There are many causes of bad breath and Dr. Martin can help you find the source of the problem. To be clear, bad breath CAN NOT cause cavities, HOWEVER, having chronic bad breath is often caused by undiagnosed tooth decay. The reality is that bad breath can be a strong indicator that you have a cavity and need an appointment at our Waco office.
What causes bad breath (Halitosis)?
Bad breath is caused by bacteria accumulating in the mouth and interacting with proteins in the saliva. The interaction creates sulfur compounds that we smell as bad breath. Halitosis (chronic bad breath) is something that won’t go away with mints, mouthwash, or a good brushing. Unlike “morning breath” or garlic breath, halitosis remains for an extended amount of time and can be an indicator of something more serious.
If you are noticing that a quick mint or brushing is only covering up the problem for a short time, something else may be happening in your body. Common reasons include:
- Dental issues – Cavities, infection, gum disease, etc.
- Mouth, nose, and throat Infections
- Dry mouth
- Smoking and tobacco
- Other chronic conditions – bad breath may also be a sign of gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease.
How Do Cavities Cause Bad Breath?
Cavities are the result of the destruction of the tooth surface brought on by bacteria inside the mouth. The bacteria eat the leftover sugars and food particles in our mouths and then form acids that eat away at the surface of your teeth. The longer bacteria and acids are in contact with your tooth the higher the risk for tooth decay and the more likely a cavity will form. While cavities do not directly cause bad breath, they can contribute to it. Bacteria can get stuck and accumulate in the deep decay pockets, making it more difficult to keep your mouth clean and your breath fresh.
Remember, if you have bad breath, it does not mean you have a cavity, but you might. That’s why it’s important to maintain regular dental appointments and see Dr. Martin right away if you suspect that you have a cavity or are experiencing tooth sensitivity or pain.
How are cavities treated?
A dental filling is used when a patient has one or more cavities. Dr. Martin will remove the decayed tooth material and fill the space with a filling material to protect it from getting deeper or causing more discomfort. Common dental filling materials are gold, porcelain, silver mixed with other metals, or tooth-colored fillings. Depending on the location of the cavity, Dr. Martin may recommend a certain material that can better withstand the pressure and force created by your strong jaw. For cavities closer to the front of your mouth and your ‘smile line’, Waco Dental is proud to offer tooth-colored fillings to keep your teeth looking beautiful and natural.
How is bad breath treated?
Once your teeth have been treated and are in good shape, it is time to continue preventative maintenance. Like always, this includes:
- Brush at least twice per day
- Floss at least once a day (before bed is good)
- Use a tongue scraper to remove surface bacteria and other food particles.
- Visit Dr. Martin at least 2 times per year for a dental cleaning and checkup