Is your bad breath a result of gum disease?
SUMMARY: Your halitosis may be the result of those onions at lunch, or it could mean much more.
Posted: September 12, 2012
There are many causes of halitosis, such as smelly foods or drinks, or conditions such as dry mouth. However, there are only a few sure-fire ways to get rid of bad breath, including the use of alcohol-free mouthwash, speciality breath freshening products and practicing proper oral hygiene techniques. That's because along with food, poor dental health can be a main contributor to halitosis, which is why it's important to brush, floss and visit the dentist regularly.
Another major cause of bad breath is gum disease, which affects nearly half of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Luckily, it is largely preventable, so with a little work you can avoid experiencing bad breath as the result of this condition.
Do you have gum disease?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), by the time a person has reached adulthood their gums have taken quite a beating. Over time, a film can build up on the gums that is likely to cause problems if you do not practice proper oral hygiene habits.
"It is possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good dental care at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring," states the ADA.
Now, what does this have to do with halitosis? The ADA adds that while there are not always obvious signs of gum disease, persistent bad breath can be one of them. So if you have oral odor that doesn't seem to want to quit, you may have this dental health issue. Furthermore, WebMD states that bacteria that builds up around the gums and tongue can emit a strong, unpleasant odor, causing bad breath.
Prevention is key
So what can you do to keep gum disease at bay? The answer is quite simple. First, be sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year, since he or she will be able to tell you what condition your gums are in, and what you should do to keep them healthy.
Next, be sure to brush and floss regularly, while keeping in mind that regardless of how well you care for your mouth, there will always be plaque and tartar that you can't remove. This is why it's important to also use alcohol-free mouthwash and other products that go above and beyond to help you care for your teeth.