Talk:Bad breath

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This is wrong: "Later to actually have been formed just prior to the invention of mouth wash by a MR Halbert e. Tosises therefore gaining notoriety as its common name halitosis formally known as bad breath. Which coincidentally Halbert had the worst case know to date." It should be removed. It has no reference and is not encyclopedic in any sense. (talk) 17:43, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Seriously, this article needs to lose the air if giving advice to the reader. -- Cimon 06:36, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)

This article, except for the home remedy using H2O2+yogurt, appears to have been lifted straight from the NIH-NLM Medline Plus page linked at the bottom. While NLM-produced materials are in the public domain, many of the pages in Medline aren't, coming from other sources - in this case the ADAM encyclopedia, as described in the copyright notice at the bottom of the page.

I've removed the stinky copyrighted portion but kept the sweet-smelling home remedy. I've also written a new stub and marked it so. - toh 20:04, 2005 Jan 13 (UTC)

I removed the unnecessary links to the two TheraBreath sites and hawking of their products for a more generic reference to toothpaste and mouthwash. The information was of questionable veracity (and unquestionable shamelessness), especially the bit regarding "Dr. Harold Katz's sulfurous mouth-oxidizing compound". - 15:21, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • The TheraBreath website (if you cared to read it) claims that Oxyd-8 is an oxidizing agent, meaning it releases oxygen into your teeth, gums, etc. when you brush with it. The general consensus (according to this article and the website) is that anaerobic bacteria cause bad breath, and so a natural weapon against bad breath would be anything that exposes the anaerobic bacteria to oxygen, including Oxyd-8. I am reverting the article. Matt 23:31, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
This appears to argue a claim's veracity based on the combination of what already exists in the article (which may be inaccurate, not least because I wrote the stub ;), a "general consensus", and most importantly on the claims of a fairly suspicious site advertising its product (I've read the site, and I find it less than convincing and difficult to substantiate). If the argument can be made that "oxidising agents" alleviate bad breath based on some impartial source or sources (preferably real studies), it should stay. If it in any way depends on an advertiser's claim, it really can't stand here (moreover, product suggestions aren't particularly encyclopedic and aren't typical on Wikipedia). I'm removing the Therabreath stuff. - toh 20:16, 2005 May 1 (UTC)


Are we sure about Listerine coining the term? I've read about Elizabethan cures for it! Archer7 19:33, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Listerine made up the word "halitosis." Mike H. That's hot 01:51, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

thanks too listerine halitoisis is famous —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mary divalerio (talkcontribs) 22:21, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Why is it no longer mentioned in the article?-- (talk) 08:42, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
If you can find a reliable source for the origin of the term, it can be added. But it is not correct to say that the condition does not exist, as it clearly does - the most you can really say, if there is a good source, is that Listerine invented the term, not the condition -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:16, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
PS: The TV series QI is not a reliable source, as it bends its claims for entertainment purposes, rather than aiming for factual accuracy, and there have been many complaints that many of its claims have been false. -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:20, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
And the QI reference wasn't even valid anyway - the URL pointed straight back to this Wikipedia article -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:23, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Folks, the Listerine corp website itself takes credit for "renaming bad breath 'halitosis'". Can we reconsider mentioning this prominently on this page? Zahanm (talk) 04:41, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Seconding Zahanm's suggestion. Further, searching 'halitosis' should redirect to an article entitled 'bad breath' with a disambiguation or suggested follow to whatever we have on shame-based advertising. Bad breath is not a medical condition. It can be a symptom of a medical condition. It should never be called halitosis -- right? -- would anyone please disagree with me on this and let us know why? Write me on my user:talk please for more, I'm very surprised to find an article with this title here & am keen to head up a task force to do a proper article on the non-disease phenomenon of bad breath and/or the use of shame and pseudoscience in mid-20th century advertising campaigns. Harlequence (talk) 12:06, 6 April 2016 (UTC)


Dear Sirs, We have edited the entry for halitosis, based on existing scientific, medical and dental publications. There was much that needed amending, but we have left intact as much of the previous entry as possible. The term was poorly references, inaccurate and somewhat commercial. We have referenced the entry throughout, and hope that it will be a significant improvement over the previous entry, which did not do justice to Wikepedia.


