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Bad Breath (Halitosis) (cont.)

Bad Breath Symptoms

Many individuals with bad breath may be unaware they have it, or their signs and symptoms may only be temporary. The odor often depends upon the source or underlying cause of the bad breath.

Some common symptoms of bad breath include

  • bad breath smell,
  • bad or sour taste or taste changes,
  • dry mouth,
  • a coating on the tongue.

When to Seek Medical Care

Most causes of bad breath are due to inadequate oral hygiene and are rarely life-threatening. If good oral hygiene practices do not eliminate the bad breath, see a dental professional. In most cases, a dentist can treat the cause of bad breath.

An individual should consult their physician for a diagnosis if they have

  • persistent dry mouth,
  • sores in the mouth,
  • pain with chewing or swallowing,
  • white spots on the tonsils,
  • fever,
  • just started a new medication,
  • had recent dental surgery,
  • any other symptoms of concern.

Bad breath in babies or young children may be a sign of infection or undiagnosed medical problems. Consult the child's doctor or dentist if an infant or young child has bad breath.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2014
Medical Editor:

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