Can Tooth Decay or Cavities Lead to Bad Breath?

Information about the connection between tooth decay, cavities, and bad breath at Sudbury Dental Arts.

Our teeth and gums contain bacteria that can contribute to foul breath. Where brushing can’t get to them, bacteria in the mouth can hide. The likelihood of developing halitosis increases if you have dental decay.

In this article, we will run you through the link between tooth decay and bad breath.

Understanding Cavities

Cavities are little holes or gaps on the hard surface of your teeth that are permanently damaged. Also known as caries, cavities are brought on by several things, including oral bacteria, frequent eating, consuming sugary beverages, and inadequate tooth cleaning.

One of the most prevalent health issues worldwide is dental decay, which includes cavities. It’s particularly prevalent among kids, teens, and older adults. However, cavities may affect everyone who has teeth, including young children.

If left untreated, cavities get bigger and harm your teeth’s deeper layers. They may result in tooth loss, infections, and excruciating dental pain. Your best defense against cavities and tooth decay is regular dental appointments and proper brushing and flossing practices.

Indications of Cavities

Depending on the size and location of the cavity, there are different indications and symptoms. You might not have any symptoms while a cavity is just starting. As the decay spreads, it may result in the following signs and symptoms:

  • Toothaches or pain that develops for no apparent reason
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Eating or drinking anything sweet, spicy, or cold and feeling mild to severe discomfort
  • Your teeth have noticeable divots or pits
  • A brown, black, or white stain on any tooth surface.
  • It hurts when you bite down

The Link between Tooth Decay and Bad Breath

When a tooth becomes decayed, it can cause dental plaque and the pulp to get infected. Pulp death may result if such takes place. The tooth pulp might smell bad if it is dead. Halitosis has other causes besides tooth decay. Additional factors include:

Not Brushing Properly

Poor oral hygiene is the main contributor to foul breath. If you don’t wash your teeth thoroughly, bacteria may quickly accumulate in your mouth, including on your tongue and gums. Tooth decay, which also results in bad breath, is brought on by bacteria, which produces odor-producing gasses.

If you don’t floss and clean your teeth after every meal, germs will devour any food stuck between your teeth and might release obnoxious fumes.

Food and Drinks

Your breath may smell bad if you consume certain meals or drinks. Alcohol and coffee both contribute to foul breath. Fortunately, many causes of foul breath only last a short time. You can prevent it by avoiding certain meals and beverages, cleaning your teeth, or rinsing your mouth right away afterward.

A Change in Diet

Crash dieting and fasting are additional potential causes of foul breath. This is particularly valid if you are on a low-carbohydrate diet. Extreme dieting stimulates the breakdown of fat in your body. It results in the production of ketones, which might give you unpleasant breath.


In addition to contributing to lung cancer, smoking also gives you terrible breath. Another factor contributing to foul breath is gum disease, which this unhealthy behavior can spread. Quit smoking to reduce your chances of gum disease and to stop having stinky breath.

Side Effects of Medication

Halitosis may result from some drugs. One such is nitrate medication, which treats angina and chest discomfort. Your breath may smell bad if you’re using some tranquilizers or chemotherapy medications. If your medication is the root of your halitosis, your doctor could suggest a different option. However, it would be best if you always talked to your doctor before stopping any medicine.


Tooth decay and halitosis frequently go hand in hand. In most cases, you can treat bad breath, provided you make it a point to practice proper dental hygiene.

Are you looking for a bad breath remedy in Sudbury, MA? Sudbury Dental Arts offers services for general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. Book an appointment today!



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