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Dead tooth smell: Why do rotten teeth smell? Your FAQS about tooth decay explored by Harley Street Dental | Dental Blog

Why do rotten teeth smell? Your FAQS about tooth decay explored by Harley Street Dental | Dental Blog

Why do rotten teeth smell? Your FAQS about tooth decay explored by Harley Street Dental

When it comes to the world of dental care,
preventive treatments usually revolve around stopping those common dental
nuisances that cause pain and swelling – cavities.

And while there are a few lucky folks who have
never had a cavity, if you have a filling, a crown or have needed a root canal
during your life, the chances are that you have had one at some point, even if
it wasn’t uncomfortable.

As technologies have advanced, dental
practitioners are now more equipped to prevent initial signs of decay from
developing into cavities, meaning that as long as you attend six monthly
check-ups, there may be no need for you to have a filling again.

Harley Street Dental Clinic, we are
on the frontline of preventive treatments for both cavities and gum disease,
meaning that when you visit our dentist W1, you are
receiving the best treatment that money can buy to keep your mouth healthy.
What more could you want from a dental team?

But back to cavities; what are they and why do
they cause so much trouble? Our dentist W1 answers
these questions and more below.

Why are cavities brown?

In short, cavities are brown because they are
exposed areas of dentine which are darkened due to bacteria.

As bacteria accumulate on the surface of your
teeth (plaque), they begin to dissolve the enamel of your teeth and form holes
(cavities). Underneath the enamel is the dentine, which is usually yellow in
colour, but with the bacteria now latching onto it, it changes colour and
becomes more obvious.

Why does tooth decay smell bad?

Tooth decay creates a sulphurous or bad smell due
to the enamel and dentine being broken down. As the bacteria consume these
substances, they release a gas into your mouth that creates the unpleasant
odour that occurs with cavities and rotten teeth.

What happens if a rotten tooth is left untreated?

If our dentist W1 does not
see you for your biannual check-ups, then that tiny cavity is likely to grow,
either externally or internally; usually both!

Externally, the brown spot will become bigger as
the enamel is destroyed and sadly, no amount of brushing can slow the process,
so you will need to see our team as soon as you spot a cavity. Internally, the
bacteria will burrow into the dentine until they reach the pulp. Once there,
the bacteria can cause infections and abscesses.

How will your team treat a rotten tooth?

This depends on the extent of the decay; if it is
minor, we may be able to prevent it 
spreading with a clean and the application of a sealant.

If it is more extreme, a filling or crown will be
used. If there is an infection, a root canal may be warranted and in the
worst-case scenario, we will extract the rotten tooth.

How do you prevent rotten teeth?

By brushing and flossing twice a day, attending
dental check-ups with us every six months and by refraining from
overconsumption of sugary sweets and drinks.

What Does Tooth Decay Smell Like, and How to Get Rid of It? – Franklin Dental Supply

According to the last survey in 2022, 1 in every 4 adults in the US has cavities, and 26 percent of them have untreated cavities. The figure tends to elevate even further, considering our unhealthy lifestyle.

Tooth decay or dental cavities is an avoidable dental condition that many Americans experience once, twice, or even more in their lifetime. When left untreated, cavities cause a bad odor in your mouth, leading to multiple embarrassing moments during interaction with others.

But don’t worry. This guide will walk you through details on tooth decay, what it smells like, and how to get rid of it effectively. Let’s get started!

What is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is a dental condition that occurs when a bacteria called, Streptococcus mutans make acids upon interacting with sugars in calcium and your saliva to attack the dental enamel to cause a hole in a tooth.

Tooth decay can affect anyone regardless of age and body type. If it is left untreated, it causes discomfort, infection, and even tooth loss.

That being said, it is most common among children and poses a potential risk of ‘early childhood carries’ – a kind of tooth decay affecting the front and back teeth in the mouth.

What are the Symptoms of Tooth Decay?

Following are some common symptoms of tooth decay:

  • Tooth pain
  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • A pocket of puss (if it gets infected)
  • Facial swelling
  • fever

How is Tooth Decay Diagnosed?

Tooth decay can be diagnosed during regular dental checkups. However, other signs that you can look for to determine if you have a decaying tooth include constant bad odor in your mouth due to the gases produced by the bacteria as a metabolic byproduct.

What does Tooth Decay Smell like?

As discussed previously, the bacterial activity in the mouth causes bad breath, it smells like sulfur or something rotting in your mouth. That said, it can vary depending on the type of your diet. For instance, it would smell like a rotting version of your last meal.

If you want to determine what tooth decay smells like, you can perform a little experiment.

  • Grab your lunch and put it on the table
  • Let it sit there for 2 weeks
  • Smell the lunch

The smell of the rotten lunch would be similar to the tooth decay smell. Whatever you have in your last meal, its leftovers get stuck between your teeth and facilitate fermentation.

