One person out of two suffer from halitosis. A condition characterized by the foul odor of the air that comes out of the mouth when breathing or speaking.
Bad breath can also derive from other problems, but generally the cause is in the oral cavity. Doctor Luigi Pellegrino, Supervisor of the Dental Center at Humanitas, explained this in an interview for TV2000’s programme “My Doctor”: “Halitosis is caused by the bacteria that are present in our mouth, feeding on proteins and other food residues and releasing sulfur- and nitrogen-based compounds”.
Tips for a correct oral hygiene
In order to combat and prevent a temporary halitosis, you should pay attention to your oral hygiene. “You should brush your teeth at least three times a day, for 2-3 minutes or at least after every meal. Also floss and clean your tongue, because bacterial plaque may develop on its posterior third.
You should floss every time you brush your teeth. If this is not possible, floss at least in the evening after brushing your teeth.
In addition to this, you should get a dental examination with teeth cleaning at least once a year.
How to choose a mouthwash
“You should enhance your mouth-cleaning with a mouthwash, after asking your dentist for advice in order to get the right product and use it the best way.
In general, you should avoid mouthwashes containing alcohol. In fact, alcohol gives freshness, but it irritates and dehydrates your mouth instead of being beneficial. You should use your mouthwash after brushing your teeth, without rinsing it with water (otherwise it will have no effect)”.
What causes persistent halitosis?
“If the halitosis persists, the cause may be caries, gingivitis or periodontitis.
Gingivitis is one of the most common diseases. It is an inflammatory process that affects gums, caused by plaque and tartar buildup in the dental neck area, with a consequent inflammation. Symptoms are redness, swelling, bleeding and sometimes halitosis.
It is a reversible condition: one may heal by having a dentist remove the part that caused the inflammation in the first place. You should never underestimate gingivitis, because it can be the first step towards periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory process that affects the periodontium, the ligament keeping the root of the tooth and the bone together. An early diagnosis is paramount in order to cure this inflammation. A thorough physical with periodontal probing is required, in order to ascertain the depth of the periodontal pocket and to determine the best course of action”, Doctor Pellegrino concludes.