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

If your dental care routine hasn’t changed but bad breath now lingers, even with more brushing or mouthwash added to the mix, the problem might run deeper than you think. Chronic bad breath could indicate that you have gum disease.

The causes of bad breath

Those who enjoy plenty of strong foods including garlic and onion are no strangers to bad breath. It’s compounds in the foods themselves that create the odoriferous issue, and it resolves when the food is out of your system.

Otherwise, bad breath usually stems from bacteria accumulating in your mouth. As you eat, food breaks down, and while you swallow most, particles remain behind. These provide a food supply for bacteria. Typically, your saliva and home oral care keep things in check.

Medications and medical conditions can also be behind chronic bad breath. Drugs can cause dry mouth, which is also a condition on its own, stemming from a lack of saliva. Even acid reflux can create breath issues. Smoking or chewing tobacco create mouth odors as well as affect gum health.

Periodontal disease and bad breath

If you’re lax in your brushing and flossing habits and you’ve skipped several dental checkups, then chances are early stages of periodontal disease are behind your bad breath. 

Plaque, a byproduct of the bacteria in your mouth, can build up on the surface of your teeth, particularly around the gumline. Over time it can push gum tissue away from the surface of your teeth, creating pockets that provide haven for even more bacteria.

As well as bad breath, periodontal disease has other symptoms. You likely have several of these if gum disease is indeed behind your bad breath:

Treating periodontal disease

Since, in this case, your bad breath is due to the progression of periodontal disease, improvement comes only once the primary condition is corrected. Depending on the severity of your gum disease, treatment may be nonsurgical or surgical.

Scaling and root planing

The nonsurgical approach to periodontal disease is a two-part technique. Scaling is a form of deep cleaning that aggressively removes plaque and bacteria from your teeth above and below the gumline. There are several methods to accomplish this, including manual tools and dental lasers.

Root planing smooths the surface of teeth roots to discourage further plaque buildup and encourage reattachment of gum tissue to teeth.

Flap surgery

If the pockets below your gum line are significant, incisions may be necessary to expose enough root surface for the scaling and root planing treatment. Other treatments, needed for advanced cases of gum disease, may include soft tissue and bone grafting.

Chronic bad breath is a clue you can’t ignore. When it’s an issue for you, contact our periodontics specialists at Rifkin Dental. You can call our office directly or request an appointment online to arrange your examination today. 

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