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  • Halitosis, colloquially called bad breath, is a symptom in which a noticeably unpleasant odor is present on the exhaled breath. Concern about halitosis is estimated to be the third most frequent reason for people to seek dental care, following tooth decay and periodontal disease, and about 20% of the general population are reported to suffer from it to some degree. Not all who think they have halitosis have a genuine problem. Of those who seek treatment, a significant percentage have been reported to have no genuine halitosis when professionally examined. Of those who have genuine halitosis, often the odor is caused by bacteria present below the gumline and on the back of the tongue. The remaining 10% is accounted for by many different conditions, including disorders in the nasal cavity, sinuses, throat, lungs, esophagus, stomach or elsewhere. Very rarely, halitosis can be one of many symptoms of a serious underlying medical condition such as liver failure, but in the vast majority of cases the cause is minor and can often be reduced by adjustments to oral hygiene, including brushing or gently scraping the back of the tongue and improving the health of the gums, e.g. by using dental floss. Occasionally however, especially if the origin of the odor is not in the mouth, halitosis can be more difficult to diagnose and to manage successfully. Bad breath is a social taboo and, as a result, perceived or genuine halitosis can sometimes trigger social anxiety and depression. Wikipedia

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