Do Cavities Cause Bad Breath?
Take steps to protect your teeth and your breath.
It’s hard to imagine anyone who actually looks forward to going to the dentist, but according to recent survey results, 42% of Americans don’t see a dentist as often as they would like. Among the people surveyed, 58% reported having visited the dentist at least one time during the year. Do you remember the last time you saw your dentist?
If you follow an oral health schedule, the dentist should be on your ‘to do’ list twice a year. Even if you brush and floss daily, you can’t reach every single tooth. A professional cleaning will get to all those hard to reach places in your mouth plus your dentist can check for any issues, like cavities. Left untreated, your cavities can cause bad breath and other issues could develop into long-term dental health problems.
Once upon a time…the plaque story
Plaque is a sticky coating that is constantly forming on your teeth. You remove it every time you brush. The real problems begin when you skip your daily brushing. The bacteria that live in your mouth feed on the sugars left behind from your favorite takeout Chinese and the energy drink that jump starts your morning. This results in acids that can weaken and harm your tooth enamel, which can then develop into cavities. Not brushing or flossing also gives plaque a chance to build up along the gums. Can cavities cause bad breath? Yes, once this downward spiral starts, your breath doesn’t stand a chance.
The truth about cavities and bad breath
Early cavities are tiny and can occur in places you can’t see no matter how wide you open your mouth in a mirror. As the enamel of a tooth breaks down, tooth decay begins to set in. As bacteria feed on what’s left between your teeth, it not only causes little holes to develop on teeth, it also releases sulfur gas (VSCs) in your mouth. That is the bad breath you are sharing with co-workers, family and friends. If you’re wondering if cavities can cause bad breath, just imagine all that bacteria waiting to binge on what’s left behind in your teeth.
Breaking the cycle once it starts
Since your mouth can’t give you any warning signs that plaque buildup has started, you need to make sure you’re protecting your teeth, gums and breath. Keep your dental care a top priority by following these key steps:
- Brush and floss at least twice daily – once in the morning and again at night. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste and brush for at least two minutes, so you have time to reach all the angles.
- Limit how much carbonated soda, boozy drinks, candy and starchy foods you eat and drink. Try to balance your diet and consider foods like celery to help clear out what could be left between teeth.
- Curb your snacking habits. Chips and cookies might sound like a good idea, especially when it’s 3 p.m., but don’t feed the bacteria.
- Get to know your dentist by name. Schedule a visit every six months for a full checkup and cleaning. Your dentist may suggest X-rays to make sure there aren’t any future problems lurking beneath the surface of your teeth and gums.
If your dentist finds a cavity, the way it’s treated will depend on how bad it is. You may just need a filling. If the decay has destroyed too much of a tooth, you’ll need a crown. If your tooth can’t be repaired, a root canal may be necessary.
Mouthwash is another way to help prevent plaque from building up on your teeth. Choose one without alcohol, which can dry out your mouth.
Control bad breath with SmartMouth mouthwash, which eliminates sulfur gas and keeps it away for 12 hours per rinse.