I try my best to maintain oral hygiene but occasionally my gum bleeds and my breath smells awfully. What could be the problem? Patson
How long have you had this problem of a bleeding gum and bad breath? Have you recently made efforts to maintain good oral hygiene or you have been doing it for a long time?
Both these problems commonly occur due to chronic infection of the gum. After taking food, some food particles tend to stick in between the teeth and around. These form nidus for bacteria to grow, causing chronic inflammation and infection of gums. This manifests as swelling, pain, bleeding, bad breath, e.t.c. People with uncontrolled diabetes, chronic renal failure, cancer, e.t.c . conditions( where there is reduced ability of body to fight diseases, are more susceptible to such infections of oral cavity and in more severe form.
Using a tooth brush with hard bristles can damage the gums, causing bleeding while brushing. The minor trauma caused helps bacteria to grow, resulting in a chronic infection and bad breath.
Cigarette smoking or tobacco chewing also increases susceptibility to these infections. Bleeding from the gum can also occur due to deficiency of vitamin C. One taking anti clotting drugs like aspirin, clopidrogel can suffer bleeding from gums as adverse effect. Rarely some individuals suffer from bleeding disorders. They can develop bleeding from any site in the body, including gums.
One should brush teeth regularly, ideally after each meal. If that is not possible, then at least it should be done twice; in morning and in the evening before sleeping. The brush used should not be of hard bristles. Flossing the teeth regularly at least once in a week is useful. Antiseptic mouth washes are available to help clear the infection of gums and teeth. A person can get teeth cleaned at least once every month by a dental technician or dentist. Being professionals, they clean the teeth safely and thoroughly.
Eating foods like fresh fruits, particularly oranges, guavas, e.t.c. fresh vegetables and whole grains is useful for health of gums and teeth. In case a person has diabetes, it should be controlled well with suitable diet and medications. Tobacco use should be avoided in any form. High sugar containing foods like chocolates, cakes, candy, e.t.c. should be avoided, as they increase risk of infection. Sugar does attract bacteria. Whenever one eats any such thing, the mouth should be rinsed thoroughly after.