Bad Breath From Cavities

Do cavities cause bad breath?

Fix Bad Breath From Tooth Decay

Are you suffering from bad breath but don’t exactly know what the cause is? If you’ve tried the usual solutions without effect, it’s probably time for you to visit your dentist. There are many causes of unpleasant mouth odors and your dentist can often help you find the source of your problem. Many times the cause is due to undiagnosed tooth decay, so yes, it’s possible that your cavities cause bad breath.

Cavities are the result of the destruction of tooth surface brought on by bacteria that exist inside your mouth. Bacteria live on bits of food or sugars that may be left in the mouth after eating or drinking, forming acids that eat away at the surface of your teeth. The longer bacteria and acids are in contact with your tooth the higher the risk for tooth decay and the more likely a cavity will form. Cavities and the bacteria in your mouth can cause your fresh breath to turn into bad breath. However, once discovered by your dentist, tooth decay can be removed, cavities can be treated and your breath can be cleaner again.

Once your teeth are in good shape again you’ll want to prevent cavities and bad breath in the future. Here are a few things that dentists often recommend:

Brush at least twice a day and floss before going to bed. This will help prevent food and plaque build-up around your teeth and gums and decrease the food supply for those ever-present bacteria.
Use an electric toothbrush to remove more food particles and plaque where bacteria love to grow. Electric toothbrushes also have timers that help you stay at the sink longer for more effective brushing.

Use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria, food debris and dead cells. This is an especially useful aid for coffee-breath.
If you use a mouthwash, consider one without alcohol especially if you suffer from dry mouth. In general, toothbrushing has a longer-lasting effect in freshening your breath than mouthwash.
Have professional dental cleanings and an exam at least twice a year. Your dental hygienist uses tools and techniques that can remove all the plaque and buildup from your teeth that your toothbrush can never do. Your dental exam will help you learn about problem areas where tooth decay is more likely so you can focus on prevention. And your dentist will monitor existing fillings for signs of aging and breaking down before bacteria have a chance to cause further harm to your teeth.

In addition to regular check-ups, lifestyle changes can also reduce the occurrence of cavities and bad breath.
Avoid foods that are high in processed sugars
Brush after eating `sticky` foods like raisins, bananas and breads
If you use breath mints limit your selection to sugar-free mints. Those including xylitol can actually help decrease the incidence of tooth decay.

If you think that perhaps your cavities cause bad breath, start on your way to fresher breath and a healthier mouth today and make an appointment with your dentist.

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4 Ways to Deal with a Toothache

What you can do

If you have a toothache, it’s important to figure out what’s at the root of your discomfort. From there, you can determine how to best relieve any pain, swelling, or other symptoms.

A regular salt water rinse and cold compress application can typically remedy minor irritation, but more serious toothaches may require a dentist’s intervention.

If your symptoms persist for more than a day or two, see your dentist. They can provide guidance on how to relieve your symptoms and prevent future pain.

You should also talk to your dentist before using any of the following remedies if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any medical condition that may be impacted by herbal ingredients.

Keep reading to learn more.

1. Salt water rinse

For many people, a salt water rinse is an effective first-line treatment. Salt water is a natural disinfectant, and it can help loosen food particles and debris that may be stuck in between your teeth. Treating a toothache with salt water can also help reduce inflammation and heal any oral wounds.

To use this approach, mix 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) of salt into a glass of warm water and use it as a mouthwash.

2. Hydrogen peroxide rinse

A hydrogen peroxide rinse may also help to relieve pain and inflammation. In addition to killing bacteria, hydrogen peroxide can reduce plaque and heal bleeding gums.

Make sure you properly dilute the hydrogen peroxide. To do this, mix 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water and use it as a mouthwash. Don’t swallow it.

3. Cold compress

You may use a cold compress to relieve any pain you’re experiencing, especially if any type of trauma has caused your toothache. When you apply a cold compress, it causes the blood vessels in the area to constrict. This makes pain less severe. The cold can also reduce any swelling and inflammation.

To use this approach, hold a towel-wrapped bag of ice to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time. You can repeat this every few hours.

4. Peppermint tea bags

Peppermint tea bags can be used to numb pain and soothe sensitive gums.

To do this, allow a used tea bag to cool down before applying it to the affected area. It should still be slightly warm.

You can also swap approaches and use this to cool, rather than warm, the area. To do this, put a used tea bag in the freezer for a couple of minutes to chill it and then apply the bag to your tooth. 

