Halitosis otherwise known as "bad breath" may be described as an unpleasant odour coming from the breath that is exhaled through the mouth or nose.

Bad breath is a social taboo and as a result sometimes psychological or social problems can develop for example social anxiety, depression, reluctance to speak and being withdrawn.


Bad Breath

Most of the time the unpleasant odor may be caused by conditions inside the mouth example:

  • Odors released by bacteria present below the gum line and on the back of the tongue.

  • Tooth decay

  • Gum disease

  • Sores inside the mouth

About 10% of the time halitosis may be caused by conditions outside of the mouth for example.

  • Disorders in the nasal cavity

  • Sinuses

  • Throat

  • Lungs

  • Esophagus

  • Stomach

Other times halitosis may be a symptom of a serious underlying medical condition for example:

  • Liver failure

  • Kidney disease or failure

  • Diabetes

  • Lung infection

Halitosis can be categorized by the character of the odour into three groups.

1. Sulfurous or fecal

Commonly caused by volatile sulfur compounds most notably methyl mercapton,hydrogen sulfide,and dimethyl sulfide.

2. Fruity or Sweet