Self-perception 2018-03-27T15:57:49+00:00


When a patient seeks medical assistance for the treatment of bad breath, it is difficult to make them see that they might be perceiving that they have bad breath, when this actually is not the case. Many specialist clinics around the world, including the Breath Institute, share their experiences with patients seeking halitosis treatment and report finding a weak or even non-existent link between the self-perception of halitosis and genuine halitosis.


This finding is also confirmed by epidemiological studies performed on large population samples. Self-perception questionnaires and subsequent breath tests (by means of devices which measure levels of VSCs and organoleptic tests on exhaled air by odour “judges”) completed by thousands of people have demonstrated that there is no statistically-relevant association between the self-perception of halitosis and genuine cases of bad breath.

If fact, many people complain of halitosis without actually suffering from it. On the other hand, individuals with genuine halitosis are often completely unaware of their condition due to olfactory fatigue (getting used to one’s own odour). Contrary to what most of us believe, it is becoming increasingly clear that the self-perception of halitosis is a method that is highly susceptible to bias.

This is why self-perception should not be used as method for diagnosing halitosis, either by patients themselves (to avoid arriving at mistaken conclusions about their own breath) or by healthcare professionals (when designing treatment plans). In addition to this method’s low reliability, there are various psychological and psychiatric conditions that can influence a person’s self-perception and/or even how they believe others perceive their breath (neuropsychological halitosis).



We talk about halitosis open and accessible way, so that you can understand medical terminology that scientists use.

1. What is halitosis?
2. Physical and social consequences
3. Bad breath through the ages


The Breath Institute has discovered, on the basis of the latest international research, that there are over 80 possible causes of halitosis.

1. The composition of halitosis (bad breath)
2. Causes of halitosis (bad breath)
2.1 Oral causes
2.2 Respiratory causes
2.3 Digestive causes
2.4 Systemic causes, diet and habits
2.5  Neuropsychological causes


We identify the most effective clinical methods when diagnosing precisely the halitosis’ origin, so that you can chose the best treatment.

1. Methods of diagnosis
1.1 Self-perception
1.2 Organoleptic tests
1.3 Breath gas measurement
1.4 Laboratory tests
2. Psychological tests
3. Signs and associated symptoms