Halitosis

Problems with bad breath

Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is defined as a set of unpleasant odours that are emitted from the mouth. It is considered a social problem and is related to poor oral hygiene or diseases of the oral cavity, although, at times it may be a sign of another type of pathology.

Problems with bad breath

Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is defined as a set of unpleasant odours that are emitted from the mouth. It is considered a social problem and is related to poor oral hygiene or diseases of the oral cavity, although, at times it may be a sign of another type of pathology.

Intraoral halitosis

Intraoral halitosis (90% of cases)

Comes from the oral cavity itself. In 41% of this cases, it is due mainly to the existence of active periodontal disease and the accumulation of oral biofilm (bacterial plaque) on the tongue. It may also be caused by other situations including: periodontal problems, tooth decay, smoking habit, etc.

Extraoral halitosis

Extraoral halitosis (10% of cases)

Originates outside the oral cavity. Mainly due to systemic disorders of the upper/lower respiratory tract, of the digestive system, as well as liver or kidney diseases.

Halitosis: non-pathological causes

Non-pathological

  • Morning breath
  • Changes that come with age
  • Dentures
  • Medications
  • Use of tobacco
  • Periods of fasting or hypocaloric diets
  • Consumption of certain foods (onion, garlic) or alcohol intake
Halitosis:  pathological causes

Pathological

  • Periodontal disease or tooth decay (caries)
  • Traumatic or infectious ulcers / stomatitis
  • Viral, bacterial or fungal infections in the pharynx
  • Necrosis from radiation therapy and chemotherapy in patients with neoplasms
  • The causes of extraoral Halitosis may be: nasal (sinusitis), digestive diseases, respiratory diseases, systemic diseases (poorly controlled diabetes mellitus, kidney infection, liver dysfunction, Sjögren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.).

Halitosis

In general, halitosis is difficult to diagnose, as it is unlikely for one to detect their own bad breath, and therefore, most cases of halitosis are diagnosed in the dental office. Different fundamental aspects are involved in the examination of a patient with halitosis:

  • Condition of general health
  • Lifestyle
  • Oral condition
  • Hygiene habits
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