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What is gum disease?

20 July 2021

Is your breath as fresh as a daisy?

Most people suffer from a little bad breath at one time or another, usually down to stinky foods consumed with a spot of alcohol on a good night out but constant bad breath is a sign that there may be something wrong with your gums and teeth. The signs of gum disease, which include red, sore or bleeding gums often accompany bad breath if the issue is linked to how you care for your teeth and smile between visits to our practice.

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is often caused by the build up of plaque on the gumline and by food particles which have not been removed by brushing or flossing and slowly rot, giving off smelly gases – yum!

Although there are sometimes medical conditions which lead to halitosis, it’s often easier to visit the practice and let us take a look at your smile and gums so we can advise if you need to contact your doctor or if it’s an issue we can help with.  We understand that feeling like you might have bad breath can cause embarrassment but we’re not here to judge and lecture, we’re here to help, offer sustainable oral care advice and get you mouth and smile back to tip top condition.

Whilst you’re waiting for an appointment at the practice, there are several things you can try to combat bad breath concerns:

  • Make sure to brush your teeth at least TWO times a day, for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use a toothbrush (preferably electric) with a small head and avoid hard bristles.
  • When brushing, hold the toothbrush at a 45% angle and brush all areas of the tooth, pay particular attention to the gum line, where the teeth meets the gums.
  • Use floss to remove plaque and food debris from hard-to-reach areas that your toothbrush won’t get to, for example between your teeth.
  • Once you have brushed, leave it a few minutes before using a mouthwash, to allow the fluoride toothpaste to do its work protecting your teeth before you rinse it away.
  • Change your toothbrush or toothbrush head at least every three months.
  • Drink water regularly throughout the day. A dry mouth can emphasis bad breath and regular water can help to rinse away the bacteria which causes bad breath.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet, avoiding too much sugar and especially sugar between meals.
  • Stop smoking….. but you already know that.

If you have any concerns about your breath, gum disease or your smile, we’re here for you.  Contact the practice to arrange a consultation so we can start to help you, and your smile.

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