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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: QI
Quintessence International

Edited by Eli Eliav

ISSN 0033-6572 (print) • ISSN 1936-7163 (online)

Publication:
May 1999
Volume 30 , Issue 5

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An inventory of patients’ response to treatment at a multidisciplinary breath odor clinic.

Geertrui Delanghe, MD/Jenny Ghyselen, MD/Curd Bollen, DDS, PhD/Daniel van Steenberghe, MD, PhD, Drhc/Betty N. A. Vandekerckhove, DDS, PhD

Pages: 307–310
PMID: 10635284

OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to assess patients’ response to their treatment at a multidisciplinary oral malodor clinic.

METHOD AND MATERIALS: In 4 years, a multidisciplinary breath odor clinic in Belgium examined 406 patients. The team consisted of an ear, nose, and throat specialist, a periodontologist, occasionally a specialist in internal medicine, and, more recently, a psychiatrist. After the initial visit, each patient was scheduled for a follow-up appointment 2 to 6 months later; however, only 143 patients (35%) showed up for this control visit. The remaining 65% of the patients answered a mailed questionnaire.

RESULTS: About half of the patients who returned no longer had complaints, while 17% reported no improvement. This group was characterized by imaginary bad breath and manifest psychologic problems. There was also disbelief of their cure, although clinical examination (organoleptic evaluation and volatile sulfide measurement by means of a portable monitor) did not reveal any oral malodor. Some also insufficiently performed the recommended oral hygiene measures (tongue brushing and interdental cleaning). Most of the patients who returned the questionnaire were disappointed by the suggestion that their halitosis was the result of insufficient oral hygiene.

CONCLUSION: Better education of both the public and dental professionals as to the most frequent cause of halitosis, insufficient oral hygiene, might elevate the level of compliance by patients.

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