How Do You Get Rid of Bad Breath from Gum Disease?

How to get rid of bad breath from gum disease - Dental Aware feature image

Everyone gets bad breath every now and then, but we find that the worst bad breath is a result of some form of gum disease.

Gum disease can come in many forms, from easily treatable gingivitis to more severe cases such as periodontal disease.

Bad breath in relation to gum disease comes from the bacteria that grow and live on or near your gum line.

The first step to eliminating the bad breath is to address the areas that are affected by gum disease and once treated there are many products that can be used to subsequently eliminate the odour associated with it.

They work to both kill the bacteria as well as prevent gum disease altogether.

This all starts of course with a good dental hygiene routine.

Regular brushing, flossing and rinsing with a powerful mouthwash can all assist with keeping the bacteria at bay and have your breath smelling fresh.

How does Gum Disease make your Breath Smell?

One of the main causes of halitosis, or bad breath, is the bacteria associated with gum disease.

Bacteria do exist in our mouths naturally, but unhealthy gums give them a chance to multiply to a point where they cause problems not only for your breath but also for your teeth and gums.

These odour-causing bacteria can lead to gingivitis and if left untreated can progress to a more serious form of gum disease, also known as periodontitis.

The most prevalent cause of gum disease is plaque build up.

Plaque and tartar are the terms used to describe the collection of food particles and dead tissue between the teeth and also the gums.

Removal of these can not only prevent and assist with the treatment of gum disease but also prevent a number of other dental diseases and issues.

Plaque and tartar can be kept under control at home as well, again by utilising good dental hygiene.

Why do you have Bad Breath when you have Gum Disease?

There is a combination of reasons for having bad breath in relation to gum disease, but as mentioned earlier, the odour-causing bacteria that grow and live in your teeth and gums are the main culprit.

The bacteria multiply at an alarming rate which generally means that your breath will get increasingly worse until it is treated.

Plaque and tartar also contribute to the development of gum disease, both of which make your breath smell even worse.

Gum disease can get worse over time if not treated and as a result, the gums get more infected and inflamed from leaving it too long, so your breath can get even worse.

All of these are factors in bad breath caused by gum disease.

Can you Prevent Gum Disease?

There are several ways that gum disease can be prevented before it starts to take hold and cause real problems.

These steps will also give you fresher smelling breath and avoid other dental diseases that may arise.

The best tip to avoid gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene.

This is especially important if you already know that you have issues with your gums or have had a form of gum disease in the past.

There are lifestyle changes that can be made in order to prevent gingivitis and in turn stop it from progressing any further.

Firstly, brushing your teeth and gums with a soft toothbrush at least two times a day should be your initial point of call.

Flossing after brushing will also help you to remove any nasty plaque or tartar stuck between the teeth and gums.

These two oral hygiene routines are essential, not only for preventing gum disease but in keeping up good dental practices.

Limiting your intake of sugar is also a good place to start.

As we all know, sugar is quite detrimental to our teeth and overall dental health, so keeping the sweets to a minimum will do you no end of good in the long run.

Another lifestyle change which can help in the prevention phase is quitting smoking.

In recent decades, we have come to know the dangers of smoking to your health and this, of course, extends to your dental health.

It is also recommended that you visit your dentist at least every two years for a routine checkup as well as a professional cleaning.

All of these steps can be utilised to prevent gum disease and give you overall healthier teeth and gums.

How Do You Prevent Bad Breath?

Regular dental checkups and cleaning are the best way to avoid conditions that may lead to bad breath in the future, or catch them before they get out of hand.

It is recommended that you see your dentist at least once every two years, but if you are prone to dental illnesses seeing them every year is more useful.

Taking steps to practice good oral hygiene and making sure that your teeth are kept in the best condition will generally prevent most forms of bad breath.

It can be caused by underlying health conditions, so if you are unable to pinpoint the cause of your less than desirable breath, and it can not be diagnosed by your dentist, your local GP may have the answer.

Can a Dentist Help with Bad Breath while you still have Gum Disease?

In short, no. In order to effectively rid you of your bad breath if caused by a form of gum disease, this must be attended to first.

Your dentist can do things to assist you with the bad breath while you are undergoing treatment, but this is not a permanent solution.

A professional cleaning may help for a little while, but with gum disease still, present the odour-causing bacteria continue to multiply at a rapid rate.

Practising good dental hygiene while you are taking the steps to rid you of your gum disease will not only prevent it from reoccurring but also help with your persistent bad breath.

A professional cleaning can get rid of plaque and tartar build-up which contribute to bad breath and subsequently the development of gum disease.

Visiting your local dentist for a treatment plan will help you to find out the steps that can be taken to alleviate bad breath during the process.

Does Deep Cleaning get Rid of Bad Breath?

A deep clean by your dentist acts to remove bacteria, plaque and tartar.

This can also be conducted by a periodontist if you have gum disease as they are better able to treat this condition.

The cleaning will attend to the bacteria and plaque that are affecting your gums as well.

All of this will effectively reduce your bad breath and coupled with good oral hygiene will rid you of bad breath, more so if your gum disease has already been treated.

How do you get Rid of Bad Breath Permanently?

Getting rid of bad breath permanently is again down to good oral hygiene.

Relying on toothpaste and mouthwashes is not enough to keep bad breath at bay.

As mentioned previously, brushing and flossing twice a day coupled with dental check-ups and deep cleaning at least every two years, if not more frequently, is the best way to prevent bad breath.

These will all minimise the number of food particles and bacteria that build up in your teeth and gums.

Remaining food and bacterial growth are the main contributors to bad breath.

Food particles left around the teeth, gums and on the tongue, if let sit for long enough, can even rot leaving a very unpleasant odour.

Bad Breath Solutions

On top of good oral hygiene, there are a few tips that will help you to avoid bad breath in the future and in turn many of the associated dental ailments, such as gum disease.

1# Baking Soda

Brushing with baking soda once a week will help you to neutralise bacteria in the mouth that may cause bad breath.

It can also neutralise the acid behind your teeth and tongue. With your regular toothbrush, sprinkle a small amount on the bristles and use it to brush.

You may also use baking soda as a kind of mouthwash by dissolving half a teaspoon in a small glass of water and rinsing with it.

2# Sugar-free Gum

Using sugar-free gum or mints will also help, as this increases the production of saliva inside the mouth which flushes out the odour-causing bacteria.

They will also work to cover up bad breath for a short period of time.

3# Antiseptic Mouthwash

Using an antiseptic mouthwash can also kill bacteria and mask your bad breath for a short while.

Make sure you rinse and perform a deep gargle with your mouthwash to get the best results.


So, before trying to treat bad breath you must first address the root of the problem.

Tending to whatever form of gum disease you may have will allow you to start working on the bacteria that cause the bad breath.

In general, good dental hygiene is the key to not only counteracting bad breath caused by gum disease but also avoiding gum disease in the future.

A combination of brushing, flossing, rinsing, dental check-ups and deep cleaning can have an excellent effect on your teeth and gums and prevent many dental diseases, not just forms of gum disease. In the longterm, it can ultimately.

Dr Veronica Roller

By Dr Veronica Roller

Created at April 26, 2019, Updated at May 28, 2021

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