Bad breath can be caused by many things. For example, if you eat foods that have strong odours or are made with onions or garlic, you could find yourself with some horrible breath. Smoking also creates bad breath as does tooth decay and indigestion (stomach acids trying to creep back up). Moreover, if you have too much bacteria on your tongue, it can also make for some very terrible breath. The main culprit of bad breath is gum disease.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is an inflammation that occurs along the gum line. If left untreated, it can move to the surrounding bone that supports the teeth. Gum disease has three stages: gingivitis (the least severe), periodontitis (moderately severe) and advanced periodontitis (the worst type of gum disease).
Why does gum disease cause bad breath?
Residue food particles and dead tissue can build up in the area between your teeth and gums. This buildup is known as plaque and if you do not have it removed, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. This bacteria is responsible for gum disease and turns your breath from fresh to deadly. Bacteria is generally odour-causing because it is able to reproduce quickly and overpower a healthy mouth.
Besides bad breath, what are the other symptoms of gum disease?
You may be afflicted with gum disease and not know it because in its early stages it can be painless. If you notice any of the following symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist right away:
How can you prevent bad breath?
If you suffer from chronic bad breath you should consult your dentist. You are probably suffering from gum disease and that will need to be addressed before it moves beyond its early stages. To further prevent bad breath, brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste before bed and one other time during the day. Brush your tongue as well to ensure that all bacteria are removed. Additionally, watch what you eat. Foods that are high in sugar lead to bad breath. Stay away from soda and try to keep the sugar in your coffee to a minimum. You should also rinse your mouth with mouthwash and floss daily. Finally, get your teeth cleaned professionally one or two times a year. The dentist will be able to remove any plaque you may have missed during your regular oral hygiene routine.