Bad breath (halitosis) can be a very embarassing condition but most of the time a lot can be done to get rid of this condition if the cause is identified. Causes of halitosis sometimes obvious to the sufferer usually include smoking, certain foods, alcohol and poor dental hygiene. Other common causes of halitosis include tonsiloliths (these are food debris trapped in tiny crypts on the surface of the tonsils), chronic sinusitis and certain drugs.
Saliva plays a crucial role in lubricating the mouth, in oral hygiene and acting as a mechanical cleansing agent. Any condition which causes a reduction in saliva production will cause halitosis. Saliva production is reduced during sleep (temporarily), after radiotherapy and in immunological conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome.
Local inflammatory conditions will inevitably cause halitosis. These will include acute tonsilitis, pharyngitis and inflammatory conditions of the nose and sinuses. There are also general conditions such as liver or kidney failure which could lead to halitosis.