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December 27, 1941


Author Affiliations

From the Medical Services of the Mount Sinai Hospital.

JAMA. 1941;117(26):2242-2245. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820520038010

Interest in halitosis, or abnormally foul breath, has to a large extent been preempted by the oral surgeon and the rhinologist; from the references in the general literature one would surmise that it is a rare disease instead of a common condition, so little interest in the subject having been shown in the past. Every writer on the topic has emphasized the mouth, the teeth and the pharynx as sources of bad odors on the breath, attributing the fetor to decaying teeth, pyorrheal abscesses and necrotic pathologic processes in the pharynx, such as breaking-down tumors and gummas. Obviously, with the present national campaign of education and the much improved care of the teeth and the gums in children and in adults, the mouth has receded in importance as a source of bad breath; such conditions as necrotic growths are unusual and of academic interest only and play a small part.