Odor in the Court!

Scherer, Ashleigh, Kathleen Jachcik, and Jessica George

Purpose

To inform individuals about the cause, prevention and management for Halitosis.

Procedures such as scaling, root planning, tongue scraping, and good oral hygiene all can lower concentrations of volatile sulfur compounds.

Summary

The origin of halitosis is related to both systemic and oral conditions. More than 90% of cases of halitosis originate from the oral cavity. The bacteria involved are located in stagnant areas in the oral cavity, such as dorsal surface of the tongue, periodontal pockets, and the gingival crevices. These bacteria proteolyses protein substrates (amino acids) which then release volatile sulfur compounds.

Halitosis can first be managed by measuring its severity by a portable sulphide monitor (halitometer). However, other management procedures such as, improving oral hygiene, eating regularly, avoiding odiferous foods or drugs, chewing sugar-free gum on a regular basis, over- the-counter oral deodorants, and mouthwashes have been proven to be most reliable in managing halitosis.

Depending on the severity of halitosis, different conditions can be prevented. Prevention of halitosis begins with effective, daily oral hygiene care. Brushing three times a day with toothpaste aimed to reduce plaque bacteria is essential. Flossing once a day, and/or the use of interdental cleaning aids also reduces odor causing bacteria. Tongue scrapers clean the posterior two-thirds of the dorsal tongue which is important in reducing sulfur-containing compounds that contribute greatly to halitosis. Regular dental visits for a professional cleaning should be scheduled at least twice a year.

Conclusion

Halitosis impacts individual’s quality of life. This further enhances in those who smoke, take certain medications, and have poor oral hygiene. There are ways to manage Halitosis when the cause is correctly identified and measurements are taken to prevent, decrease or eliminate its effects.