If your tooth tastes bad, there are several possible reasons for this.
Infection can result in a bad taste or bad breath
The most common reason your tooth tastes bad unrelated to your diet is infection. Whether it is discharge from an abscess emptying into your mouth, or there is an infection present in the gum or jawbone, you will likely notice a bad taste from that.
In most cases, there is no pain connected with the early stages of infection, so you can have this issue for days, weeks, or even months before you begin to have any pain from it. Unfortunately, all that time, the infection is spreading, and the bacteria can get into your circulatory system, harming other organs such as your heart or your pancreas. This places you at a much higher risk of heart disease, stroke, or diabetes.
The bad tastes that you may experience can truly fluctuate, so it is tricky to label it. However, most patients describe it as bitter, sour, or simply unpleasant. If you notice anything like this coming from your tooth, you need to ask your dentist about potential infections as soon as possible.
Bad, old, or poorly maintained fillings can result in a bad taste or breath
The second thing that could cause a persistent bad taste is bad dental fillings. If your dental fillings are falling apart, it can cause a metallic taste. Over time, old silver mercury fillings can erode where they seal against the tooth. This will let bacteria into the tooth, which can also cause a bad taste in the mouth.
The primary danger of older fillings:
The primary danger with older fillings is the further tooth decay that can form. If the problem is identified early, the filling can essentially be replaced. However, if left untreated more work will likely be needed in order to save the tooth.
Other potential explanations behind a bad taste or bad breath
There are several other things that can cause a bad taste in the mouth, including:
Gases from your stomach: sometimes, gas and stomach acid can come up from your stomach, creating a bad taste.
Bacteria in the mouth can result in a ‘spoiled egg’ gas: this is less bad taste and more bad breath. This issue can generally be managed with prescription mouthwash.
How to care for a tooth extraction
After undergoing a tooth extraction, it is important to follow the proper aftercare procedures for at least 24 hours after having your tooth pulled. If your tooth extraction won’t stop bleeding, contact us immediately so we can determine the best action to take to alleviate the issue. While this page contains helpful and common aftercare guidelines to follow after having a tooth extraction, your situation could be a special circumstance. This is why it is crucial to discuss your aftercare plan with Stonebridge Dental so we can provide you with personalized care.
- Stop a tooth extraction from bleeding
- Control the Bleeding with a gauze.
- Place a piece of clean damp gauze on top of the tooth socket.
- Roll it up or fold it into a square. This will be the part that rests on top of your wound so this is important.
- Bite firmly on the gauze for 45 – 60 minutes.
- Ensure the gauze is always positioned well and large enough that it applies pressure directly onto the site of the tooth extraction.
- One of the main components of tea is tannic acid which aids in the forming of blood clots, thus making tea bags an effective technique to stop bleeding.
- Follow the same instructions as you would with the gauze noted above.
- Ensure that a blood clot forms and stays within the tooth socket
- Blood clots that form within the empty socket are an important factor within the healing process. You should be careful not to do anything to disrupt its formation.
- There are many steps to take to protect the developing blood clot within the first 24 hours after a tooth extraction.
- Avoid vigorous rinsing or spitting
- Stay away from hot liquids
- Minimize the air pressure differences. Avoid creating pressure within your mouth or sinuses as these may dislodge the actual blood clot from the socket. This means you should avoid smoking or using a straw as these cause suction. Avoid blowing your nose and sneeze with your mouth open. Avoid playing wind instruments for a few days to ease up on the sensitivity.
- Minimize activities that make it difficult to control bleeding
- Avoid difficult work or strenuous exercise. You should avoid bending or lifting heavy objects altogether. You should try taking it easy for at least 1-2 days after the tooth extraction.
- When you are resting or sleeping, try to lie down so that your head is above your heart. This will lower your blood pressure and help control bleeding.
- Be prepared for swelling
- When your tooth is extracted, your tissues undergo some trauma and will swell and cause sensitivity. The amount of swelling that occurs could be slight or very large.
- Avoid smoking
- Smokers will experience more complications with a tooth extraction including increased bleeding. Avoid smoking for at least 48 hours after having the tooth pulled out.
- After a tooth extraction, eat only soft or liquid form foods for at least the first 24 hours following the surgery.
- Do not vigorously chew anything.
- Avoid hard or crunchy foods that can further traumatize the extraction site and cause further bleeding.
