bad breath signs

Do you have bad breath that won't go away? If your gums also feel itchy or sore, or you've noticed a change in their appearance, you might have gum disease (periodontal disease).[1]

Gum disease is one of the most common oral health problems that can affect people of all ages. Improving your oral hygiene may be enough to reverse gum disease and banish bad breath, but it's important to see a dentist for a professional diagnosis.[1]

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Besides bad breath, some of the common symptoms of gum disease include:[2]

  • Inflammation (swelling) of the gums
  • Reddening of the gums
  • Itchy, sore or tender gums
  • Gums bleed when you brush your teeth

These can all be signs of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease.[2]

If gingivitis is not treated, it can develop into more serious periodontitis. This can cause permanent damage to the gums and supporting structures of the teeth, sometimes even leading to tooth loss. If any of your teeth feel loose, this could be a sign of periodontitis.[2]

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease is caused by plaque, a layer of bacteria on the teeth that also cause tooth decay. If plaque reaches the gums, it can cause irritation or swelling and make them more prone to bleeding. If the disease is allowed to progress, bacteria can enter the gums and form pockets that need to be removed by a dentist.[2]

How is gum disease treated?

You should see a dentist if you think you might have gum disease. They will examine your teeth and gums to determine if periodontal disease is present, which may involve the use of x-rays. They can then discuss the most suitable option for gum disease treatment.[2]

Improving your oral hygiene can sometimes be all it takes to banish gum disease. Your dentist will advise you about the right way to brush and floss your teeth and any food and drink you should avoid. They can also give you a head start by cleaning your teeth and removing any hardened plaque (calculus) from their surface.[2]

If you have more severe periodontitis, oral surgery will be required to open the gum and remove the infection.[2]

How can I avoid gum disease?

You can lower the risk of gum disease developing by following your dentist's advice and taking good care of your oral health. Brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and cut down on sugary food and drinks.[2]

Giving up smoking can also lower your gum disease risk as well as other health risks, not to mention improving your breath.[2]

Visiting your dentist for regular hygiene appointments can help to keep your teeth and gums free from plaque. Regular check-ups also give your dentist the chance to spot signs of gum disease and other oral health problems before they become more serious.[2]

Do you need to see a dentist in Noosa?

If it's time for your check-up or you're worried about your teeth or gums, make an appointment with our dentists in Noosa at a time that suits you.

Call our team at Tewantin Dental Centre on (07) 5447 1361 or book an appointment online.

References

[1] Healthdirect. Gingivitis and halitosis [Online] 2017 [Accessed December 2018] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/gingivitis-and-halitosis

[2] Healthdirect. Gum disease [Online] 2017 [Accessed December 2018] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/gum-disease