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bad breath

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Alternative Names 
halitosis, fetororis

Unpleasant, unusual, or offensive odour to the breath

What is going on in the body? 
People with bad breath often do not know that they have the problem. However, they should be told so that they can treat the problem. A health professional might be needed to determine the cause of the odour and help the person control or eliminate the problem. There are two general causes for bad breath: local, or systemic causes from within the body other than from the mouth.

What are the causes and risks of the disease? 
Some local causes of bad breath include:
  • poor oral hygiene
  • smoking
  • abscessed tooth
  • impacted wisdom tooth
  • gum boil or gum abscess
  • certain foods
  • not eating for a long time
  • alcohol
  • mouth or throat infections
  • gum infection caused by gingivitis (gin-jiv-eye-tis), an inflammation of the gums,or periodontitis(pair-ee-oh-don-tie-tis),an inflammation of the structures supporting the tooth
  • sinus infection