Gum Disease and Bad Breath: Is There a Link between the Two?





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Uploaded on Jan 10, 2010


Gum diseases or periodontal diseases are illnesses that affect the tissues immediately surrounding the teeth. Many experts contend that these illnesses can actually cause bad breath. But before we discuss this supposed link between the two conditions, let's first take a look at the typical causes of bad breath.

What causes bad breath?

More than 400 different kinds of bacteria lurk in your mouth at any given time. Most of these are harmless and have no noticeable taste or odor. In fact, many of them are helpful in the process of breaking down food in the mouth. However, dental experts have identified at least 14 of these oral bacteria that can be the triggering factor for halitosis. While breaking down food particles, sulfur compounds are released by these bacteria, which then cause the offensive odor.

These bacteria generally reside on the rear parts of the mouth and tongue. When tiny food particles remain lodged in the mouth, these bacteria feed on them, releasing the foul-smelling Volatile Sulfur Compounds or VSC. If you have ever smelled rotten eggs, that's exactly how VSC smells like.

How does gum disease start?

Gum disease is also called periodontal disease, which literally means a disease of the areas surrounding the tooth. These oral diseases affect the gums and bones immediately around the teeth such as gingivitis. Gum diseases can begin in a variety of ways. One possibility is the buildup of plaque on the teeth. As the plaque accumulates, bacteria feeds on it, eventually causing the gums to become swollen and irritated. Smoking is also another possible cause of periodontal disease. Chemicals such as nicotine weaken the gums considerably, putting them at a higher risk of sustaining infections that lead to gum disease.

Gingivitis is one of the more common types of gum disease. The most common tell-tale sign of this condition is bleeding in the gums, oftentimes while brushing your teeth. Even if there is no bleeding, you may observe that your gums are redder than usual and more sensitive to pain. These are also signs of gingivitis. Once you notice these abnormal changes in your gums, it is best to set an appointment with your dentist right away. If left untreated, gingivitis can cause a lot of discomfort especially while eating or brushing your teeth.

Now that we know how both gum diseases and bad breath begin, we can now discuss the link between the two. Basically, if you are suffering from gum disease and fail to control it during the early stages, it will progress to the bleeding gum stage, during which an excessive amount of volatile sulfur compounds are released in the mouth, causing the much dreaded bad breath.

Many cases of both bad breath and gum disease result from the practice of poor dental hygiene. Bacteria and other harmful elements build up if you dont keep your mouth clean at all times. For this reason, you must make a habit of brushing at least twice a day and flossing regularly. After brushing and flossing, make sure that you rinse your mouth thoroughly to make sure that all dislodged food particles are removed from the mouth.

While eating, it is only natural for food stuffs to get stuck between the teeth. Other than these visible particles, millions of microscopic food bits are also left deposited on the teeth, tongue and even the insides of the cheek. If not cleaned properly, these leftover food particles will eventually turn your mouth into an ideal breeding ground for the anaerobic bacteria that produces VSC.

Regular brushing is an oral hygiene practice that has been instilled in most of us even as children. But besides this age-old ritual, you can further boost the cleanliness of your mouth by regularly going to your dentist. Eating the right kinds of food and drinking plenty of fresh water can also help solve and prevent the problem of bad breath.

A revolutionary device called the water pick is also helpful in keeping your mouth free of unwanted food particles. This electric or portable gadget works by sending a thin jet of water into your mouth, ejecting any piece of food stuck in between the teeth and rinsing it out at the same time.

Mouthwashes are also an essential element in keeping your breath fresh. With hundreds of different mouthwash brands to choose from, selecting one that actually works can be quite tricky. The secret is to look for those types that contain cetylpyridinium chloride or zinc chloride which can ensure a long-lasting effect.

http://www.badbreathkiller.com is the place to visit if you want more bad breath resources.


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