Bad Breath (Halitosis) Facts

Did you know:
    An estimated sixty-five percent of Americans are estimated to have bad breath.
    Over 40 million Americans have "chronic halitosis", bad breath that never quite goes away.
    Ninety percent of all halitosis is of oral, not systemic, orgin.
    More than a billion dollars a year is spent on over the counter halitosis products that often merely mask bad breath odors.
Bad breath emanates from the lungs when certain foods are digested. Small odor molecules from onions, garlic and peppers enter the bloodstream with some making their way into the lungs. Halitosis or Oral Malodor is an offensive odor coming from the mouth, nose or sinuses. It can be split into two categories.

Morning breath
Hunger breath
Menstrual breath
Digestive Organs
No systemic illnesses
Systemic illnesses
Less intense
More intense
Generally responds to oral hygiene
Requires treatment of underlying cause

Drugs That Cause Dryness Of The Mouth Contribute to Halitosis
Central Nervous System Agents
Antiparkinson drugs Antihistimines/decongestants
Antipsychotics Anticholinergics
Narcotics Antihypertensives

Oral Conditions Causing Halitosis
Periodontitis Gingivitis
Apthous ulcers (canker sores) Traumatic ulcers
Dental abscesses Herpetic infections (viral)
Candidiasis (fungal infection) Oral cancer
Xerostomia (dry mouth) Poor oral hygiene

Non-Oral Sources Causing Halitosis
Nose/Sinuses Pulmonary (lungs)
Tonsils/Pharnyx Systemic Illnesses
Digestive Organs  

Systemic Illnesses
Diabetic Ketoacidosis Schizophrenia
Liver Failure Olfactory reference syndrome
Renal Failure


  Odor Characteristics
Diabetes Acetone, fruity
Liver failure Sweetish, musty
Acute rheumatic fever Acid, sweet
Lung abscess Foul, putrefactive
Blood dyscrasias Resembling decomposed blood
Liver cirrhosis Resembling decayed blood
Uremia Ammonia or urine
Toxemia, gastrointestinal disorder, neuropsychiatric Varies, poor oral hygiene intensifies the odor
Fever, dehydration, macroglobulinemia Odor due to xerostomia with poor oral hygiene and toxic waste products accumulated
Sjorgen's syndrome Fetid
Eosinophilic granuloma, Letter-Siwe disease, Hand-Schuller-Chrisitan disease Fetid breath and unpleasant taste
Scurvy Foul breath from stomach inflammation
Wegner's granulomatosis Necrotic, putrefactive
Kidney failure Ammonia or urine
Diptheria, dysentery, measles, pneumonia, scarlet fever, tuberculosis Extremely foul, fetid odor 
Syphilis Fetid

Phsiological Halitosis or Oral Malodor is generally caused by volatile sulfur compounds. It responds to treatment with Zytex, a combination of zinc chloride, thymol and eucalyptus oil. It neutralizes the sulfur compounds and kills the bacteria that causes them.

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Stuart A. Greene, DDS-FAGD
2009 Birdcreek Terrace Temple, TX 76502 254.773.9007 | Fax 254.773.8051
©2004 Stuart A. Greene, DDS-FAGD | Online since 1996 | Updated Continuously