My Mom’s Breath Stinks

I don’t know if me telling my mother that her breath stinks is the best idea. Every time she talks to my face directly I smell it. I find myself ducking my head or moving my head to the side. I feel bad when she asks me, “What’s wrong Honey”? She brushes her teeth twice a day and uses the fanciest toothpastes. She chews gum and has mints on a regular basis but it does not seem to make a difference. Her bad breath is so strong, it over comes the mint, smelling like bad breath with a small hint of mint. I don’t think she realizes how bad her breath is. Can you help me?

Thanks Stacy,

Dear Stacy,

The best way to handle this is to be honest, show concern, and let your mother know. If you are noticing her bad breath so are her friends and coworkers. One of the main causes of bad breath is gum disease which is an infection of the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth. Signs and symptoms of gum disease besides bad breath are gums that are red, swollen, and bleed easily as well as pain in the teeth. If gum disease has been left untreated for sometime teeth start to shift and become loose in the socket.

Gum Disease is the major cause of tooth loss and is quite common among the adult population, especially when dental checkups are avoided on a regular basis. Besides the possibility of losing one’s teeth due to gum disease it also causes other health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and chronic inflammatory diseases. Gum Disease is very treatable, especially in the early stages and one can keep their teeth for the remainder of their life with good hygiene and frequent dental cleanings.

We recommend you discuss this issue with your mother and advise her to make an appointment for a dental exam to see if she does indeed have gum disease. If she is in the early stages of the disease her dentist will recommend a deeper cleaning to remove all the bacteria off of her teeth which will stop the disease from causing more damage to her surrounding tissues and bone however if she has severe gum disease he may recommend her to go see a periodontist who specializes in the treatment of this disease for further treatment. Once the disease is treated good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist on a regular basis are vital in order to keep the disease from progressing.

Post courtesy of Dr. Perry, Baton Rouge Dentist.

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