why it is formed and what are the strategies to fight it- Corriere.it

Everyone can have bad breath, especially in particular circumstances, for example when waking up in the morning. But for many, halitosis is a daily problem with important social and emotional implications. Not to mention the large group of so-called alitophobics, or those who fear having bad breath when in reality it is not at all.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Scientific research has shown that, unlike what was believed in the past, the most common causes of this problem originate in the mouth. Silvio Abati, associate professor of odontostomatological diseases at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University of Milan -. In at least 85 percent of cases, halitosis is in fact caused by the presence of bacteria capable of metabolizing food residues, especially protein, with the consequent production of volatile substances containing sulfur. And it is these compounds that are mainly responsible for the bad smell of the breath. The metabolic activity of the microorganisms residing in the mouth (oral microbiota) results favored by prolonged fasting, as can happen after a night’s rest, or too dry mouth. “Halitogenic” bacteria are found above all on the back of the tongue and it is no coincidence that frequent halitosis in individuals with a particularly thick bacterial lingual patina. There poor oral hygiene, the gengiviti, the periodontitis, the untreated caries and more generally the pathologies of the mouth are all factors that favor the increase of microorganisms involved in halitosis.

Why can some foods cause bad breath?

well known that garlic, onions, leeks and some crucifers they can affect our breath. In this case, the halitogenic mechanism derives from their digestion and the consequent production of substances with a bad smell that pass into the air exhaled by the digestive system. Surprisingly for many, are protein foods, especially of animal origin, those that most increase the production of unpleasant smelling compounds in the mouth because they contain sulfur used by the “bad” halo bacteria.

What are the possible non-oral causes of bad breath?

The most relevant causes are undoubtedly the otolaryngological pathologies, come chronic sinusitis and rhinitis, and the cigarette smoke, but they can also cause an unpleasant odor some lung diseases (such as chronic bronchitis), severe liver and kidney disease, or uncompensated diabetes (breath with very strong smell similar to rotten fruit) without forgetting some medications which cause severe oral dryness.

How can it be diagnosed?

The diagnosis of halitosis may seem trivial, but it is not always the case. It is not enough to smell your breath once and then in any case you have to go back to the cause. Generally the first approach with the dentist, since in most cases the unpleasant odor derives from oral problems. After examining the mouth, a series of tests can be performed for an “organoleptic” evaluation. They also exist some instruments, called “halitometers”, capable of measuring the levels of volatile compounds containing sulfur. The data collected so far show a high correlation between the measurements with the monitor and the organoleptic evaluations, with an important impact also on the patient’s motivation, explains Silvio Abati. However, halitosis remains a difficult problem to confess and often underestimated. To improve the approach and knowledge, a dedicated service was activated at the Dental Hygiene and Prevention Center of the San Raffaele Hospital. It is a clinical and interdisciplinary research unit in which the most recent techniques and aids for the diagnosis and treatment of unpleasant breath are used.

How can this be remedied?

It is useless to brush your teeth ten times a day and chew gum or candy all the time. To resolve bad breath it is necessary to intervene at the root of the problem. If dental diseases are present they need to be treated, but just as important practice careful oral hygiene, which involves the use of a mouthwash to make i gargling and it gentle brushing of the tongue in such a way as to reduce the whitish patina that often covers it. Also in some cases it can be useful take probiotics to favor the proliferation of “good” bacteria and reduce the halogen ones. For the same purpose, laser decontamination can be used. Other basic rules are: not smoking, pay attention to alitogenic foods, do not skip meals fasting for too long, drink adequately, do not abuse alcohol, prevent and promptly treat diseases of the teeth and gums.

July 11, 2021 (change July 11, 2021 | 18:18)



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