Tag Archive for: colorectal adenoma

Breathe out into an airtight bag and take a whiff. How unpleasant is the odor? Now, consider this: what if the intensity of your breath’s scent could indicate your likelihood of developing colorectal cancer (CRC)? 

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a fairly common problem. The root cause of bad breath could be poor oral hygiene, certain foods, smoking, or underlying health conditions such as gum disease or dry mouth. It could also be an indicator of diseases such as diabetes. A study conducted in South Korea has discovered a potential connection between oral health and colorectal adenoma. Colorectal adenoma is a non-malignant growth that develops on the inner lining of the colon or rectum and is a significant risk factor for CRC. This finding is supported by other studies that have established a correlation between oral health and gastrointestinal disorders.

How Was the Study Done?

The cross-sectional study involved 42,871 eligible patients. The median age of the participants was 39 years, with a majority (70.4%) being men. In the sample population, adenoma was found in 12% of cases. Factors associated with a higher risk of adenoma included:

  • BMI of 25.0 kg/m2 or more 
  • Periodontitis (gum disease)
  • Moderate alcohol intake 
  • Heavy alcohol intake 
  • Tooth loss

Being male or a former or current smoker, having an alcohol intake above a moderate level, and experiencing periodontitis and tooth loss all increase the risk of colorectal adenoma. Any form of gum disease is a leading cause of bad breath.

Your breath has a lot to say about your health. By paying attention to the quality of your breath and any changes you notice, you can potentially catch early signs of certain health conditions. It is important to listen to what your breath is telling you. Now, take another deep breath and exhale into an airtight bag. Take a sniff and decide whether you should schedule an appointment with your dentist or your gastroenterologist.


Emmanuel Olaniyan is a Colorectal Cancer Prevention Intern with the Colon Cancer Foundation.

Picture credit: Bruno from Pixabay.