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

You’ve tried chewing gum and popping mints after you eat, but your partner still says your bad breath hasn’t gotten any better. They don’t want to be close to you, and you can’t be sure other people aren’t avoiding you, too, because of your bad breath.

What can you do?

If this is a chronic problem and not just something that happened a couple of times after a spicy meal, your bad breath is likely caused by gum disease. At Madison Square Dentistry, Dr. Lawrence Wang sees this condition frequently. Here’s his take on how bad breath occurs, along with some tips on how to prevent gum disease in the first place.

Gum disease and bad breath

Here’s the deal. You know you should brush your teeth and floss, right? One of the purposes of this kind of dental care is to get all the food particles out of your mouth. If you don’t brush and floss, food particles remain in your mouth. These particles do two things — they rot (which stinks), and they promote bacterial growth on your gums, around your teeth, and on your tongue. These bacteria then release smelly gases that give you more bad breath.

If this happens continually and you have consistent bad breath, you may be developing periodontal (gum) disease. One sign of this is that you always have a bad taste in your mouth along with your bad breath.

Gum disease is caused by plaque, which is the film of bacteria on your teeth that builds up when you don’t brush or floss. Signs of gum disease include red and swollen gums in the area around your teeth, and your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth. This first stage is called gingivitis; if it isn’t treated, it can turn into periodontal disease, which affects the tissue supporting the teeth.

As periodontal disease progresses, it can cause the bone anchoring the teeth to be lost, which can eventually cause your teeth to fall out.

How can you prevent bad breath and gum disease?

The solution to this kind of bad breath and gum disease is straightforward: Practice good oral hygiene! This includes a few things:

At Madison Square Dentistry, Dr. Wang can make sure bad breath and gum disease aren’t the hallmarks of your dental health. Contact his office in New York City’s Flatiron District to set up your first appointment. Call or book online.

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