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Bad breath (halitosis)



Halitosis is also known as oral malodour, or just bad breath.
The causes may be local or systemic.
Bad breath can be a health concern.
90% of malodour originates in the oral cavity, whereas the remaining 10% has systemic causes.


Oral causes and contributing factors:
  • Periodontal infections
  • The tongue coating harbours microorganisms
  • Xerostomia (dry mouth)
  • Leaking restorations that retains food and bacteria
  • Unclean dentures/ retainers
  • Oral pathologic lesions
  • Throat infections
  • Cleft palate


 Systemic and non-oral factors:
  • Renal or hepatic failure
  • Carcinomas
  • Diabetes
  • Upper respiratory; nasal passages
  • Cirrhosis of the liver


  • Daily plaque removal program:  brushing and flossing
  • Cleaning of all prostheses / retainers
  • Carious lesions should be restored
  • Brushing and scraping of the dorsal surface of the tongue is a daily requirement