Can you taste a cavity?

Bad breath and a foul taste are both incredibly common and can be both embarrassing and frustrating. However even though these annoyances are common, they should be discussed with your dentist. In most cases, chronic bad breath and a foul taste are symptoms of tooth decay or something more serious. With any mouth ailment, it is always important to first understand why the problem exists through proper patient education and reviewing treatment options.

Let’s first review a brief explanation of halitosis‚ the dental term for bad breath. Halitosis can be caused by either intrinsic or extrinsic factors. Intrinsic factors are typically caused by oral bacteria, and extrinsic factors are caused by external habits like smoking.

Below is a list of intrinsic factors known to cause oral bacteria that offer an unpleasant odor:

    1. Periodontal disease (gum disease, tartar buildup, gingivitis, etc.)
    2. Tooth decay (cavities)
    3. Tooth abscess
    4. Allergies or post nasal drip
    5. Respiratory tract conditions

Treatment options for halitosis always start with an assessment by a dentist. It is critical for patients with chronic bad breath and a foul taste to stick to their bi-annual dental checkups. Visiting your dentist regularly will help to reduce these symptoms and fight tooth decay when it starts. Your dentist deals with tooth decay on a daily basis and will be able to recommend treatment options that may include:

      1. Changes to oral hygiene care at home especially cleaning the back of the tongue
      2. Periodontal cleaning
      3. Treating tooth decay with fillings, crowns and sometimes root canals
      4. Referral to an Allergist or ENT physician

If you suffer from chronic bad breath or a foul taste in your mouth, contact Dental on Central today to schedule an immediate appointment. Our dedicated team will get you on the path to healthy gums and teeth while enjoying the benefits of fresh breath and a clean mouth!