- Slideshow: Top Problems in Your Mouth
- Teeth Whiteners That Work
- Dental (Oral) Health Quiz
- Patient Comments: Bad Breath - Causes
- Patient Comments: Bad Breath - Remedies
- Bad breath (halitosis) facts
- What is the definition of bad breath?
- What are the causes and health risk factors of bad breath?
- What signs and symptoms may be associated with bad breath?
- When should someone see a health care professional about bad breath?
- What health care specialists treat halitosis?
- How do health care professionals diagnose halitosis?
- What are treatment options and home remedies for bad breath? What can be done to prevent bad breath?
- What products can be used to eliminate or mask bad breath?
- What is the prognosis for people with halitosis?
What signs and symptoms may be associated with bad breath?
It is generally simple how to tell if you have bad breath. Others may notice someone has halitosis before the person does, so another person may tell him or her about their bad breath or give them a larger than normal personal space. The most obvious sign or symptom of bad breath is noticing an unpleasant smell coming from the mouth.
Other signs and symptoms of bad breath include
- unpleasant or sour taste or changes in taste,
- dry mouth, and
- a coating on the tongue.
When should someone see a health care professional about bad breath?
If proper oral hygiene does not get rid of bad breath, see a dentist or doctor for a diagnosis if bad breath is accompanied by
- persistent dry mouth,
- sores in the mouth,
- pain or difficulty with chewing or swallowing,
- broken teeth or dental pain,
- white spots on the tonsils, and/or
- fever or fatigue.
Also see a doctor or dentist if bad breath develops after taking a new medication, after recent dental surgery, or any other symptoms develop that are of concern.
What health care specialists treat halitosis?
The first stop when you have halitosis is usually your dentist. If your dentist determines you have a healthy mouth, you will likely be referred to a physician to look for an underlying health problem.
If you have periodontal disease, you may see a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in gum disease and dental implants.
If you have braces, it's like that your bad breath is caused by food getting stuck in them. You may see your orthodontist for an adjustment.
Bad breath in babies or young children may be a sign of infection or undiagnosed medical problems. Consult a child's pediatrician or dentist if an infant or young child has bad breath.