Narrator: This is Science Today. Bad breath is something many people have, but are unwilling to discuss. Dr. Glenn Clark of the UCLA School of Dentistry says dentists should focus more attention on how to deal with their patients who have halitosis.
Clark: The dental profession has not focused on this area enough in it's curriculum, in it's training and in its teaching, so that we have a body of knowledge that we can impart to our students. I think it's there, we just need to carve out the time and the school curriculum and have the course and sometimes it's hard to do that in a busy curriculum already.
Narrator: Clark says chronic halitosis, which is usually a result of bacteria, can also lead to a phobia.
Clark: They keep their hand over their mouth and they're afraid to approach people - it becomes a bigger part of the disease than the actual odor itself. Understanding the psychological impact, the bacteria itself, the rigorous techniques you have to teach patients to clean appropriately. Every dentist ought to let patients know they have expertise in the area.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.