Dr. Mel Rosenberg, Ph.D. Professor of Microbiology

Dr. Alon, Amit, D.M.D., Dentist

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Coolmood (talkcontribs) 09:06, 8 April 2007

{belated) thank you! lesion (talk) 16:26, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Origin of the term[edit]

I can't recall where I read it, but the term halitosis is not, in fact, medical originally - it arose around the turn of the century as an advertising term (I believe from the Listerine company) because it sounded medical, with the intention of creating a minor "health scare" to provide impetus for sales. If anyone could find sources or confirm this, it would make an interesting and worthy contribution to the article. Glacialfury (talk) 17:08, 24 May 2008 (UTC) ok —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:51, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

This fact is mentioned briefly in the book "The Shocking History of Advertising" by E.S. Turner first published in 1952 and later published in 1965 by Penguin Books. At page 13 appears this line: "Halitosis was the spectre which Listerine conjured up, gigantic and menacing, until it shadowed the continent."

Not every little bit of history is going to be found on the internet and people have to remember that books still have value. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:36, 17 August 2011 (UTC)


Removed "An example of such a product is the OraBrush.", which seems to be an ad. ⇌Elektron 01:17, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

cruel people[edit]

It looks like someone finally erased the fake paragraph. Whoever wrote that is really mean. (talk) 22:14, 19 January 2009 (UTC)


Couldn't the stomach be a source of halitosis since the Hydrogen breath test is a way to test lactose intolerance, Fructose malabsorption and other conditions where methane is also measured?Andrarias (talk) 13:23, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Source of the word "Halitosis"[edit]

The following is a possible source for the word, "Halitosis"

Quote: "If you have recurrent halitosis - a term for bad breath that was actually coined by a toothpaste manufacturer to make it sound as if it were a disease - then it is probably due to bacteria."

Source: Buckman, Dr. Robert. Human wildlife that lives on us. Toronto: Key Porter, 2003. Page 44. ISBN: 0801874068 and 0801874076

Traditional remedies[edit]

Too many challenges sources needed, removing the section because it seems completely non-sourced — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:57, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

I disagree, it was clearly sourced from somewhere, they were just too lazy to leave a reference. I put it in a new section called "history" along with some other historical trivia I came across.Tepi (talk) 05:58, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Brushing immediately after the meal, can reduce the bad breath. Parsley is one the natural remedy, chew it or make juice of it and sip a little when ever you want to refresh your mouth [1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mahender121 (talkcontribs) 11:03, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

garlic and blood borne halitosis[edit]

I noted recent edit reversals labeled as advertising. I agree the wording was poor, and read like an advert, but there is evidence to back up the content (although garlic may cause halitosis by both the blood borne mechanism and by leaving sulfur containing amino acid residues intraorally, which could cause transient oral malodor. There is also some evidence of the "internal deoderizing" effect of certain herbs like parsley, coriander. I've been working on a expanded version of this article in a sandbox for a while, I'm just too lazy to finish it. lesion (talk) 15:58, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Recent "anti listerine" edit[edit]


"There are claims, however, that the Listerene campaign created the idea of halitosis as a medical condition as opposed to something more akin to smelly armpits."

whilst interesting, and probably true that commercial interests have fed the modern concern about bad breath, need a source to say this. Also would mention that both halitosis and "smelly armpits" can be both physiologic (normal) and pathologic (disease). Physiologic halitosis is still a medical condition that is treated if it interferes with the person's social life etc.

