- What Does Bad Breath After Wisdom Teeth Removal Mean?
- What Causes Bad Breath After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
- How Long Does It Take to Heal?
- Getting the Right Dental Care
- Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
- Intense Jaw Pain
- Bleeding or Sore Gums
- Bad Breath, Tastes, or Smells
- Bad Breath Cause #1: Tooth Decay Smell and Cavities
- Bad Breath Cause #2: Failed dental restorations
- Bad Breath Cause #3: Gum disease
- Bad Breath Cause #4: Tongue Coating
- Bad Breath Cause #5: Dry mouth or low saliva
- Bad Breath Cause #6: Oral Infections
- Bad Breath Cause #7: Oral Cancer
- How Is Bad Breath Linked to Your Wisdom Teeth?
- Why Are My Wisdom Teeth Full of Bacteria?
- Do Wisdom Teeth Give You Bad Breath?
- Can a Wisdom Tooth Infection Go Away on its Own?
- How to Treat Impacted Wisdom Teeth
- How to Treat Bad Breath Due to Wisdom Teeth Extraction
- Other Causes of Bad Breath
- Dental Problems Caused by Wisdom Teeth
- Diagnosis of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
- Reasons for Bad Breath After Wisdom Teeth Removal
- How Will I Know If I Have Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
- Everything you need to know about impacted wisdom teeth
- Halitosis (Bad Breath)
- How can I prevent halitosis?
- 5 Causes of Bad Breath and What You Can Do About It!
- How Dentistry Can Help
- Helping You Relieve Chronic Bad Breath
- What is Chronic Bad Breath?
- Dr. Hancock’s Treatment
- Preventing Chronic Bad Breath at Home
- Set Up an Appointment Today
What Does Bad Breath After Wisdom Teeth Removal Mean?
After a wisdom tooth removal, patients expect to undergo pain as they heal. Bad breath after wisdom teeth removal can be a surprise. While it may sometimes be a sign of a problem, it is actually relatively normal to have bad breath after a wisdom tooth removal.
What Causes Bad Breath After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Experiencing bad breath after wisdom teeth removal is quite common. In most cases, this happens while your body heals. In the first few days after the procedure, there may be extra bleeding. This may cause an unpleasant taste and odor in your mouth.
If blood flow is the cause, try sipping water slowly to freshen your breath. Do not use mouthwash in the first 24 hours or until your dentist says that it is okay.
In some cases, bad breath after wisdom teeth removal is a sign of dry socket. If you look at the treatment spot, you might see a dry opening instead of the normal blood clot. Dry socket generally causes pain about two days after you remove the tooth. Before long, the pain can radiate to your ear and become severe.
This condition is more common if you have poor oral hygiene or smoke. It is also more likely if you use birth control pills or had more trauma than usual during your surgery. If you rinse, spit, or drink through a straw after a wisdom tooth removal surgery, it increases your chances of having dry socket.
If dry socket is the cause, your dentist may recommend an over-the-counter painkiller. They can tell you if it requires further treatment as well.
Cleanliness and pain medications can also cause bad breath. Pain medicines can dry out your mouth, which leads to bad breath. For this situation, try drinking more water to prevent foul odors.
After an extraction, you cannot floss or brush your teeth completely for several days. This can lead to bad breath as well. You need to avoid disturbing the distraction site so that you can heal. Once your dentist says it is okay, you can gargle with lukewarm salt water to clean your teeth.
How Long Does It Take to Heal?
In most cases, it only takes three or four days to heal following wisdom teeth removal. If you have impacted teeth, it may take up to a week to heal. Thankfully, most people recover completely in the first week.
Getting the Right Dental Care
To enjoy better oral health, individuals need regular dental care. Your dentist can help through services such as:
- Root canals
- Veneers and whitening
If you want a healthy, gorgeous smile, Zeal Dentistry can help. To get started, call us today at 415-792-4771 to make your first appointment.
Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that typically appear in the late teens to early twenties. Because they are set deep inside the mouth, it is common for wisdom teeth to come in misaligned or to become impacted when they fail to break through the gum completely. An impacted wisdom tooth can be extremely painful and can lead to dangerous complications. You should see a dental care professional immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms.
Intense Jaw Pain
Any number of dental problems can result in jaw pain. An impacted wisdom tooth will typically cause pain that radiates to the jaw, skull, and nearby teeth. The pain is often worse when chewing and may even cause severe headaches. The pain is usually accompanied by visible swelling along the affected area of the jaw. Some people with impacted wisdom teeth experience problems opening their mouth or persistent earaches. Swelling and warmth along the jaw or swollen glands may indicate a severe infection requiring emergency dental care. If left untreated, the infection could damage adjacent teeth and nerves.
