Many people are aware of the dangers of gum disease, but do you know how to spot it? If your gums are red but not painful, do you have gingivitis? Questions like these have their answers on the websites of most major health authorities, many of which list bad breath as a symptom of gum disease.
Gingivitis starts with plaque, that yellow material that outlines the gumlines of individuals who don't brush often enough. You can think of plaque as the grout that ultimately cements gum disease into your mouth. If it is not removed by brushing or rinsing with a specialty breath freshener, plaque hardens over time into tartar, a crusty, tough material that gets stuck underneath your gums.
This material can irritate the gums, leading to redness, inflammation, sensitivity and even bleeding, the National Institutes of Health reports. halitosis is another common symptom of gingivitis, even when the gums are not yet infected or swollen, Colgate adds.
With time, careful dental hygiene can minimize oral odor and reduce the pain and redness of gum disease. Likewise, oral care probiotics, like the Aktiv-K12 Probiotic Kit, may gradually replace offensive oral bacteria with less irritating strains.