Halitosis (or fetor oris) refers to the symptom of foul oral odour, commonly termed "bad breath", that patients can present with, usually to dental services.
It is thought to be caused by the presence of volatile sulphur compounds that are produced by bacteria. Although the underlying cause can be simple bacterial overgrowth it can have a variety of aetiologies including respiratory tract infection, liver failure, and renal disease, as well as the presence of a pharyngeal pouch.
Halitosis does not require imaging on its own but imaging may be undertaken if there are other symptoms which raise the suspicion of an underlying cause other than bacterial overgrowth. This is usually in the form of a barium swallow or other fluoroscopic investigation.
- 1. Feller L, Blignaut E. Halitosis: a review. SADJ. 2005;60 (1): 17-9. Pubmed citation