Tag Archives: halitosis

Tooth Decay Dangers: Can it Kill You??

Tooth Decay Dangers: The Ugly Truth

As one of the most fundamental oral health issues that you can face, Tooth decay remains a serious but often overlooked aspect of one’s overall health.

While once considered as little more than a minor nuisance, in more recent years, various long-term health issues have been discovered to be linked to (or directly caused by) tooth decay.  While such recent discoveries have forced the health industry to reevaluate their stance on tooth decay and take the issue much more seriously, according to The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, approximal 85% of American adults between the ages of 20-64 have some form of tooth decay in a statistic that unfortunately continues to remain stagnant. But as sobering as this statistic might be, tooth decay isn’t really THAT dangerous is it?

Well to answer that, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what exactly tooth decay is and how it’s able to manifest. The information provided below will hopefully present you with not only a basic understanding of tooth decay, but also what sort of hazards the illness may bring.

Tooth Decay Dangers: How It Happens

As its name implies, tooth decay is a condition in which the build-up of acidic material in a person’s mouth causes the outer layers of their teeth to slowly begin to erode and dissolve. When a tooth has lost its protective outer coating, it is left vulnerable to the elements causing the tooth to wither and begin to break down, thereby beginning the process of tooth decay. Being a progressive illness, tooth decay is not something that will display significant signs immediately, but rather will develop over an extended period, and gradually worsen over time. Certainly, the idea of damaged or rotten teeth may sound unpleasant, what truly makes this an urgent issue are the infectious complications that can occur as a result of tooth decay. If allowed to spread, the complications can be serious or even life-threatening if left improperly treated.

Read More: Tooth Decay: A Sickly, Sweet Dilemma

Tooth Decay Dangers: Signs & Symptoms

As mentioned previously, the early symptoms of tooth decay are relatively minor and easy to dismiss. Unfortunately, the tendency to ignore such conditions can be a very costly error as it allows the illness to progress and become increasingly difficult to treat. While not all of the symptoms listed here are definitive signs of tooth decay, if you are experiencing any such symptoms, we recommend you contact your dental practitioner to receive a formal checkup. 

  • Unexplained toothaches or spontaneous tooth sensitivity
  • Moderate to severe pain while consuming hot/cold foods or drinks
  • Visible holes, stains, or crevices on a tooth’s surface
  • Chronic foul breath
  • Alterations in bite or difficulty while chewing
  • Discoloration of tooth and surrounding gumline

Read more here about how to stop bad breath.

Tooth Decay Dangers: The Domino Effect

As nasty as tooth decay can be, failing to recognize the symptoms and assess the condition can have terrifying ramifications! The crux of this concern is the propensity for bacteria to spread, thus setting off a chain reaction within the body. When teeth have decayed due to bacteria, the excess buildup of bacteria is certain to spread to the surrounding gumline thereby causing an infection in the gums, or what’s known as Periodontitis.

Related Article: Do you sip and snack all day? Read more about how sugar can harm your teeth and cause decay.

When a serious oral infection occurs, there is always the potential for the excess bacteria to spread to the bloodstream and possibly reach other regions of the body.

This is particularly dangerous for two reasons:

  1.  The bacteria’s uncanny ability to interact with and exacerbate certain pre-existing health conditions, (such as Diabetes).
  2. Perhaps an even greater concern is the affect the bacteria can have on the cardiovascular health of the individual.

As something of an umbrella term, cardiovascular or heart disease pertains to any such conditions that may block the heart’s valves or restrict its blood flow in anyway.

In severe cases of tooth decay, when the excess bacteria enter the body’s blood vessels, it will begin to travel throughout the body. If the bacteria can reach the heart, it will inflame its vessels thereby causing blood clots to develop and damage to occur. This damage will slowly began restricting the flow of blood, effectively choking the heart and forcing it to pump faster while producing less and less.

Given this, skeptics in both the dental and medical fields are quick to point out that despite the previous information, tooth decay does not guarantee an eventual heart attack. While this is certainly true, according to a recent study conducted by Harvard University, individuals afflicted with significant tooth decay have at least a two to three times higher probability of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or other sort of cardiovascular-based issue; sadly, proving the correlation to be self-evident.

Tooth Decay Dangers: Prevention Is the Answer!

So, to answer the question posed earlier, unfortunately the answer is: “YES”. If left untreated for too long and allowed to progress to advanced stages, tooth decay can be THAT dangerous and YES it CAN actually KILL You.

However, keep in mind that tooth decay requires time to reach this critical point, and much like a runaway train, severe tooth decay is only hard to stop or slowdown once it gets going, so the key is prevention! By preventing tooth decay before it starts or stopping it while it’s still in the early stages, are your best bet to preventing tooth decay.

