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Bad breath can be due to the presence of bacteria in the mouth

Healthcare professionals use the term halitosis when referring to bad breath. People affected by bad breath don’t usually talk about the issue with their healthcare professional. However, your dentist is the best placed specialist to identify the origin of the problem and offer relevant advice.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath is commonly caused by the presence of bacteria in the mouth and on the surface of the tongue. This bacteria break down food, producing volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs). The nauseous smelling VSCs are the cause of bad breath.

Other factors contribute to bad breath:

Poor oral hygiene

High levels of consumption of tobacco, coffee, alcohol or foods like garlic, onion and anchovies

Fasting and low-calorie diets can also be a cause as they reduce the flow of saliva which results in a reduction in the cleansing mechanism

Oral diseases, inflammation of the gums, gum disease