Medidental is a dental clinic that has consultations to diagnose and treat halitosis, or rather, bad breath emitted by the mouth or nose, a problem that affects 30% of the world population and 49% of Portuguese people.
In more than 90% of cases, this disease derives from inside the mouth, the most common cause being poor oral hygiene, resulting in the accumulation of bacterial plaque (a kind of whitish layer) on the upper part of the tongue.
However, bad breath may also be a symptom that something is not well in the organism, and may be due to systemic and metabolic diseases, medication, bad diet, dental prostheses, tooth decay, gum disease or to the insufficient production of saliva.
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Three types of halitosis (bad breath)
1. Genuine halitosis: has various causes and may be physiological (natural) and/or pathological (stemming from diseases), both with intra or extra-oral sources.
Physiological halitosis: is characterised by being transitory, being associated to the ingestion of certain foodstuffs, drugs or simply a reduction in the salivary flow due to physiological causes.
Pathological halitosis: the majority of cases arise due to intraoral causes, often associated to periodontal disease, poor oral hygiene or excessive quantities of bacteria on the tongue. The extra-oral pathological causes related with bad breath include: respiratory and/or gastrointestinal infections and some metabolic diseases that involve the kidneys and liver. Patients with pathological halitosis can suffer simultaneously from both intra and extra-oral causes, or separately.
2. Pseudo-halitosis: derives from psychogenic reasons and the patient believes that s/he suffers from halitosis, although this is not real.
3. Halitophobia: this is where the patient feels an exaggerated fear of suffering from halitosis, or where s/he continues to believe that s/he has this problem even after treatment for genuine halitosis and/or pseudo-halitosis (of the competence of psychologists and of psychiatrists).