Anyway, interesting, but unsourced. I wonder if we could start a new section elaborating on this idea, but ofc need source(s)... Lesion (talk) 08:46, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

I elaborated on this general idea a bit more in the society and culture section. The Listerine page itself had a good source for this. Lesion (talk) 15:40, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Listerine invented the word. the even admit it on their website. This whole article needs to be changed. the campaign they used in the 1920s is actually ridiculous, was on the UK site but has since been deleted — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:04, 1 January 2017 (UTC)


Remove primary sources and otherwise non MEDRS compliant sources*[edit]

*Note: not assessed for WP:MEDDATE issues.

Note, there are many sources added by the author Rosenberg, who seemed to rework the article in 07. I have not removed any of these sources unless there is a MEDRS violation, so some remain, and I assume in good faith that there is no self promotion issue here.

  • Rosenberg, M; Knaan, T; Cohen, D (2007). "Association among bad breath, body mass index, and alcohol intake". Journal of Dental Research 86 (10): 997–1000. doi:10.1177/154405910708601015. PMID 17890678. primary source  Done
  • ^ Knaan T, Cohen D, Rosenberg M. (2005). "Predicting bad breath in the non-complaining population". Oral Dis 11: 105–6. doi:10.1111/j.1601-0825.2005.01105_23.x. primary source  Done
  • ^ "Scientists find bug responsible for bad breath". Reuters. April 7, 2008. popular press, unreliable source  Done
  • ^ Oral Herpes Dentists UK Health Centre commercial site. unreliable source  Done
  • ^ Stamou, E; Kozlovsky, A; Rosenberg, M (2005). "Association between oral malodour and periodontal disease-related parameters in a population of 71 Israelis". Oral diseases. 11 Suppl 1: 72–4. doi:10.1111/j.1601-0825.2005.01097.x. PMID 15752105. primary source  Done
  • ^ Bosy, A; Kulkarni, GV; Rosenberg, M; McCulloch, CA (1994). "Relationship of oral malodor to periodontitis: Evidence of independence in discrete subpopulations". Journal of periodontology 65 (1): 37–46. PMID 8133414. primary source  Done
  • ^ Finkelstein, Y; Talmi, YP; Ophir, D; Berger, G (2004). "Laser cryptolysis for the treatment of halitosis". Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 131 (4): 372–7. doi:10.1016/j.otohns.2004.02.044. PMID 15467602. primary source  Done
  • emedicine is not a great source. Very little inline citation, and tend not to get updated frequently. Also advertising.  Done
  • webmd. unreliable source  Done
  • ^ Tangerman, A; Winkel, EG (2007). "Intra- and extra-oral halitosis: Finding of a new form of extra-oral blood-borne halitosis caused by dimethyl sulphide". Journal of clinical periodontology 34 (9): 748–55. doi:10.1111/j.1600-051X.2007.01116.x. PMID 17716310. primary source. This finding is also reported in a later secondary source "Tangerman, A; Winkel, EG (2010 Mar). "Extra-oral halitosis: an overview.". Journal of breath research 4 (1): 017003. PMID 21386205." which is already used as a source. No need to use the original primary source.  Done
  • ^ Tanaka, M; Anguri, H; Nishida, N; Ojima, M; Nagata, H; Shizukuishi, S (2003). "Reliability of clinical parameters for predicting the outcome of oral malodor treatment". Journal of Dental Research 82 (7): 518–22. doi:10.1177/154405910308200706. PMID 12821711. primary source  Done
