Eating garlic or onions or drinking beer may make your breath temporarily smell bad. But if you have bad breath every day, it’s probably not related to what you eat or drink. It’s likely related to periodontal disease.
In addition to bad breath, periodontal disease can cause a persistent bad taste in your mouth. You might also have sore or bleeding gums.
Periodontal disease is caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria on your teeth that irritates your gums. The infection can damage your jawbone if left untreated. It can also spread to the rest of your body, leading to potentially life-threatening consequences.
At Full Circle Dental Care in Del City, Oklahoma, expert dentist Samuel Sigmon, DDS, and our team keep your teeth healthy. That means keeping your gums healthy, too. If you have signs of periodontal disease, we recommend immediate treatment to restore your oral health and resolve your bad breath.
What is periodontal?
Periodontal refers to the tissues around the teeth, including the supporting gums and their ligaments. Periodontal disease is any infection or irritation that starts around the structures of your teeth.
In the early stages of periodontal disease, a buildup of plaque and bacteria causes gingivitis – red and irritated gums that may bleed when you brush, floss, or even eat. Your body attempts to remove the infection by releasing substances that cause inflammation.
In the advanced stage of periodontal disease, known as periodontitis, your gums pull away from your teeth, creating pockets where bacteria continue to lodge. Brushing and flossing can’t reach this bacteria; eventually, your gums bleed and you may suffer tooth loss and even severe damage to your jaw or alveolar bone.
Good oral hygiene practices can help prevent most periodontal diseases. However, it’s essential that you visit a dentist’s office regularly for professional cleanings. Regular visits keep plaque under control and ensure that harmful bacteria don’t build up in hard-to-reach places. At Full Circle Dental, we recommend at least two professional cleanings per year.
Signs and symptoms of periodontitis
In its earliest stages, periodontal disease may not have symptoms. Or you may notice intermittent blood on your toothbrush or floss. However, periodontal disease can cause a variety of dental issues and significant health problems throughout your body, including:
- Bleeding and swollen gums
- Receding gum line
- Gaps appearing between teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Tooth loss
In more severe cases, periodontitis may lead to:
- Worsening lung conditions
- Lung problems such as pneumonia
- Increased risk for cancer
- Worsening blood sugar control
- Premature birth in pregnant women
- Hardening of the arteries
- Arthritis flare-ups
In addition to a buildup of plaque and bacteria, several other factors contribute to your risk of gum disease. Smoking and genetics, for instance, may increase the risk of periodontal disease. Misaligned teeth make brushing and flossing more difficult, allowing the formation of tartar and plaque below the gumline.
If you grind your teeth at night (i.e., bruxism) or are in the habit of clenching them, that tendency could worsen inflammation, leading to the breakdown of the periodontal ligament. Stress, fluctuating hormones, poor nutrition, and certain diseases are known to increase the susceptibility to periodontitis.
How to prevent periodontal disease
Twice daily brushing and flossing can prevent gum disease. Use Soft-Picks® to get into spaces that are small and hard to reach. Our dentists perform scaling and planing to remove plaque and treat periodontal disease.
Professional dental cleaning removes bacteria lodged in hard-to-reach areas, decreasing your risk of gum disease. In some cases, an antibacterial mouthwash can help reduce inflammatory reactions in your mouth. Additionally, you should be extra diligent when cleaning between and around closely packed teeth or uneven tooth surfaces.
Find out if your bad breath is a sign of periodontal disease and get the care you need to restore oral health by calling Full Circle Dental Care today or scheduling a consultation through our online booking system.