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What is Bad breath

The commonest thing that may ruin the personal and social relations is bad breath. The dental term for halitosis is ‘fetor ex ore’ or ‘fetor oris’.1


Causes of bad breath (Halitosis)

Halitosis may be due to

     1. Local factors within the mouth

     2. Certain ingested food or drinks or medications

     3. May be a due to of some underlying disorder.13

Local factors in the mouth that result in bad odour include:

  • Retention of food particles
  • Coated tongue
  • Gingivitis
  • Dental caries
  • Artificial dentures that have not been cleaned properly
  • Smoking
  • Healing extraction wounds 

Certain ingested food or drinks

The odours of certain aromatic foods or alcohol are generally excreted through the lungs and are exhaled resulting in an odorous breath.

Underlying disorders
such as

  • Kidney dysfunction result in a distinguished odour.1
  • Gum problems
  • Lactose intolerance


How to overcome bad breath

Maintenance of proper oral hygiene can prevent bad odour.

Following are helpful in clearing bad breath.

  • Gargling with water or mouthwashes after food
  • proper brushing and cleaning the tongue.

A dentist should be consulted if the bad breath is present for a long duration.

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Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: September 15, 2014