Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


offensive odor of the breath.


A foul odor from the mouth.
[L. halitus, breath, + G. -osis, condition]



bad breath

A generic term referring to unpleasant odours emanating from the mouth, the intensity of which differs according to the foods eaten, such as garlic, onions, red meat and fish. Other factors include obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption. It is generally worse upon awakening (“morning breath”) because the anaerobic bacteria in the mouth have had hours to proliferate and produce volatiles. Acute bad breath can be addressed by oral hygiene in the form of mouthwashes, brushing the teeth and tongue, flossing, and use of inter-dental brushes. Chronic bad breath affects up to 25% of the population and may be socially or professionally crippling, and, if extreme, may affect one’s self-esteem.


Bad breath An offensive oral odor caused by either oral pathology–eg, poor dental hygiene with bacterial growth in plaques, acute or chronic gingivitis, or fungal overgrowth, GI pathology–eg, food entrapment in Zenker's diverticulum. See Body odor, Odors.


A foul odor of the breath.
[L. halitus, breath, + G. -osis, condition]


Bad breath. Most cases result from neglect of tooth brushing and flossing, odorous foodstuffs or drinks, smoking, gum infection (GINGIVITIS) or dental decay. Less common causes include DIABETES, BRONCHIECTASIS, lung abscess, atrophy of the nose lining (atrophic rhinitis), kidney failure or liver failure.


The medical term for bad breath.
Mentioned in: Bad Breath


A foul odor from the mouth.
Synonym(s): fetor oris, ozostomia.
[L. halitus, breath, + G. -osis, condition]

Patient discussion about halitosis

Q. What causes bad breath? I have bad breath for a long time. What causes it?

A. Here are some causes of bad breath:
A Dry mouth- Saliva helps cleanse and moisten your mouth. A dry mouth enables dead cells to accumulate on your tongue, gums and cheeks. These cells then decompose and cause odor. Dry mouth naturally occurs during sleep. It's what causes "morning breath." Dry mouth is even more of a problem if you sleep with your mouth open. Some medications as well as smoking can lead to a chronic dry mouth, as can a problem with your salivary glands.
Some Diseases can also cause bad breath- Chronic lung infections and lung abscesses can produce very foul-smelling breath. Other illnesses, such as some cancers and certain metabolic disorders, can cause a distinctive breath odor. Kidney failure can cause a urine-like odor, and liver failure may cause an odor described as "fishy." People with uncontrolled diabetes often have a fruity breath odor. Chronic reflux of stomach acids from your stomach (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD)

Q. How to get rid of bad breath? My wife complains that I have bad breath. How can I get rid of it?

A. Consider that candida infection can make your breath worse. You might try cutting down on sugar and carbs.

"Bad breath can also be caused by a candida (yeast infection), you may have a constant white furry tongue. Look at cutting down your intake of sugars and processed foods, as well as those containing yeast. - Search for Anti-Candida diet on a search engine for more info"

More discussions about halitosis
References in periodicals archive ?
| HOW TO TREAT BAD BREATH The best way to truly identify the source of chronic halitosis is to visit a dentist or doctor for a professional diagnosis.
The study was approved by the MCPHS University IRB and open to adults 18 years and older, who complained of or had been told they had halitosis. Seventeen of 22 recruited subjects followed pre-testing preparation.
Belching and halitosis have also been reported (5).
In the general population, halitosis has a prevalence ranging from 50% in the USA, 6% to 23% in China, Indian ranging from 21.7% in males to 35.3% in females (11,12).
A cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the association between social anxiety with oral hygiene status and tongue coating among patients with subjective halitosis. The study was conducted in the outpatient department, Panineeya Institute of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology during the 5 month period from January 2016 to May 2016.
If unaddressed, plaque mixes with minerals in the saliva, resulting in the formation of tartar, which provides an excellent surface for even more bacteria to grow, thereby making halitosis worse.
The researchers quizzed people about their day-to-day lives - and those with halitosis had five times more negative experiences than those with fresh breath.
Hyposalivation was the most common oral symptom (58%) followed by halitosis (45%), burning mouth sensation (25%), stomatitis (18%), and taste impairment (23%) in subjects with T2DM.
Don't fool yourself," said a 1928 advert for Listerine mouthwash, "Since halitosis never announces itself to the victim, you simply cannot know when you have it." Many of us do indeed worry that our breath smells fetid and sulphurous.
Y lo que es mas sorprendente es la conclusion de que, aunque es mas que posible que el tabaco cause halitosis, no hay evidencias firmes.
The highest prevalence rate is estimated at 2 per 100,000 people.12 Hiatal hernia and/or gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), male gender and age are risk factors for development of Zenker's diverticulum.2 The patients usually present with dysphagia, halitosis, regurgitation, postprandial emesis, chronic cough, aspiration, and/or weight loss.