Having periodontal disease is a big deal, and not just because it can cause bad breath. Numerous studies have suggested that developing this condition, which is usually the result of poor dental health, can lead to loosened and ultimately missing teeth. This is yet another reason to use specialty breath freshening rinses and tongue scrapers to keep the mouth clean.
Does periodontitis cause halitosis, or does it occur alongside oral odor? This is a question that researchers at Japan's Kyushu Dental College attempted to answer by conducting an experiment among people with and without the gum disease.
Scientists examined the tooth and gum health of 101 adult volunteers, some of whom had healthy mouths while others had periodontal disease. The team took saliva samples and analyzed them, hoping to determine which periodontitis-related microbes might be associated with halitosis.
The group found that the presence of the species Bacteroides forsythus, which is usually found deep under the gums in areas of advanced periodontal decay, was strongly correlated with bad breath.
By age 65, about 43 percent of Americans have lost at least six teeth, many of them to periodontal disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.