Do Cavities Cause Bad Breath?

Do you feel embarrassed in social situations just because of bad breath? Have you ever wondered why exactly you have this problem? What causes bad breath anyway? Cavities? Knowing the underlying cause of bad breath will help you take steps to fix the issue. An appointment with your dentist will definitely help reveal what exactly is the cause of concern in your case. Let's find out more about different causes of bad breath and the role cavities have to play in it.

Do Cavities Cause Bad Breath?


There can be many underlying causes of bad breath and tooth decay is one of them. If you have cavities, you may also have bad breath. Bacteria in your mouth are responsible for the destruction of tooth surface, which leads to cavities. Bacteria thrive on bits of sugars and food left in your mouth – they eat sugars and form acids that damage the surface of your teeth. The combo of bacteria and acids can turn your fresh breath into bad breath. The good thing is that your dentist can identify and remove cavities to make your breath fresh again.

How do You Know If You Have Cavities?

Certain symptoms help determine if you have cavities, but these symptoms vary from person to person depending mainly on the location and extent of cavities. There usually are no symptoms though when a cavity is just beginning. You experience symptoms when the decay gets larger, and that is when you may experience tooth sensitivity, toothache, pain when you bite down, visible holes in your teeth, and pain when drinking or eating something hot, sweet, or cold. You may also have visible black, brown, or white spots or stain on the surface of your tooth.

How Are Cavities Dealt With?

Do cavities cause bad breath? Yes, so the next thing you should do is to fix the problem. Here are some of the options.

1. Try a Fluoride Treatment

You may benefit from a fluoride treatment if your cavities are still in the early stages. Fluoride makes it possible for your teeth to reverse the damage. Your dentist may recommend a liquid solution, gel varnish, or foam fluoride to strengthen the enamel on your tooth. Sometimes, your dentist applies the fluoride directly on an affected tooth, but they may sometimes decide to place it into a tray and fit it over your affected teeth.

2. Try Fillings

You may consider getting a filling done to restore your tooth. This helps prevent further damage to the tooth and even prevents bad breath. The procedure involves removing the cavities with the help of a drill and filling the holes with resin material, silver amalgam material, or porcelain. Some people do not like silver amalgam because it contains mercury. You can try other options in this case. It usually takes a couple of appointments to complete the fillings but that usually depends on the extent of the decay.

3. Get a Crown

Do cavities cause bad breath? Yes, so what to do? Custom-fit tooth coverings called crowns is an option. You usually require crowns when the tooth decay is in its advanced stages. Your doctor will first remove the damaged part of the tooth and then take a mold of your teeth. They fill this mold with zirconium, porcelain, or some other tooth-like substance to make a personalized crown. They use cement to apply the crowns on your damaged teeth. You usually require multiple appointments for this procedure.

4. Opt for a Root Canal

In case your cavity has penetrated deep into your tooth's pulp, you usually have no other choice but to go for a root canal procedure. The procedure involves making an incision near your tooth to remove the decaying pulp and then refilling it with rubber-like material. They use sealing paste to keep the new material in place. Considering the extent of damage, your dentist may also suggest having your tooth covered with a crown after a root canal procedure.

5. Extract the Bad Tooth

While there are ways to deal with cavities, it sometimes becomes impossible to save your tooth. In this situation, you may consider having your damaged tooth extracted. Keep in mind that there will be a gap left after you have your tooth extracted, but you can fix this problem by getting a dental implant or bridge.

How to Prevent Cavities

Do cavities cause bad breath? Of course, they can be one of the reasons why your breath is never fresh. That is why it makes sense to take steps to prevent cavities in the first place. Here is what you can do:

  • Be sure to brush twice a day and always floss before you go to sleep. This removes plaque from your teeth and kills odor-causing bacteria.
  • Make use of an electric toothbrush to eliminate food particles and plaque from hard-to-reach areas. Many electric toothbrushes also indicate for how long you should brush for maximum benefits.
  • Make use of a tongue scarper after brushing to get rid of dead cells and food debris. This will really help if you are worried about coffee-breath.
  • Always use a mouthwash that does not contain alcohol, especially if you are already struggling with dry mouth. Brushing your tooth regularly is usually better than using any mouthwash.
  • Have your teeth cleaned professionally and get them checked at least twice a year to prevent cavities and other problems. Regular checkup will also ensure that existing fillings are in a perfect condition and no infection is developing.

What's more, you should also make some lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of developing cavities and bad breath. For instance, you should avoid eating food rich in processed sugar, brush your teeth after eating bananas, raisins, and other 'sticky' food, and limit yourself to sugar-free mints only.

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