Each year, millions of people complain about bad breath or halitosis. Often the cause of halitosis is the improper dental hygiene. Improper and faulty brushing often leads to deposition of food debris inside the gum or interdental spaces. This food debris often mineralizes to form calculus or stone like structures, further worsening the halitosis. Obviously, periodontal disease can be a major contributor. When halitosis is related to periodontal disease, it should be treated appropriately. The first thing hygienists can do is ask patients at the maintenance visits if they have a problem with bad breath. One of the primary roles the hygienist can play in helping to curb or eliminate a halitosis problem is to educate the patient about proper oral hygiene. Every hygienist is well-versed on hygiene of the teeth and gums. Treatment of halitosis depends primarily on the information obtained at the diagnosis appointment. Diagnosing the source of bad breath requires some investigative work. The hygienist can be the key person in this fact-finding process. However, the hygienist has enough to do at a typical maintenance appointment, so a separate diagnostic appointment should be made to diagnose these cases correctly.
The hygienist also should be involved in the treatment process itself. Making and seating trays, dispensing the proper solutions, continuous monitoring of sulphide levels and patient hygiene all fall under the purview of the hygienist. Dental hygienists are the key to helping people eliminate their bad-breath problem.