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J Clin Periodontol. 2009 Nov;36(11):970-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2009.01478.x. Epub 2009 Oct 6.

Characteristics of 2000 patients who visited a halitosis clinic.

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Department of Periodontology, Catholic University of Leuven, Kapucijnenvoer 33, Leuven BE-3000, Belgium.



The aim of this paper was to analyse the aetiology and characteristics of 2000 patients who visited a multidisciplinary bad breath clinic in Leuven, Belgium and to correlate organoleptic ratings with portable device measurements.


The characteristics and aetiology of breath malodour of two thousand consecutive patients who visited a halitosis consultation were explored by means of a standard questionnaire and a clinical examination, including organoleptic scores provided by a trained and calibrated judge, and a portable bad breath detector (Halimeter).


Most patients came without referral and had complaints for several years (mean: 7 years, SD: 8 years). For 76% of the patients, an oral cause was found [tongue coating (43%), gingivitis/periodontitis (11%) or a combination of the two (18%)]. Pseudo-halitosis/halitophobia was diagnosed in 16% of the cases; and ear, nose and throat/extra-oral causes were found in 4% of the patients. Most patients had an organoleptic score <3 and a Halimeter value <240 p.p.b.


Even though it was observed that halitosis has a predominantly oral origin, a multidisciplinary approach remains necessary to identify ear, nose and throat or extra-oral pathologies and/or pseudo-halitosis/halitophobia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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