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Bad Breath(Halitosis): Symptoms and Causes

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What Causes Bad Breath (Halitosis)?

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is characterized by an unpleasant odor from the mouth. Halitosis is a huge social issue, it causes embarrassment and affects relationships and social interaction.

Besides a bad smell in your mouth, you may also notice a bad taste in your mouth, dry mouth, or white coating on the tongue. If it is due to health problems, it may not disappear even if you brush your teeth and use mouthwash.

When you eat certain foods, it leaves a strong odor in your mouth. This is however just temporary. Once you drink plenty of water and brush your teeth, the odor disappears. Sometimes bad breath just won’t go away. Tooth decay, oral disease and incorrect brushing methods cause bacteria to grow in your mouth causing bad breath.

Studies show that 90% of bad breath is caused by bacteria emitting volatile sulfur compounds (VSVs). When you eat and digest protein in food, VSVs are naturally formed. Once a certain level is reached, an unpleasant odor is emitted when you talk. To solve problems caused by bad breath, you need to tackle the problem of excessive bacteria in your mouth.

This article is intended to promote understanding of the topic of oral health and promote relevant knowledge and is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any questions about medical conditions or treatment, always seek opinions from a dentist or other qualified health care provider.