bad breath (halitosis)

halitosis is simply bad breath. the word is a combination of the latin halitus and the greek suffix -osis, and literally means “breath condition”.

about one in four people are thought to have bad breath (halitosis) on a regular basis, but most of us have suffered it at some point.


bad breath is usually caused by bacteria in the mouth and is not usually a sign of general ill health.

gum disease can cause bad breath. but you could still have bad breath with healthy teeth, gums and great oral hygiene. the smell then usually comes from the far back of the tongue. it gets stronger when you talk, as your mouth gets drier.

eating strongly flavoured foods, such as onions and garlic, can also cause your breath to smell, as can smoking and drinking alcohol.
occasionally, bad breath can occur after an infection or illness, or as a result of taking certain types of medication.

snoring or mouth breathing dries out the cavity and makes it stagnant as the saliva flow is decreased. this in turn can lead to halitosis.


to restore fresh breath is usually very simple and involves a consultation and examination of the mouth in order to ascertain what the reasons are and how they can be treated. simply brushing the tongue and a dental hygiene plan is often sufficient.

in the meantime, brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing and keeping the mouth moist will help. chewing sugar free gum can help with bad breath as it increases the flow of saliva.

if you find that you breathe through your mouth, shut it and breathe through your nose. snorers, try lying on your side when sleeping, you’ll be less noisy and may smell sweeter too!!