What Is Halitosis?

Halitosis, a.k.a. chronic bad breath, is a condition in which a person emanates an unattractive odour from their mouth. It can be demoralizing and embarrassing, so much so that many people are reluctant to even mention it to their dentist. But it’s also common and quite treatable.

Halitosis has a number of possible causes: poor oral hygiene habits, cavities, gum disease, cracked fillings and less-than-clean dentures are all likely suspects29. Then there are the dietary factors. High-protein/low-carbohydrate diets, acidic foods, sweets and, of course, a steady fare of onions and garlic can all contribute to bad breath. So will excessive coffee and alcohol consumption. Tobacco users run an even higher risk29.

Since most cases of halitosis originate from inside the mouth, your first step should be a re-evaluation of your basic brushing and rinsing technique. While cleaning the teeth is necessary, it is of paramount importance that you give extra focus to the tongue30 - this is where a large amount of the bacteria lives that’s causing your bad breath. Gently scrape the tongue, then floss and rinse. Remember that brushing leaves behind germs that cause bad breath. LISTERINE® kills germs brushing misses1 giving you a whole mouth clean.

If you don’t notice an improvement, your next step should be a visit to your dentist. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to discuss with your dental professional. They’ll most likely be able to diagnose and treat the cause of your breath issues. 

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