Background in Oral Malodor

The more knowledge of the etiology of and treatment options for oral malodor a clinician has, the more confidence they will experience when interviewing and counseling patients about breath odor. Several sources of information are available to expand one’s knowledge base regarding oral malodor.


A self-study program of selected readings from the resource list at the end of this article may be helpful in acquiring relevant knowledge concerning oral malodor. To better retain and apply the knowledge gleaned from these resources, it is helpful to discuss the information with colleagues and other interested persons. In addition, there is an expanding body of oral malodor literature being reported in numerous books, professional journals, and online. A good article titled Organoleptic assessment of halitosis for dental professionals – general recommendations describes the scientific background for recommendations on the methods that dental professionals can use to assess their patients with a concern about breath odor, with a focus on diagnosis and treatment, and subsequent treatment monitoring.41

Continuing Education Courses

Attending or participating in continuing education lectures and workshops that deal with oral malodor can also greatly increase the clinician’s knowledge and skills. Many product manufacturers now offer free online courses that are easily accessible. Inviting appropriate speakers and specialists to conduct in-office seminars may also be an effective alternative.

While having a strong knowledge base about a topic is important, it is just as important to have a basic understanding of fundamental interviewing and counseling techniques to communicate this information effectively.