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Gingivitis vs. Bad Breath: How To Tell The Difference

No matter how thorough your dental hygiene routine is, chances are you’ll end up with a case of bad breath every now and then. Whether it’s your typical battle with morning breath or you indulged in a few too many slices of garlic bread, it’s completely normal to experience unpleasant breath. So, how can you know if your bad breath is actually an indicator of a more serious condition like gingivitis? Gingivitis can be a dangerous condition that will wreak havoc on your oral health if not treated properly and bad breath is one of its earliest symptoms. Here are a few important things you need to know if you suspect that your bad breath could be related to gingivitis…

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a condition that occurs due to the build-up of plaque or bacteria along the gum line. This mild infection can result in red, inflamed or swollen gums that are prone to bleeding. In the early stages, gingivitis can be relatively harmless and may even resolve itself through increased dental hygiene practices. However, untreated gingivitis can easily become periodontitis, a serious infection that can result in tooth loss.

What Are The Symptoms Of Gingivitis?

Gingivitis symptoms can range in severity and may even be so mild that a patient won’t even realize they have it. A few of the most common symptoms are…

  • Bright red gums
  • Gums that feel tender or sensitive
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Inflammation or swollen gums
  • Bad breath

So, How Can I Tell If My Bad Breath Is Gingivitis?

If you’ve noticed that you’ve had more bad breath than usual, there’s no need to panic just yet! Here are a few quick questions you can use to assess your situation and symptoms.

1. How Have I Been Brushing?

One of the easiest ways to rule out gingivitis is to start by upping your dental hygiene by brushing for longer periods and flossing regularly. If you take these steps and still notice that your breath hasn’t improved, gingivitis might be the problem.

2. Do I Have Other Symptoms?

Take a careful note of any other symptoms that may be accompanying your bad breath. Have you noticed that your gums bleed while brushing or are more sore than usual? These are signs that an infection is likely the cause of your issues.

3. How Long Has This Been Going On?

Is your bad breath an issue that has developed recently or has it been an ongoing struggle? If you find that your bad breath has been persistent for a lengthy amount of time, you should consider booking an appointment with your dentist to determine if gingivitis could be the root cause.

Looking for more insight into your bad breath woes? Dr. Julie Liberman DDS of Great Neck Dental Care NY proudly serves patients of all ages in the Great Neck area, spanning New Hyde Park, Floral Park, Douglaston, Jericho, Roslyn, etc.

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