Clinical assessment of bad breath: current concepts

J Am Dent Assoc. 1996 Apr;127(4):475-82. doi: 10.14219/jada.archive.1996.0239.


Bad breath typically originates in the mouth, often from the back of the tongue. Nasal problems also can cause bad breath; odor generated in this manner can be easily distinguished from mouth odor by comparing the odor exiting the mouth and nose. In most cases, good professional oral care combined with a daily regimen of oral hygiene--including interdental cleaning, deep tongue cleaning and optional use of an efficacious mouthrinse---will lead to improvement. This article discusses common causes of oral malodor as well as methods to assess the extent of the problem.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dental Prophylaxis
  • Halitosis / diagnosis*
  • Halitosis / etiology
  • Halitosis / microbiology
  • Halitosis / therapy
  • Humans
  • Mouth / microbiology
  • Mouth / physiopathology
  • Mouthwashes / therapeutic use
  • Nose Diseases / complications
  • Oral Hygiene
  • Tongue / microbiology
  • Tongue / physiopathology


  • Mouthwashes