Bad breath odors vary, depending on the source or the underlying cause. Some people worry too much about their breath even though they have little or no mouth odor, while others have bad breath and don't know it. Because it's difficult to assess how your own breath smells, ask a close friend or relative to confirm your bad-breath questions.
When to see a doctor
If you have bad breath, review your oral hygiene habits. Try making lifestyle changes, such as brushing your teeth and tongue after eating, using dental floss, and drinking plenty of water.
If your bad breath persists after making such changes, see your dentist. If your dentist suspects a more serious condition is causing your bad breath, he or she may refer you to a physician to find the cause of the odor.
Dec. 18, 2012
Bad breath: Causes and tips for controlling it. American Dental Association. http://jada.ada.org. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
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- What is halitosis? Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=H&iid=306&aid=1254. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Dry mouth. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/topics/drymouth/drymouth.htm. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Should I floss? Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=f&iid=302&aid=1244. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
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- Tongue scrapers only slightly reduce bad breath. Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=t&iid=306&aid=3192 Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Bollen CML, et al. Halitosis: The multidisciplinary approach. International Journal of Oral Science. 2012;4:55.
- Sheridan PJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 30, 2012.
- Carr AB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 23, 2012.
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