Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is breath that has an unpleasant odour.
Bad breath can be caused by:
- Poor dental hygiene — Infrequent or improper brushing and flossing can leave food particles to decay inside the mouth
- Infections in the mouth — Periodontal (gum) disease
- Respiratory tract infections — Throat infections, sinus infections, lung infections
- External agents — Garlic, onions, coffee, cigarette smoking, chewing tobacco
- Dry mouth (xerostomia) —This can be caused by salivary gland problems or by medications
- Systemic illnesses — Diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, sinus disease, reflux disease and others
- Psychiatric illness — Some people may perceive that they have bad breath, but it is not noticed by oral-health-care professionals or others. This is referred to as "pseudohalitosis."