Andrew Davies and Ilora Finlay

in Oral Care in Advanced Disease

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780192632432
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191730375 | DOI:

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This chapter discusses halitosis, an offensive odour from the mouth or hollow cavities such as the nose, sinuses, and pharynx. Halitosis comprises three types: physiological halitosis, pathological halitosis, and pseudohalitosis or halitophobia. Within the general population and the palliative care population, halitosis is a major cause of morbidity. It causes profound psychological and social effects. Patients may become reclusive due to embarrassment, while family, friends, and health professionals may diminish social interactions with patients. These factors may create barriers between the patient and other people which may lead to depression in both parties involved. In this chapter, the different assessments and treatment of halitosis are discussed. Assessments discussed herein are organoleptic measurement, gas chromatography, and sulphide monitoring. Treatments suggested are dietary modification, smoking cessation, and mechanical methods of bacterial number and substrate reduction.

Keywords: halitosis; offensive odour; mouth; cavities; physiological halitosis; pathological halitosis; halitophobia; treatment; organoleptic measurement; sulphide monitoring

Chapter.  2110 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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