If you notice a foul odor coming from your mouth and the source of it is a rotten tooth, then that might be a sign of a serious problem. If you have cavities, then the rotting smell may simply be rotting food that is trapped in the cavity. By removing the food you can potentially get rid of the smell.
However, if you are beyond cavities and your teeth are suffering from a full-blown infection, then it is a sign of a serious medical condition. You should not be trying to hide or cover the smell of a rotting tooth. You should see a dentist as soon as possible before things get much worse.
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Why Do My Teeth Smell So Bad?
There are numerous reasons why one might have bad breath. If the hole in your tooth stinks, these might be the cause:
Teeth produce a foul odor when they are rotting as a result of bacteria. The best way to remove the smell is to eliminate the bacteria. Since the bacteria is likely festering deep inside the pulp of the tooth or perhaps even in the gums or jawbone, it is very difficult to make the smell go away.
At this point, it is not enough to use mouthwash to try to mask the smell, because as long as the rotten tooth remains it will continue to produce a bad smell. You will have to see a dentist to see about getting it filled or removed.
Another possible explanation of a foul smell coming from your teeth may be due to periodontitis. When plaque and tartar are allowed to accumulate on the gums and teeth, they can spread bacteria beneath the gum line, creating periodontal pockets.
Bacteria and plaque like to accumulate in these pockets and eventually it may get infected, causing a foul smell. When this happens, the condition is known as periodontitis.
If the infection is left untreated, the gums will continue to recede, causing bone loss and loosening of the surrounding teeth. Eventually, teeth will simply fall out.
Abscessed Tooth or Gum
Sometimes infections in the tooth or gums will cause an abscess to form. Abscesses or filled with fluid that produces a foul smell when it drains. As it is draining, you can feel pain and a lot of pressure on the roots of nearby teeth.
How to Stop a Rotten Tooth from Smelling
Short answer, you can’t. But your dentist can. When your teeth have progressed to the point where they are rotten, there is not much else you can do. There is no magic mouthwash, floss, or toothbrush that can eliminate the smell.
How Will the Dentist Treat the Rotten Tooth?
The answer to this depends on your specific situation. If it turns out you only have some cavities with rotten food inside, then perhaps cleaning the affected tooth and beneath the gum line is all that’s needed.
If you are indeed suffering from periodontitis, an infected tooth, or an abscessed tooth, then treatments will vary.
For an abscess, your dentist will drain the abscess of infected fluid, clean the area with warm salt water, and prescribe antibiotics for you to take. If the infection is extensive, the dentist will perform a root canal in an attempt to save your tooth.
If your tooth cannot be spared, then it will be removed. This is to protect the surrounding teeth and gums from getting infected as well. The missing tooth will be replaced by a dental implant, a partial denture, or an altered dental bridge.
Why A Rotten Tooth is a Medical Emergency
An infected tooth can be life-threatening. Due to its close proximity to the brain, and because of the large amount of blood flow passing through the jaw and mouth areas, the infection can spread to your brain through the bloodstream.
Any sign of a fever must be taken seriously. You should be aware that many emergency rooms have contact information for colleges or clinics that will remove infected teeth free of charge or on a sliding scale charge so you will pay minimally.
Treating Dental Issues Early Before they Worsen
Although trips to the dentist can be frightening, particularly if you know you have dental issues, they are resolved much more quickly when treated early. For example, a cavity is much easier to deal with than an infected tooth or jaw.
By ignoring the symptoms and delaying treatment, one day you may end up in the ER fighting for your life if the bacteria enters the bloodstream to the rest of your body.
Find the courage to contact your local clinic or ER and ask about the options available to you to deal with rotting teeth before the problem worsens.