Bad breath can be a touchy subject for some people but a lot of patients ask us about it. A lot. Though, the patients who tend to ask aren’t necessarily the ones who have to worry. It’s difficult to assess your own breath, and many people who suffer from chronic bad breath – the really stinky stuff – aren’t even aware of it. It’s important though, to be aware because bad breath can be an indicator that you are at risk for, or are experiencing other more serious health-related issues ranging from erectile dysfunction to cardiovascular disease.
Bad Breath May Cause What? Erectile Dysfunction?
It’s not as much of a stretch as you may think to make the connection between bad breath and vascular diseases including Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Bad breath, not the kind that comes from something you ate, but the kind that makes people back away when you talk is a sign of gum disease or periodontitis. Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by bacteria that thrive on the tartar that builds up around your teeth and under your gums. When left untreated, periodontitis leads to tooth and bone loss, and increased risk of vascular problems like endothelial dysfunction (inflammation of blood vessel linings) which restrict blood flow. Quick now – which part of the male anatomy is particularly full of tiny blood vessels and relies on good blood flow for proper function?
More Proof That Oral Health Matters
Recent research has shown that there is a correlation between the appearance of periodontitis and ED. This reinforces the idea of holistic dentistry which recognizes that oral health is an important part of your overall good health. The evidence is not yet conclusive, but it’s enough to warrant further study. So while the research is ongoing, it is fair to say that gum disease is linked in some way to ED. We already know that bad breath is a symptom of gum disease, so knowing that there is a connection makes the subject of bad breath even touchier than it already is.
Your Bad Breath May Need a Mint
If your oral care habits are generally good and you have bad breath, it could be the result of bacteria in your mouth feasting on something that you ate or drank that wasn’t adequately flushed, brushed or flossed from your teeth when you finished. As those food particles are broken down by bacteria, odours are released. Have a mint, a piece of (sugarless) gum or simply brush your teeth and that bad breath usually goes away. However, if you aren’t brushing and flossing regularly or getting regular checkups and cleanings from your dentist then your chronic bad breath may be a sign of periodontal disease.
Hope For Stinky Breath and (cough) Other Problems
Fortunately, it is possible to treat and gum disease, eliminating the bad breath and reducing the risks associated with it. Take a proactive approach by brushing twice a day, flossing once, and make regular trips to the dentist for cleanings to remove tartar from the places that you can’t reach on your own. It’ll be worth it to avoid an awkward conversation about your breath next time you’re in the dentist’s chair.
Dr. Agatha Bis practices holistic dentistry in Oakville with a no-nonsense approach to oral health care. Dr. Bis and her team give honest advice and recommendations about caring for your teeth and gums and about cosmetic dentistry procedures such as veneers, bonding teeth, dental implants, teeth whitening. Make an appointment at her Oakville dental clinic by calling 905.338.6684 or by submitting the form below.