Have you ever noticed a friend's bad breath while conversing with them? It's possible their breath wasn't the result of too much garlic at lunch, but rather something more serious. When you have a condition called perio breath, problems with your gums may contribute to bad odours in your mouth. Here's how gum disease and bad breath are connected and what you can do to prevent both of these oral issues.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
According to the Indian Dental Association, periodontitis (also called periodontal or gum disease) is a bacterial infection that destroys the supporting structures that hold your teeth in place. Gum disease may start as early as adolescence, though periodontitis is more common after the age of 30. If you have any of the below symptoms, it's a good idea to make an appointment with your dentist to check your gum health:
- Bleeding, swollen or tender gums
- Sensitive or loose teeth
- Receding gums or teeth that appear longer
- Pain when chewing or a misaligned bite
- Bad breath
In its early stage, known as gingivitis, the damage to your gums may be reversible. However, once you've developed the more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis, the breakdown of your gum tissues is irreversible.
The Connection Between Periodontitis and Bad Breath
According to the Indian Dental Association, Bad breath referred to as halitosis, is an unpleasant odour of the breath. Bad breath is caused by the decay of food particles that are not removed from the mouth by brushing and flossing. Oral bacteria use these particles as food and they produce waste that in many instances are compounds of sulphur. This is what produces the foul odour. Dental issues, such as gum disease or infection, can contribute to bad breath and make the issue more pronounced.
Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology notes that halitosis or bad breath is an oral health condition characterised by unpleasant odours emanating consistently from the oral cavity. The origin of halitosis may be related both to systemic and oral conditions, but a large percentage of cases, about 85%, are generally related to an oral cause. Causes include certain foods, poor oral health care, improper cleaning of dentures, dry mouth, tobacco products and medical conditions. Oral causes are related to deep carious lesions, periodontal disease, oral infections among others, and, mainly, tongue coating.
According to the Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology, microbial putrefaction of food debris, cells, saliva, blood leads to production of volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs) that cause bad breath. Its oral cause includes disease, pathologic condition or malfunction of oral tissues. If the patient has developed periodontitis because of extensive plaque build-up, their perio breath can increase in severity.
A research study published in the IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences notes that the intensity of clinical halitosis has been revealed to be considerably associated with the amount of intraoral volatile sulphur compounds level and directly with periodontal health status. .
Treatment for Gum Disease and Perio Breath
According to the Indian Dental Association, periodontitis (also called periodontal or gum disease) is a bacterial infection that destroys the supporting structures that hold your teeth in place. Its treatment can be Scaling and Root Planing. Scaling involves removal of infected deposits like plaque, calculus and stains from the surface of teeth. While root planing removes roughened cementum and surface dentin that is impregnated with calculus, microorganisms and their toxins. Your dental specialist may also prescribe antimicrobial medications to control bacteria in the mouth. In more severe periodontal cases, you may need gum flap surgery or bone or tissue grafts to replace the oral structures lost to periodontal disease.
eDantSeva explains that Halitosis is perception of a bad odour / smell from the mouth, and you should seek medical consultation to treat the underlying systemic cause. Strengthening your oral care routine with tongue scrapers or mouthwash may be a good idea.
The good news is that maintaining a strong and consistent oral care routine will lower your risk of both gum disease and halitosis. Ensure that you follow these steps to keep your oral care in tip-top shape:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss once every day.
- See your dentist for regular check-ups and ask about additional products to help control bacteria build-up in the mouth, such as a mouthrinse.
Sticking to a good oral hygiene routine will help you feel more confident not only about your breath, but also about the overall health of your mouth.