- Do not consume hot liquids as they will dissolve the blood clot.
If you are experiencing high levels of pain, contact us immediately so we can prescribe you some medications for your tooth extraction.
Your night mouth guard is intended to fit over the teeth while you sleep in order to protect them from damage, usually from teeth grinding (bruxism). If your night guard keeps falling out while you’re sleeping, this indicates that the fit may not be quite right. If you’ve bought your night guard over-the-counter from a drugstore, it may benefit you to come into our office and have a custom night guard made for you. A custom-fitted night guard will be created specifically for your teeth and bite, ensuring that it will stay in place while you sleep no matter how hard you clench your teeth.
Ideal traits for the night mouth guard
Your night mouth guard should stay firmly in place while you are sleeping, and fit both comfortably and snugly. It should allow you to keep your mouth closed and breathe normally, without shifting. In addition to these traits, your night guard should be odorless, tasteless, and should be durable. It should also be easy for you to clean.
Who should wear a night mouth guard?
In most cases, you will be asked to wear a night guard if you suffer from nighttime teeth grinding. This allows your teeth to be protected from the unusual clenching force of your jaw that occurs while you are unaware. It also helps to prevent you from developing TMJ/TMD. In some patients, wearing a nighttime mouth guard over the teeth can help to relieve discomfort from chronic tension headaches, facial/jaw pain, and tooth soreness.
Night guards versus athletic guards
It is important not to settle for a simple athletic guard in place of a night guard, as these are not designed for the same purpose. An athletic guard may shift while you’re sleeping; a night guard will not. In fact, some night guards will encourage you to keep your jaw relaxed while you sleep; these are referred to as anterior deprogrammers or NTI devices. Athletic guards cannot perform this function, and should not be substituted for your night guard.
Caring for your mouth guard
If your night guard keeps falling out it may be time for a new one. Once you have received your new device, there are a number of things you can do to help your night guard last as long as possible:
- Wear your guard only after you’ve brushed and flossed your teeth
- Try to avoid chewing on your mouth guard, as this can cause it’s shape to become distorted
- Wash your night guard with cool water and soap after each use
- Soak your mouth guard in a mouthwash before you store it for the day
- Store your mouth guard in a ventilated plastic container specifically designed for this purpose
- Do not bend your night guard, and never leave it in a hot vehicle or direct sunlight
- Never try to adjust the fit of your night guard yourself
Although teeth are one of the strongest materials produced by the human body, they are not indestructible. It is possible for them to become injured, and even crack or break. If your tooth just broke, it is important that you contact Stonebridge Dental right away for treatment. In the event that you cannot visit our office immediately, there are a few things you can do to protect your tooth from further damage:
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water to remove any debris and food particles.
- If your tooth is bleeding, use a piece of gauze or a damp tea bag to apply gentle pressure to the area until the bleeding stops.
- Pain can be controlled using an over-the-counter pain reliever or a cold pack.
- Temporary dental cement (available at most local drugstores) can protect your tooth from infection and further damage until you can see your dentist (though it is not a substitute for proper treatment).
What treatment options are available?
Treatment for your broken tooth will vary, depending on the severity of the break. If you have only a minor crack or chip, our dentist may be able to repair the damage by smoothing the rough edges and polishing the tooth. In the case of a larger crack or more serious break however, you may need a root canal in order to save the tooth. Once the root canal has been completed, your tooth will be capped with a dental crown in order to protect it from further damage.
Unfortunately, there are times when a tooth has broken so severely that it cannot be saved. In this situation, your tooth will need to be extracted in order to protect the health of your remaining teeth, gums, and the underlying bone that supports your teeth. Your tooth will then be replaced using a dental implant in order to keep your remaining teeth in place and to prevent and gum or bone loss from occurring.
If your tooth has broken, it is very important that you contact our office immediately for treatment. We will take any action possible in order to save your tooth and preserve your excellent dental health. Our dentists will be happy to answer any questions you may have about any required treatments, and will work to repair your tooth using the least invasive means possible.
It can be easy to dismiss gums that bleed when you brush, particularly if you aren’t experiencing any unusual pain or sensitivity. However, bleeding gums can be an indication of a serious dental health issue. If you notice that your gums are bleeding, when you brush or otherwise, it is important that you contact us as soon as possible for evaluation and treatment.
