What is halitosis?

Halitosis is another name for bad breath.

Who is a risk?

Halitosis is usually caused by poor oral hygiene and/or an infection in the mouth. It can also be caused by infections in the nose, throat and more rarely the stomach.

Signs and symptoms

Bad breath is usually identified by a close friend or relative of the person affected and sometimes by the person themselves.


Since halitosis is usually caused by poor oral hygiene and oral infections, your dentist will make a diagnosis by taking a history and examining. In some cases halitosis can be ruled out as subjective halitosis (psychosomatic halitosis), where only the affected person can detect it. It is usually associated with anxiety and depression.


Thorough brushing and biannual check-ups are necessary to prevent dental and gum infections.


Any cavities and gum disease will be treated.
If the halitosis persists, nasal, throat and stomach infections or conditions are ruled out or treated if at all present. Examples of infections and conditions that can be causative include sinusitis, recurrent tonsillitis, and gastro esophageal reflux disease.