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Bad breath, also called halitosis, is typically caused by bacteria that grow in your mouth. The bacterial putrefication of small food pieces left in your mouth release sulphur compounds, which is what makes your breath smell.

Short-term bad breath may be associated with tonsillitis, gastroenteritis, diabetic ketoacidosis, or sinus infection.

Chronic halitosis may be caused by poor oral hygiene, gingivitis (gum disease) &/or a dental abscess.

How can bad breath be treated?

Most cases of halitosis are caused by a problem in the mouth. For this reason, if your bad breath does not go away, see a dentist for a checkup.

If no oral cause is found, it may be necessary to see your GP to exclude a medical cause.

Simple improvements to oral hygiene will usually help halitosis. These include:

- brushing your teeth (& tongue) at least twice a day.

- using an oral mouthwash, especially at bedtime.

- stopping smoking.

- drinking plenty fluids to avoid a dry mouth.

- chewing sugar-free gum if your mouth is dry.


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