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B. An Underlying Cause of Chronic Halitosis

Narrator: This is Science Today. There are many reasons why one may develop chronic halitosis, or bad breath. While the most common cause is bacteria, Dr. Glenn Clark, who runs the UCLA Fresh Breath/Halitosis clinic, says sometimes the cause is an underlying illness.

Clark: Diabetes, liver disease, any number of metabolic or endocrine disorders. So we'll review their medical history in a thorough fashion. If we feel it's necessary, we'll send them to their internist to have a more thorough medical work up as well.

Narrator: Too often, patients won't seek professional help for their halitosis.

Clark: It doesn't seem that they will talk about this problem to their dentist or to their physician unless it's really, really bad. Most people just won't discuss it, but when they go to a clinic that is specifically set up, they will then discuss it. It is the reason they're there. Sort of like psychological problems. You don't talk to your physician about your depression, your anxiety, unless it's a crisis.

Narrator: Yet the sooner you get help, the sooner you'll get rid of this embarrassing problem. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.