Bleeding or Sore Gums
You may have an impacted wisdom tooth if the gums at the back of your mouth are tender or bleed with little provocation. The pain can often extend to other teeth making proper dental hygiene difficult. You should see your dental care professional if you experience tender or bleeding gums.
Bad Breath, Tastes, or Smells
Impacted or poorly aligned wisdom teeth are difficult to clean and are a haven for trapped food and bacteria. Because bacteria thrive in the warm, moist environment of the mouth, an impacted wisdom tooth can lead to infections, decay, and cysts. This can result in extremely bad breath, persistent bad taste in the mouth, or complaints of bad smells that won’t go away.
Extraction is the most common treatment for impacted or misaligned wisdom teeth. A dentist or oral surgeon can remove your wisdom teeth in an in-office procedure using a local anesthetic. Depending on the complexity of the procedure, you and your dentist may also choose to use sedation to relieve anxiety. At Eagle Rock Dental Care, we are equipped to handle all of your family dental needs ranging from routine check-ups to veneers and extractions. Call us today for more information about our services, or to schedule a cleaning, exam or general checkup today!
If you suffer bad breath the cause is most likely in your mouth. Conditions like tooth decay smell, cavities, or gum disease can all be bad breath causes.
Troubled with bad breath? It’s an embarrassing and frustrating problem. Luckily there are many easy solutions to chronic bad breath. One of the first ways you should look for a cure for bad breath is to see your dentist. Bad breath is often caused by oral diseases.
Ninety percent of cases of bad breath, or halitosis, actually originate in the mouth. The first port of call to cure bad breath is to see your dentist.
Bad breath causes that begin in the mouth:
- Tooth decay smell and cavities
- Failed dental work
- Gum disease
- White-coated tongue
- Dry mouth (or low salivary flow rate)
- Oral infections
- Peri-implant disease
- Oral cancer
Most dental diseases are caused by imbalances in your oral microbiome. In most cases, they are due to an overgrowth of ‘harmful’ bugs that release metabolites. This produces an odour that can be smelt on the breath.
Bad Breath Cause #1: Tooth Decay Smell and Cavities
Bad breath may signal tooth decay smell. Initially, bacteria effect the hard outer enamel of your tooth. As bacteria burrow deeper into the softer inner tooth, the species causing the decay change. E. faecalis, commonly found in the colon, and A. actinomycetemcomitans become prominent. Their presence changes the products released into your mouth.
Bad Breath Cause #2: Failed dental restorations
Have you had dental restorations, crowns or bridges? Decay or food traps beneath them may cause bad breath. You may notice a bad taste too. Visit your dentist, who will investigate with x-rays or radiographs to reveal underlying conditions. This cause of bad breath can not be discarded, it is as common as tooth decay smell and the ones that follow.
Bad Breath Cause #3: Gum disease
Gum disease progresses through different stages, which may all cause bad breath. Let’s look at the stages of bleeding gums and gum disease.
Early-stage gum disease: ‘Food Caused’ bad breath
In early stage gum disease or bleeding gums, a buildup of plaque and calculus occur. This eventually causes enlarged gum ‘pockets’ (spaces between your teeth and gums). Food debris becomes trapped in the spaces between the teeth and gums. Bacteria find and eat these trapped food particles which can cause bad breath. Foods that contain dense proteins such as meats, dairy or fish, are broken down to pungent volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs).
2 types of early stage ‘food caused’ bad breath
- Rotten Eggs: Cysteine breaks down to hydrogen sulfide, which smells like ‘rotten eggs’.
- Rotten Cabbage: The protein methionine (commonly found in meat, eggs, and dairy) breaks down to methyl meth mercaptan, which smells like rotten cabbage.
As gum disease worsens, the bacteria in these pockets become more harmful. A particular type, called anaerobes, thrive in the absence of oxygen. Their presence is a sign that your gum disease is later stages may also cause bad breath.
Late stage gum disease: ‘Blood caused’ bad breath
As gum disease progresses, both the pH and oral microbiome changes. In this stage, bad breath can worsen. Increased inflammation from bleeding gums provides a nastier set of ‘anaerobic’ bacteria access to blood and immune cells. These bugs thrive on an alkaline pH in the gum pocket. They then feed blood and immune cells.
