If chronic bad breath plagues, and you can't find any visible signs of gum disease, check the back of your mouth for inflammation and infection. Gum disease can wreak havoc on multiple teeth, or it can cause issues for one to two teeth. The infection may actually hide in the gum tissue surrounding back teeth, or molars. Here are things you can do to inspect or locate hidden signs of gum disease in the back of your mouth.

Obtain Your Supplies and Sanitize Your Hands

Inflamed gum tissue usually appears slightly swollen and a little red in color. The gums may also bleed easily when brushed, flossed, or pressed during eating. These are generally signs of mild gum disease or gingivitis. However, gum disease that causes an odor may indicate a severe infection of the gums. In this case, you want to look for signs of pus and plaque buildup.

You'll need a tiny mirror or dental mirror to see the area in the back of your mouth. If you visit a local store, you can usually find a dental care pack that contains a dental pick and mouth mirror. You only need the mirror for your inspection. 

After you obtain the dental pack, wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap and water. Also, sanitize the dental mirror with alcohol, then rinse it off with cool water. Dry the mirror with a clean paper towel. These steps keep you from accidentally introducing outside bacteria into your infected gums.

Now, you're ready to perform the inspection.

Inspect Your Gums

Stand in front of your bathroom mirror and open your mouth wide. Place the mirror in your mouth, then position the mirror so that you can obtain a clear view of your back teeth.

Now, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do your gums appear bright red or purple?
  2. Do your gums ooze pus or white fluid?
  3. Do your gums pull back from your teeth crowns?
  4. Do you taste a foulness in your mouth?
  5. Do you see one or more molars affected by the things above?

If you answered "yes" to any of the questions above, you might have a severe form of gum disease. In this case, contact a dentist and request an exam of your mouth. Severe gum disease can cause tooth loss and infection of the jawbone over time. Avoid these potentially dangerous problems now by having your gums treated and cleaned. 

Until you seek dental care, rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash that doesn't contain alcohol or harsh chemicals. The mouthwash may help protect your gums and/or teeth temporarily.

For more information about your gums or possible gum disease treatment, schedule an appointment with a dentist, like Fuller Periodontics & Implant Dentistry