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Halitosis, otherwise known as bad breath, is a condition in which there’s an odour in the breath. The odour can come from the teeth, mouth, or be a result of an underlying health condition. Depending on the cause of bad breath, halitosis can be temporary or chronic.

Often in conjunction with bad breath, you will experience a bad taste in your mouth. Usually, it’s caused by trapped food particles and can be remedied by brushing your teeth or using mouthwash. However, if it's a result of an underlying condition, the taste or smell may not disappear.

What Causes Halitosis?

Some cases of halitosis are caused by dental issues such as poor dental hygiene and periodontal disease. Other than dental issues, there are also nose, ear and throat factors that may contribute to bad breath. Some of these factors include:

Post-Nasal Drip

Excess mucus from a cold or an allergy may leak to the back of your throat, which can produce an odour when you breathe or speak.


When you have a sinus infection, there’s a build-up of mucus due to lack of proper drainage. The growth of bacteria in your sinuses can cause halitosis.

Atrophic Rhinitis

In the case of atrophic rhinitis, instead of mucus being wet and slippery, it's dry and crusty. This is often due to excessive use of decongestants.

Acute Tonsillitis

When the tonsils are infected, bacteria grows and this often leads to the development of bad breath.

Treatment for Halitosis

In order to treat your halitosis, Dr Makhaye will need to determine the underlying cause. If your halitosis is being caused by sinusitis, she may recommend antibiotic treatment. Dr Makhaye may also recommend allergy treatment to improve post-nasal drip. If you’re unsure of what's causing your halitosis or how to treat it, contact Dr Makhaye.