The complaint of oral malodor: Possible psychopathological aspects

Ilana Eli*, Roni Baht, Avital Kozlovsky, Mel Rosenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Oral malodor (halitosis) is a common concern in Western society. As with other human perceptions, emotional as well as cognitive variables play a major role in one's sensation and complaint. To study factors potentially associated with the complaint of oral malodor, periodontal and psychological evaluations were carried out on 38 subjects (66% female, mean age 43 years) with a complaint of oral malodor. Subjects underwent evaluation of their periodontal status, odor evaluation by an odor judge, and psychopathological symptom survey by means of the SCL-90 questionnaire. The patient's self- rating of oral odor was significantly higher than the evaluation of an objective odor judge and was not associated with their periodontal status. The SCL-90 profile of subjects was relatively higher than that of an age- and gender-matched reference group of dental patients. The results suggest that the complaint of oral malodor may be related to psychopathological symptoms as recorded by the SCL-90 questionnaire.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-159
Number of pages4
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


  • SCL-90 symptom survey
  • halitosis
  • malodor
  • periodontal


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