If your gums are only bleeding when you brush, the problem may be quite simple to fix. You may be using a toothbrush whose bristles are too hard, or brushing too vigorously. Your gums are living tissue that can be quite fragile. Using the improper technique can easily damage them. To prevent this from happening, it is recommended that you brush your teeth twice per day using a soft-bristled toothbrush that has the American Dental Association seal of approval. Do not scrub your teeth back and forth or up and down while brushing. Instead, use soft, circular motions, as if you were massaging them.
My gums bleed all the time, not just when I brush or floss?
If your gums are bleeding after eating, or constantly, it is important that you call our office immediately for an evaluation and consultation as soon as possible. There could be a number of causes for persistent gum bleeding, including gum disease or periodontal disease. Other causes for persistent bleeding include:
- Hemophilia and other bleeding disorders
- Vitamin K deficiency
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
My gums are bleeding but don’t hurt, what could be wrong?
If you notice that your gums are bleeding, but don’t experience any pain from them, you may be in the early states of gingivitis. This occurs when plaque builds up along the gum line or in deep pockets below the gums, causing irritation. This is similar to skin that has become irritated by a splinter that is just below the surface. If left untreated, gingivitis can worsen and lead to periodontal disease, which can be quite painful and may be difficult to treat as well. As soon as you notice any bleeding, irritation, or unusual changes in your gums, it is important that you contact our office for an appointment. We can begin treating the problem before it leads to more extensive dental health issues.
If you are experiencing tooth pain that won’t go away, it is important that you contact one of our dentists right away. When a tooth hurts constantly, particularly if the tooth pain is unbearable, it could be a sign of a serious dental problem. In many cases, this type of pain indicates a tooth has abscessed, which can cause the surrounding bone and gum tissue to become infected as well. If left untreated, you may also experience swelling, and a draining fistula may develop along the gum line. Taking some over-the-counter medications can help with the pain until you can see your dentist.
If your tooth won’t stop hurting, but it is more of a dull ache or pressure, you may suffer from a condition known as bruxism. In many cases, this type of pain will be worse in the morning, or after sleeping. Bruxism is a medical term for tooth grinding, which puts unusual pressure on the teeth and jaw, causing them to ache. This is a serious condition, as over time the teeth can become worn down in an unusual manner, and you may begin to experience problems in your jaw joint as well.
Sinus pressure may also cause pain in the in the face and teeth. However, even if you suspect that it is a sinus infection causing your pain, it is still important to make an appointment with one of our professional dentists. They will carefully evaluate your dental health to ensure the infection is not occurring in your teeth. Again, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever may help with the discomfort until you can make an appointment to see a dentist.
In either case, it is important that you contact one of our dentists right away if you are experiencing any pain in your teeth, gums, or jaw. The sooner you receive treatment, the sooner you can begin to enjoy a pain-free and healthy smile once again.
When gums swell around a single tooth in this way, it usually indicates an infection. This is called an abscessed tooth, and it can be very painful. If left untreated, it is possible for the infection to spread, leading to more serious dental problems.
What causes an abscessed tooth?
When a cavity is left untreated, the inner pulp of the tooth can become infected. This infection can spread into the gum tissue around the tooth, which creates an abscess. An abscess can also be caused when gum disease causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. This leaves open pockets where food can get trapped, causing an infection.
What are the symptoms of an abscessed tooth?
When a tooth becomes abscessed, you may experience a number of symptoms in addition to the swollen gums, such as:
- Pain when you chew;
- A nasty, somewhat salty taste in your mouth;
- Swelling in the face or jaw;
- The tooth may be sore or very tender to the touch.
- You may notice a pus-filled pimple on the gums. This is called a draining fistula and may rupture.
- Throbbing or pulsating pain that is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medications.
How is an abscessed tooth treated?
Your dentist will clear the infection by draining the tooth and the bone and gum structures. You will likely also be prescribed a course of oral antibiotics. Once the infection is cleared up, your dentist will perform a root canal to clean out the tooth pulp and canals, sealing the space with a special material to prevent any further infections. If a root canal is no possible, your dentist may decide to extract the tooth and place a dental implant instead.
A tooth abscess is a serious condition that needs to be treated as soon as possible. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other teeth, and may even infect the bone that supports teeth. Your face can become very swollen and painful, and the infection can even spread into other areas of your neck and head. Though home remedies may provide temporary relief, this is a serious condition that needs to be examined by a doctor as soon as possible.