Periodontal Disease - Gum Disease and Bad Breath

What is Periodontal Disease, or Gum Disease, and why does it cause bad breath?

Periodontal disease, or better knows as gum disease, is the results of inflammation and infection of the tooth’s surrounding tissues including the gums and the bone. It's most common symptom is bad breath or smelly gums when flossing. When left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss as well as systemic concerns that affect your overall health.

In the early stages of periodontal disease, it is diagnosed as gingivitis. Gingivitis causes the gums become red, puffy and may bleed when brushing or flossing. In later stages, symptoms turn to periodontitis where the bone can be lost and the tooth becomes loose, eventually falling out or needing to be extracted.

Periodontal Disease risk factors:

  • Age, gender and genetics
  • Tobacco use
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Crowded teeth
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal factors
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Underlying immuno-deficiencies
  • Stress
  • Taking medications that cause dry mouth
  • Ill-fitting restorative dental work

Signs of Periodontal Disease:

  • Bad breath, bad taste, or smelly gums when flossing
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Recession (gums have pulled away from tooth)
  • Painful when chewing
  • Bleeding gums

Dental Hygiene Assessments and Diagnosis:

Your Floss hygienists will evaluate and identify the presence of gingival inflammation by assessing the color, cowill evaluate and identify the presence of gingival inflammation by assessing the color, contour, texture, and consistency of your gums. Also, they will also check for bleeding upon probing, receding gums, any pockets in the enamel of the teeth, loose teeth, loss of bone at the root of the tooth, misalignment of teeth, and condition of dental restorations. Interpreting this data as well as a comprehensive health history will allow for a better understanding of your periodontal health.

Treatment and Prognosis:

Early stages of gingivitis, can be reversed and controlled with good oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day, flossing or waterpiking daily, and with regular 6-month visits to Floss Dental Boutique for routine dental hygiene care. Early to moderate Periodontitis can be treated and stabilized with a non-surgical procedure called Scaling and Root Planning. This includes removing the bacteria and diseased tissues from the pocket of the tooth while smoothing the tooth’s root surface, so the gums can tighten and become healthy again.

Laser therapy can also be used in conjunction with Scaling and Root Planning to disinfect the disease-infected pocketed space of diseased tissues. These procedures also reduce or eliminate bad breath caused by gum disease.

Medication, such as Arestin can be administered locally to control the gum disease. After these processes are complete, it is important to stay on a frequent recare schedule called Periodontal Maintenance to prevent the disease from becoming active again.