If you've been to the dentist lately, you may have gotten a lecture about tooth care, plaque, gum disease and bad breath. Oral healthcare professionals emphasize the importance of brushing, flossing and using specialty breath fresheners because all of the factors above are interrelated.
Consider gingivitis, an oft-mentioned topic at the dentist's office. If your gums are red or swollen, you may have this condition, also known as simple gum disease, the National Institutes of Health states.
Such inflammation is often associated with poor dental health and bad breath, and it can lead to periodontal disease, which is a much more serious condition. Also called periodontitis, this disease is a bacterial infection that creeps underneath the gumline and attacks the bone tissue that your teeth are embedded in.
Over time, periodontal disease can result in tooth loss, a widespread problem in the U.S. In a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 43 percent of adults age 65 or older reported having lost at least six teeth, and 18 percent said they had lost all of their teeth.