Q:

What is halitosis?

A:

Quick Answer

Halitosis is the technical term for bad breath, according to Colgate. In most cases, halitosis results from the millions of bacteria that live in the mouth, particularly the back end of the tongue. Other causes of bad breath include poor dental hygiene, mouth infections and food.

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Full Answer

Halitosis that occurs in the morning, also known as "morning breath," does not constitute a health concern, as it results from a decrease in saliva production during sleep, which allows odor-producing bacteria to feed on

dead cells. Preventing halitosis involves brushing the teeth, tongue and gums, flossing, and rinsing with ADA-approved mouthwashes daily, explains Colgate. Seeing the dentist a couple times a year for professional examinations and cleanings represents a must for dental health as well. Finally, chewing sugar-free gum to prevent plaque buildup and drinking plenty of water to increase saliva production can also prevent bad breath.

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