Looking after your gums has many benefits. Nicer smelling breath is just one of them.
When it comes to unpleasant smells, little can match the odour of severe halitosis and anyone who has stood too close to someone with this will understand what we mean.
There are a number of things which can cause bad breath and many of these are temporary; for example, eating certain foods such as garlic, can cause bad breath, as can others such as beer or coffee. These usually only last a short time though, and with reasonable oral health care, will soon go.
One type of bad breath that will not easily go though is that caused by gum disease, which occurs as the number of harmful bacteria increases in our mouths. This is often due to poor cleaning of the teeth and gums, although other factors, such as smoking or certain medical conditions such as diabetes, increase the likelihood of both gingivitis and periodontitis.
Although, as we have previously discussed, gum disease can have serious consequences for the health of our teeth, and also cause a fair amount of soreness and discomfort; in this blog we will focus on halitosis. So, why does gum disease often lead to extremely bad breath?
The harmful bacteria that lead to gum disease do so by eating away at the soft tissues of the gums. This is often what causes the soreness, and bleeding when we brush our teeth. This is not the only result of this action though. As the bacteria ‘digest’ the flesh, they also expel gases and it is this that results in the often sulphurous smell of halitosis. This may be so strong that it is impossible to mask with breath fresheners or mouth sprays and even where a patient does successfully manage to mask the smell, this does not get to the root of the problem.
Gum health management
Despite the anti social aspect of bad breath and the potential serious damage that gum disease can cause, it is relatively straightforward to prevent. The most essential aspect of gum disease prevention is accepting responsibility for taking the necessary action.
For the most part, many patients already have all of the basics in place such as brushing and flossing their teeth regularly. There is often still room for improvement in this area though, and simple things like changing your toothbrush, using a gum disease toothpaste and improving your brushing action will all help to improve the cleanliness of your teeth and gums. Our dental hygienist will be able to offer advice on these. They will also be able to check that you are using dental floss correctly in your daily regime. Much tooth decay and gum disease will start in the spaces between our teeth and using floss is a great way to keep these areas free from the harmful bacteria.
Finally, we would urge our Clapham patients to seriously consider seeing the hygienist for a thorough clean, also known as a scale and polish, every six months or so. This will allow the removal of rough built up deposits on your teeth which make it much easier for bacteria to cling to. This non-invasive treatment may also help to brighten your teeth a little as well as leaving you with a fresher feeling, and smelling, mouth.
Bad breath can be difficult to detect ourselves and if you have noticed people backing away a little when you speak to them, it is probably because they find your breath offensive. It doesn’t have to be this way though, and, by having a through oral health check at our Clapham practice, you will be well on your way to a healthier mouth.
To arrange a check up or an appointment with Lauren Bennett, our hygienist, please call the Confidental Clinic today on 020 7801 9060.