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Overall oral health consists of health of both the soft and the hard tissues in the mouth. While teeth are the hard tissues, the soft tissues include the lips, tongue, cheek, palate, and most importantly the gums. The gums or the periodontium (perio - around, dont - tooth) surrounds the tooth and provides nutritional support and structural support with its connective tissue. The gums are the unsung heroes in maintaining a healthy set of teeth.
It is common observation that dental decay is more attended to than gum disease. The symptoms associated with decay, be it discoloration, food lodgment, sensitivity, and sometimes pain are a lot more demanding.
The bad news is that the same bacteria have a harmful effect on the gums too. The good news is that gum disease also (like tooth decay), takes time to develop. The bacteria in the mouth and the plaque are the main initiators of gum disease too. It is more innocuous and not immediately attended to, sometime even gets ignored for years until it become severe and mandates treatment. Certain medical conditions like pregnancy, diabetes, stroke, etc., lead to greater severity of the gum disease.
Chronic gum or periodontal disease, if left untreated, can even lead to multiple tooth loss and require dentures much earlier than required. It is not difficult to diagnose gum disease as the symptoms are quite easy to identify, including
- Red, swollen, or painful gums: As with any infection, redness and swelling and pain are the first symptoms of gum disease too.
- Spontaneous bleeding of gums: The gums can look spongy and puffed and can sometimes bleed without even a touch
- Chronic bad breath: The bacteria are constantly acting on the food debris to produce acid, leading to a bad breath (halitosis)
- Pressure on the gums can produce pus: Cumulative infection can lead to gingival abscess
- Bad taste in the mouth: If there is an abscess, it will discharge pus into the mouth, leading to this metallic taste
- Gingival recession, where the tooth appears to have grown longer. The gum line recedes from its original place, exposing more of the tooth. This also causes greater sensitivity, especially to hot or cold foods
- Slight loosening of the teeth (in severe cases) as the fibers loosen their hold around the tooth.
- Painful chewing, it puts extra pressure on the fibers of the periodontium.
Some people are more prone for gum disease than others. The risk factors include smoking, increased
female hormones, and chronic illnesses like diabetes and cancer.
Management: Regular visits to the dentist can help identify these at an early stage and manage both progression and severity. Additionally, managing risk factors like smoking and chronic illnesses also is helpful.
I am frequently suffering from Mouth Ulcer, take any treatment, ulcer cures only after 1 week. What is the best treatment for ulcer to cure early and what precautions I should take to avoid in future.
Munching foods like apples, pears, carrots or celery after brushing can help in preventing discoloration
Ge Do eating WARF (blood thinner) medicine 2mg daily for 6years cause Dental problems also? Please reply.
My lower jaw which was paining earlier near the wisdom tooth has now turned black. I mean a part of my jaw has turned black. What does this mean and what should I do.
My mother has cavities in the teeth she left it like that resulting formed large holes in many teeth and if I look hole on the teeth black color is present what should we do immediately.
I am divorced April 2009 then I am not married yet and I have no sex. Till I am tobbaco chewing, tention. My acidity is high. And gum recetion. And bad breath. I am quit chewing tobacco. And drink lots of water Pls help to stop bad breath. Thank you.
What could be the best recovery method? I just had an major road accident. I had stitches on forehead, near eyebrow and on cheek. And I have lost my 4 teeth. So can you suggest what should I do to recover fast?
Hi. I have a yellow teeth. May age is 21 working in nightshift from 6 months when I joined to work at nightshift from then how much every I brush my teeth looks yellow. Help me.
Hello sir, I have bad breath problem and i eat gutka and drink alcohol three times in a week. What should i do for that?
Hi, I have yellow marks on my teeth. It looks really bad when I smile. I consulted doctor and they said its because of fluoride in water. How to make my teeth appear white now? please help me.
