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Dental and Oral Health (Seniors)

Halitosis

07/13/1999

Question:

my mother 78 yrs old is concerned about halitosis. She is regular dental patient for care of her gums, teeth, etc. What could be causes or any tests/procedures to determine the cause? Can it be related to her digestive system?

Answer:

Bad breath or [Halitosis] is not an uncommon problem, affecting many dental patients. There are many reasons for halitosis, for example: 1. Local reason: Such as dental decay, periodontal [gum] disease ulcers of the mouth, infections, sinusitis and upper respiratory tract infections and other diseases. 2.Systemic reasons: Such as disorders affecting the digestive system, for example stomach, intestinal disorders, liver or metabolic disorders. 3. Consumption of food with pungent aromas such as garlic or spicey food.

Treatment will include identifying the cause and treating it. Covering the bad breath with other agents such as mints or candy is temporary.

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Response by:

Abdel Rahim   Mohammad, DDS, MS, MPH, FAAOM, FACD Abdel Rahim Mohammad, DDS, MS, MPH, FAAOM, FACD
Clinical Professor of Geriatrics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University