Bad breath, also known as halitosis or fetor oris, affects an estimated 25% of people, globally. There are a number of potential causes of halitosis but the vast majority come down to oral hygiene.
Halitosis can cause significant worry, embarrassment and anxiety but, generally, it is relatively easy to remedy.
In this article, we will discuss the potential origins of bad breath, diagnosis and how to treat it.
Fast facts on bad breath
Here are some key points about bad breath. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
Bad breath is estimated to affect 1 in 4 people globally
The most common cause of halitosis is bad oral hygiene
If particles of food are left in the mouth, their breakdown by bacteria produces sulfur compounds
There are a number of common causes of bad breath, including smoking, tooth decay and alcohol consumption
Keeping the mouth hydrated can reduce mouth odor
Bad breath in children is often due to a trapped item in the nasal cavity
Rarer causes of bad breath include bowel obstruction, ketoacidosis and aspiration pneumonia
The best treatment for bad breath is regular brushing, flossing and hydration
Crash diets can cause bad breath because of the build-up of ketones.