  • ^ Rosenberg, M; Kozlovsky, A; Gelernter, I; Cherniak, O; Gabbay, J; Baht, R; Eli, I (1995). "Self-estimation of oral malodor". Journal of Dental Research 74 (9): 1577–82. doi:10.1177/00220345950740091201. PMID 7560419. primary source  Done
  • ^ Eli, I; Baht, R; Koriat, H; Rosenberg, M (2001). "Self-perception of breath odor". Journal of the American Dental Association (1939) 132 (5): 621–6. PMID 11367966. primary source?. Needs clarification, can't tell from abstract. Not done
  • ^ Van Den Velde, S; Quirynen, M; Van Hee, P; Van Steenberghe, D (2007). "Halitosis associated volatiles in breath of healthy subjects". Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences 853 (1–2): 54–61. doi:10.1016/j.jchromb.2007.02.048. PMID 17416556. primary source  Done
  • ^ Murata, T; Rahardjo, A; Fujiyama, Y; Yamaga, T; Hanada, M; Yaegaki, K; Miyazaki, H (2006). "Development of a compact and simple gas chromatography for oral malodor measurement". Journal of periodontology 77 (7): 1142–7. doi:10.1902/jop.2006.050388. PMID 16805675. primary source  Done
  • ^ Kozlovsky, A; Gordon, D; Gelernter, I; Loesche, WJ; Rosenberg, M (1994). "Correlation between the BANA test and oral malodor parameters". Journal of Dental Research 73 (5): 1036–42. PMID 8006229. primary source  Done
  • ^ Sterer, N; Greenstein, RB; Rosenberg, M (2002). "Beta-galactosidase activity in saliva is associated with oral malodor". Journal of Dental Research 81 (3): 182–5. doi:10.1177/154405910208100308. PMID 11876272. primary source  Done
  • ^ Greenman, J; Duffield, J; Spencer, P; Rosenberg, M; Corry, D; Saad, S; Lenton, P; Majerus, G et al. (2004). "Study on the organoleptic intensity scale for measuring oral malodor". Journal of Dental Research 83 (1): 81–5. doi:10.1177/154405910408300116. PMID 14691119. primary study  Done
  • ^ Burton, JP et al. (2006). "A preliminary study of the effect of probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 on oral malodour parameters". Journal of Applied Microbiology 100 (4): 754–64. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2672.2006.02837.x. PMID 16553730. primary source  Done
  • ^ Thrane PS, Young A, Jonski G, Rölla G (2007). "A new mouthrinse combining zinc and chlorhexidine in low concentrations provides superior efficacy against halitosis compared to existing formulations: a double-blind clinical study". J Clin Dent 18 (3): 82–6. PMID 17913002. primary source  Done
  • ^ Young A, Jonski G, Rölla G (2003). "Combined effect of zinc ions and cationic antibacterial agents on intraoral volatile sulphur compounds (VSC)". Int Dent J 53 (4): 237–42. doi:10.1111/j.1875-595X.2003.tb00751.x. PMID 12953892. primary source  Done
  • ^ Carvalho, MD; Tabchoury, CM; Cury, JA; Toledo, S; Nogueira-Filho, GR (2004). "Impact of mouthrinses on morning bad breath in healthy subjects". Journal of clinical periodontology 31 (2): 85–90. doi:10.1111/j.0303-6979.2004.00452.x. PMID 15016031. primary source  Done
  • ^ Rosenberg, M; Gelernter, I; Barki, M; Bar-Ness, R (1992). "Day-long reduction of oral malodor by a two-phase oil:water mouthrinse as compared to chlorhexidine and placebo rinses". Journal of periodontology 63 (1): 39–43. PMID 1552460. primary source.  Done

