In most cases, halitosis means that a disease-causing process is taking place in the oral cavity. In general, one should distinguish between halitosis and bad breath. Halitosis may occur in cases of throat, nose, or ear disorders; lung diseases; intestinal diseases; or metabolic diseases.
For example, patients with severe liver disease frequently suffer from so-called fetor hepaticus (breath smelling of raw meat), whereas diabetics suffer from fetor diabeticus (sweet smell). These systemic causes should be differentiated from bad breath, the cause of which is found locally in the oral cavity itself.
For example, leaky fillings, periodontitis, partially broken wisdom teeth (third molars), poor oral hygiene, or poor prosthesis care may cause bad breath. Treatment is relatively simple. Elimination of the cause, i.e., replacing leaky fillings, performing periodontal treatment, extracting broken wisdom teeth, performing proper prosthesis care, and/or improving oral hygiene, is usually successful in eliminating this condition.Halitosis