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Relationship between halitosis and psychologic status

      Objective

      To examine the psychosomatic aspects of patients complaining of halitosis.

      Study design

      Breath malodor in 165 patients was measured using an organoleptic test (OLT), sulfide monitoring, and gas chromatography. Clinical evaluation included oral examination, OLT, and volatile sulfur compound measurement. The psychologic condition of patients was assessed using the Cornell Medical Index (CMI).

      Results

      Every item in the CMI questionnaire was negatively correlated with the OLT scores. Nine of 21 subjects (42.9%) diagnosed with pseudohalitosis and approximately 20% of subjects diagnosed with genuine halitosis were considered to be provisionally neurotic. Subjects with pseudohalitosis reported significantly higher physical scores, but not mental scores, than those with genuine halitosis. Subjects with physiologic halitosis showed significantly higher symptoms of depression than those with oral pathologic halitosis.

      Conclusion

      The psychologic condition of patients complaining of halitosis was associated with the actual degree of malodor and the clinical characteristics.
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