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Examination, Classification, and Treatment of Halitosis

Classification of Halitosis

1. Genuine Halitosis

2. Pseudo Halitosis

3. Halitophobia

Aetiologic Classification

This system allows for multiple diagnoses in the same patient, represents the most accurate model to understand halitosis, and forms an efficient and logical basis for the clinical management of the complaint.

Newly proposed aetiologic classification divides pathologic halitosis into: 

Generally, any halitosis complaint is potentially the sum or combination of these classifications.

Halitosis Examination

Halitosis Treatment

To reduce bad breath, avoid cavities and decrease the risk of gum disease, proper oral hygiene is crucial. Further treatment for halitosis can vary, depending on its cause.

Mouth rinses and toothpaste. If bad breath is due to a buildup of bacteria (plaque) on teeth, your dentist may recommend a bacteria killing mouth rinse and an antibacterial toothpaste.

Treatment of dental disease. Patients with gum disease may be referred to a gum specialist (periodontist). Gum disease can cause gums to pull away from teeth, leaving deep pockets that fill with odor-causing bacteria. Typically only professional cleaning removes these bacteria.

Brush your teeth after eating. Brush using a fluoride-containing toothpaste at least twice a day, especially after meals. Toothpaste with antibacterial properties has been shown to reduce bad breath odors. Keep a toothbrush at work to use after eating.

Floss at least once a day. Proper flossing removes food particles and plaque from between teeth, helping to control bad breath.

Brush your tongue. Tongues harbor bacteria, so carefully brushing it may reduce odors. People who have a coated tongue from significant bacteria overgrowth benefit from using a tongue scraper.

Clean dentures or dental appliances. If you wear a bridge or a denture, clean it thoroughly at least once per day or as directed by your dentist. If you have a dental retainer or mouth guard, clean it before you put it in your mouth each time.

Avoid a dry mouth. To keep a moist mouth, avoid tobacco and drink plenty of water — not coffee, soft drinks, or alcohol, which can lead to an even drier mouth. Chew gum or suck on sugar-free candy to stimulate saliva.

Schedule regular dental checkups. Visit the dentist on a regular basis, generally twice a year, for an examination and teeth cleaning.

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