If you’re suffering from bad breath, you’re probably familiar with the difficulty it can cause when it comes to treatment options.
However, from a dentist’s perspective it’s important to determine exactly what category of bad breath you are experiencing. Yes, believe it or not bad breath is split up into 3 separate categories that we will cover below.
Categories of Bad Breath
Before we dive in, you should be familiar with the fact that bad breath is also known as “halitosis” & that sulfur is the main volatile compound responsible for bad breath.
1. Genuine Halitosis
Just as the name implies, “genuine” halitosis is bad breath that DOES exist.
We know it exists because a) We can smell it and b) We could use a testing apparatus to clarify, known as organoleptic testing which tests for certain volatile compounds that exist within bad breath, with sulfur being one of them. Treatment is needed for this cause.
There two subcategories of genuine halitosis:
Pathologic Halitosis – this is genuine halitosis in which bad breath is a symptom of a disease or other pathologic condition.
Physiologic Halitosis – this is genuine halitosis in which the foul odors are attributed to processes taking place in the oral cavity, often on our tongues.
This type of bad breath occurs only when a physical odor or smell cannot be detected either by the human nose or from testing, but the patient still believes they suffer from bad breath. No treatment is necessary for this, other than counseling the patient on their misconception.
This classifies people who have successfully treated their genuine halitosis, but still believe they suffer from bad breath even when further testing an physical examination does not show results.
This also includes people who never had genuine halitosis, but received counseling on their pseudo-halitosis yet still believes bad breath exists. In this case, psychological counseling is recommended.
90% of bad breath cases are the result of physiologic halitosis, which is often resolved with improved oral home care, which includes brushing your tongue as well.
However, if this does not seem to be improving your case, then you should consult your dentist for more treatment options.