Lesion (talk) 22:35, 25 June 2013 (UTC)


Note that a zenker diverticulum does not occur in the esophagus, but in the pharynx. If a pouch were to occur in the esophagus, this would not be termed a zenker diverticulum, but instead "esophageal pouch". Therefore suggest (i) rm zenker from esophagus section, and (ii) redraft "differential diagnosis" section according to site, e.g.

  • mouth,
  • nose and sinuses,
  • Pharynx
  • Lower respiratory tract
  • Esophagus and stomach
  • Blood borne (all systemic causes of halitosis occur via blood borne mechanism). Lesion (talk) 20:26, 1 July 2013 (UTC)


I carried out a search of epidemiological data reported by several publications, however since these are all primary sources, and arguably this is original synthesis, we need a good secondary source that gives some hard figures.

At the least, it appears that males are affected as commonly as females. The most commonly quoted statistics in publications discussing halitosis are as follows:

  • Males are affected as commonly as females
  • about 20% of general population have halitosis
  • about 25% of those complaining of halitosis do not have any detectable malodor (pseudohalitosis)
  • about 90% of genuine halitosis cases caused by intraoral phenomena
  • about 10% of genuine halitosis cases caused by extraoral phenomena

Uncommon Origins[edit]

According to research done by Theodoor Hendrik van de Velde in the 1920s, orgasm lead to bad breath in females for about an hour after climax. [2] Emilymoyerr (talk) 06:36, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Zürcher, A (2012). "Findings, diagnoses and results of a halitosis clinic over a seven year period". Schweizer Monatsschrift fur Zahnmedizin = Revue mensuelle suisse d'odonto-stomatologie = Rivista mensile svizzera di odontologia e stomatologia / SSO. 122 (3): 205–16. PMID 22418723. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  4. ^ Quirynen, M (2009 Nov). "Characteristics of 2000 patients who visited a halitosis clinic". Journal of clinical periodontology. 36 (11): 970–5. PMID 19811581. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ Seemann, R (2006 Apr). "The proportion of pseudo-halitosis patients in a multidisciplinary breath malodour consultation". International dental journal. 56 (2): 77–81. PMID 16620035. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ Filippi, A (2006). "[Real and psychological halitosis--findings, diagnoses and outcomes of a halitosis clinic]". Schweizer Monatsschrift fur Zahnmedizin = Revue mensuelle suisse d'odonto-stomatologie = Rivista mensile svizzera di odontologia e stomatologia / SSO. 116 (2): 129–35. PMID 16524215. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  7. ^ Delanghe, G (1999 Sep). "[Halitosis--foetor ex ore]". Laryngo- rhino- otologie. 78 (9): 521–4. PMID 10535071. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Uguru, C (2011 Apr-Jun). "The delusion of halitosis: experience at an eastern Nigerian tertiary hospital". Nigerian journal of medicine : journal of the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria. 20 (2): 236–40. PMID 21970235. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ Söder, B (2000). "The relation between foetor ex ore, oral hygiene and periodontal disease". Swedish dental journal. 24 (3): 73–82. PMID 11061205. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  10. ^ Romano, F (2010 Feb). "Patients' self-assessment of oral malodour and its relationship with organoleptic scores and oral conditions". International journal of dental hygiene. 8 (1): 41–6. PMID 20096081. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ Cite error: The named reference intra and extra oral halitosis finding of a new was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  12. ^ Bornstein, MM (2009 Jan). "Prevalence of halitosis in young male adults: a study in swiss army recruits comparing self-reported and clinical data". Journal of periodontology. 80 (1): 24–31. PMID 19228086. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. ^ Miyazaki, H (1995 Aug). "Correlation between volatile sulphur compounds and certain oral health measurements in the general population". Journal of periodontology. 66 (8): 679–84. PMID 7473010. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ Ben-Aryeh, H (1998 Jan-Feb). "Halitosis: an interdisciplinary approach". American journal of otolaryngology. 19 (1): 8–11. PMID 9470944. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)

Simple English Wikipedia[edit]

I have established a Simple English Wikipedia article on Halitosis. Please help improve the article. Qwertyxp2000 (talk) 20:23, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Suggesting a retitle to Bad Breath from Halitosis[edit]

It may be easier to keep (rather establish perhaps) NPOV especially with regards to Listerine's invention of the term halitosis if we first rename the article to Bad Breath and attempt to remove the word halitosis from the article almost entirely. Happy to take the lead on this if there are no objections. Harlequence (talk) 12:19, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

Will move back as not seeing discussion for the move away from bad breath.
We tend to use common names unless the common name is unclear / not specific. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:43, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

halitosis sceptisim[edit]

whole article should be rewritten and shortened due to new evidence regarding the origins of halitosis and actual scientific data. note: video contains constant sources that can be referenced. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:45, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

Youtube is not considered a reliable source for scientific information on Wikipedia. I would recommend citing a peer-reviewed medical/dental journal instead. Please see WP:MEDRS for more information. TylerDurden8823 (talk) 00:49, 15 April 2018 (UTC)