Is It the Dental Veneers?: Find Out What’s Causing Your Bad Breath

Written by:

Dr. Justin Soon

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Is It the Dental Veneers?: Find Out What’s Causing Your Bad Breath

If you have dental veneers or are planning to get them, you may wonder if they could cause bad breath. Generally, veneers themselves don’t make your breath smell any worse than your natural teeth. However, if you have poor oral hygiene or if your veneers are not fitted properly, they can contribute to bad breath.

Read more to learn how veneers may cause bad breath and what you can do to keep your breath fresh while wearing them.

What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers, also called porcelain veneers or cosmetic veneers, are thin, custom-made shells commonly made of tooth-coloured porcelain and designed to cover the front surfaces of the teeth. Your dentist will bond these shells to your teeth, allowing them to change their colour, shape, size, or length.

Veneers come in two materials: porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain veneers are better than composite when it comes to stain resistance, and since they mimic the light-reflecting properties of natural teeth, they are more natural-looking. However, they are also more expensive. Composite veneers are less expensive but require frequent replacement as they are more prone to staining and chipping than porcelain veneers.

Dental veneers are used to help improve the appearance of your smile or correct several different cosmetic dental problems, such as:

  • Gaps between teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Discoloured or stained tooth
  • Chipped or broken tooth
  • Slightly misaligned teeth

Dental veneers can last for several years with proper care and maintenance. But like our natural teeth, they can also become damaged due to wear and tear.

While dental veneers can give you a beautiful, new smile, they are not suitable for everyone. A proper oral examination is imperative to ensure that dental veneers are the right choice for you and that they will last for many years to come.

Who Cannot Have Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are not a good choice for people who:

  • Have gum disease
  • Have tooth decay or other dental health problems
  • Have bruxism
  • Are seeking a quick fix for their smile
  • Do not want to undergo an invasive dental procedure
  • Are not willing to commit to good oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits

Do Dental Veneers Make Your Breath Smell?

Dental veneers themselves do not make your breath smell bad. However, if you have poor oral hygiene, the bacteria in your mouth can build up on the veneers, which can lead to an increase in bad breath. In addition, if the veneers are not properly sealed or bonded to your teeth, plaque, food, and drinks can gain access into the space between the veneer and the tooth, causing bad breath, staining, tooth decay and gum disease.

To prevent having bad breath, practice brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash. It is also crucial to have your dental veneer treatment by an experienced dentist who can ensure that they are properly crafted and bonded. By taking these steps, you can help keep your breath smelling fresh and your smile looking beautiful.

What Can Cause Bad Breath When Wearing Dental Veneers?

Several things can cause bad breath when wearing dental veneers, including:

Poor Oral Hygiene

This is among the most common causes of bad breath when wearing veneers. When you do not brush and floss your teeth regularly, food particles and bacteria can build up in your mouth, causing bad breath.

Besides brushing and flossing your teeth, you should also visit your dentist regularly for professional cleaning. They can remove the plaque and tartar you may have missed with at-home care.

Dry Mouth

A dry mouth or xerostomia is another common cause of bad breath. When your mouth is dry, less saliva washes away food particles and bacteria. This can lead to bad breath.

Some of the things that can cause dry mouth include:

  • Dehydration
  • Certain medications
  • Nerve damage
  • Smoking

If you have a dry mouth, there are some things you can do to help relieve the symptoms, such as:

  • Drinking plenty of water throughout the day
  • Saliva production through chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free hard candy
  • Using a humidifier at night
  • Avoiding tobacco products
  • Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake

Tooth Decay

While your teeth look great after your dental veneers, if a patient fails to brush and floss regularly, plaque can build up on your veneers and around the teeth, eventually leading to cavities and tooth decay.

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in plaque convert sugars and carbohydrates into acids that eat away your tooth enamel, leading to cavities. You may not see any symptoms in the early stages, but as the decay progresses, you may experience pain, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and bad breath.

Ask your dentist about your best option if you have tooth decay while on veneers. If left untreated, it can lead to an infection or abscess, which can cause further damage to your teeth.

Ill-Fitting Veneer

Most professionally fitted veneers will not cause any problems. However, if your veneer is not fitted properly, it can cause several issues, including bad breath.

An ill-fitting veneer can trap food particles and bacteria underneath it, which can lead to bad breath. In addition, if it’s not fitted correctly, it can put pressure on your gums, causing them to become irritated and inflamed. This can also lead to bad breath.

If you think your veneer is not fitted properly, be sure to visit your dentist right away. They can adjust the fit or replace the veneer if necessary.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is another oral health condition that can cause bad breath. In fact, according to data, 3 out of 10 Australian adults have moderate to severe gum disease. This condition results from the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. It can lead to inflammation of the gums, called gingivitis, and if left untreated, it could worsen and lead to periodontitis.

