Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can affect anyone and it is estimated that at one time or another over half of the population will suffer from this condition.

Most of the time, bad breath originates from the mouth caused by oral bacteria breaking down food debris. These bacteria need an environment that is free of oxygen, so they usually inhabit areas that are difficult to reach, such as gum pockets and fissures of the tongue. Bad breath is often caused by dental decay as well as medical conditions such as  sinusitis, lung or stomach disease. The first step in solving bad breath problems is to undergo a dental examination and then if necessary a medical examination to ensure that there are no systemic problems contributing to this condition. Other factors such as tobacco, foods like garlic, onions, spicy food, extreme dieting and dry mouth, can also cause bad breath.

Dental treatment includes scale and polish, deep cleaning of periodontal (gum) pockets and good home oral care by thorough brushing (electric or manual), proper use of dental floss, interdental brushes, medicated mouth rinses and cleaning the tongue with a scraper or toothbrush.