Halitosis is the clinical term for the condition otherwise known as bad breath. Bad breath can cause someone to become self-conscious, inhibit their personal relationships in social and professional settings, or be a sign of an underlying health condition.
Bad breath may be evident first thing in the morning or more persistent and last throughout the day. It is thought that as many as 50% of adults may be affected by bad breath. Most bad breath bacteria originate on the tongue.
What causes halitosis? Bad breath can have numerous causes:
- Unbalanced oral flora
- Gum disease
- Food (such as garlic and dairy)
- Dry mouth
- Tobacco use
- Poor oral hygiene
- Gum disease
Bad breath is typically due to poor oral hygiene, but if halitosis persists then it may be due to other factors. Drainage in the back of the throat from allergies or sinus infections can cause bad breath. If active gum disease is present, halitosis will most likely persist until the condition has been reversed.
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