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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Halitosis: could it be more than mere bad breath?

The public and institutional perception of 'halitosis' is that it is strictly a 'localized' problem, so it is good to see a medical paper that discusses the concept of 'bloodborne halitosis', also referred to as alveolar halitosis, where the source of the breath odor is deemed to be coming from the lungs via the circulation. However, the abstract seems to imply that bloodborne halitosis may be a sign of a serious underlying illness, which does not seem to be the case for most of our readers.

The paper is by staff in the Department of Oral Sciences, University of Palermo, Italy.

Quote :

"Halitosis is a generic term used to describe unpleasant odor emanating from the mouth air and breath, independent of the source where the odor substances originate. It affects between 50 and 65% of the population, but despite its frequency, this problem is often unaccepted and declared as taboo. Ninety percent of patients suffering from halitosis have oral causes: a small, but important percentage, of oral malodor cases have an extra-oral etiology, very often falling into the category of "blood-borne halitosis". Several systemic diseases have been found to provoke malodor or to be a cofactor; bad breath may be an early sign of a serious local or systemic condition..."

Abstract : Halitosis: could it be more than mere bad breath?


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