Whether it's braces, dentures, a sports mouthpiece or a retainer, oral hardware can be more than just uncomfortable. Left uncleaned, it can cause halitosis and gum disease.
Dentures are a well known cause of bad breath, which is why mature Americans are encourage to buy denture cleansers and specialty breath fresheners to ensure good oral health. Cleaning one's dentures every night is essential to removing odor-causing bacteria, according to the American Dental Association.
With any piece of oral hardware, failure to clean it allows microorganisms to grow in the moisture that coats it after use. These microbes can release volatile sulfur compounds that tinge the breath with a foul smell.
Dentures are not the only culprit, either. Football and boxing mouthpieces, mouth guards for tooth grinding, retainers and dental bridges all require similar treatment. KidsHealth recommends thoroughly cleansing oral hardware with mouthwash in order to kill the bacteria that grow on them over time.
Even braces can trap food particles, which begin to decay in the mouth. This process can increase the risk of plaque buildup, gingivitis and halitosis. To eliminate bad breath associated with any of these oral devices, individuals may consider using a specialty breath freshening rinse or tablet to neutralize the odor and moisten the mouth.