Do Cavities Cause Bad Breath?

Do Cavities Cause Bad Breath?

Published 11/11/2020

Last Reviewed 17/05/2023

Bad breath is a part of life, an unfortunate and slightly problematic part of life. We all know that bad breath can pop up at the most inopportune moments like a first date, job interview, or even an everyday conversation. But what causes bad breath in the first place? Is bad breath really a sign of a cavity? While poor dental hygiene and cavities can cause bad breath, they are not the only cause. In fact, bad breath can be caused by a number of things, including certain types of foods.

Causes of Bad Breath


Bad breath is defined as foul-smelling breath emitted from your mouth. Many different factors cause bad breath, including:

    • Poor dental hygiene & cavities

    • Dry mouth

    • Smoking

    • Respiratory and other infections

    • Acid reflux

    • Consumption of poor or strong-smelling foods like onions, garlic, or tinned tuna


As you chew your food and the saliva begins to break down your food, small pieces may be left behind in your gums, teeth, or on your tongue. These small particles can lead to poor smelling breath, even if you have the highest degree of oral hygiene. Saliva cleanses your mouth of food particles and works as the first line of defense against bad breath. However, if you suffer from dry mouth, your salivary glands may not produce enough saliva to remove these small particles of food and then cause bad breath. Daily choices or specific health disorders may also be increasing your level of bad breath.

How to Combat Bad Breath


In order to prevent bad breath or at least decrease it’s occurrence, follow these steps:

    1. Best oral hygiene practices: brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and use a natural mouthwash

    1. Brush or scrub your tongue to eliminate excess food particles and odor-causing bacteria

    1. Visit your family dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning and checkup


Bad breath is nothing to be afraid of, but you should still ensure your mouth is as healthy as it should be. Your teeth, smile, and breath truly make the first impression, so let's make sure it's the best impression. By adequately brushing, flossing, and using a natural mouthwash, you will keep your teeth and mouth in tip-top shape. And, to ensure everything is healthy, you should undergo a simple teeth cleaning every six months. If there is anything out of the ordinary or you are experiencing bad breath in excess, please ask your local dentist.

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