Periodontal Disease and Halitosis Management
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Common Cause Of Gingivitis
The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene that encourages plaque to form. Plaque is an invisible, sticky film composed mainly of bacteria. Plaque forms on your teeth when starches and sugars in food interact with bacteria normally found in your mouth. Brushing and flossing your teeth each day removes plaque. Plaque requires daily removal because it re-forms quickly, usually within 24 hours.
Plaque that stays on your teeth longer than two or three days can harden under your gumline into tartar (calculus). Tartar makes plaque more difficult to remove and creates a protective shield for bacteria. You usually can’t get rid of tartar by brushing and flossing you need a professional dental cleaning to remove it.
Learn more about Periodontal Disease and Halitosis Management
The longer that plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more they irritate the gingiva, the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. In time, your gums become swollen and bleed easily. Healthy gums are firm and pale pink. If your gums are puffy, dusky red and bleed easily, you may have gingivitis. Because gingivitis is seldom painful, you can have gingivitis without even knowing it.
Untreated gingivitis can progress to gum disease that spreads to underlying tissue and bone (periodontitis), a much more serious condition that can lead to tooth loss. Periodontitis and poor oral health in general may also affect your overall health in ways that aren’t completely understood.
Studies link periodontitis to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke or lung disease. And women with periodontitis may be more likely to give birth to premature babies or babies with low birth weight than are women with healthy gums. Although more research is needed, these studies highlight the importance of taking good care of your teeth and gums.
Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease. Early gum disease causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. This leaves deep pockets where plaque and bacteria can build up. Periodontitis can progress until the bones that support the teeth are damaged. Teeth may get loose and fall out or need to be removed.
Bad breath (halitosis) can be embarrassing and may cause anxiety. It’s no wonder store shelves are overflowing with gum, mints, mouthwashes and other products designed to combat this condition. But many of these products are mere temporary measures.
Certain foods, health conditions and habits are among the causes of bad breath. In many cases, you can improve bad breath with proper dental hygiene. Try making lifestyle changes, such as brushing your teeth and tongue after eating, using dental floss, and drinking plenty of water. If simple self-care techniques don’t solve the problem, you may want to see your dental provider or doctor to be sure a more serious condition isn’t causing your bad breath.
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