Halitosis

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Halitosis is the medical name for bad breath. The foul odor may occur periodically or be persistent, depending on the cause.
Some types of bad breath, including morning breath, are considered normal and are not causes for concern. This type of bad breath typically occurs because the mouth becomes dry at night, and dead cells stick to the tongue and inside of the cheeks. Bacteria eat these dead cells, and expel compounds that cause foul odors.
There are many other potential causes of halitosis, including poor oral hygiene and certain foods, such as garlic. Bad breath may also be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
Treatment for bad breath depends on the underlying cause. For instance, if poor oral hygiene is causing symptoms, the individual's breath will improve once he/she starts brushing and flossing the teeth regularly. In contrast, bad breath caused by chronic sinusitis may come back frequently because it stems from a structural abnormality in the sinuses.

Related Terms

Antibiotics, artificial saliva, bacteria, chewing gum, dental exam, dental floss, dentist, dry mouth, floss, flossing, fluoride toothpaste, mouth rinse, mouthwash, odor-causing bacteria, oral hygiene, scaling, root planning, toothbrush, toothpaste, xerostomia.