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How can bad breath (halitosis) be a sign of another health problem?

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Bad breath can come from a dry mouth or food and drink. But gum disease and gingivitis can also cause bad breath.

Bad breath that won't go away might be from certain underlying health problems, You should see a doctor right away if you have any of these conditions:

  • Sinus infections
  • Chronic lung infection
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Diabetes

SOURCES:

Academy of General Dentistry: "Importance of Oral Health to Overall Health;" "Stress and Your Teeth;" "Warning Signs in the Mouth Can Save Lives;" "Oral Warning Signs Can Indicate Serious Medical Conditions;" "Dentists Help Confirm Osteoporosis;" and "Talk to Your Dentist About Sex."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Halitosis: Overview."

NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center: "Oral Health and Bone Disease."

National Eating Disorders Association: "Dental Complications of Eating Disorders."

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on October 9, 2019

SOURCES:

Academy of General Dentistry: "Importance of Oral Health to Overall Health;" "Stress and Your Teeth;" "Warning Signs in the Mouth Can Save Lives;" "Oral Warning Signs Can Indicate Serious Medical Conditions;" "Dentists Help Confirm Osteoporosis;" and "Talk to Your Dentist About Sex."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Halitosis: Overview."

NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center: "Oral Health and Bone Disease."

National Eating Disorders Association: "Dental Complications of Eating Disorders."

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on October 9, 2019

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Are mouthwashes and rinses good for teeth whitening?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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