How to Get Rid of the Tooth Decay Smell?

Fortunately, getting rid of tooth decay smell is easier than you imagined. Getting a cavity filler from an experienced dentist would remove the decaying part and fill it with new material. Here is how your dentist will conduct the procedure:

Step 1 – The dentist will numb the tooth

Step 2 – They will drill out the decaying part

Step 3 – They will clean and condition the affected area

Step 4 –  Filling material will be placed

Step 5 – The filling will be exposed to ultraviolet light to harden

Step 6 – Bite adjustment will take place

Step 7 – Polish, and it’s done

How to Get Rid of Tooth Decay Taste?

Tooth decay can cause a nasty taste in your mouth and lingers even after brushing and cleaning your teeth. The most effective way to deal with tooth decay is through the dental filling. Not just will it eliminate the bad odor, but it will cure the bad taste in the mouth.

Other things that you can do to eliminate the bad taste include:

  • Using a mouthwash with generous fluoride content
  • Brush twice a day and clean between the teeth using a dental floss
  • Eat healthily and avoid snacking
  • Get help from a professional

Why one Tooth Smells Bad when I Floss?

People often complain that their tooth smells bad, especially when they floss. A persistent bad smell after flossing indicates an underlying dental condition. To further confirm, floss deeply between and around your back teeth. If you experience bleeding or your floss smells, it’s confirmed that you have a decaying tooth or gum disease.

Why my Tooth Smells When i Touch it?

When the bacteria in the mouth feed on the leftover food between your teeth, they begin to smell. It promotes plaque accumulation and builds a thick layer over time. This might be the reason for your stinking tooth.


When dental cavities get bigger, it digs a hole in the tooth where fermentation occurs. Due to the fermentation in the hole, bacteria produce sulfur compound as a by-product, causing a bad odor in the mouth.

If you experience persistent bad breath even after regular brushing and flossing, book an appointment with your dentist for a proper diagnosis.


What does a tooth infection smell like?

Tooth infection causes puss, which smells like a rotting piece of fruit and causes a bitter taste in your mouth.

 How do you fix a rotten tooth smell?

Depending on the cause of the smell, the dentist will recommend appropriate treatment options. For instance, if tooth decay is the cause, the dentist will recommend you get a filling done.

 What does cavity breath smell like?

Since food leftovers between the teeth cause cavities, they may smell like garbage or a decaying body.

Can others smell my rotten tooth?

When you have a rotten tooth, it can cause your breath to stink. Others can smell your rotten tooth.

 Does a dead tooth smell?

 A decaying or dead tooth can give off a foul smell, and the condition is called Halitosis. It’s a common indicator of a dead tooth.

Related Articles:

  • 5 Possible Reasons For Tooth Sensitivity
  • 5 Whitening Invisalign Treatments

Causes of an unpleasant smell from under the dental crown

Such a problem as an unpleasant smell from under the dental crown should in no case be left without due attention, because it can signal that particles of chewed material penetrate through the gaps under the installed structure. food, and, perhaps, plaque is not just accumulating under the crown, but the process of active decay of the tooth stump has already begun.

The main reasons that can lead to an unpleasant smell from under the dental crown:

  • poor fixation and loose fit of the crown to the tooth;
  • poor quality of the artificial crown used;
  • lack of full treatment of a diseased tooth before its prosthetics;
  • installation of an artificial crown on a severely damaged (up to the level of the gums) tooth that is only to be removed;
  • neglecting the stage of temporary prosthetics before installing permanent crowns;
  • errors made when fixing the stump tab or pin in the root canal;
  • depressurization, i. e., violation of the coupling of the crown with the tooth during operation;
  • the formation of a pressure sore of the gums due to the fact that the crown enters too deeply into its tissues;
  • poor oral hygiene.

Only a qualified specialist can find out the exact cause of an unpleasant odor and help get rid of it. Therefore, without postponing this issue indefinitely, you need to contact an experienced dentist, who, first of all, will conduct a thorough examination and assess the condition of the tooth under the crown.

If you let everything take its course, you can wait for serious troubles and question the possibility of saving the tooth, because, in fact, every day of delay inexorably brings the most unpleasant procedure of tooth extraction closer.

In principle, the structure is able to stay on the stump of the tooth until it is almost completely destroyed, and at this time pathological processes can occur under it, entailing extremely negative consequences. The reproduction of pathogenic, so-called “pathogenic” microorganisms under the crown threatens the development of secondary caries, pulpitis, periostitis (flux), as well as the formation of cysts and granulomas. It must be understood that in such situations it is necessary to immediately save the tooth, and not the artificial structure installed on it, and this may require not only local treatment, but also systemic therapy (in especially severe cases, when, for example, it is necessary to suppress a pronounced infectious disease) inflammatory process).

