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Foul breath

Foul Breath

Foul breath, also called halitosis, can be humiliating and, at times, may even lead to anxiety. It is so common that one can find gums, mints and mouth fresheners easily. However, these help temporarily.

Certain foods and health conditions may cause bad breath. One can prevent bad breath by maintaining proper and consistent dental hygiene. If these basic procedures don’t work, one should seek help from a medical practitioner or a dentist.

Causes of Halitosis

Mostly bad breath begins in the mouth, and there are numerous potential causes. They include:

  • Food: The breakdown of food particles in and around the teeth can cause a buildup of microbes and cause a foul smell. Eating certain food varieties, like onions, and garlic likewise can cause bad breath. 
  • Tobacco: Smoking causes its own bad mouth smell.
    Poor dental hygiene: A person with poor dental hygiene usually has bad breath. A film of bacteria is formed on the teeth, which can create foul odours. The tongue can also trap bacteria leading to bad breath.
  • Dry mouth: Saliva cleans the mouth, eliminating particles that cause bad breath. A condition called dry mouth or xerostomia can also cause bad breath as saliva production is decreased. 
  • Drugs: A few prescriptions can cause bad breath by causing dry mouth. Others break down in the body to release chemical substances causing bad breath.
  • Mouth infections: Wounds can bring about bad breath after oral surgeries, like tooth removals, or even due to tooth decay, gum infection or mouth sores.


Symptoms of halitosis are:

Foul breath odours differ from person to person. Some people are very conscious of their breath even though they have no bad breath, while others have terrible breath and don’t know it. Since one can hardly smell his/ her breath, one should ask someone to confirm whether or not they have bad breath.

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