Bad Breath and Gingivitis
David Snape at articlecodex.com
Introduction by Dr. Don Rose, Writer, Life Alert
People of all ages may suffer from bad breath,
which is caused by bacteria in the mouth. Gingivitis is a common gum problem, also
a result of the action of bacteria. David Snape’s article below discusses these
two related problems and ways to deal with them. –Don Rose
Does this sound familiar to you? My dentist and hygienist mentioned that I had irritated
gums as they cleaned my teeth. This is a symptom of gingivitis.
Gingivitis can be a stepping stone to major problems in the mouth and gum line.
It can lead to periodontal disease, which is a much more serious problem with the
potential for actual bone loss.
Halitosis (bad breath) could be related to a gingivitis infection as both are caused
by bacteria. Red, swollen and/or bleeding gums characterize gingivitis. These symptoms
are most evident upon flossing and sometimes from brushing.
Bacteria cause gingivitis. And bacteria are considered to be responsible for bad
Sometimes, I could even see the bloodstains that the hygienist quietly wiped away
with a towel. It was embarrassing enough to know that I wasn't controlling my gingivitis
problem, but to know that she was actually trying not to make a big deal out of
it was troubling.
I knew my dentist was concerned because she gave me a bottle of alcohol based mouthwash
to try and mentioned that she wanted to see how I looked next time. I don't like
using it; there is too much alcohol and the taste is not very pleasant. Alcohol
may also dry the mucous membranes in the mouth.
Bacteria can stick to your teeth and secrete acid onto them contributing to cavity
formation. They can also infect the gums, particularly around the gum line, causing
gingivitis. This can manifest initially as bleeding and irritated gums.
Having a lot of uncontrolled bacteria multiplying in the mouth may also lead to
bad breath, but there is a natural and normal amount of bacteria in the mouth, and
you will never completely get rid of them all, nor would you want to.
Theory has it that it is actually the anaerobic bacteria that live in the tongue
and throat that produce sulfur that in turn produce hard to get rid of bad breath.
These anaerobes create VSCs or volatile sulfur compounds. One type is the familiar
rotten egg smell. There are other odors coming from VSCs as well. These sulfur-producing
bacteria may feed on certain foods, like coffee, alcohol and meats.
A gingivitis problem can offer a way for bacteria to easily enter your blood stream
and that can lead to additional problems. Systemic infections could come from this.
Gingivitis can be something that makes your gums bleed easily in a mild case or
it can be the root of deep gum recession, leading to bone loss in the worse case
scenarios (periodontal disease).
Loss of gum line can be discouraging. A friend of mind once described the process
as "getting long in the tooth". Sometimes, people experience this problem by brushing
too hard. TIP: Using a soft bristled toothbrush with the type of motion that your
hygienist recommends may help prevent eroded gum lines.
Treatment and Prevention
Had you ever heard of under-the-gum cleanings? This could be part of the protocol
your dentist might invoke, should you develop periodontal disease. If you know people
that have had an under-the-gum cleaning, they may tell you that it is not very pleasant.
Your dentist can deal with this problem in a variety of ways. However, prevention
probably is the best option. Include good flossing and brushing habits - see your
dentist for details. And you could add a non-alcohol based mouthwash alternative
to your regimen.
I'm currently using a special toothbrush that uses vibration to clean the teeth.
This device does a better job than a regular toothbrush in keeping my teeth clean.
It does take a little while to get used to because of the vibration. It makes many,
many vibrations per second. This helps to give it such wonderful cleaning abilities.
Don't feel sad if you have excellent oral health habits but you still have bad breath.
This is common and many people experience this same situation. Oral health products
that don't contain sodium lauryl sulfates or artificial flavors that can still kill
the bacteria that cause bad breath without using harsh alcohol or tough chemicals
may be helpful.
I am not a dentist. This article is for information purposes only. This article
is not meant for diagnosis, treatment or prevention nor is it meant to give advice.
If you have or suspect you have gingivitis, periodontal disease or any other dental
problems, visit your dentist for a consultation.
David Snape is a health, fitness and well-being enthusiast. He maintains a site:
http://tobeinformed.com on the same theme.
This work is licensed under
a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.
The information provided here is, to the best of our
knowledge, reliable and accurate. However, while
strives to provide true, precise and consistent information, we cannot guarantee
100 percent accuracy. Readers are encouraged to review the original article and
gather more information before drawing conclusions and making decisions.
Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles
on many topics, including computers, the Internet, artificial intelligence, science
and technology, and issues related to seniors.
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