What is Bad Breath?
Definition of Bad Breath: Any unpleasant odor from the mouth. A variety of health conditions can cause bad breath, but it is most often a product of bacteria in the mouth. Below is a brief overview of the causes, symptoms and treatments, plus links to more information.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Most bad breath is a result of poor oral hygiene: Excess bacteria in the mouth emit sulfurous compounds which smell foul. Infections of the gums, teeth, throat and sinuses can also cause bad breath. In some cases, bad breath can be a sign of a potentially life-threatening condition. Diabetic ketoacidosis can cause a sweet, fruity smell to the breath and chronic kidney failure may result in breath with a fishy, astringent or ammonia-like odor.
Is Bad Breath Contagious? No.
Medical Term: Halitosis.
Signs & Symptoms: People often can't smell their own breath. Ask an honest friend to confirm your suspicions. Dry mouth may also be a sign of bad breath.
Treatment & Remedies: Mint, gum and parsley can temporarily improve bad breath. For long-term treatment, most bad breath will clear up with good oral hygiene; frequent brushing after meals, tongue scraping and flossing. Your dentist may also recommend certain mouth rinses and toothpastes. A professional cleaning by a dentist can help bad breath from periodontal disease. If bad breath is caused by another health condition, get treatment for the underlying health problem.
* Garlic and onions contain oils that are absorbed into the bloodstream, carried to your lungs and expelled in your breath.
* In about 10 percent of bad breath cases, the smell does not come from the mouth, according to the Mayo Clinic.
* Some studies suggest bad breath is a leading reason to visit the dentist, behind cavities and gum disease.
Sources and More Information:
This information is not meant to provide specific medical advice. It is for educational purposes only. We recommend you consult a qualified health care professional for diagnoses and treatment advice, and call 9-1-1 in emergencies.
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