Bad Dental Work and Other Causes of Bad Breath

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Faulty dental work is more common than you think, and it just might be the cause of your bad breath.

Here is a quick checklist of problems to look for in your mouth:

Overhanging Restorations: These are restorations (fillings, crowns, etc.) that don’t conform to the shape of the tooth well and can easily trap food, which provides a feast for bad breath bacteria (anaerobes that release sulfur compounds VSC’s).

Broken or Fractured Restorations: Broken or fractured restorations leak and harbor bacteria causing decay and infection that can also cause dental problems and odors.

Crown Leakage: Crowns with bad margins can harbor bacteria and can cause serious dental complications. If you notice anything out of the normal, consult with a dentist and see what they have to say. Excess cement left behind can also cause wonderful bacteria trapping resorts.

Braces: Although bad breath is not directly caused by orthodontic braces, braces easily trap food, which indirectly can be the cause of bad breath. Consider purchasing a water pik ( which blasts away food particles with pressurized water), using a proxibrush, electric toothbrush, or special designed orthodontic toothbrush.

Incomplete Scaling or Lack of Regular Prophylactic care: This allows food particles to get trapped around your teeth leading to gum disease and bad breath. It also leads to plaque and tartar buildup which protect and harbors anaerobic bacteria.

Loose-Fitting Denture or partial dentures: Dentures may not fit well due to weight loss or gain, aging, or faulty dental work. If your dentures do not fit snugly, consult with your dentist to get a better fit. Partial dentures may also trap food and lead to decay around the clasps which hold these in the mouth which also can lead to bad breath.

Other Bad Breath Causes

Although bad breath resulting from dental work is not very common, there are other common, overlooked factors which may cause your bad breath.

Unclean Dentures or Retainers: If you wear dentures, partial dentures, or retainers, make sure to clean them thoroughly, twice a day. Otherwise, food particles and bacteria will accumulate in them and make bad breath extremely difficult to prevent or cure.

Gum Disease: The same bacteria (mostly Anaerobes producing sulfur compounds or VSC’s) that cause gum disease also cause bad breath, so it’s no surprise that curing gum disease is one of the best ways to get rid of bad breath.

Dry Mouth: Chronic dry mouth, resulting from a medical condition or from taking antibiotics can cause bad breath by creating a wonderful environment for anaerobic bacteria as discussed in my blog 10 tips to preventing bad breath..

Food Impactation: A thorough dental exam should check for food that has wedged itself in strange places of your mouth. Food impactation can lead to serious dental problems down the road if it is not corrected immediately

. Sinus Infections: These infections can produce excess mucus and drainage which drips down your sinus into the back of your throat. This a nutrition rich banquet the odor producing bacteria in oral esophageal tract. Sinus infections can also produce other undesirable odors that people can smell when you breathe out of your nose.

Medical Conditions: Auto-immune diseases and diabetes can cause many undesirable health problems–including gum disease, bad breath and thrush. Although you may not be able to cure certain medical conditions, taking preventative measures to keep bad breath away are the best idea!

Indigestion: Even though bad breath does not come from the stomach, when acid invades your esophagus (due to indigestion or acid reflux), some of the acidic odors may travel up your esophagus and out your mouth. Bad breath from indigestion has a significantly different odor than bad breath caused by bacteria on your tongue, cheeks, or from your gingival tissue.

Tonsil Problems: A very small percentage of people accumulate bacteria on their tonsils, which produces a constant source of bad breath. The only two ways to correct this problem is the extreme measure of tonsil removal, or the easier, maybe not quite as effectective method is to make sure to gargle with an alcohol-free mouthwash for ninety seconds. This will help get rid of bacteria at the back of your tongue and on your tonsils. Try to use the Aloe Vera home made mouth wash referenced in my prevention of bad breath blog or a non alcohol rinse.

Because there are many causes of bad breath, treating the source of your problem is the best cure.

Note: Much of the information here was found in an article by Paul J Heldt.

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