Bad breath is now caused less by food breakdown and more by a mixture of decaying immune and blood cells. It means that the smell changes too.
2 types of ‘blood caused’ bad breath
- Metallic smell or taste: Initially, as the iron in the blood breaks down, you may notice a metallic smell or taste.
- Putrid or ‘rotten smell: As gum disease worsens, or is left untreated, the smell becomes far more putrid smelling.
In these more serious cases of gum disease, periodontal treatment is often helpful in halitosis (severe bad breath). Removal of the harmful microbiota may only be achieved by dental root planning. It’s important to identify the root cause of your bad breath. In order to heal gum disease and bad breath you need to probiotic bacteria.
Bad Breath Cause #4: Tongue Coating
In some cases, neither your teeth or gums are unhealthy, or the cause of your bad breath. Instead, the culprit is your tongue.
Your tongue’s bumps and grooves are ideal for trapping debris and bacteria.
Just like bacteria like to hide in pockets in your gums, they also like to hide in the crevices of your tongue. A tongue coating is similar to dental plaque and can cause bad breath. The coating appears on the top surface of the tongue. It’s usually towards the back of the mouth, near the throat. It looks like a pale, white coating.
Tongue coating can be a mixture of sulfur compounds and mucus. It can also include food particles, coffee or tea, and bacteria. If it’s not cleaned away every 24 hours, bacteria can begin breaking these products down and cause bad breath.
In the same way, gum disease can cause bacterial imbalance, so can your tongue coating. As anaerobic bugs infiltrate, they cause bad breath. Many studies have shown that removing this tongue coating reduces bad breath and VSC levels.
If you suspect your tongue is causing your bad breath, try cleaning the dorsum (top surface) of the tongue regularly with a tongue cleaner.
Bad Breath Cause #5: Dry mouth or low saliva
Saliva performs many functions, including balancing minerals and aiding the digestive system and immune system.
Saliva contains immune factors known as IgA and other factors called lysozymes. These help healthy digestion and also prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria. In a healthy mouth, saliva helps to maintain the oral pH at slightly acidic. This prevents harmful bacterial buildup and the breakdown of proteins such as cysteine and methionine. These proteins create sulfur containing compounds (VSCs) and cause bad breath.
When your salivary flow rate is low, you lose the benefit of saliva’s cleansing abilities. The environment in your mouth becomes alkaline, allowing the growth of harmful bacteria and those that break down VSCs.
So, what might affect your salivary flow rate and cause a dry mouth?
Diseases that affect the salivary glands, such as Sjogren’s Syndrome, certain medications and breathing through your mouth may all cause dry mouth.
The most common type of bad breath caused by saliva flow problems is ‘morning breath’ – bad breath that’s only present when you wake up. This is usually due to decreased production of saliva while you are asleep but may also indicate you are breathing through your mouth during the night.
Bad Breath Cause #6: Oral Infections
After a tooth extraction, a blood clot normally forms to begin the healing process. Dry sockets occur when the blood clot is lost from the socket. This can happen because of negative pressure in the mouth, perhaps from sucking on a straw or smoking, which prevents clot formation. The resulting exposed wound may be very painful – and more painful than the original toothache.
This condition can cause both a bad taste and bad breath due to trapped food debris and bacteria. One of the most common signs of a dry socket, other than gum pain, is bad breath. Large dry sockets can take weeks or even months to heal completely. They usually require irrigation after every meal to prevent food particles from lodging in them and festering.
When teeth are erupting in the gums, the slightest opening in your gum can allow saliva and bacteria into the space around the tooth. If the space can’t cleanse itself, you may find yourself with an infection.
This condition is called pericoronitis (infection in the soft tissues around the crown of the tooth). It may cause just mild pain or a dull ache, but sometimes the area may become very painful and swollen. If your gum is red and inflamed around a tooth that hasn’t fully erupted, and you have a bad taste in your mouth and bad breath, you may have pericoronitis.
In peri-implant disease, inflammation occurs in the soft tissues around a dental implant. Generally, peri-implant mucositis (inflammation of gums) is a precursor to peri-implantitis where there is bone loss around a dental implant. If you’ve had an implant and have bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth, it may be a sign of peri-mucositis. You should see your dentist straight away.
Mouth ulcers can occur on the lips, tongue or, more commonly, the inside of the cheeks. They will look swollen and may be white, red, yellow or gray. It’s possible to have more than one mouth ulcer at a time and they may spread or grow.
