicate a more serious health problem.

If you have persistent bad breath, even after taking measures to get rid of it, consult gastrointestinal specialists to identify the source of this issue.

Visit the Sydney Gut Clinic

At the Sydney Gut Clinic, our experienced team of gastrointestinal specialists are trained to identify and treat different gastrointestinal conditions.

If you suffer from bad breath and none of the usual treatments works, schedule an appointment and we will work towards a diagnosis and treatment plan for you.

Our clinic is located in the Alexandria Specialist Day Hospital.

Consult our gastrointestinal specialists for the diagnosis and treatment of bad breath

Sydney Gut Clinic is currently operating at our regular hours. Kindly note that in light of the current pandemic, we are taking every precaution to prevent any chance of infection. Patients are screened before they enter the building and we space our appointments out to reduce the amount of people in the clinic at one time. Please note that telehealth service is available to patients that meet the government's criteria. Please call the rooms for more information.