It is simply an unpleasant smell coming from the mouth. Halitosis can occur on occasion or it can be a chronic condition. It can cause a significant psychological distress. It may be caused by foods,  poor oral hygiene, diseases or other factors.
1) Food: The breakdown of food particles stuck in the teeth can cause bad odor. Some foods such as onions and garlic can cause bad breath. Most of the time, the odor is short- lived. As the food gets stuck in the teeth, it promotes the growth of bacteria and dental plaques which causes bad breath.
2)Tobacco: Smoking and chewing tobacco can leave chemicals that remain the mouth. Additionally, they can also precipitate other bad breath causes such as gum diseases or oral cancer.
3)Mouth Infection: Cavities, gum diseases or impacts teeth may cause bad breath.
4)Pregnancy: Being pregnant itself does not cause bad breath but the nausea and morning sickness common during pregnancy may cause bad breath. It may also be caused by hormonal changes, dehydration and eating different foods due to cravings.
5)Dental Hygiene: Brushing and flossing ensure the removal of small particles of food that can build up and slowly break down, producing odor. A film of bacteria known as ”plaque” builds up if brushing is not regular.
Then most obvious symptom of bad breath is noticing an unpleasant smell coming from the mouth. Other causes Include
* Unpleasant or sour taste or changes in taste
* Dry mouth
* A coating in the tongue
It is necessary to see a dentist if proper oral hygiene does not get rid of the bad breath or if the bad breath is accompanying by
^ Sores in the mouth
^ Pain or difficulty with chewing and swallowing
^ White spots of the tonsils
* Brush / floss teeth regularly. Remember to brush the tongue to remove bacteria from its surface.
* See a dentist regularly for check ups and to ensure dentures and bracers are properly fitted or cleaned.
* Quit smoking or chewing tobacco.
* Over-the-counter mouthwash can help kill bad breath- causing bacteria and may temporarily mask bad breath.
* Avoid dry mouth: Drink enough water and chew sugar- less gum or sugar- free hard candy to stimulate the production of saliva.
Natural remedies used in the treatment of bad breath includes chewing on mint or parsley.
If breath odor persists despite controlling with these factors, it is recommended than an individual visits a doctor for further tests to rule out other conditions.
Ezedebego Chidiogo Emerald

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