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Characteristics of patients complaining of halitosis and the usefulness of gas chromatography for diagnosing halitosis.

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Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dental Science, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, 812-8582, Japan.



The purpose of this study was to examine the characteristics of patients complaining of halitosis and to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of 3 methods of measuring halitosis.


The actual degree of halitosis was determined through use of an organoleptic test in 155 patients aged 46 +/- 17 years (mean +/- SD). The volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) were determined with gas chromatography and with sulfide monitoring.


The organoleptic test revealed that 55% of the subjects had either no mouth odor or slight mouth odor. There was a significant correlation between the organoleptic score and the total VSC level as determined through use of other methods. The critical discrimination value of the total VSC level was calculated to be 0.057 ppm for gas chromatography and 0.117 ppm for sulfide monitoring; high sensitivity and specificity were obtained when the gas chromatography value was used. The amount of tongue coating was significantly greater in the halitosis-positive group than in the halitosis-negative group, whereas there was no difference in salivary flow rate between the 2 groups.


These results indicate that determining VSCs with gas chromatography is a useful means of diagnosing halitosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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