A rotten tooth can cause many expensive oral health problems, but is bad breath one of them? Absolutely.
As odd as it might seem, just as you can smell the odor coming off of a rotting piece of fruit, you can smell the odor released from a rotting tooth. If you have bad breath that seems near impossible to get rid of, it’s possible you have one or more rotten teeth.
What Causes a Tooth to Rot?
Tooth decay, or tooth rot, occurs when bacteria is allowed to remain on the teeth for long enough to begin an infectious process that breaks down the teeth and creates holes (cavities) where the bacteria can live. Often these areas that the bacteria settle are difficult to clean and aren’t easily reached by brushing, lending to the process of tooth decay.
One common area for tooth rot is underneath existing crowns. Since brushing can only get the exterior of the crown, it makes it easy for bacteria to settle around the bottom edges and eventually work their way under the crown and cause decay on the tooth underneath. If you have any crowns and are experiencing an odor coming from your mouth, it’s a good idea to have a dentist check for decay.
Signs a Tooth is Rotten
You may notice an odor coming from your mouth. Typically by the time a tooth starts to smell enough for you to notice, it’s in a more advanced stage of rot. Your oral health provider will likely be able to identify a tooth in this condition fairly quickly. Knowing the earlier signs of tooth decay may help prevent your teeth getting to a stage of extreme stench. Watch for these signs and see your dentist right away if you experience any of the following:
- A persisting or spontaneous toothache, an aching tooth with no apparent cause
- Pain when biting or chewing in a particular area of the mouth
- Sensitivity or pain when eating or drinking something hot or cold
- Visible holes or stains on the teeth
How to Treat a Rotten Tooth
There are a number of treatments for rotten teeth and tooth decay, depending on the severity of the situation.
- Fluoride: In the early stages of decay, fluoride treatments can help repair and strengthen tooth enamel.
- Fillings: For a standard cavity, dentists will typically clear out the decay and replace it with a filling.
- Root Canal: For more severe decay that has penetrated deeply into the pulp inside of a tooth, the dentist or oral health professional will clear out the inside of the tooth all the way down to the roots and replace the rotting material with a filling and/or crown.
- Extraction: Sometimes, the damage to a tooth from decay is so extreme that the tooth can’t be saved, and your oral health professional will pull the tooth entirely and replace it with an implant.
Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Are Here For You
Whether you have minor tooth pain or an advanced rotten tooth that’s releasing an odor, the board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help. We specialize in a variety of oral health surgeries, including tooth extractions and implant placement. We take a personal interest in each of our patients and will work together to create a specialized oral health care plan to suit your needs.
We have offices in Tooele, South Jordan, and Cottonwood Heights, Utah. Schedule your free consultation today!