It matters little if you call it gum disease or periodontal disease; it is a condition that has the potential to affect your bodily health in addition to your dental health and the surest sign that all is not well in your oral cavity is persistent bad breath. What makes the condition so insidious for the average person is the fact that it moves along rather slowly. There are initially no symptoms – other than bad breath.
Since consumers have been conditioned to mask the breath, even this symptom might be consistently eradicated in favor of avoiding the social stigma. As periodontal disease progresses, a sufferer of the condition will eventually have to face gingivitis, which of course is known to anyone who watches the advertisements for toothpastes on television.
There is no pain that accompanies gingivitis, and this makes it look like more of a cosmetic problem. Advanced gingivitis gives way to swollen and eventually bleeding gums, and it is not until then that the condition is discovered by the sufferer. At this fork on the road there is still help available, if the person acts quickly. Rather than masking the bad breath that has been a warning sign all along, it is crucial to visit the dentist and have the mouth examined, tartar buildup removed, and overall gum tissues assessed.
Sufferers who avoid the dentist – as a good number are in the habit of doing – and ignore periodontal disease and its companion bad breath, eventually have to deal with chronic periodontitis that manifests in a low level infection that is continuous and gradually leeches away the body’s ability to fight disease, infection, and other conditions that require and up and running, strong immune system.
Periodontal disease takes hold in the mouth when bacteria are allowed to develop and replicate unrestrained. This eventually leads to a form of mouth tissue infection. The number of bacteria rise and the infection demands the body’s immune response to be almost constant. Gingivitis that moves from the gum line to below the gum line now allows the infection and the bacteria causing it to move out of reach of toothbrush and floss, and mouth worsens as the bacteria continue to spread. Bad breath is now a constant, even right after performing at home oral hygiene tasks.
There is no cure for the condition that can be affected in the home, and in order to do away with the bad breath caused by periodontal disease, a visit to the dentist is inevitable. Dental hygienists have the tools needed to reach below the gum line and remove the bacterial buildup there, the infected tissues that may have already become necrotized, and also any food particles that may have slid in between the gradually separating gums and teeth.
Patients are amazed at the amount of bacterial buildup that is removed during such an appointment, and they also might get a first whiff of their own bad breath. Fortunately, going forward there is a good chance that with proper and consistent dental care and oral hygiene periodontal disease and its companion bad breath are a thing of the past.