1. Drink more water
Believe it or not, dehydration is one of the most common causes of bad breath. Many people drink far too little water throughout the day to ward off the bacteria in the mouth that are most responsible for causing bad breath. Tiny microbes in the mouth actually feed on loose food particles throughout the day, releasing odor-causing byproducts that end up stinking up breath. And all-natural saliva, it turns out, is your body's built-in remedy for eliminating these bacteria.
It is possible for chronic dry dry mouth conditions to play a part in the development of bad breath. Dry mouth is caused by the decomposition of dead cells in your mouth and on your tongue. This decomposition results in an unpleasant door.
But in order for your body to produce enough bacteria-fighting saliva, you must be drinking plenty of clean, fluoride-free water throughout the day. Since saliva is full of oxygen, bacteria have a much harder time surviving because they require low-oxygen environments in order to thrive. Saliva also contains natural enzymes that help stimulate the production of antibodies that neutralize bacteria, which end up getting eliminated when you swish with water, mouthwash, or other oral hygiene products.
2. Supplement with zinc
Another common cause of halitosis is a deficiency in the mineral zinc, which helps maintain a clean, bacteria-free mouth. Some mouthwash products actually contain zinc as an active ingredient because the mineral is a known antimicrobial, and aids in the neutralization and elimination of harmful germs. But supplementing with oral zinc and eating more zinc-rich foods like pumpkin and gourd seeds, cacao, and organ meats, for instance, might be an even better approach, as it can help address the problem systemically.
" zinc deficiency is associated with poor healing, immunity and inflammation" writes heather caruso in her book, your drug-free guide to digestive health" halitosis from oral disease can benefit from zinc supplementation.
3. Use herbs daily
Since bad breath can also stem from a buildup of heavy metals, yeast overgrowth, and other toxins inside the body, it is important to regularly flush your system via dietary interventions.
And one way you can do this is by taking stinging nettle or drinking stinging nettle tea. A powerful herb that has been shown to purify the blood and eliminate toxins from the body, stinging nettle helps stimulate the lymphatic system, increase the excretion of uric acid through the kidneys, and boost adrenal function, all of which target halitosis at its root.
" bad breath is often indicative of toxemia or defective elimination via liver" explains bartram's encyclopedia of herbal medicine: the definitive guide. This helpful manual goes on to suggest not only nettle, but also alfalfa sprouts, parsley, peppermint, dill, fennel, sage, licorice, dandelion goldenseal, echinacea, wild yam, myrrh, lemon, and chlorophyll tablets as viable treatment options for bad breath.
4. Take probiotics
Along these same lines, poor gut health is another common cause of bad breath. If your digestive tract is overloaded with built-up toxins, for instance, or if routine antibiotic use and poor dietary habits have left your digestive system in shambles, bad breath could merely be a side effect of another underlying problem.
Equally, if you suffer from certain bowel, constipation or a sluggish digestive system, you are a prime candidate for developing bad breath. The reason for this is that these conditions create an excess of gas in your body, and much of that gas exits through your mouth. Supplementing with probiotic flora or eating more probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, fermented sauerkraut and kombucha tea just might be the remedy. Taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with water prior to eating meals may help your digestive processes run more smoothly.
5. Include more raw foods in your diet
Eat more carrots, celery, and apples. Crunchy fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, that are rich in fiber are also beneficial in the fight against bad breath.
Eating more carrots, celery, and apples, for instance, can help scrape out the plaque buildups that are responsible for causing more mild or infrequent forms of bad breath, as well as add an extra dose of immune-boosting nutrients to your diet. These foods also help trigger an increased production of bacteria-fighting saliva inside the mouth.
6. Salt water gargle
You might also find a salt water gargle to be useful as this combination helps eliminate bacteria from your throat and tonsils. Himalayan crystal salt is recommended.
7. Consider a cleanse
If you have really bad breath, it's very likely that your body has reached toxic levels. You might want to consider a colon cleanse and then move on to doing a liver cleanse.