• Jaisri R. ThoppayEmail author
  • Andreas Filippi
  • Katharine Ciarrocca
  • John Greenman
  • Scott S. De Rossi
Reference work entry


Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, is an unpleasant symptom that can present as a social problem compromising quality of life. This condition may affect individuals of all ages and may be a transient episode or a long-lasting problem depending on the cause. In some cases, patients may present with pseudo-halitosis, whereby there is a belief that they have bad breath despite their malodor not being perceived or detected, either by those around them or by objective analysis. Halitosis can occur due to local factors, or in rare cases be attributed to systemic etiologies. For patients who present with halitosis exclusively from local oral factors, improving oral health including tongue cleaning, treating dry mouth and alleviating local causes, may be beneficial. For patients with a systemic etiology for their halitosis, a multidisciplinary management approach may be necessary.


Bad breath Oral malodor Halitosis Pseudo-halitosis Breath disorders 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaisri R. Thoppay
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andreas Filippi
    • 2
  • Katharine Ciarrocca
    • 3
  • John Greenman
    • 4
  • Scott S. De Rossi
    • 5
  1. 1.Oral Medicine, Orofacial Pain and Geriatric Programs, Orofacial Pain and Geriatric Oral Health Programs, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryVCU School of Dentistry and VCU Medical Center, Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Department for Oral Surgery, Oral Radiology and Oral Medicine and Center of Salivary Diagnostics and HyposalivationUniversity Center for Dental Medicine Basel, University of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.Dental College of Georgia, Augusta UniversityAugustaUSA
  4. 4.Faculty of Health and Life SciencesBristolUK
  5. 5.UNC School of DentistryChapel HillUSA

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