Your friends at Overland Park Dentistry are here to help you keep tooth decay dangers at bay! By scheduling your routine six-month checkups with Dr. Kimes and his staff, you will help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

How to Stop Bad Breath: A Stinky Situation


Whether it be a pesky zit or blemish that appears on your face before an important event, an unrelenting headache that just won’t go away, or the ever-annoying cold or flu that hits you at the worst possible time, some things just flat out stink! Certainly, if one were to compile a list of the most unpleasant and undesirable pitfalls of daily life, the topics listed would be almost endless. However, one thing that’s sure to make such wanting to stop bad breath! Foul breath or halitosis as it’s formally known, is an offensive odor that emits from inside your mouth on a regular basis. While gum or breath mints can be used to remedy this, as with any chronic condition, the issue always persists. Obviously foul breath presents something of a social problem; however, it may also be indicative of certain underlying health issues as well. Therefore finding the root of bad breath and treating it might be more urgent then you realize. Read on … let’s stop bad breath!

Stop Bad Breath: The Causes of Bad Breath

Wanting to stop bad breath can certainly be a more serious issue than one might expect, many people are often quick to dismiss bad breath due to its seeming benign nature. While indeed some causes of bad breath are relatively harmless, it’s important to keep in mind that if the problem becomes persistent, there is likely something larger at play.

Proper Oral Hygiene:

While there are numerous reasons for bad breath, perhaps the primary culprit is improper or a lack of oral hygiene. While typically progressing at a slow rate, improper dental hygiene may likely result in periodontal or gum disease. Although this might not sound like a big deal, untreated gum disease can lead to a litany of additional health problems that can manifest numerous different ways, some of which could be potentially fatal!

Life Style & Dietary Habits:

Although it might seem rather obvious, a person’s life style and dietary habits can be a major factor in causing bad breath for multiple reasons. As food partials are broken down within your mouth, the level of bacteria within your mouth naturally increases and creates a foul odor. While this is certainly a natural process, if excess levels of bacteria are able to build up within the mouth, obviously the foulness of odor will increase exponentially, as will the frequency of the unpleasant smell. This may be caused by consuming increasing amounts of sweet or acidic foods, or by practicing poor or improper dental hygiene. Although seldom acknowledged, taking various types of medications can also have an influence on the occurrence of bad breath, as the combining and interaction of certain medications almost always has the potential of causing various unexpected and sometimes unpleasant side effects.

Internal Interactions or Pre-Existing Conditions:

Whether you’re aware of it or not, if you are suffering from certain medical issues or conditions, bad breath can occur because of this, and require you to take a closer look at the potential cause. One such condition that can be a sure-fire cause of chronic bad breath, and numerous other health issues is that of periodontal or gum disease.

Periodontal Disease or sometimes known as Periodontitis, or gum disease is a progressive inflammatory disease that affects the teeth and surrounding tissue. Although there are multiple factors that may contribute to the onset of periodontal disease, the primary cause is the buildup of excess bacteria in your mouth due to dental plaque. While this may sound relatively benign at first, don’t be fooled! Gum disease can be a serious or even life-threatening condition that may result in a litany of additional health problems if left untreated.

Related Articles:  Link between Diabetes and Oral Health


Stop Bad Breath: What can be done?

With numerous causes and factors at play, solving the issue of persistent foul breath might seem a bit daunting at first. Fortunately, however there are multiple solutions that can help stop bad breath, put an end to this embarrassing problem and allow you to return to a happy and stink-free life!

Focus on Proper Technique:

As mentioned previously, proper oral hygiene is paramount. Unfortunately, due to its routine and somewhat mundane nature, it can be easy to forget about the importance of this activity and become a bit sloppy. Take the time to give your oral hygiene routine a nice tune up. Perhaps try a different brushing technique or consider investing in some new hygiene materials, like an electric toothbrush.

Try Flossing or Using Mouthwash:

If dental floss and mouthwash are not part of your routine right now, consider adding them quickly. It’s no secret that both flossing and using mouthwash can play a vital role in freshening breath or improving overall oral health. A refresher course on flossing can checked off your list by scheduling a dental appointment. And stock up on supplies when you go to the grocery store.

Schedule A Dental Exam:

While the previous options are indeed good ideas to consider, scheduling an appointment to see Dr. Kimes at Overland Park Dentistry is undoubtedly the smartest thing you can do. If bad breath is a continuous problem that won’t seem to go away, you may be suffering from addition issues such as gingivitis, tooth decay, or even some sort of internal infection. However, the best way to have the issue properly diagnosed and assessed, so you can stop bad breath is by a professionally trained dentist.

Related Article: Dental Appointment: Why Twice a Year?


Stop Bad Breath: We Can Help!

Rotten breath is truly one nasty problem to have, and here at Overland Park Dentistry, our job is to prevent and alleviate such problems. If you find yourself plagued by bad breath, don’t let this problem stink up your life! Come see Dr. Kimes and his amazing staff at Overland Park Dentistry and keep on smiling!

Related Article: Your Overland Park Dentist: Charles R. Kimes, DDS


Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic dental needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.