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What is the main cause of bad breath?

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Quick Answer

Bad breath may be caused by poor oral hygiene, consumption of certain foods or unhealthy lifestyle habits, reports WebMD. Also known as halitosis, bad breath may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

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What is the main cause of bad breath?
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Full Answer

Failure to remove food particles from the mouth through regular brushing and flossing can result in odor-producing bacteria growing on the teeth, gums and tongue. Strong-smelling foods, such as garlic and onions, can also contribute to bad breath until the body has finished processing them, according to WebMD. In addition, habits such as smoking and chewing tobacco can lead to bad breath.

Chronic halitosis may indicate gum (periodontal) disease, ill-fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth or dental cavities. Dry mouth (xerostomia), respiratory tract infections, diabetes and chronic acid reflux are some of the other conditions that may cause bad breath, says WebMD.

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