Are Cavities A Cause Of Bad Breath In People?

March 30, 2024

Cavities are quite common, and it won’t be wrong to say that almost everyone has gotten by the time they are adults. We all know how they mess teeth up, but did you know they might also be behind that garlic-like bad breath? Yes, you read that right! Those little holes in teeth – cavities, can cause bad breath, too.

Cavities and Bad Mouth Odor – The Relationship

Yes, cavities and bad breath often come together, and this is due to decay that alters the odor of your mouth. Cavity-causing bacteria can lead to the production of volatile sulfur compounds, which are the culprits for the unpleasant smell of your mouth. While cavities themselves do not directly cause this, their accumulation in the decay pockets contributes to halitosis. Proper oral hygiene and keeping up with regular dental check-ups, along with treatment of cavities, are essential in managing this condition.

How Can Dentists Help?

Dentists start by diagnosing the presence of cavities by external examination or by using dental X-rays and then choosing the right treatments.

  • Professional Dental Cleanings
    Dental hygienists perform cleanings through and through to eliminate plaque and tartar buildup that regular brushing cannot remove, helping one maintain oral health and mouth freshness. Moreover, they may recommend particular oral health products, such as mouth alcohol-free rinses and toothpaste, to help combat bacteria and plaque that lead to bad breath.
  • Treatment of Gum Disease
    If the reason behind your bad breath is gum disease, dental care experts refer patients to a periodontist for specialized treatment. They address gum recession and bacterial buildup that eliminates foul mouth odor. Once your teeth are free from tartar and plaque causing the smell facade, they provide guidance on lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking, adjusting your diet, and managing dry mouth, to reduce the occurrence of cavities and bad breath.

Preventing Bad Breath Due to Cavities

Prevention is the key to long-term success. Bad breath from cavities, once treated, can come back as well; therefore, we urge you to take these preventive measures:

  1. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
    Brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss once before bedtime to remove food debris, gunk, and plaque buildup that may give you “the breath”.
  2. Use an Electric Toothbrush
    Try switching to an electric toothbrush since they can effectively remove food particles and bacteria, especially in areas where your hand cannot go.
  3. Clean Your Tongue
    You might overlook it but use a tongue scraper to clean the bacteria, food remains, and dead cells from your tongue.
  4. Keep Up With Adequate Hydration
    Drink plenty of water throughout the day to promote active saliva production. Saliva is a natural tongue-cleaning agent that washes away bacteria and maintains a healthier oral environment.
  5. Limit Sugary Snacks and Acidic Foods
    Avoid foods high in processed sugars and acidic content, as they can contribute to tooth decay and bad breath.
  6. Professional Dental Cleanings
    Do not skip regular dental check-ups and cleanings, and schedule them at least two times a year to remove plaque and buildup that regular brushing may miss.

Closing Note

In a nutshell, following the preventive measures and seeking dentists help for treatment can effectively prevent bad breath caused by cavities for optimal oral health. If you want to learn more about this, do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Omad Chaudhary, FICOI, at Enhance Dental. With more than 7 years of experience, you can rely on him to find the solution to all your queries. Call (919) 569-5719 to connect with us.



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