Etiology and characteristics of halitosis in patients of a halitosis center in Northern Italy.Minerva Stomatol. 2020 Jun; 69(3):174-182.MS
As there are few studies in Europe describing characteristics of breath malodor for large groups of patients, this retrospective study was designed to analyse the etiology of halitosis among patients attending a breath malodor center in Northern Italy.
Clinical records of 547 consecutive patients were reviewed and data on self-perceived halitosis, organoleptic scores, volatile sulphur compound (VSC) levels, and oral health condition were extracted and analysed.
The prevalence of intra-oral halitosis was 90.7%. In 21 patients no objective signs of breath malodor could be found. Periodontitis and gingivitis were the main cause of bad breath in 33.9% of subjects and in combination with tongue coating in 55.2%. Only eight subjects have tongue coating as the only cause of halitosis. Ear, nose and throat (ENT)/extra-oral causes were found in 5.2% of the patients. VSC concentrations were lower in the psychogenic halitosis group, whereas no statistically significant differences were detected when comparing intra-oral and extra-oral halitosis except for (CH3)2S.
Psychogenic halitosis is a rare condition among subjects complaining of suffering from bad breath. The most prevalent cause of halitosis is intra-oral, in particular a combination of tongue coating and periodontal disease. Tongue coating is rarely the primary cause of oral malodor.