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General Dentistry: Do Cavities Cause Bad Breath?
General dentistry focuses on the prevention of dental issues like cavities and bad breath. These two things are often related to each other. For example, when a person has a cavity, one of the signs is bad breath. At the same time, in many cases, a person with bad breath is likely to have their struggles with cavities.
To answer the oft-asked question, yes, cavities do cause bad breath. However, there are many other things that can lead to a person's breath having an unpleasant smell. These include:
- Respiratory problems
- Digestive issues
- Other dental issues like gum disease or an infected tooth
- Poor oral hygiene
- Eating certain foods
- Being deficient of certain nutrients
The relationship between bad breath, cavities and how general dentistry deals with it
Bad breath and cavities have one major thing in common: oral bacteria. These organisms are naturally present in the mouth but can multiply to unhealthy levels where they facilitate issues like gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath.
These bacteria feed on food particles left over in the mouth after eating. These particles are broken down into acids and volatile sulfur gases (VSG). The sulfur gases are the culprits that create the unpleasant smell, while the acids break down teeth enamel, leading to the formation of cavities.
Cavities are small holes that develop on teeth surfaces and will continue to expand if left untreated. Since teeth are used for breaking down food, food particles are forced down and packed tightly into these holes. This creates a food-rich haven for bacteria that live in the cavity. The more food there is for the bacteria to consume, the more acids and VSGs they produce. The end result is a person with cavities on their teeth and bad breath, a common combination.
Treating bad breath and cavities
Cavities require a visit to a dentist, who can fill up the hole with dental material called a filling. The cavity is cleaned out before it is filled, and once it is closed up, food particles and bacteria will not be able to make their way into it.
Fillings also happen to be one of the cheapest treatments offered by dentists, so there is never a good reason to ignore a cavity.
2. Bad breath
Bad breath can be treated by doing simple things like:
- Improving oral hygiene
- Brushing before going to bed
- Using an antibacterial mouthwash
- Avoiding certain foods
- Drinking lots of water
- Chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production
If the patient does not notice any improvements after doing this, a visit to the dentist should be the next course of action. The culprit might be something more serious than oral bacteria.
General dentistry helps prevent such issues
Regular visits to a dentist help prevent issues like cavities and bad breath. It also ensures these things are noticed early on if they occur, which make it much easier to treat the underlying issue causing the problem. Stop by our office if you are dealing with bad breath or cavities.
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