Does Gingivitis Cause Bad Breath?
Learn the causes and how to prevent and treat gingivitis.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums that results from a buildup of bacteria and plaque. This causes the gums to be inflamed and easily bleed. If you notice bleeding when you brush, it could be an early sign that you’re experiencing gingivitis. If you let gingivitis symptoms go untreated, the disease can develop into periodontitis, leading to the breakdown of tissue around your teeth as well as the possible loss of teeth.
Bad breath is also a sign that there is a buildup of bacteria and therefore a large number of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), or bad breath causing sulfur gas. Volatile Sulfur Compounds break down soft tissue, like gums, and put additional stress on your oral health and healing. If you notice ongoing bad breath, it could be a red flag that gingivitis has started settling in your gums.
What causes gingivitis?
The main cause of gingivitis is not following good dental care habits. If you aren’t brushing at least twice a day and not flossing on a daily basis, you aren’t maintaining your teeth or your gums.
Gingivitis can also result from:
- Hormonal changes
- Certain medications
- Family history of oral health issues
- Smoking or using chewing tobacco
Seeing your dentist for regular checkups can actually help prevent and reverse the early stages of gingivitis.
Signs of gingivitis
Take a close look at your mouth in a mirror. Healthy gums should be firm, pale pink in color and tightly surrounding your teeth.
Signs of possible gingivitis include:
- Tender gums
- Puffy or swollen gums
- Gaps between teeth and gums or loose teeth
- Gums that are a darker shade of red
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Ongoing bad taste or bad breath
Not treating your symptoms can lead to more serious health issues. For most people, subgingival bacteria levels are manageable with a return to healthy oral habits. However, if someone already has a weakened immune system, it can quickly get much more challenging to handle and reverse. Gingivitis can also cause problems for people who are diabetic.
Gingivitis can develop into periodontitis
When gingivitis progresses, it becomes gum disease that spreads to underlying tissue and bone. This is known as periodontitis. As the gum and bone pull away from the teeth, pockets begin to form and then continue to deepen. This is what can eventually cause tooth loss.
How far along the periodontitis has progressed will determine if a deep cleaning or a more specialized treatment is needed. In some cases, surgery may be required. Your dentist can help you with treatment options.
Bad breath is an early sign of gingivitis
If you’re still wondering, “Does gingivitis cause bad breath?” — a telltale sign of gingivitis is having continuous bad breath. If you aren’t brushing and flossing daily, the oral bacteria that live in your mouth will feed on the protein stuck in your teeth and gums. The direct result of this is sulfur gas, or volatile sulfur compounds, which is stinky breath when it’s exhaled.
If you make your dental care a daily priority and schedule regular appointments with your dentist, you can help keep gingivitis and bad breath out of your mouth. Using a mouthwash that is clinically formulated, like SmartMouth Clinical DDS Activated Oral Rinse, is another way to protect your teeth and gums. This zinc ion activated rinse is good for lessening existing gingivitis and helping to prevent future gingivitis and bleeding gums.
Ask your dentist about SmartMouth Clinical DDS Activated Oral Rinse. Prescription strength without the prescription.