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How to relieve Gum Pain

Gum pain can result from a range of health and lifestyle issues. These causes, and the pain itself, can range in severity. However, a number of home remedies can provide immediate relief.

A person may have gum pain because they have a condition that affects the gums, or because they are simply brushing too hard.

Some other causes of gum pain include:

  • canker sores
  • friction from dental devices, such as retainers or dentures
  • hormonal changes, in females
  • gingivitis, which often causes the gums to bleed
  • oral thrush, a fungal infection that can cause a yellowish film to form in the mouth and throat
  • periodontitis, a serious infection that can develop if a person does not receive treatment for gingivitis
  • cancer of the mouth or throat, though this is less common

Home remedies can help soothe gum pain, and when it is mild, they can completely eliminate it. However, if the pain is persistent or severe, a person should seek medical advice.

In this article, we list seven home remedies that can provide quick relief from gum pain. We also discuss when to see a dentist.

7 home remedies and how they work

In the sections below, we list seven home remedies that may provide quick relief from gum pain:

1. Hot or cold compresses

a man looking for quick relief from gum painShare on Pinterest
Possible home remedies for gum pain include compresses, salt water, and tea bags.

Applying a hot or cold compress can help reduce swelling, which can relieve pain in the gums.

To make a hot compress for the gums, dip a clean cloth into hot, but not scalding, water. Wring out the excess water, then press the cloth against the area of the cheek or lip that covers the painful part of the gums.

To make a cold compress, use an ice pack wrapped in a clean cloth.

Learn about other ways to make a cold compress here.

2. Salt water

Rinsing or gargling with salt water can reduce the number of potentially harmful bacteria living on the gums. This can help reduce any swelling that is causing pain.

To make a salt water rinse:

  • Mix a quarter teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water.
  • Take a sip and swish the solution around in the mouth, or gargle with it, before spitting it out.
  • Repeat this as often as necessary.

3. Tea bags

Many teas contain plant compounds called tannins. According to some research, tannins can reduce gum pain by killing bacteria that may irritate the gums.

Green, hibiscus, and black teas all contain significant quantities of tannins. These compounds cause the puckering feeling in the mouth after drinking strong tea or red wine.

Some teas contain ingredients that may help reduce inflammation, including ginger and additional chamomile.

To reduce gum pain, steep a tea bag in boiled water for a few minutes, then remove it, allowing it to cool slightly. While the bag is still warm, apply it directly to the site of the pain for around 5 minutes.

4. Herbal paste

a paste of Turmeric coconut oil and pepperShare on Pinterest
A person can make a paste with turmeric and water that may help relieve gum pain.

People have used herbs for their pain relieving properties for centuries.

Clovesturmeric, and plants in the Spilanthes genus may help reduce pain, and a person can use these to form a paste that they can apply directly to the gums.

To create an herbal paste:

  • Mix a powdered form of turmeric or clove, for example, with a small amount of warm water. Mix until the consistency becomes paste-like.
  • Apply some of the paste directly to the site of the gum pain.
  • Leave the paste on for a few minutes, then rinse it away.

A person can use the paste as often as necessary to help alleviate pain.

Learn about the many other potential health benefits of turmeric here.

5. Essential oils

Many pharmaceutical products contain essential oils due to the various health benefits that they provide. A person can also purchase essential oils to create their own remedies.

Cloveoregano, and peppermint oils all have properties that may help reduce inflammation, decrease pain, and improve circulation.

A person can make a spray containing essential oil and water and use this to reduce gum pain. To create the spray, add 4 or 5 drops of essential oil and 1 ounce of water to a clean spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the site of the gum pain.

6. Oral gels

Benzocaine is a medication that can numb sore gums, and it is the main ingredient in common oral gels, such as Orajel and Anbesol.

It is important to follow the instructions on the label when using an oral gel to treat gum pain.

7. Over-the-counter pain medication

Pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) can help ease dental and oral discomfort.

A person may see the best results when they combine over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers with home remedies, such as gargling with a salt water solution.

dentist speaking to patient about antibiotics for tooth infectionShare on Pinterest
A person should speak to their dentist if gum pain is persistent or severe.

A person can often relieve mild-to-moderate gum pain at home. However, it is important to be aware of the warning signs that can indicate a potentially serious underlying health issue.

Some symptoms to look out for include:

  • persistent pain
  • severe pain
  • swelling
  • fever

The presence of any of these can suggest that a person has gum disease or another condition, such as oral thrush, that requires professional treatment.

When an infection is causing gum pain, receiving treatment for the infection will usually relieve the pain.

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