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Chin J Dent Res. 2018;21(1):69-76. doi: 10.3290/j.cjdr.a39920.

Comparison of the Psychological Condition of Chinese Patients with or without Halitosis Complaints.



To investigate the psychological condition of Chinese patients with or without a primary complaint of halitosis.


The psychological condition of 196 Chinese patients who visited the Department of Periodontics was evaluated using the Cornell Medical Index (CMI) health questionnaire. The breath malodour of all patients was scored using the organoleptic test (OLT).


More than half of patients (53.1%) complaining of halitosis actually demonstrated pseudo-halitosis. The overall scores and scores for emotional symptoms of CMI were significantly higher in patients with a chief complaint of halitosis than in those without such a complaint (P < 0.05). Females with a chief complaint of halitosis exhibited significantly higher scores for all parameters relative to females without a complaint (P < 0.05), while males with a chief complaint of halitosis exhibited enhanced emotional symptoms, particularly inadequacy, anxiety, and tension (P < 0.05) when compared with males without a halitosis complaint. Among patients complaining of halitosis, CMI scores for all parameters showed no difference between genuine halitosis female patients and pseudo-halitosis female patients, while male patients with pseudo-halitosis showed higher scores in the CMI overall score, scores for emotional symptoms and sensitivity, than males with genuine halitosis.


There was a marked inconsistency between the complaints of patients and their actual odour status. Patients with a chief complaint of halitosis exhibited a greater level of inadequacy, depression, anxiety, sensitivity, anger, and stress. The psychological status of the patients varied with gender.

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