Do Cavities Cause Bad Breath?
Can tooth decay cause bad breath
Bad breath is an embarrassing problem that weakens social relationships. Romantic relationships are often hit particularly hard, but professional advancement can also be limited. There are many causes of unpleasant breath including smoking, metabolic diseases, consumption of strong smelling foods, and digestive problems. However, one of the main causes is tooth decay left untreated; even a small amount can cause foul-smelling breath.
Also known as dental caries, decay of the teeth is caused by bacteria breaking down the enamel on your teeth. Food residue builds up on the teeth, tongue, and gums when the mouth is not cleansed after a meal; this provides an opportunity for bacteria to grow. One of the main kinds is a sugar-loving bacterium called Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans). Digestion begins in the mouth where saliva starts breaking down carbohydrates into sugars. S. mutans then begins to digest those sugars and produces acids that break down tooth enamel. Over time, this break down causes decay and contributes to foul breath.
Food residue and S. mutans stick to your teeth in a substance called plaque. When not removed, plaque hardens and becomes more difficult to treat. Plaque causes gum irritation leading to gum disease, which in turn causes a variety of problems including bleeding gums, terrible breath, oral infections, and even tooth loss.
People often don’t notice dental caries until they become severe, which is one reason regular dental exams are important. As the decay becomes more advanced, treatment requires visiting q dentist to have the cavities repaired. The decayed section of the tooth is removed and replaced with a filling material to return the tooth to its proper shape. Sometimes the tooth is decayed to the point that it cannot be saved with a filling and it must be repaired with a crown, which is a laboratory made restoration that is shaped like a tooth and covers the tooth either partially for fully.
In more severe cases where the decay has reached the pulp (center nerve) of the tooth, a root canal may be required. In this procedure, the dentist removes the damaged nerve and replaces it with a root filling material. The most extreme cases of decay removal of the whole tooth may be required.
Decay and cavities, with the malodorous breath that often accompanies them, can be prevented by practicing proper oral hygiene. Brushing after every meal and flossing at least once daily is recommended by dentists to reduce the risk of decay. Removing food residue after eating keeps your tooth enamel in good shape and breath fresh. Using toothpastes and mouthwashes specifically designed to target foul-smelling breath, like Oral Essentials Clean and Fresh™ Mouthwash for Bad Breath and Oral Essentials Clean and Fresh™ Fresh Breath Toothpaste, also improves oral hygiene and leaves your breath smelling fresh.
Because brushing and flossing alone are not enough to completely remove plaque from your mouth, it is also important to have your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year. During your visit, the dental hygienist removes any remaining plaque from your teeth.
Making simple lifestyle changes can also reduce your risk of decay and improve the smell of your breath. Bacteria love sugar, so avoiding foods with a lot of processed sugar and carbohydrates decreases your likelihood of experiencing decay.
Tooth decay is a common problem, but with proper oral hygiene you can fight back and prevent damage to your teeth, and the bad breath it often causes. Our oral care products use plant and mineral based ingredients to offer a natural way to improve oral hygiene.
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