, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 291-292
Date: 05 Mar 2011

Halitosis: new insight into a millennial old problem

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The problem of halitosis has been reported since ancient times. References have been found in papyrus manuscripts dating back to 1550 BC. Hippocrates advised that any girl should have pleasant breath, making sure always to wash her mouth with wine, anise and dill seeds [1].More than 50 years ago, Blackburn [2] investigated halitosis in a case-series of 73 patients affected by leukemia. He found a peculiar odor of the breath resembling that of a freshly opened corpse. This characteristic smell is not associated with clinical involvement of the gum, mouth, or upper respiratory or alimentary tract. He associated this particular smell with the hematologic disease. Nearly 15 years ago, the role of cadaverine was pointed out as a putative component of halitosis [3]. On the contrary, putrescine, that is similar to cadaverine, is not involved as component of halitosis. Cadaverine, together with putrescine, was first described in 1885 [4] by the German physician Ludwig Brieger (1849–1919). Cada ...