The following are risk factors that can increase your chances of developing gum disease:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Medications that cause dry mouth
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Crooked teeth
  • Fillings that have become defective
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Female hormonal changes, including with pregnancy or the use of oral contraceptives
  • Underlying immuno-deficiencies (such as AIDS)
  • Stress
  • Genetics

What Are The Signs & Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a condition in which the gums and other structures around the teeth become inflamed. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of food debris, bacteria and saliva. Plaque consistently forms on your teeth and, if not removed, can harden into tartar. Tartar can only be removed with a professional dental cleaning. If plaque and tartar are not removed, the bacteria in them can cause further inflammation, which will begin to destroy the gums and bone. This is called periodontitis, and if not treated, it can lead to the loss of tooth attachment, the gradual loosening of teeth and, eventually, tooth loss.

The following are the signs and symptoms of gum disease:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Gums pulled away from your teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Sensitive teeth

Can Your Teeth Rot Under Veneers?

Veneers are a way to improve the look of your smile, and they have several benefits. However, like all dental restorations, they are not immune to tooth decay.

Though veneers are strong and durable, they can still be susceptible to tooth decay if proper oral hygiene is not maintained. Remember, plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth and around your veneers, resulting in gum disease and tooth decay.

If you have undergone this procedure, brushing and flossing regularly and seeing your dentist for routine cleanings and exams are important. Taking care of your oral health is the key to helping prevent tooth decay and keep your veneers looking their best.

How Can You Avoid Having a Bad Breath with Dental Veneers?

There are a few things you can do to help avoid bad breath with dental veneers:

  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly. As mentioned, plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth and around your veneers, leading to gum disease and tooth decay, which can cause bad breath.

  • Schedule a regular appointment with your dentist for routine cleanings and exams.

  • Avoid smoking. Smoking is a risk factor for gum disease and can cause a foul smell in your mouth.

  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash. Mouthwashes can help reduce the bacteria in your mouth, which can help freshen your breath.

  • Avoid foods that cause bad breath. Certain types of food, such as garlic, onions, and spicy, can cause foul smells. If you can’t avoid consuming these types of food, be sure to brush and floss your teeth afterwards.

How Often Do Dental Veneers Fail?

Dental veneers are strong and durable, but they can still be susceptible to damage. Depending on the type of veneer and how you care for it, it can last up to 20 years or more.

The main cause of veneer failure is poor oral hygiene. Plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth and around your veneers, leading to gum disease and tooth decay.

Other causes include:

  • Trauma to the mouth
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Hard foods and candy
  • Chewing on ice
  • Using your teeth as tools (opening a bottle with your teeth, chewing fingernails)

When Should You Replace Your Veneers?

Veneers can last up to 20 years or more, depending on how you care for them. However, they may become chipped or cracked over time, requiring replacement.

Visit your dentist if you have any concerns about your veneers. They can examine your mouth and determine if your veneers are still in good condition or if they need to be replaced.

What Happens When You Remove Your Veneers?

Very few patients need to have their veneers removed because dental veneers are meant to be long-lasting. However, in some cases, they may need to be removed, especially when the following are observed:

  • Damage to the veneer
  • Decay or infection under the veneer
  • Allergic reaction to the veneer materials used

If you remove your veneers, your natural teeth will be left exposed. Your teeth may look different than before because the veneers have been covering them. The colour of your teeth may have changed, and you may have some staining from the cement used to bond your veneer to your teeth. You may also feel sensitivity, especially if your dentist removed some enamel before your previous veneers were placed. When this happens, you and your dentist must decide if you want to have your veneers replaced or if other dental procedures can help improve the appearance and protect your teeth.

Final Thoughts

Dental veneers are a popular way to help you have a beautiful smile. However, if proper oral hygiene is not maintained, the risk of tooth decay and gum disease increases, and they can cause bad breath. To prevent bad breath, brush and floss regularly, see your dentist for routine cleanings and exams, and avoid foods that can cause foul oral smells. With proper maintenance, dental veneers can last for many years.

If you’re interested in having a veneer assessment, contact Karrinyup Dental Centre at (08) 9341 6233, and we will help you begin your journey to a more beautiful smile.

Dr. Justin Soon


Dr. Justin Soon

Dr. Justin completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Western Australia. Dr Justin completed his surgical implant training under the mentorship of Dr. Glen Liddelow, Dr. Graham Carmichael, and Dr. Brent Allan at the Branemark Centre.

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