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Ozostomia (Bad Breath)

Ozostomia (Bad Breath)

SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS: Ozostomia is a symptom of halitosis or bad breath which is caused by oral, epipharyngeal diseases, or other internal problems, such as stomach or lung diseases. In Chinese medicine, it is considered as the spleen and stomach heat; or lung heat; or stagnated food Qi. So the symptoms and signs will show the related organs' problems. 

ETIOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY: Ozostomia can be a symptom of local problems, such as oral or nasal diseases, or by disorders of internal organs. The following are the most commonly seen etiologic factors and pathological changes: 

  1. The interior stagnated spleen and stomach heat: is caused by irregular or unhealthy food intake; or excessive alcohol; or prolonged strong emotions; or other factors. Accompanied symptoms and signs can show aphthae, or aphthous ulcer; toothache, stomachache, or abdominal pain or diarrhea. 
  2. The lung heat is caused by either external heat factor's attacking, or by interior heat flaming up to damage the lung. It's accompanied symptoms and signs are stuffy nasal, sinusitis, rhinitis, sore or pain throat, cough or asthma, etc. 
  3. Food stagnation usually is caused by excessive food intake; or it is due to the spleen and stomach deficiency thereby lacking the ability to digest and transform the food into various nutritions. 


1. The Spleen and Stomach Type: 

Indications: Halitosis (bad breath), aphthae, or aphthous ulcer, toothache, swollen and red gums, stomach ache or abdominal pain, thirsty, constipation, restlessness, insomnia, red tongue, yellow and thick tongue coating, slippery and rapid pulse. 

Treatment & Formulas: Clear the interior heat and eliminate stagnated spleen and stomach heat. 


    • Shan Huang Xie Xin Tang (Coptis and Rhubarb Combination, Item No. 2026)
    • Qing Wei San (Coptis and Rehmannia Formula, Item No. 2182)
    • Huang Lian Jie Du Tang (Coptis and Scute Formula Item No. 2212) 
    • Gan Lu Yin (Sweet Combination, Item No. 2075): This clears the stomach fire and tonifies the stomach Yin at the same time. So it is often used for chronic stages when there are Yin deficiency symptoms. 

2. The Lung Heat Type:

Indications: Halitosis combined with stuffy nasal or nasal discharge, sore and painful throat, or sinusitis, or rhinitis, or cough, asthma, thirsty, likes cold drinks. Red tongue, yellowish or white coating, slippery and big pulse at lung's position. 

Treatment & Formulas: Clear the lung heat. 


    • Xie Bai San (Marus and Lycium Formula, Item No. 2268):This is a typical formula to clear the interior lung heat.
    • Mai Men Dong Tang (Ophiopogon Combination, Item No. 2196): This clears the lung heat and tonifies the lung Yin at the same time. 
    • Qing Fei Tang (Platycodon and Fritillaria Combination Item No. 2181): This is good to treat halitosis with coughing, or asthma by its function of clearing the lung heat and promoting the normal movement of lung Qi. 

3. The Food Stagnation Type:

Indications: Halitosis, belching, acid regurgitation, fullness or pain at gastric or abdominal regions, refusal to pressatthe painful areas, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Thick and turbid tongue coating, wiry and slippery pulse. 

Treatment & Formulas: Help digestion by promoting the function of spleen and stomach. 


    • Jia Wei Ping Wei San (Magnolia and Ginger Formula Plus, Item No. 2067): This is very good for indigestion, fullness after eating due to food stagnation. 
    • An Zhong San (Cardamom and Fennel Formula Item No. 2085): This is good for food stagnation with stomach cold body type. 
    • The following herbs may be used for halitosis, taking either orally individually or by mouth washing.
    • Ding Xiang (Caryophylli Flos, Item No. 1270)
    • Hou Xiang (Agastache Rugosa Herba, Item No. 1263) 
    • Xi Xin (Asarum Herba, Item No. 1197) 
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