Mouth ulcers can occur due to:
- Physical damage: wear and tear, biting your cheek or tongue, or puncture wounds caused by foods with sharp edges such as crisps.
- An allergic reaction or auto-immune system response to chemical or biological agents. The primary damage happens underneath the surface, causing cells to die within the connective tissue. When the damage reaches the surface, the ulcer seems to appear from nowhere.
- Inflammatory or infectious disorders, and cutaneous, gastrointestinal, and hematological diseases.
Bad Breath Cause #7: Oral Cancer
Remember, as you have already seen, there are many oral causes of bad breath. These also include systemic causes not covered here. You shouldn’t presume that bad breath means you have oral cancer, but be aware that it’s a potential if uncommon, cause of bad breath.
Often, oral cancer is only detected in its later stages, so if you have persistent bad breath or experience any of the following symptoms, visit your dentist immediately.
Signs of oral cancer:
- A lump or thickening in the cheek
- A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth
- Persistent mouth ulcers
- A lump in the neck
- Weight loss
Oral Causes of Bad Breath Screening Questionnaire
Most cases of bad breath are caused by disease in the mouth. Often it can be improved by a visit to the dentist and improved oral hygiene. However, sometimes bad breath originates from a problem elsewhere in the body (like the nose or the digestive system).
So, how can you tell if your bad breath originates from your mouth? Or should you be visiting your doctor?
If your bad breath is more likely to originate in your mouth if:
- It is improved by the regular use of mouthwash (I don’t recommend mouthwash for bad breath)
- It is improved by better oral hygiene and tongue brushing.
- The odor does not exit from the nostrils.
- The odor intensifies for an observer when you begin to talk, indicating that the odor is
- coming from the mouth rather than the nose. Your pharmacist may ask you to count to 20 while they check your breath for this.
- The odor worsens if the mouth becomes dry, as the buffering effect of saliva is lessened
- and non-sulfur containing gases are liberated when oral tissue is dry.
- You lick your hand and there is a detectable odor when the saliva dries.
- You scrape the back of the tongue gently with a disposable plastic spoon and the residue on the spoon smells the same as your breath.
If you have bad breath, the first step you should take is to book in to see your dentist.
Let us know your experience with bad breath in the comments below.
For more information on Dr. Lin’s clinical protocol that highlights the steps parents can take to prevent dental problems in their children:
Want to know more? Dr Steven Lin’s book, The Dental Diet, is available to order today. An exploration of ancestral medicine, the human microbiome and epigenetics it’s a complete guide to the mouth-body connection. Take the journey and the 40-day delicious food program for life-changing oral and whole health.
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How Is Bad Breath Linked to Your Wisdom Teeth?
With age comes wisdom! More specifically, your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth or third molars derive their name from the fact that they’re normally the last ones to come through, at a rather mature age. Some people don’t get wisdom teeth at all.
When wisdom teeth don’t fully originate from the gums, it’s referred to as impacted wisdom teeth. An impacted wisdom tooth that is partly sunken beneath your gums may lead to infection due to bacterial overgrowth, and eventually bad breath. This condition can be cured for some time through antibiotics or by cleaning and treating the gums surrounding the wisdom teeth using hydrogen peroxide.
Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Generally, wisdom teeth do not cause any symptoms. However, as they grow and cause problems, such as teeth infection, damage to other teeth, or any other dental problem, you may experience these symptoms:
- A gradual increase of pain at the back of the mouth
- Red, tender, and swollen gum tissues around the site (signs of infection)
- Foul breath, and bad taste upon chewing food
- Difficulty opening your mouth or chewing food
You may finally need to get your wisdom teeth extracted to avoid future problems. Because if not removed, they can eventually lead to decay, loss of bone, and bone or gum infection in the surrounding areas.
Wisdom Teeth and Bad Breath – FAQs
Why Are My Wisdom Teeth Full of Bacteria?
Your impacted or misaligned wisdom teeth are hard to clean and are a shelter for stuck food particles and bacteria. Because bacteria grow in the warm and damp mouth environment, your impacted wisdom tooth can be the reason for inducing severe infections, decay, and cysts. This can give rise to extremely bad breath or a constant bad taste in the mouth.
Do Wisdom Teeth Give You Bad Breath?
An existing wisdom tooth partly submerged beneath the gums might be responsible for bacterial profusion and therefore, bad breath because of the tiny pocket of air present between the tooth tip and the gum. The gums surrounding the impacted wisdom tooth are delicate and are prone to get infected easily, and the wound-infecting bacteria release foul-smelling sulfur compounds.
