Over the past few months, we covered many systemic conditions and diseases that are associated with advanced periodontal disease. While there is no proof that advanced periodontal disease actually causes these conditions and diseases and vice versa, researches have established a link between it and heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, low birth rates and even erectile dysfunction.

Halitosis and Dental Care

As medical professionals, we know that it can be difficult to persuade many patients to make lifestyle changes simply with warnings about “what ifs” regarding their health. If that were the case, many more people would lead much healthier lifestyles. If you have a family member or loved one that is neglecting their gums, the catalyst for seeking treatment may just be your intolerance of their halitosis, or bad breath. In fact, according to research cited by Wikipedia, halitosis is one of the most cited reasons for seeking dental care. It seems that complaints and even temporary ostracization by spouses, partners, and family members may just be a strong motivating force for many to visit the dentist!

What Causes Halitosis?

The source of halitosis is anaerobic bacteria in the mouth, which multiplies rapidly in the presence of plaque on teeth and produces a foul odor that emanates from the mouth. Without proper and regular flossing and brushing, this plaque becomes tartar and begins to collect at the gum line which causes gingivitis and advanced periodontal disease which can lead to tooth loosening and loss. The anaerobic bacteria will spread to the tongue, where it can join food and other organic material in providing a “breeding ground” for more bacteria. If the thought of wildly proliferating bacteria feeding off of other “materials” in your mouth and causing an unpleasant odor to emanate from your mouth is a discomforting or even disgusting one, it is easy to prevent it by keeping the growth of bacteria in your mouth under control and prevent plaque and tarter from forming on your teeth. All it takes is regularly flossing, brushing and keeping regular professional dental cleanings and checkups at the dentist.