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Causes, symptoms, and treatments of perio breath

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Unlike common types of bad breath like mothball or garlic breath, perio breath originates from bacteria and plaque buildup in the gums and causes an unpleasant odor. Many may not be familiar with perio breath because it's often overshadowed by other types of bad breath. You're in the right place! My guide explores the causes, symptoms, and treatments for perio breath and helps readers gain insights into their dental well-being.

What is perio breath?

Perio breath, short for periodontal breath, is a specific type of halitosis characterized by a foul odor emanating from the oral cavity due to hidden gum disease or periodontal conditions.

It is caused by (know more the causes in the next section) bacterial proliferation and plaque accumulation in the gums, leading to inflammation, tissue damage, and the release of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that produce the malodor.

Different from transient bad breath, which may result from consuming certain foods or poor oral hygiene habits, perio breath tends to persist despite regular brushing and flossing. Left untreated, gum disease can progress, exacerbating perio breath and causing tooth loss and other oral health complications.

Perio breath causes

Perio breath, or periodontal breath, is primarily caused by gum disease or periodontal conditions. The main contributing factors include:

  • Bacterial growth: The mouth naturally harbors bacteria, but when plaque and tartar accumulate along the gumline due to inadequate oral hygiene, bacteria multiply rapidly. These bacteria release volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), which produce the characteristic foul odor associated with perio breath.

  • Gum inflammation: Gum disease, such as gingivitis or periodontitis, causes inflammation and infection of the gum tissue. Inflamed gums provide an ideal environment for bacterial growth and contribute to the release of VSCs, intensifying the malodor.

  • Plaque buildup: Poor habits allows plaque, a sticky film containing bacteria, to accumulate on teeth and along the gumline. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar and provides a breeding ground for bacteria and exacerbating gum inflammation and perio breath.

  • Smoking: Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for gum disease and perio breath. Smoking weakens the immune system, reduces blood flow to the gums, and contributes to gum inflammation, exacerbating bad breath.

What does perio breath smell like?

Let me share with you my experiences. It's more like a sour, metallic smell that lingers even after brushing my teeth. Sometimes, it's accompanied by a bitter taste in my mouth, making me feel self-conscious when talking to others.

Along with the odor, I've noticed that my gums often feel swollen and tender, especially when I'm brushing or flossing. These symptoms have made me realize that perio breath is more than just a temporary issue – it's a sign of underlying gum disease that needs attention. Want to cure it? Learn the 4 methods in the next part.

How to get rid of perio breath?

To effectively address perio breath, or periodontal breath, you can consider the following three ways:

  1. You need to step up your oral caring routine by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once daily. You need to pay close attention to cleaning along the gumline and between teeth to remove plaque and bacteria that contribute to perio breath.

  2. If you have gum disease, follow your dentist or periodontist's treatment plan to manage the condition effectively. This may include deep cleaning procedures such as scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from below the gumline, as well as antibiotic therapy or other adjunctive treatments to control bacterial growth and inflammation.

  3. You should aintain a healthy lifestyle by avoiding tobacco products, which can worsen gum disease and perio breath. Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, and stay hydrated to promote overall oral health and reduce the risk of gum disease.

Does mouth breathing cause perio disease?

Mouth breathing can contribute to the development or exacerbation of periodontal disease, although it may not be the sole cause. When people habitually breathe through their mouths instead of their noses, it can lead to a variety of oral health issues that may increase the risk of gum disease, including:

Dry mouth

Mouth breathing can result in decreased saliva production and lead to dry mouth. Saliva is essential in oral health by washing away food particles, neutralizing acids, and protecting against bacterial growth. Reduced saliva flow can create an environment conducive to bacterial proliferation and plaque accumulation, increasing the risk of gum disease.

Gum inflammation

Dry mouth associated with mouth breathing can create gum inflammation and irritation. Inflamed gums are more susceptible to bacterial infections and may progress to gingivitis or periodontitis if left untreated.

Altered oral microbiome

Mouth breathing may disrupt the balance of bacteria in the mouth and cause dysbiosis or an imbalance in the oral microbiome. Dysbiosis can contribute to increased bacterial colonization and the development of periodontal disease.

Reduce nasal filter

Nasal breathing filters and humidifies the air before it enters the lungs, whereas mouth breathing bypasses this filtration system. As a result, airborne pathogens and particles may enter the mouth unfiltered, potentially increasing the risk of oral infections and gum disease.

Best ways to hide perio breath

Hiding perio breath, or periodontal breath, is not a sustainable solution, as it merely masks the underlying issue without addressing it. Instead of focusing on hiding the odor temporarily, it's essential to address the root cause of perio breath by improving oral hygiene and seeking professional dental care.

However, if you need a quick fix for social situations, using sugar-free gum or breath mints may temporarily mask the odor. Staying hydrated can help stimulate saliva production and reduce dry mouth, which can contribute to perio breath.

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