Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, is a common symptom of gum disease
and is often one of the first indicators of this condition. For some, the only sign of gum disease is bad breath, so please do not take it lightly! If you have bad breath that you cannot get rid of, contact Dr. Randy J. Greenberg, dentist in Wallingford.
Additional gum disease symptoms include:
• bleeding gums
• receding gums
• loose teeth
• swollen or red gums
What Causes Gum Disease?
Bacteria in the mouth produce toxins that can cause our bodies to destroy the bone that supports the teeth. This process results in gum disease
, also known as periodontal disease. Without regular dental visits
, at least twice per year, plaque and tartar accumulate and provide a place for bacteria to live and thrive, which can infect the gum tissues and bone structure and may cause irreversible damage. One of the first signs of this progression is bad breath.
Plaque is the white, sticky substance that is always forming in our mouths. It sticks to the teeth, tongue, and gum tissues, and needs to be removed on a daily basis. The plaque that has not been effectively removed eventually becomes tartar, which cannot be removed by simple home dental care. Instead, it must be professionally removed during regular dental visits. Bacteria that live within the plaque and tartar produce sulfur compounds, which produce a malodor.
What are the Most Common Reasons for Bad Breath?
• poor dental hygiene
• use of tobacco products
• food choices (like garlic)
• underlying health issues (such as diabetes)
• dry mouth
• oral issues (like periodontal disease)
Prevention of Gum Disease
The best prevention of gum disease
is to attend regular dental exams
and practice regular home dental care. In addition, a balanced diet and active lifestyle boosts the immune system, and the stronger it is, the less of a chance you have for infection. The elimination of bad habits, like smoking, will also lower the chances of gum disease
Additional tips on preventing bad breath and periodontal disease:
• Brush and floss at least twice a day.
• Use antibacterial mouthwash.
• Remain hydrated, which stimulates your saliva flow.
• Do not use tobacco products.
• Use a fluoridated toothpaste.
There may be many causes of bad breath, but you should be evaluated if this condition lasts for more than a few days. If you have chronic bad breath, contact the office of Dr. Greenberg, dentist in Wallingford.