Do you have chronic bad breath? Bad breath can be off-putting to others and can cause your self-esteem and self-confidence to suffer. It might make you feel hesitant to speak or to sit or stand too close to others.
So what triggers bad breath? A number of factors could be at play. You may be eating foods that have strong odors such as onion or garlic. If that’s not the case, your bad breath may be a result of tooth decay, smoking, indigestion, metabolic diseases like diabetes, or bacteria on your tongue.
The major source of foul breath is bacteria, which can lead to gum disease. When you have unhealthy gums, you are providing the bacteria a medium to thrive and multiply. Bacteria leads to gingivitis, and gingivitis is often accompanied by foul breath.
Gingivitis is characterized by gum inflammation and is one of the early stages of gum disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in the mouth, which often develops due to poor oral hygiene. Plaque or tartar is the residue of food particles and dead tissue that build up between the teeth and gums. If the buildup is not removed, it will lead to a host of problems. When people fail to brush their teeth or floss regularly, the resulting plaque becomes the medium for the growth of anaerobic bacteria that causes stinky breath. While bad breath is not a serious problem in itself, not addressing the underlying source could progress lead to more serious conditions, such as chronic oral infections, bleeding gums, or the loss of teeth.
Gum disease could progress from plaque buildup to bleeding or receding gums. During its progression, gum disease can cause the inner gum to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets where bacteria can thrive. The gum bacteria could migrate to other parts of the mouth, including the tongue.
You cannot simply mask your bad breath by chewing gum or using mouthwash. These agents will provide temporary relief, but they will not affect the underlying problem. If you have a consistently bad taste in your mouth accompanied by unpleasant breath, see a periodontist in Utah for help addressing the root of the problem.