Tooth decay is when bacteria destroy the enamel of the teeth. This happens if you don’t rinse your mouth out after you have eaten. The residue of food particles will build up on your tongue, gums and teeth, providing bacteria with the perfect place to grow and multiply. The name of the main bacteria at work here is Streptococcus mutans, and this bacteria absolutely thrives on sugar. The first stage where food starts its digestion process is in the mouth. This is where the saliva breaks down the carbohydrates into sugars. Once the sugars have been digested by the bacteria, acids are produced that attack the dental enamel. Eventually these acids break down the dental enamel, and this process in known as tooth decay, which happens to smell bad.
The food residues and the bacteria stick to the teeth in a thin substance that is called plaque. If not removed over time, the plaque calcifies into a very hard residue that is extremely difficult to remove. Plaque irritates the gums which hold the teeth in place, and will eventually lead to gum disease, which is the number one cause of bad breath. Gum disease leads to bleeding gums, oral infections of a chronic nature, and if left untreated the loss of your teeth.
Tooth decay is extremely common in children. What is very interesting is the fact that almost one-fifth of children that are aged between two and four years already have at least one cavity. Virtually 80 percent of the population, when having reached the age of 17, will have at least one cavity. Nearly two-thirds of adults having reached the age of 45, will have lost at least one tooth already due to tooth decay.
What treatment is there for tooth decay?
If you have chronic bad breath and have not been able to identify the cause of it, you probably have undiagnosed tooth decay. There are two ways in which tooth decay is recognised, one of which is going to the dentist for a check up, or if the decay has become so acute that it affects the tooth’s nerves leaving you with a tooth ache.
If the tooth decay is not so severe it can be treated by using fluoride products. This does not reverse the tooth decay; it merely protects your teeth from further erosion of the tooth enamel.
In more advanced cases of tooth decay, the cavity that has formed in your tooth must be repaired by your dentist. In order to repair the tooth the dentist has to remove the decayed area on the tooth first, and there after proceed to restore the tooth to its original form and proper function by means of a filling material. If the decayed tooth is beyond repair, the dentist will then replace the tooth with a man made tooth called a crown.
If the tooth decay is so bad that it has penetrated the tooth enamel and entered right through to the pulp of the tooth, the dentist will then have to perform a root canal procedure. The procedure involves removing the damaged pulp and the damaged nerves from the tooth. In the most extreme cases where the tooth is beyond saving, the tooth will have to be pulled out.
How to prevent bad breath caused from tooth decay
If you have bad breath due to tooth decay you can prevent it with good oral hygiene. Obviously you have to brush and floss your teeth twice a day. What you might not have known is that by brushing your teeth after every meal you can prevent tooth decay. By brushing your teeth after every meal you successfully keep your dental enamel in shape and your breath will be left smelling fresh.
You could try an electric tooth brush to make the brushing your teeth more efficient. Also by using Therabreath oral rinse, which was specifically designed to keep that bad breath causing bacteria at bay.
Even people who are meticulous when it comes to brushing and flossing cannot remove all traces of plague. This is why dentists recommend you make an appointment at least twice a year to have your teeth scraped in order to remove the plaque residues that have been eluded when brushing and flossing.
By changing your diet, you will also be able to reduce tooth decay and the bad breath associated with it. Bad breath bacteria feeds of foods that are high in processed sugars and carbohydrates. Just by simply cutting them out of your diet you will be avoiding developing tooth decay. Another huge risk factor for developing tooth decay is smoking.
One of the leading causes of bad breath is undiagnosed tooth decay. By maintaining good oral hygiene you will be ensuring that your breath will stay fresher for longer.