10 Signs Your Bad Breath is Caused by Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the technical term for the inflammation of the gums that typically precedes periodontitis. Though not all gingivitis cases will progress to periodontitis, the ones that do may cause tissue damage and tooth loss. Because preventing gingivitis and treating it as soon as possible are the best ways to prevent future problems, here are ten of the warning signs that can indicate gingivitis when accompanied by bad breath.

  1. Bleeding Gums – One of the first signs of gingivitis are gums that bleed after brushing or flossing. Keep an eye out for those pink traces in the sink during your oral hygiene routine.
  2. Swelling – Gingivitis is one of the most common causes of swelling in the tissues of the gums. It’s a good idea to examine for signs of swelling, puffiness and inflammation regularly.
  3. Discoloration – A change in the color of your gums is a very common indicator that early stages of gingivitis have set in.
  4. Tenderness – Pain or tenderness in the gums or around the bases of teeth is usually a sign that gingivitis is progressing. Discomfort that becomes pain with pressure or brushing should prompt an appointment with your dentist for a thorough checkup.
  5. Foul Taste – A persistent foul taste that is accompanied by chronic halitosis is a good indicator that you’re suffering from gingivitis.
  6. Receding Gums – If your teeth look longer because the gum tissue around them is receding, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Though gingivitis is reversible, periodontitis may not be.
  7. Pocket Formation – The formation of pockets between gum tissue and teeth is another sign that you should consult a dentist as soon as possible. This loss of tissue often means that gum disease is progressing rapidly.
  8. Loose or Shifting Teeth – Teeth that feel loose or shift when you apply pressure are cause for immediate scheduling of an appointment for evaluation. Tooth loss may still be preventable at this stage, but delaying will reduce the likelihood.
  9. Changes in Bite Pattern or Partial Denture Fit – Noticing that your teeth don’t fit together the way they once did or that a partial denture seems to be suddenly ill-sized might be an indicator of teeth that are shifting due to tissue loss around the root.
  10. Trouble Near Wisdom Teeth – Gingivitis often begins around wisdom teeth or back molars, which can be difficult to reach with regular brushing. If you notice that the gum tissue surrounding these teeth is tender or bleeds after brushing, this can be a sign of early gingivitis. Even if the gum tissue surrounding other teeth appears healthy, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your dentist for a checkup.

The leading cause of tooth loss among adults is periodontitis, so maintaining good oral hygiene habits and seeing a dentist for regular cleanings is imperative. Tobacco use, some prescription medications and health conditions can all increase the likelihood of developing gingivitis, so be sure to discuss your individual risks with a dentist.

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