If the purulent-inflammatory process that began under the crown became the cause of the unpleasant odor, the patient undergoes a cycle of therapeutic measures: removal of the old filling material and affected tooth tissues, antiseptic treatment, treatment of the purulent-inflammatory process, installation of a new filling. Then, when favorable conditions are created, repeated prosthetics are carried out. In this case, either a worn-out or improperly made crown is replaced with a new one, or the old design is simply fixed again.

If you are concerned about the appearance of an unpleasant smell from under the dental crown, you can always contact the highly qualified specialists of the Healthy Smile dental clinics and get a free consultation. After finding out the cause that led to the occurrence of such a problem, the Healthy Smile doctors will develop a personalized treatment plan for you, after which you will be offered a second denture using advanced reliable methods.

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Smell from under the crown of the tooth – causes, methods of treatment

From this article you will learn:

  • Causes of
  • Molar, incisor or canine destruction factors
  • When it’s time to see a dentist
  • Is it possible to get rid of the smell from under the crown
  • How to treat bad smell from under the crown
  • Characteristic signs of pathology

Putrid smell from under the prosthesis, implant – halitosis – a clear sign of inflammation in the oral cavity. Its reasons are different. This may be a medical error, and a violation of hygiene, and a symptom of a purulent process in the jaw and gums. If there is an unpleasant smell from under the crown, you need to contact your dentist.

Causes of occurrence

The main cause of an unpleasant smell from under the crown is the reproduction of bacterial flora, rotting food. But this is a consequence. Possible culprits of halitosis:

  1. The dentist who installed the dental structure – an unpleasant odor appears already a few days after the procedure.
  2. The patient is a neglect of the rules of hygiene, the presence of bad habits. The smell appears several months and even years after the installation of the prosthesis.
  3. Common causes that do not depend on either the patient or the doctor – the life of the tooth under the crown has come to an end, allergies to prosthesis materials, diseases that are accompanied by severe immunosuppression, a decrease in bone density.

And most importantly! Regardless of the cause, if you have bad breath, see your doctor. Bacterial processes in the oral cavity can cause tooth loss, contribute to the development of an abscess, phlegmon of the jaw.

Molar, incisor or canine failure factors

The installation of a crown does not give a 100% guarantee of the safety of the molar, canine or incisor.

Photo 1. Names of teeth

Under the influence of adverse factors, they begin to collapse even under the prosthesis. Possible causes:

  1. Thermal – temperature changes adversely affect not only the enamel, but also the material of the prosthesis.
  2. Mechanical – cracking when chewing solid food.
  3. Chemical – crowns are made of an inert material, but with prolonged exposure to aggressive substances, they begin to collapse.
  4. Violation of hygiene.
  5. The general condition – lack of nutrients, calcium, fluorine – leads to the fact that under the crown the tooth begins to collapse.
  6. Infection – the causes are either poor-quality work of the dentist, or a severe form of any bacterial, viral or fungal disease.

What to do?

The appearance of putrid amber from under dentures, orthopedic structures is a sign of a bacterial infection.

“The loss of a lover, or a husband, or even two husbands is made up for; but losing a tooth is a real disaster.” Hugh Wheeler.

What to do if there is a smell from under the prosthesis and is it possible to restore the health of the molar? An urgent need to consult a dentist and identify the cause of the inflammatory process. Then the doctor will develop a treatment plan.

Is it possible to fight the unpleasant smell from under the crown

Putrid smell from under the crowns of teeth, implants, orthopedic constructions indicates an inflammatory process. It is necessary to identify the cause of halitosis. Only in this case, you can get rid of the smell. Any fresheners only mask it, and tooth decay continues.

Possible causes

All possible causes can be divided into 3 groups – the fault of the doctor, the patient and pathological processes independent of them. The latter are extremely rare, and halitosis is not a typical symptom.

Table. Possible causes of bad breath.

Through the fault of the dentist

Due to the fault of the patient

  • poor diagnostics before prosthetics;
  • overheating of tooth tissues during turning – this provokes the development of caries, periostitis, neoplasms in the roots;
  • inadequate root canal preparation;
  • poor fit of the crown to the tooth;
  • decementation and development of secondary caries;
  • loss of adhesion between the prosthesis and the stump;
  • gingival decubitus formation;
  • periodontal pocket formation;
  • incorrect placement of pins, other dental structures;
  • poor-quality casts of teeth before prosthetics;
  • errors when placing a crown;
  • errors when choosing a prosthesis, poor-quality crown material;
  • perforation of the maxillary sinuses, exit of the filling mass outside the canals of the tooth.
  • violation of the rules of oral hygiene, food remains rot and begin to smell bad;
  • formation of hard tartar;
  • prosthesis overload;
  • smoking;
  • excessive love for sweets.

