Why do I have bleeding gums and bad breath? What should I do?

If you’re brushing your teeth every day and experiencing bloody gums and still have bad breath, you may be wondering why! After all, brushing your teeth should freshen your breath and not damage your gums. So what’s causing this and how can you stop it?

Your gum health experts here at Periodontal Health Center are on the case! Let’s delve into a few common reasons you may be experiencing bad breath and how to stop gum bleeding immediately.

Reason #1: Your oral hygiene routine is inconsistent

A strong oral hygiene routine is key to keeping your oral health top-notch and your breath smelling fresh! If you’re only brushing your teeth once a day or flossing maybe once a month, you’re putting your entire oral health at risk, and your overall health as well. After all, don’t we get our sustenance through our eating and drinking? And the mouth is the start of the digestive system.

Why is a strong oral hygiene so important? Throughout your day, your teeth are accumulating plaque, a sticky bacterial film. As you eat and drink, food particles and sugars join this bacteria. The bacteria combined with food (especially certain spicy or fragrant foods) can cause your breath to be smelly. And bacteria thrives on sugar! In fact, if plaque isn’t removed within 24 to 48 hours, it can harden into tartar, your gums worst enemy.

While one in four people have bad breath at some point in their lifetime, when it’s persistent and paired with the symptom of bleeding gums, you’ve got a recipe for disaster!

Reason #2: Periodontal disease

That’s right. Periodontal disease can be the reason why you have bloody gums when you brush your teeth or why you have smelly gums when pressed. Your gums will bleed if swollen or irritated by bacteria. In fact, these two symptoms paired together may mean your gum disease (gingivitis) has progressed past that stage and has now affected the underlying bones. This is commonly characterized by the first stage of periodontitis. If your gums smell bad when you press on them, that’s a key indicator that bacteria is trapped beneath your gum line, commonly in what is called “periodontal pockets”.

Other signs of gum disease you should be on the lookout for are:

  • Red or swollen gums.
  • Receding gums.
  • Pain or discomfort while chewing or brushing your teeth.
  • Gums pulling away from your teeth.

How to stop gum bleeding immediately and treat bad breath

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with a specialist right away. Periodontists are gum health experts and can stop the progression of your gum disease – with your dedication! Here’s a few ways to help treat the symptoms of periodontal disease at home, while you wait for your gum health check-up.

  • Buff up your oral hygiene routine! The #1 cause of periodontal disease is poor oral hygiene habits. Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day, and use an antibacterial mouthwash up to twice a day.
  • Schedule and keep regular appointments with your dentist. Your dentist visits are important to maintaining and improving your oral health through exams, screenings, and professional teeth cleanings.
  • Make conscious choices. Committing to a nutritious diet can give your gums the building blocks it needs to fight gum infections. Stopping smoking, vaping, or chewing tobacco can also contribute significantly to preventing bleeding gums and bad breath.
  • Drink plenty of water! Water helps in removing food debris from your gums and keeps your mouth tissues moist, making it a little harder for bacteria to cling to.

Note: These steps are part of your plan to take back your gum health, NOT a total replacement for bleeding gums treatment. Only a personalized plan from a periodontist can properly treat periodontal disease.

Still have more questions about bleeding gums and bad breath?

No matter your situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions about the signs of periodontal disease. We’re always happy to discuss any of our treatments or technologies with you. Our team is here to support you and your gums!

If you’re looking for a top periodontist in Tampa or New Port Richey, we’d love to meet you! Request an appointment today.


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