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Bad Breath

Halitosis is the medical term used to define bad breath. It’s no surprise that store shelves are stocked full with chewing gum, mints, mouthwashes and other products designed to counteract bad breath. But many of these products are merely temporary measures and do nothing to treat the condition in the long term.

The irony of halitosis is that most people have no awareness that they even have halitosis. This is because the cells in the nose that are

responsible for the sense of smell actually become unresponsive to the constant flow of bad odor emanating from your mouth. If you have bad breath, you may need to be told.

Most halitosis originates from something in your mouth. Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause, along with ill fitting dentures.

Dry mouth or xerostomia can also cause halitosis. Saliva is needed to wet and cleanse the mouth. Dry mouth may be caused by the side effects of various medications (for example, some antidepressants, anti psychotics, antihistamines, decongestants, and medications to reduce high blood pressure), or continuous breathing through the mouth. It is actually a lack of saliva at night that leads to what’s commonly referred to as “morning breath”.

The bad odors do not come from the mouth in approximately 10% of the cases.

The most effective way to treat halitosis is thru maintenance of proper oral hygiene along with regular appointments with the dentist. Regular brushing, flossing, rinsing, and scraping of your tongue can also help keep halitosis at bay.