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Halitosis — “Bad Breath”

June 27th, 2012


          Halitosis, the scientific term for “bad breath,” is a problem experienced by many people.  There are numerous causes for this condition, some of which are due to specific situations within the mouth.  Food debris trapped in between teeth or under dentures can cause a foul odor if not properly cleaned out.  Excessive build-up of plaque and tartar can lead to obvious halitosis, as can untreated areas of dental decay and failing dental restorations.  Periodontal disease with inflamed gums and abscessed areas with purulent drainage will cause bad breath, as will dentures and partials which are not properly cared for.  Different types of mouth diseases, such as oral cancer, fungal infections, and pharyngeal or tonsillar problems will also lead to halitosis, as will chronic abuse of alcohol and tobacco products.  Finally, a variety of non-oral problems, such as sinus infections, acid reflux disease, and gastro-intestinal disorders can also cause bad breath.

          Overcoming halitosis involves multiple treatment approaches, including mouthwashes, improved oral hygiene with proper brushing and flossing techniques,  dietary modifications, and routine dental visits to eliminate tartar build-up and to diagnose and treat the conditions mentioned above.  Proper medical care is often necessary if the cause of halitosis is more systemic in nature.  Please consult with your dentist if your bad breath becomes chronic, and is not easily eliminated by improved personal oral hygiene.

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