One in two people suffer from bad breath, a condition that is characterized by the bad smell of air coming out of the mouth when we breathe out or when we speak.

Bad breath can also result from other problems, but the cause is mainly in the mouth. As Dr. Luigi Pellegrino, Head of the Dental Centre at Humanitas, who is a guest in the studio at My Physician on TV2000 explained: “The responsible agents for bad breath are the bacteria in the mouth that feed on our food residues, in particular protein material, and release sulfur and nitrogen compounds”.


Advice on proper oral hygiene

To counteract and prevent bad breath, you should pay attention to your oral hygiene. “Teeth should be brushed at least three times a day or at least after every meal. In addition to brushing, which should last 2-3 minutes, it is good to use dental floss or brush and clean the tongue well because plaque can form there, especially on the back third.

Flossing should be used whenever you brush your teeth, but this is not always possible, so it is best to do it at least in the evening after brushing your teeth.

It is then advisable to carry out a dental examination at least once a year including a teeth cleaning.


Choosing a mouthwash

“Mouthwash can be an excellent tool to be used in addition to normal oral cleaning procedures, but before buying it, it is advisable to ask your dentist or hygienist for advice so that they can recommend the most suitable product and suggest how to use it best.

In general, you should avoid buying mouthwash that contains alcohol. Although alcohol gives a feeling of freshness, it has no beneficial effect; rather it is irritating and dehydrating. The mouthwash is used with a rinse after brushing the teeth, avoiding the need to rinse with water, otherwise it will cancel out the effect.


Persistent bad breath, what are the causes?

“Where it persists, bad breath may be due to caries, gingivitis or periodontitis.

Gingivitis is one of the most common pathologies, it is an inflammatory process affecting the free gum, which is due to the deposit of plaque and tartar in the area of the neck, resulting in inflammation. Symptoms are redness, swelling, bleeding and even sometimes halitosis.

It is a reversible condition, if it is treated by removing the part that triggered the inflammation through the sessions with the dentist or hygienist. Gingivitis should never be underestimated because it can be the initial phase of periodontitis.

Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory process of the periodontitis, the ligament that keeps the root of the tooth attached to the bone. It is essential that it be diagnosed as soon as possible so that it can be treated. An in-depth examination is necessary, with a periodontal survey to understand the depth of the periodontal pocket, to evaluate the best treatment”, concludes Dr. Pellegrino.