man checks his breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a common concern that can be both embarrassing and frustrating. While it can sometimes be traced back to dietary choices or poor oral hygiene, it often signals underlying dental issues. At Tolland Hill Family Dental, we emphasize the importance of identifying and treating these dental problems to maintain both oral health and fresh breath. Here are five dental issues that can cause bad breath:

1. Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, or cavities, occurs when the enamel of the tooth is damaged due to the presence of plaque—a sticky film of bacteria. These bacteria produce acids that erode the enamel and create cavities. If left untreated, these cavities can become larger and deeper, harboring more bacteria and food particles.

The presence of decay can lead to persistent bad breath as the bacteria within the cavities continue to produce odors. Additionally, food particles trapped in the cavities can decompose and add to the unpleasant smell. Treatment for tooth decay involves removing the decayed portion of the tooth and filling it with a dental material to restore its structure and function.

2. Gum Disease

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a serious condition that affects the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It begins with gingivitis, where the gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily. If untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, where the gums pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that become infected.

The bacteria in these pockets produce toxins and cause tissue destruction, leading to chronic bad breath. Treating gum disease involves professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar, along with improved oral hygiene practices at home. In advanced cases, more intensive treatments such as scaling and root planing or surgery may be necessary.

3. Tooth Infections

Tooth infections occur when bacteria invade the inner part of the tooth, known as the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. This can result from untreated cavities or injuries to the tooth. An infected tooth can develop an abscess, which is a pocket of pus caused by the infection.

The infection and the resulting pus can emit foul odors, leading to bad breath. Symptoms of a tooth infection include severe toothache, sensitivity, swelling, and fever. Treatment typically involves root canal therapy to remove the infected pulp, clean the tooth’s interior, and seal it. In some cases, tooth extraction may be necessary.

4. Tartar Buildup

Tartar, also known as calculus, forms when plaque hardens on the teeth and can only be removed by a dental professional. Tartar buildup can occur above and below the gum line, providing a breeding ground for bacteria.

The bacteria in tartar produce toxins that cause gum inflammation and bad breath. Regular professional cleanings are essential to remove tartar and prevent it from causing further dental issues. Good oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing, can help prevent tartar buildup.

5. Dental Abscesses

A dental abscess is a collection of pus that forms in the teeth, gums, or bone due to a bacterial infection. Abscesses can cause severe pain, swelling and fever.

The pus from the abscess emits a foul odor, leading to persistent bad breath. Treatment for a dental abscess involves draining the abscess, treating the infection with antibiotics, and addressing the underlying cause, such as performing a root canal or extracting the tooth.

Bad breath can be a sign of serious underlying dental issues that require professional attention. At Tolland Hill Family Dental, we are committed to diagnosing and treating the root causes of halitosis to ensure your oral health and confidence are restored. If you are experiencing persistent bad breath, schedule an appointment with us today to receive a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan. Your journey to fresher breath and a healthier smile starts here.

Posted on behalf of Tolland Hill Family Dental

12 Goose Ln
Tolland, CT 06084

Phone: (860) 875-6269

Formerly Dr. Frederick M. Daniels Dental Office
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What Our Patients Say

Never had I had so much attention paid to my whole mouth health. Performed mouth cancer checks and measured gum gaps (didn't know this was a thing). A lot of time with doctor, not just the hygienist. Explained everything they were doing and why.
Daniel Keener
The team at this office was very kind, understanding, patient and persistent in working with my child. She is highly anxious at the dentist and they took their time to help her through the experience. Would highly recommend them to others!
Jessica St. Louis

Tolland Hill Family Dental


12 Goose Ln
Tolland, CT 06084

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday: 8:00AM-5:00PM

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