A tooth may start to smell terrible for various reasons. The most well-known reason for this is tooth decay. At the point when microorganisms in the mouth start to feed on the tooth, they can create a smell. Over time, these bacteria multiply on the teeth, feeding on the plaque and food particles in the mouth, and inevitably starting to wear away at the tooth enamel. As the tooth matter decays, it will start to smell. If left untreated, the tooth will eventually weaken, and may split, chip, or even break. If you are thinking to yourself “My tooth smells terrible”, call our office now.

Sometimes, the smell you notice is not from the tooth itself. Instead, it may be coming from your gums. When plaque and tartar are allowed to build up on the teeth and gums, they can start to push underneath the gum line, creating pockets. These pockets can become infected, resulting in a bad smell. This condition is known as periodontitis, and if left untreated, the teeth can become lose, and eventually fall out.

In addition to tooth decay and periodontitis, there are times where a cavity or infection in the tooth can cause an abscess in the tooth or gum. This abscess is loaded with a fluid that will have a foul smell as it drains. When this happens, you will generally also experience a lot of pain. This is because the abscess creates pressure on the tooth root. At times, the abscess will be visible on the gums. If you recognize this, it is vital that you contact our office immediately for treatment to ensure your tooth can be saved.

How will a smelly tooth be treated?

The treatment you get for a smelly tooth will depend on upon the cause of the smell. In some cases, just cleaning the tooth and beneath the gum line may be enough. If a tooth is decayed, filling the cavity is normally enough to correct the issue. If you have an abscessed tooth, infected tooth, or periodontal issue, there can be various treatments, including:

Draining the abscess – this will include cutting into the gum where the abscess is located to rinse out the infected fluid. The area will then be washed with warm salt water and you will recommended a course of antibiotics.
Performing a root canal – if the infection that created the abscess is extensive, a root canal will be performed to save your tooth. A little gap will be bored in the tooth and the infected tissue will be removed. The resulting space will be filled with a dental composite, and a porcelain crown will be put over the tooth in order to protect it from damage.
Tooth extraction – in the event that your tooth can’t be spared, your tooth will be extracted. This is done in order to keep the surrounding teeth, gums, and bone as healthy as possible. The tooth will then be replaced with a dental implant, altered dental bridge, or partial denture.

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