Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Bad breath, or halitosis, is an unpleasant condition that can be embarrassing. Understand what causes bad breath and learn how to get rid of it.

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Sometimes the person with bad breath may not even be aware of this problem. If you are concerned about bad breath, or have been advised by somebody close to you, see your dentist to seek help and identify the cause and necessary treatment.

Bad breath can affect one's self-confidence and result in low self-esteem. By maintaining good oral hygiene and having regular dental follow-ups and treatment, this embarrassing problem can be prevented or avoided.

Causes of Bad Breath

Certain foods (such as raw garlic, onions and cabbage) contribute to bad breath
Dry mouth (xerostomia) caused by various medications, salivary gland problems or by continuous breathing through the mouth
Smoking
Alcohol
Medical disorders, such as respiratory tract infections (e.g. lung abscess, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis), diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney problems
Dental disorders such as periodontitis, gingivostomatitis and caries

Treatment for Bad Breath

If there are no obvious dental reasons for bad breath, you may be referred to your family physician or to a specialist for appropriate treatment.

If the odour is due to gum disease, a dental professional will have to remove the bacteria and plaque accumulating in pockets at the base of the teeth.

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

Good oral hygiene is essential. This includes brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily to remove food debris and plaque. Brushing your tongue will also help eliminate the bacteria.
For those with dentures, it is necessary to remove them at night and clean them thoroughly before wearing them again the next morning. 
Go for regular dental check-ups to detect any problems such as gum disease, a dry mouth or other disorders. Maintaining good oral hygiene, eliminating gum disease and visiting your dentist regularly are helpful in reducing bad breath.
Antiseptic mouthwash can help to eliminate bacteria that cause bad breath.
Drink lots of water to keep your mouth moist.

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Bad Breath (Halitosis)

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