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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Bad Breath
      Category : Health Centers > Mouth and Teeth (Oral and Dental)

Bad Breath

Alternate Names : Halitosis, Fetor Oris

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Bad breath refers to an unpleasant, unusual, or offensive odor to the breath.

What is going on in the body?

Bad breath can be caused by factors within the mouth, which are referred to as local factors. It may also be caused by systemic factors, which means bodywide diseases or conditions.

What are the causes and risks of the symptom?

Following are some local causes of bad breath:

  • poor oral hygiene
  • smoking
  • tooth abscess
  • impacted wisdom tooth
  • certain foods, such as garlic
  • not eating for a long time
  • alcohol
  • mouth or throat infections, such as strep throat
  • gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums
  • periodontitis, or an inflammation of the structures supporting the tooth
  • sinus infection
  • cold or flu
  • nose infection
  • overgrown tonsils catching food, which is common in children
  • Some systemic, or bodywide, causes of bad breath include the following:

  • drugs and medications
  • kidney disease
  • lung abscess, or pus pocket within the lungs
  • bronchitis
  • conditions that cause dry mouth, such as Sjogren's syndrome
  • stomach or bowel problems
  • constipation
  • poorly controlled diabetes
  • liver disease
  • certain kinds of cancer
  • infection with the AIDS virus


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    Bad Breath: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Marvin Goldfogel, DDS
    Reviewer: Daniel C. Pizzi, DMD
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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