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Halitosis Causes and Treatment

Updated on February 14, 2010

This condition, of which the offender may be unaware, arises principally from septic conditions of the gums (pyorrhea) or tonsils or from decay of the teeth. Lack of mouth cleanliness is a contributory factor. In children, adenoids may cause offensive breath, while it may result from infections of the nose with crusting. Chronic constipation and indigestion with furring of the tongue are also associated with bad breath. Excessive smoking if accompanied by alcoholic indulgence tends to taint the breath as do the eating of onions and garlic.

In certain general diseases, the breath may be affected; in diabetes it has a sickly sweetish odour; in cancer of the respiratory organs, it may be most offensive. The taking of certain medicines over a period, mercury, phosphorus, bismuth and iodine, produces characteristic breath odours. Treatment is naturally dependent upon the cause. Careful mouth hygiene, and the use of deodorant tooth pastes and mouth washes will relieve. Masking of the odor may be achieved by the use of flavored oils, such as oil of cloves.

It's always best to see your dentist for treatment and advice.


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