Nihon Shishubyo Gakkai Kaishi (Journal of the Japanese Society of Periodontology)
Online ISSN : 1880-408X
Print ISSN : 0385-0110
ISSN-L : 0385-0110
Factors in Physiological Breath Odor
Sachie SaitoMisaki OhmoriHiroaki Katsuragi
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2002 Volume 44 Issue 2 Pages 168-177


To identify factors associated with “morning breath” (physiological breath odor preceding breakfast) in healthy adults, we assessed breath odor, analyzed intraoral factors, and collected saliva and tongue coat samples incubated to ascertain the relationship between intraoral bacteria and breath odor. Subjects were 44 healthy men with a mean age of 24.1 years. The breath odor of each was assessed by an organoleptic test and quantified using a portable sulphide monitor (Halimeter RH-17 E®) and gas chromatography. Results were as follows: Breath odor was organoleptically detectable in all subjects. When subjects were categorized based on organoleptic tests, a significant difference was seen in Halimeter values and concentrations of 3 volatile sulphide compounds (VSCs). A significant correlation was seen between organoleptic measurement and Halimeter values or VSC concentration. Among VSC concentrations, the correlation was highest between total VSC and hydrogen sulphide levels. Tougue coat scores and turbidity tended to increase with the organoleptic score. Higher tongue coat scores tended to be associated with greater turbidity.
An increase in odor score coincided with a significant in counts for total bacteria, aerobic bacteria, streptococci, and anaerobic bacteria in the tongue coat. No significant differences in bacteria counts were seen, however, in saliva. Significant correlations existed between tongue coat score/turbidity and counts for total bacteria, aerobic bacteria, streptococci, and anaerobic bacteria in the tongue coat.
Our findings suggest 3 broad conclusions: the tongue coat is the major contributor toward morning breath ; halitosis severity depends on the total number of bacteria in the tongue coat; and hydrogen sulphide is the primary component of halitosis. J Jpn Soc Periodontol, 44: 168-177, 2002.

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