Although halitosis is a widespread condition, it is still seen as too personal or embarrassing to talk about. The cause of real halitosis can be intraoral or extraoral. In order to determine the level of knowledge of health care providers in Switzerland, a survey was conducted over a period of three years in which 150 family physicians, 150 ear, nose and throat specialists, 154 dentists and 151 dental hygienists were personally interviewed. The survey shows that only 46.7% of the dentists and only 47.0% of the dental hygienists are consulted by patients for their halitosis, whereas 58.0% of the family physicians and 50.7% of the ENT specialists reported treating 1–10 patients for halitosis per year, while 46.7% of the ENT doctors even reported treating 11–100 patients for halitosis per year. 81.5% of all interviewed doctors and dental hygienists were of the opinion that halitosis mainly originates intraorally. 76.0% of the dentists and 72.8% of the dental hygienists as well as 33.3% of the family physicians recommend periodontitis therapy as halitosis treatment. This proves that a large percentage of medical professionals thinks that marginal periodontitis is the most common cause of halitosis. This study also shows that patients seek first consultations with dentists and dental hygienists less often than with family physicians and ENT specialists, despite the fact that the cause of halitosis is primarily intraoral.

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