19 Mar 5 Gum Problems That Cause Bad Breath!
Posted by: Jodie Blades Diploma Level 3 in Dental Nursing
Medically reviewed by: Dr Farnoosh Mimeh BDS MFDS RCS (Eng) General Dentist & Aesthetics Practitioner
Having bad breath can be embarrassing and is a sensitive subject to discuss. It can often be the case that if you have bad breath – you’re the last to know. Gum problems could be the main cause of your bad breath. Visit a dentist if you have any of the following – actually visit them regularly any way – prevention is better than cure!
Check out our top 5 signs you may have a gum problem.
1) Bleeding gums
Gum disease or gingivitis/periodontitis is caused by dental bacteria (plaque) on your tooth surface. Inflamed gums that bleed are the initial response and in severe cases your gums will bleed just to touch. Do you ever bite a crusty roll and leave a bloody bite mark? Or do you have bleeding on brushing? – If you have any of these symptoms you should book a gum assessment. Simply brushing your teeth more or popping to the chemist for a bottle of Corsodyl will not solve the issue. In fact, Corsodyl mouthwash should not be used daily, as it will cause your teeth to develop unsightly brown staining.
2) You Smoke
Okay, so this is a broad statement – and simply being a smoker doesn’t mean you have bad breath – but – smoking does mask the early signs of reversible gum disease, such as bleeding, and if left unmonitored your gum health risks deteriorating faster than that of a non-smoker. Smoking makes the immune system in your mouth less effective. The nicotine in the tobacco kills off small capillaries around your body – including the ones that supply your gums. For tips and advice on quitting smoking visit the NHS website.
Halitosis is a term used to describe bad breath and is often a symptom of poor dental care and it may also pair with an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Gum disease can be a source of chronic foul breath. It can sometimes be the case that if you are the one with halitosis – you can be the last to know about it. Your dentist or hygienist will give you an honest impartial opinion- if it’s something you’re worried about. It is important to rule out a dental cause as underlying gastrointestinal issues can also cause halitosis.
4) Swollen, painful gums
Healthy gums should be a coral pink or a darker hue similar to this pigment – depending on your cultural background – and have a stippled like appearance – much like the surface of an orange! If your gums are bright red and the skin looks to be tight and swollen then this maybe an inflammatory response to the bacteria that’s associated to gum disease. Swollen gums can often feel painful to touch and can throb while chewing and ache after.
5) You’re ‘long in the tooth’ and some may feel wobbly!
Eventually your gums will get ‘fed up’ of fighting plaque and bacteria and they will begin to retreat from the cause of inflammation. Resulting in the ligament and bone around your teeth to be eaten away. You may notice your teeth looking longer than they once were or the gaps between your teeth may be larger. Unfortunately, after this attachment is lost it can be tricky to replace, as it will not grow back without a surgical procedure. In cases where there has been gum recession from hard brushing it may be possible to surgically repair this. Where there is severe recession from gum disease it may also be possible to mask this with a gingival veneer.
Keeping on top of your Oral Hygiene and having regular check ups with a Dentist is vital to maintain healthy gums.