A Current Approach to Halitosis and Oral Malodor- A Mini Review

Damla Aksit Bicak*
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Near East University, Nicosia / TRNC Mersin 10 � Turkey

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© 2018 Damla Aksit Bicak.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Near East University, Near East Boulevard, ZIP: 99138, Nicosia / TRNC, Mersin 10, Turkey; Tel: +90(392)2236464; E-mail:



Halitosis, in other words, oral malodor is an important multifactorial health problem affecting the psychological and social life of individuals and is the most common reason for referral to dentists after dental caries and periodontal diseases.


The objective of this review was to present and discuss conventional and recently introduced information about the types, causes, detection and treatment methods of halitosis.


An expanded literature review was conducted which targeted all articles published in peer-reviewed journals relating to the topic of halitosis. Only articles written in Turkish and English languages were considered. The review itself began with a search of relevant subject headings such as ‘halitosis, oral malodor, volatile sulfur compounds in PubMed/Medline, Scopus, Google Scholar and Tubitak Ulakbim databases. A hand search of references was also performed.


When search results are combined, the total number of relevant literature was found to be 4646 abstracts and 978 full-text articles. Abstracts, editorial letters were not included and about half of full-text articles were not related to dental practice. Among the remaining 124 full-text articles, duplicated articles and articles written other than Turkish and English languages were removed and 54 full-text articles were used for this review.


According to the reviewed articles, both conventional and new methods were introduced in the management of halitosis. However, conventional methods seem to be more effective and widely used in the diagnosis and treatment of halitosis.


As being first line professionals, dentists must analyze and treat oral problems which may be responsible for the patient's malodor, and should inform the patient about halitosis causes and oral hygiene procedures (tooth flossing, tongue cleaning, appropriate mouthwash and toothpaste selection and use) and if the problem persists, they should consult to a medical specialist.

Keywords: Halitophobia, Halitosis, Oral malodor, Oral diseases, Pseudohalitosis, Volatile sulfur compounds.