Prevalence estimation of halitosis and its association with oral health-related parameters in an adult population of a city in North Italy

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No epidemiological data on halitosis are available from Italy. Thus, the aim of this population-based cross-sectional study was to estimate the prevalence of halitosis in an urban adult population from North Italy and to explore related oral risk indicators.

Materials and Methods:

The survey used a two-stage probability sampling method to collect a representative sample of inhabitants, aged between 20 and 75 years, in the city of Turin. Seven hundred and forty-four adults were clinically examined (47% of sampled subjects) for oral malodor and periodontal conditions. Using a standardized questionnaire social, health and halitosis-related parameters were collected. Logistic models with interaction terms between tongue coating scores (TCS) and periodontal status were used to explore halitosis risk indicators.


The prevalence estimate of halitosis according to the organoleptic assessment was 53.51% (95% CI: 48.55–58.50). A statistically significant correlation was found between organoleptic and gas chromatography measurements (p < 0.0001). Stronger associations between halitosis and periodontitis were observed in people having higher TCS: adjusted odds ratio considering low and high TCS in individuals with severe periodontitis were 2.95 and 20.77 (p ≤ 0.003).


Due to the high prevalence of halitosis in the Turin population, its diagnosis and management should be incorporated in comprehensive dental care.

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