Does Tooth Decay Cause Bad Breath?

Millions of people suffer from bad breath. Most of these cases originate from the tongue and gums. The odor is the result of wastes from bacteria found in your mouth. Tooth decay can also cause bad breath. Decay and food debris produce a sulfur compound, causing unpleasant odor or bad breath.

What is the primary cause of bad breath?

The primary cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth daily, you’ll soon suffer from tooth decay, which can lead to chronic halitosis (bad breath).

Bad breath may also occur even if you have excellent oral hygiene and no tooth decay. If you have a medical condition, like a liver malfunction or diabetes, you may suffer from halitosis. Furthermore, if you’re a smoker, this habit could also contribute to bad breath as smoking can cause dry mouth, which is another cause of halitosis.

Saliva is vital in fighting against halitosis or bad breath. Saliva keeps the odor in your mouth under control as it washes away bacteria, which are primary reasons of bad breath. Unfortunately, while you’re sleeping, saliva production slows down. This is what causes ‘morning breath.’ Stress, dieting, and hormonal changes can also impact your breath.

How about certain foods?

In addition to tooth decay and other factors stated above, certain foods can also cause bad breath, including onions, garlic, and coffee. Rinsing your mouth with water after consuming these foods can help your bad breath until you have time to brush your teeth.

How can you control bad breath?

Because bad breath is the result of poor oral hygiene, it’s vital that you start brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. This will not only prevent bad breath but can also protect your teeth against tooth decay, which is another cause of halitosis.

When you brush your teeth, you must include the tongue and the inside of your cheeks as well as the roof of your mouth to completely remove bacteria and food particles from your mouth. To completely alleviate the bad odors, you should clean your tongue using a toothbrush or a tongue scraper. You may also choose to chew sugar-free gum to encourage saliva flow, which will control the odor.

If you’ve been cleaning your teeth and mouth regularly but you’re still experiencing bad breath, you should see your dentist or doctor. Stomach problems and other medical conditions could cause bad breath. One of the most common stomach problems that could lead to bad breath is acid reflux. Your doctor could give you antacids and other medications for this.

Your Dentist’s Role

You should visit your dentist regularly so he/she can detect any physical problems in your mouth. Your dentist will give your teeth a professional cleaning to thoroughly remove plaque and bacteria in your teeth. He/she can also determine the source of your bad breath. If the odor does not originate from your mouth, your dentist may refer you to the right doctor who can give you a proper diagnosis for your halitosis.


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