Millions of people suffer from bad breath, also known as halitosis. In fact, a quarter of the world’s population is spewing stinky air, and the No. 1 cause is bad oral hygiene. There are other causes, of course, but the majority of cases of bad breath arise from dental problems.
If you have bad breath that persists no matter what you try, it’s time to get your teeth and gums checked.
Dr. Pearl Lai at Mountain Peak Dentistry in Lakewood, Colorado, specializes in identifying and treating gum disease that can cause bad breath and other health issues. Whether you’re just showing the beginning stage of gum disease, or it has reached an advanced phase, she expertly guides you through the treatment so you can get back to a healthy mouth and better breath.
Causes of bad breath
While poor oral hygiene and gum disease account for most of the world’s bad breath, here are some other possible culprits:
- Pungent foods, such as garlic and onions
- Extreme dieting
- Dry mouth
- Tooth infection
- Sinus infection
- Throat infection
- Illnesses and diseases like cancer and liver or kidney problems
- Acid reflux
If you have bad breath and you can’t blame it on one of these conditions, you may have either gingivitis (early gum disease) or periodontitis (advanced gum disease).
How periodontal disease leads to bad breath
When you don’t practice good oral hygiene — brushing and flossing twice a day and keeping your six-month dental checkups and cleanings — the consequences can be severe.
Regular brushing and flossing gets rid of food particles and bacteria in your mouth, on and between your teeth, and just under your gum line. If you slack off and don’t take proper care, those bacteria build up and form plaque and toxins that irritate your gums, causing swelling and redness. This is gingivitis.
It’s not hard to imagine that a mouth full of bacteria, plaque, and toxins has an unpleasant odor — otherwise known as bad breath.
Left untreated, gingivitis turns into periodontitis, a more advanced form of gum disease, and the odor lingers — or gets worse. At this point, you’re at risk of more than just offending others close enough to smell your breath. You may also lose gum tissue and even some of your jawbone.
How to address periodontal disease and solve bad breath
Dr. Lai can help you treat your periodontal disease no matter how simple or severe. If you catch it early, it may just be a matter of changing your habits and being more diligent in your brushing and flossing routine.
You’ll likely also need a good cleaning, called scaling, that goes beyond the biannual procedure your hygienist performs. This makes sure you get rid of all the culprits above and below your gums, and you start with a clean slate.
Worst case: You may need gum surgery to graft tissue from one area of your mouth to another if you’ve lost too much. In any case, Dr. Lai keeps you well informed, very comfortable, and always focused on your overall health.
If you have chronic bad breath, it may be more than an embarrassing annoyance; it may be a sign of periodontal disease. Call us, send us a message here on our website, or book an appointment online to get rid of your gum disease and bad breath at the same time.