Monday, August 20, 2012

Bad Breath Can Kill You

Perhaps the title seems a little dramatic. Can bad breath really kill you? Yes, depending on the true source of bad breath.

There are many potential sources for bad breath. I encourage you to read my previous blog entitled Bad Breath.

On many occasions while walking through a public place, I will occasionally pick up on a distinct odor. Once you smell it, you may never forget it. Just as a decomposing animal has a distinct odor, so does periodontitis (periodontal disease). Most people have smelled the odor that is indicative of periodontitis on many occasions. They may just not be aware of what it really is.

So, how do you know if the bad breath is from periodontitis or from some other source? You don't. Only a dentist will be able to definitively diagnose it. However, there are some clues. As I mentioned before, there is a distinct odor. The odor also tends to be chronic. No amount of brushing, flossing and rinsing will seem to improve it.

So how can bad breath kill you? To put it succinctly, infection of the gums and bone travel throughout the entire cardiovascular system. Inflammatory cells and bacteria affect the entire cardiovascular system. As a result, people suffering from periodontitis are at a significantly higher risk of developing cardiovascular issues such as strokes and heart attacks. Therefore, someone may meet their demise much sooner than they otherwise would.

For a more detailed discussion on how periodontitis can kill you, refer to my previous blog entitled The Link Between Periodontal Disease and Cardiovascular Disease.

Dr. Cisneros maintains a practice in Freeburg and Columbia, IL. Both are in the Greater St Louis, MO area. For more information on a wide variety of subjects, please visit

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