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Root Canal Doctor
Root Canal Doctor, Dentist (DDS or equivalent)
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 1706
Experience:  Endodontist (DDS,MS)-50 years of practice, Endodontics Assoc. Professor at Loyola University School of Dentistry, Air Force Veteran
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I was having pain in my #1 molar so I scheduled an

Customer Question

I was having pain in my #1 molar so I scheduled an appointment for an extraction. Before my appointment, I began to notice a horrible smell and taste coming from the tooth. I notified my dentist of it, as I thought it may be infected and could delay the procedure, but he said not to worry about it. The tooth was pulled on schedule. The extraction was a week ago and went well but the taste and smell have only gotten worse. I've been back to the dentist and he says there's no infection. There's also no pain. Please help! I can't take it anymore. I'm brushing three times a day, flossing, rinsing with salt water, and using breath mints non stop. Nothing is helping.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Root Canal Doctor replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Keri, you are doing everything that most dentists recommend but you could add one more thing that may help with your problem. The socket where the tooth was is healing and food and garbage are trapped in it and that will give you a very bad taste and smell. If you are careful you can use a water pik device using low pressure that will actually get into the socket and help flush the contents out. At this point in time your clot has formed and is granulating properly so your chance of dislodging the clot is minimal. This is why you need to use low pressure and carefully debride the hole. This should help and time will also help as the hole fills in with bone and tissue. You were fortunate not to develop a dry socket which is extremely painful and can occur in the first 24-72 hours. But since you are way past that you will just fine in time. It just needs to keep healing. Does all this make sense to you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It does, but it is not really the answer I am looking for. When I went back to the dentist two days ago for the odor / taste, he rinsed the socket and verified there was no debris in there so I'm quite certain that's not what's causing the smell. How can this be part of the healing process when it existed before the surgery? What is causing it: pre and post op?
Expert:  Root Canal Doctor replied 1 year ago.

If in fact you had this problem before the extraction then we can look elsewhere for a possible cause.

Approximately 85% of bad breath/halitosis cases are a result from oral conditions. Anaerobic bacteria are responsible for bad breath because they produce sulfur products that are volatile and readily expressed. Good oral hygiene is a prerequisite for preventing bad breath caused by debris and bacteria that make a home in your mouth. One of the most common causes of bad breath is dry mouth or sinus issues. Dry mouth could be due to a reduced salivary flow causing the dryness of your mouth. Dryness of the mouth is called Xerostomia. Biotene is the most prescribed medication for this problem and it is available over the counter at any drugstore.

This is website for it:

Other OTC saliva substitutes include Moi-Stir, Optimoist, and Mouth Kote.

Sinusitis, Deviated Septum and Tonsillitis are also possible causes of bad breath.

Some medications when ingested will release odors that are excreted when breathing. These odors occur from metabolized product from the liver and then are excreted in the air. This is also a possibility.

After eating you should rinse your mouth with water to help dislodge any remaining food particles. Also use a soft plastic tongue scraper to clean the surface of your tongue. Strive to eat a high fiber diet. If after altering your oral hygiene you are still experiencing bad breath then your next step would be to contact your physician for a work up to determine what else could be causing your problem.

Hope this helps.......

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sir, if it were bad breath, my case would be solved. The odor is linked specifically to the location of the socket / tooth, not my tongue, saliva, or other teeth. I could literally touch the tooth with my finger, and when I pulled my finger away, the putrid smell would remain. I have never had this problem prior to the wisdom tooth causing me pain. Worth noting, it had come up through the gum and was not impacted. I already use a tongue scraper regularly along with an alcohol free mouth wash. I have very good oral hygiene. I've only ever had one cavity, and that happened this year. Other than that, perfect teeth.
Expert:  Root Canal Doctor replied 1 year ago.

Ok then. Obviously I do not have an answer for you so I will opt out so another expert may be able to help you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My apologies for being difficult but I've already scoured the Internet for answers, contacted my own dentist numerous times, and tried everything I can think of. I'm only now willing to pay $29 because I'm at the end of my rope. I'm looking for an explanation and a solution that will make sense and work. I can't be satisfied until I feel I've received that... and I'm not sure anyone will be able to provide it at this point.