Bad breath, known as halitosis, is an unpleasant odor of the breath. Bad breath can be caused by a number of problems. Oral diseases, sinus infections, fermentation of food particles in the mouth, and unclean dentures can all contribute to mouth odor. Many non-oral diseases, such as lung infections, kidney failure, or severe liver disease, can also cause bad breath. Cigarette smoke can cause bad breath, not only in the cigarette smoker, but also in one who is constantly exposed to second-hand smoke. Gerd, lactose intolerance and gum disease can also affect the breath.
Most bad breath can be treated successfully with good oral hygiene and medical care. Poor oral hygiene can be improved by regular brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental checkups. Gentle brushing of the tongue should be part of daily oral hygiene. In addition to good oral hygiene, the use of mouthwashes is helpful. Mouth dryness, experienced at night or during fasting, or due to certain medications and medical conditions, can contribute to bad breath. Dryness can be avoided by drinking adequate amounts of water. Chewing gum may be beneficial.