Lake Forest, Lake Bluff IL
Halitosis or bad breath affects everyone at some point. Whether you ate garlic bread with your lunch or enjoyed pesto pasta for dinner, certain foods are notorious for causing bad breath that lingers. There are other reasons for bad breath, especially when it sticks around much longer. Gum disease is common among nearly half of adults in the U.S., and one of its main symptoms is chronic bad breath. Today on the blog, our Lake Forest family dentists share how gum disease is responsible for foul-smelling breath and what you should do about it.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is an infection in the mouth that affects gums, jawbone, and teeth. It starts as gingivitis, which presents as tender, swollen gums that bleed easily. If you have gingivitis, you probably notice pink in the sink when you brush or floss. Gum inflammation is the body’s response in an attempt to fight off the infection. Except the infection won’t go away without professional dental treatments. Additionally, failing to manage gum disease means that the body’s immune system constantly responds to battling a low-grade infection.
How does gum disease cause bad breath?
As gum disease progress, due to the lack of dental care, the gums form pockets called perio pockets that harbor oral bacteria responsible for the infection. Perio pockets are impossible to clean thoroughly with at-home brushing and flossing. Additionally, it’s the formation of perio pockets harboring bacteria that lead to chronic bad breath. This is why untreated gum disease results in bad breath even if you brush your teeth often and avoid eating pungent foods. Therefore, professional dental treatments are necessary to clean the perio pockets, rid your gums of harmful bacteria, and prevent gum disease from returning. If neglected, the perio pockets deepen, causing the gums to shrink and separate from the base of the teeth, erode the jawbone, and leads to tooth loss.
Is bad breath always a sign of gum disease?
Not always, but bad breath that doesn’t go away within a day could signal an active infection in your mouth, either in your gums or teeth. Extensive tooth decay also emits a foul odor and will not relent without professional dental care. It may be difficult for you to tell if your chronic bad breath is a result of gum disease or something else.
Therefore, watch out for these other signs of gum disease
- Red, inflamed gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Calculus buildup along the gum line
- Receding gums
- Tooth sensitivity
- Loose teeth
- Tooth loss
It’s essential to see your local general dentist in Lake Forest at Lake Forest Smiles if you have any of these symptoms or believe that you may have gum disease. Professional dental care is the only way to manage an oral infection and stop it in its tracks.
How is gum disease treated?
Gum disease treatment depends on your specific oral care needs but always involves a thorough deep cleaning of your teeth and gums called a dental debridement. During this cleaning procedure, the dental hygienist uses an ultrasonic scaler to remove calculus buildup gently. A deep dental cleaning usually takes more time than traditional cleanings and costs more, although most dental insurance policies cover all or a significant portion of the cost. However, your Lake Forest dentist that treats gum disease may recommend more frequent cleaning appointments to control the infection.
Other treatments for gum disease may involve laser therapy, which uses a dental laser to remove diseased tissue, zap harmful oral bacteria. The dentist may recommend other measures to manage your gum disease. To get the best results, follow through with their recommendation and at-home oral care as instructed by your dentist in Lake Forest.
Gum Disease Treatment in Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, and Lake Bluff
Gum disease can do much more damage than cause stinky breath. If left untreated, it can cause irreversible damage to your oral health and result in tooth loss. Learn more about managing gum disease or schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Smiles at (847) 234-4800. The most important step to take if you believe you have gum disease is to seek treatment. Successful results depend on your commitment to oral care at home, such as eating a healthy diet low in sugar and processed foods, brushing your teeth twice a day, and flossing daily. Together, you and our Lake Forest family dentists can stop gum disease and help you maintain a healthy smile.