Tooth decay causes calcium deficiency, bone disease. But these pathologies have characteristic symptoms. The destruction of the same teeth indicates an already advanced form of the disease.

When a visit to the dentist should be urgent

The appearance of an unpleasant odor from under dental structures is accompanied by additional symptoms. It is not worth delaying a visit to the doctor.

Reasons for urgent medical attention:

  1. Mobility, complete or partial destruction of the crown.
  2. Pain – sharp, dull, aching, shooting, when biting, when brushing teeth, under the action of thermal stimuli.
  3. Discoloration of the gums – hyperemia, cyanosis, swelling.
  4. Suppuration from under the crown, gums, formation of fistulous tracts.
  5. Recurrent episodes of sinusitis.
  6. Numbness of the tongue, strange taste in the mouth.
  7. General weakness, fever, swollen lymph nodes.
  8. Formation of a galvanic couple due to different prosthesis materials. Accompanied by a metallic taste in the mouth, electrical impulses.

But even if you are not bothered by anything other than amber, then contact your dentist. A bad smell indicates the reproduction of the bacterial flora. And the appearance of pain or pus is a matter of time.

Is it possible to somehow get rid of the smell from under the crown

The only way to get rid of putrefactive odors is to improve the quality of hygiene. This is a high-quality brushing of teeth, the use of floss and rinses.

And most importantly! Independence is good only when the smell has appeared recently and the patient has neglected the rules of hygiene for a week or two.

When the tooth is destroyed under the crown, the development of flux, periostitis, home methods are ineffective.

Photos 2 and 3. Development of flux and periostitis

They can mask the odor, inhibit the inflammatory process. But it is impossible to suppress the bacterial flora and restore the prosthesis at home.

How to treat bad smell from under the crown

At the initial stage of treatment, the doctor must identify the causes of bad smell from under the dental structure. Diagnostics includes:

  1. Examination of the oral cavity.
  2. X-ray of the tooth, according to indications – maxillary sinuses, orthopantomogram.
  3. Development of a patient management plan.

Based on the results of the examination, the doctor will suggest a therapeutic or surgical treatment. You may need to consult a periodontist, otolaryngologist.

What a dentist can offer:

  1. Treatment of caries, sanitation of dental canals followed by their filling.
  2. In case of inflammation of the gums, the doctor will evaluate the quality of the installation of the prosthesis, the depth of the periodontal pockets. Their cleaning, washing with antibacterial solutions, applications with drugs are shown. In severe cases, the doctor will prescribe antibiotic injections. After stopping the inflammatory process, physiotherapy is indicated for the mineralization of bone tissue.
  3. Installation of a new prosthesis – if the old crown cannot be restored, was installed incorrectly, or the patient has developed an allergy to the materials from which it is made.
  4. If cysts of the root of the tooth are detected, then their removal is indicated. Access is through an incision in the gum. The tooth is saved.
  5. If a perforation of the maxillary sinus is detected, the implant is removed. Sanitation of the sinus is carried out by an otolaryngologist. After stopping the inflammatory process, the bone tissue is restored, the bottom of the maxillary sinus is raised and a new implant is installed.

And most importantly! If a medical error was made, then self-respecting clinics provide treatment under warranty. Implantation, installation of crowns, statmological structures are expensive services. And if the clinic does not give a guarantee for their work, then you need to change the medical institution.

In addition, conservative therapy is indicated – rinsing with decoctions of medicinal herbs, antibacterial drugs, teaching the rules for caring for the oral cavity.

Characteristic signs of pathology

There are many reasons for bad breath. All of them are accompanied by similar manifestations. And an unpleasant odor from under the crown is not a characteristic symptom. This is a sign of an already running chronic infectious process.

Additional symptoms may develop before and after the onset of an unpleasant odor. Frequent unpleasant signs of inflammation:

  • pain syndrome;
  • suppuration;
  • food jam;
  • gingival hyperemia;
  • swelling of the face;
  • bad taste.

As a rule, before the onset of pain, many people try to treat themselves. But then they go to the doctor. The later you go to the dentist, the higher the risk of complications and tooth loss.

Signs of tooth decay under a crown

Tooth decay under a crown is a dangerous situation for the body. The process is accompanied by the reproduction of pathogenic flora. With the blood flow, it enters all organs and systems.

Symptoms of tooth decay under the prosthesis:

  • halitosis – the appearance of an unpleasant odor;
  • mobility of the dental structure;
  • darkening of a molar, incisor or canine;
  • taste of pus in the mouth;
  • receding gums, exposing the neck of the tooth;
  • hyperemia of tissues, bleeding from the gums;
  • pain when biting, change in temperature.

Do not delay seeking medical attention. The sooner you start treatment, the more likely you are to keep the tooth under the crown and prevent the development of complications.