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ASK YOUR DENTIST 7. - Bleeding Gums and Bad Breath

“Hi there, I am a 35 year old male and I have some curious problems. My teeth do not hurt and I never have any problems with caries, either, I mean, I have 2 fillings, one ona molar and one on a canine,but I got those years ago. My problem is that everytime I brush my teeth, there is blood on my toothbrush. This also couples with the fact that I have unbelievable bad morning breath. Are these two things related? What can I do to solve this problem?”

To put it bluntly; I have no way of determining whether your bleeding gums are in fact related to the fact that you have halitosis (morning breath) in the morning without seeing you first. This would require a diagnosis, and possibly a culturation of your oral bacteria to figure out, But I can tell you this: the chances are pretty high that they are, and that you are probably suffering from periodontitis, a chronic infection of your gums.

Bad breathThere are several hundred types of bacteria in your mouth and throat at any given time. Some these aid in digestion, some are necessary for your mouth to be able to break down foods, and some come from outside, and start to live in your periodontium (this term literally means the tissue surrounding your teeth). This happens to all of us, he problem is when the conditions inside your mouth shift, like from smoking, drinking alcohol or eating very sugary or heavily processed foods; conditions inside your mouth will tend to favor the bacteria that are harmful instead of useful. This is when periodontitis becomes a problem, as the bacteria being favored may start to infect the gums and cause them to be inflamed, recessed or a number of other things. This can become quite severe, and can end up costing you your teeth. So just ask yourself these few questions:

-are your gums frequently swollen?

- do your gums ever bleed when not brushing? If the answer is yes, when?

- are your gums discolored, reddish?

- do your gums recede, do you frequently find yourself with dry mouth?

A yes to any of these questions can indicate that you have periodontitis, and you should definitely see a dentist. But the problem can also be caused by brushing. You may perceive your breath to be bad in the morning which will cause you to brush vigorously, which can end up damaging your teeth and your periodontium. If this is the case, brush with less force remove all of the plaque and all of the food debris, but go gently, there is no reason to brush like a maniac. Do not forget to use floss and mouthwash, as this will help with both of the problems you have mentioned.

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