Do Cavities Actually Cause Bad Breath?

October 15, 2023

Almost everyone has suffered from a case of bad breath at least once in their life. Not only is it super embarrassing, but it can also be uncomfortable if you’re stuck in a social gathering without any way to freshen up your mouth.

Some people suffer from bad breath, or halitosis, on a chronic level. This means that no amount of brushing, flossing, or mouthwash rinses can cause it to go away. But not everyone goes through the same thing. Sometimes, you might notice a change in your oral health the moment you develop a cavity or tooth decay. So, does that mean cavities cause bad breath? To find out whether or not cavities and bad breath are related, make sure to read this blog till the very end.

Do Cavities Cause Bad Breath?

Cavities form when bacteria infect your teeth, eating at the enamel surface and leaving behind an empty hole in the tooth. This often causes a lot of pain and discomfort, making it difficult for you to eat or brush your teeth without cringing away from the toothache. However, despite all the symptoms, cavities do not cause bad breath — at least not directly.

Due to the bacteria inside the decaying tooth, it is possible for them to mess with your oral health, leading to stinky breath. Once the bacteria adhere to the decay pockets inside your mouth, it can be difficult to neutralize its effects. This is why it is crucial to always maintain your oral hygiene by brushing and flossing on a daily basis. You should also schedule bi-annual visits to the dentist, especially if the bad breath doesn’t go away, as it could be a sign of something much more serious.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad breath can be triggered by many things, but ultimately, it occurs when bacteria gather inside your mouth and come into contact with the proteins in your saliva. This tends to cause a negative reaction, which results in volatile sulfur compounds coating your mouth. The bad breath you smell then is just the sulfur compounds mixing with your saliva. However, there are quite a few triggers that set off bad breath, such as:

  • Neglecting your oral hygiene and refusing to brush or floss your teeth.
  • Not cleaning your tongue.
  • An underlying case of gum disease.
  • Hidden tonsils
  • Chronic halitosis
  • Dry or dehydrated mouth
  • Having a habit of smoking tobacco, vaping, or drinking alcohol.

Closing Words

All in all, cavities do not cause bad breath. They can unintentionally trigger the response from your body, but they do not directly lead to the foul stench in your mouth. However, if you cannot get rid of the smell, no matter how many times you brush your teeth, it might be time to visit a specialist for extra care and inspection. For more information regarding halitosis, feel free to contact Smile 360 Family Dentistry at (909) 980-4878. You can also visit our clinic, located at 9778 19th St, Alta Loma, CA 91737, near Rancho Bootcamp, for an in-person evaluation.


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