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Chronic Bad Breath? It Could Be a Sign of Periodontal Disease

Bad breath can stem from many different causes. It could be that bowl of garlic-laden pasta you devoured last night, a side effect of certain medications, or a lapse in your oral hygiene. In some cases your bad breath is related to a medical condition such as periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease, also called periodontitis, is a bacterial infection of your gums. Untreated periodontitis can cause a whole slew of complications, from pain and inflammation to loss of jawbone tissue and teeth to issues impacting your overall health. Excellent oral hygiene practices, including regular dental check-ups and cleanings, are instrumental in preventing periodontal disease.

Causes of gum disease

Periodontitis starts with gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums around the teeth. When bacteria attach themselves to the teeth, your immune system detects these invaders and releases substances to combat the offenders, and that’s why your gums become inflamed. 

The bacteria forms a substance over the surface of your teeth called plaque. If this bacterial sludge isn’t removed through good oral hygiene of flossing and brushing, it will harden and become worse. What’s more, as your gums inflame, they recede, which means they pull away from your teeth. This loss of gum tissue allows the bacteria to seep below the gum line. There it attacks the bone and connective tissues, causes your teeth to loosen, and may threaten your overall health by getting into your bloodstream.  

Symptoms of periodontal disease

The symptoms of periodontal disease are not always easy to spot before serious damage occurs. That’s why persistent and unexplained bad breath is cause for concern. In addition to malodorous breath, you may have a constant bad taste in your mouth, find your favorite foods are no longer appetizing, and feel the need to drink more water. 

Other symptoms of periodontal disease include:

What you can do to combat bad breath from periodontal disease

If you have the kind of breath that causes people to back away, and you aren’t sure of the cause, you shouldn’t ignore it. In dealing with bad breath caused by periodontal disease you can call on the arsenal of breath mints, chewing gum, mouth wash, and oral sprays to mask this symptom, however that won’t address the bigger issue of your periodontal disease. 

Left untreated, periodontal disease results in complications such as:

You’ll also have an increase in your risk for respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even diabetes, as your overall health is compromised.

For pregnant women, periodontal disease can be especially dangerous to both mother and unborn baby. Women who are pregnant when they develop periodontal disease are at an increased risk for preterm labor, pre-eclampsia, and low birthweight babies. 

Periodontal specialist 

If you find your breath is causing people to back away, you should be concerned. The best way to diagnose and treat periodontal disease and prevent damage to your oral or overall health is by coming in to see Dr. Young. 

Our practice, Scott Young, DDS, is located in The Woodlands, Texas, and we specialize in state-of-the-art periodontal treatment, as well as cosmetic and general dentistry. Call our office today or make an appointment using the online booking tool. Let's find out what’s causing your bad breath.

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