Chronic Bad Breath? It Could Be a Sign of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious condition that affects nearly half of all American adults over the age of 30. For those who suffer from gingivitis and the more advanced periodontitis, there are typically very few identifiable symptoms early on. It can be hard to treat gum disease before damage occurs. 

Chronic bad breath — the kind that doesn’t respond to impeccable oral hygiene, breath mints, sprays, or rinses — can be the result of a few different conditions including:

Unrelenting and offensive chronic bad breath is also one of the most common signs of gum disease. Along with an unpleasant taste in your mouth, chronic bad breath indicates something is amiss with your oral health and should be checked out ASAP.  

At Sac Dentist in Sacramento, California, we take the health of your gums very seriously. Our dental team understands the need for early intervention when it comes to gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease can cause a multitude of unpleasant issues, including loss of teeth and bone tissue, and can even threaten your heart health.

How to tell if you have bad breath

Bad breath, even the most persistent kind, can sometimes be difficult to detect. The most obvious symptom is the reaction of those around you. If no one has actually mentioned your offensive breath, maybe they’ve backed away and offered you some chewing gum or a mint, or maybe your sweetheart turned away when you puckered up. 

If you’ve started to notice these things, you may want to ask someone, or do the sniff test yourself.

Gum disease and how it develops

Gum disease starts due to plaque buildup. Plaque is a substance that forms on your teeth when you eat certain foods, such as starchy foods and sugar. The residue these foods leave behind binds with the bacteria already present in your mouth and coats your teeth. 

Good oral hygiene practices, like thoroughly brushing and flossing after eating, remove plaque, but the next time you eat something, the plaque forms once again.

When you fail to remove plaque thoroughly from your teeth, it grows and hardens, forming tartar. This very hard substance spreads along the gum line and is full of harmful bacteria. As the tartar seeps below the gum line, so does the bacteria, threatening your bone tissue. 

Once tartar forms, the only way to get rid of it is through a professional cleaning. 

Chronic bad breath and gum disease

As the plaque turns into tartar, it causes inflammation of your oral tissue, specifically your gums. Your gums bleed, become swollen, and appear red. As your gums become infected and the bacteria grows, you develop chronic and persistent bad breath. No amount of home dental hygiene gets rid of chronic bad breath caused by gum disease.

Beyond bad breath

Never ignore inflamed, painful, or red gum tissue. Left untreated, gum disease only gets worse, threatening more than just your breath. As the tartar and bacteria grow below the gum line, your bone tissue is attacked. Bone tissue is the very foundation of your teeth, and once it starts to diminish and weaken, you can lose teeth. 

The same bacteria that infects your jawbone can get into your bloodstream and wreak havoc on your overall health, most especially your heart health. Gum disease puts you at a significantly increased risk for heart disease and stroke, and if you have diabetes, periodontitis can make it more difficult to control.

For more on gum disease and to protect your oral health, contact us at Sac Dentist. We will do all we can to ensure your oral health is at it’s very best.

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