Bad breath could be one sign – among many – that you have gum disease, an expert has warned.
Many of us are wary about having bad breath from a social standpoint. We regularly brush our teeth to make sure that not only are our teeth healthy, but to prevent any unwanted odours from our mouth. However, it could have more serious implications that affect our health.
According to cosmetic dentist, Doctor Sam Jethwa, bad breath can be a sign of gingivitis.
Speaking with Express.co.uk, he said: “One cause of bad breath is gingivitis, which is a mild form of gum disease.”
He said other symptoms found on the gingiva, which is the part of the gum around the base of your teeth, include:
He advised: “Regular brushing, flossing and using an interdental cleaner can help to reduce the build up of bacteria in the mouth and also reduce the risk of gum disease, as well as helping to address it once it starts.
“By maintaining a good oral health routine with regular brushing and flossing, you can help to eliminate most types of breath.
“If, however, the problem persists it’s important you visit a medical practitioner in order to investigate further.”
The condition is caused by a build up of plaque on the teeth.
The NHS recommends seeing your dentist if you notice any symptoms of gum disease.
It says the condition can also lead to your gums bleeding when you “brush your teeth, floss or eat hard foods such as apples”.
As well as bad breath, gingivitis can also leave you with a “bad taste” in your mouth.
And if left untreated it can lead to:
- Your gums shrinking
- Your teeth becoming loose or falling out.
In its early stages, your dentist will:
- Provide advice about keeping your teeth clean, including the use of interdental brushes
- Advise you to stop smoking, if relevant
- Advise you to get your teeth cleaned by a hygienist.
However, if it becomes more serious you may need to have “deep cleaning” under the gums and antibiotics, and in extreme cases some patients will also need to have teeth removed and gum surgery.