Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Causes of bad breath (Halitosis)

Bad breath (Halitosis) is a widespread condition affecting about a quarter of adults. The most common cause of bad breath is decaying food debris between the teeth and gum (poor oral hygiene). Other causes of bad breath include:

  • · Tonsil or throat infection
  • · Dry mouth
  • · Smoking
  • · Alcohol and certain foods e.g. Garlic and Curries
  • · Inflammation of the oesophagus (Oesophagitis)
  • · Inflammation of the sinuses (Sinusitis)
  • · Build up of bacteria on the tongue
  • · Crash dieting - when energy producing food such as Carbohydrates are with held from the body, stored body fat is broken down instead. The waste product from this type of energy break down are ‘Ketones', which give a sweet and sickly smell
Bad Breath | ENT Doctor Cape Town
Bad Breath Treatment | ENT Doctor Cape Town

How is bad breath treated?

  • · Improving oral hygiene - correct brushing technique and regular flossing of teeth
  • · Avoiding smoking, drinking alcohol and eating spicy foods
  • · Using an antiseptic mouth wash
  • · Chewing sugar free gum to increase the flow in saliva
  • · Using a tongue cleaner to brush and clean the tongue

By C. Milford, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford and S. Anuku


The details in this section are for general information only. Always check with your own doctor.