Can a Wisdom Tooth Infection Go Away on its Own?
Never expect that an infection will subside on its own. An indication of a wisdom tooth or any other tooth or gum infection involves pain or swelling, an awful taste in your mouth, perpetual bad breath, inflammation, or bleeding. A dental visit can confirm if your wisdom tooth infection requires treatment.
How to Treat Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth can potentially lead to problems, like infections, and need to be extracted. Extractions can vary from a single tooth to multiple wisdom teeth removals simultaneously. Based on the choice, a dentist or oral surgeon will perform your wisdom tooth extraction in an in-office procedure under a local anesthesia.
How to Treat Bad Breath Due to Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Many dentists and oral surgeons will most likely recommend removing your wisdom teeth before they turn problematic for your oral health. But wisdom teeth removal does not easily stop your bad breath. At the time of your wisdom teeth extraction, a blood clot is created in the empty socket and upon its removal, it leads to a situation called dry socket. Bacteria can get in there and into the open wound, leading to an infection and chances of bad breath, too.
Also Read: How Long Does It Take to Fully Recover from a Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure?
Other Causes of Bad Breath
Apart from wisdom teeth, other factors like bad food, health conditions, and some other habits may cause bad breath in general conditions. Some of them are:
- The byproducts of food such as onion, garlic, and spices enter the bloodstream during digestion and are carried to the lungs, causing bad breath
- Poor dental hygiene resulting in the formation of plaque between your teeth and gums
- Decreased formation of saliva, that helps in cleansing the mouth by removing particles that cause bad breath
- Fasting also slows down the production of saliva resulting in dry mouth and bad breath
- Cigarette smoking and consuming tobacco stain the teeth and cause bad breath
- Various infections of the mouth or the presence of gum disease are other prominent reasons for bad breath
Dental Problems Caused by Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth and bad breath can cause many complications such as:
- Damage to the neighboring teeth, and the risk of infection in the surrounding areas
- Risk of developing a painful, inflammatory gum condition called pericoronitis due to the cleaning difficulty with the partially erupted wisdom teeth
- Formation of a cyst in the wisdom teeth sac within the jawbone, resulting in the damage of the jawbone itself, and the teeth and nerves
- Extensive tooth decay caused by trapped food particles and difficulty in cleaning those hard-to-reach areas
Diagnosis of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Your dentist will be watchful of your wisdom teeth development through routine dental x-rays, and will probably have sufficient knowledge as to whether or not they will get impacted. If you haven’t been regular with your dental checkup for a considerable amount of time and believe that your wisdom teeth are pressurizing your gums, then you are likely to suffer from unexpected symptoms that specify something is entirely wrong: A partially emerged wisdom tooth may get infected or decayed because a flap of gum tissue will reasonably enclose it. You will have trouble keeping the area clean, precisely because it’s located just at the back of the mouth. As a result, you may develop “Pericoronitis” which is an infection similar to the gum disease. While your dentist can perhaps treat this condition, it may reappear, in which case, the impacted tooth will need to be removed.
Reasons for Bad Breath After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Here are some causes of a foul smell in your mouth, after your wisdom teeth removal:
- Poor oral health leads to excessive bacteria growth in the mouth which accumulate to produce a bad odor.
- Tooth extraction makes the area vulnerable to infections which intensifies the bad breath further.
- Difficulty in cleaning the trapped food particles, in the affected region, post-surgery, multiplies bacterial growth and bad breath.
- Dry socket formed during wisdom tooth extraction can also result in infection and bad mouth odor.
If the bad breath following your wisdom teeth removal continues for more than a couple of days or hasn’t diminished, then you must get it examined by the dentist. It is essential to follow the post-surgery guidelines given by the dentist and maintain good oral hygiene for a speedy recovery.
Your dentist may use antibiotics and medicated creams for cleaning the socket that also helps in its healing process. Though the pain should subside with care, the dry socket may require several weeks to heal. Bad breath is somewhat persistent for some days after the removal of wisdom teeth, but if it continues further, you need to consult your dentist.
Contact Plaza Dental Group – Dentist Des Moines.
Also Read: The Scariest Medical Conditions Linked to Poor Oral Hygiene
Wisdom teeth are thus called because they are normally the last ones to appear and at a relatively late age.
In some instances, wisdom teeth or third molars don’t fully come out of the gums. In such cases, they are called impacted wisdom teeth. These impacted teeth may cause infection due to bacterial growth and even bad breath. This can be addressed by taking antibiotics and cleaning and treating the surrounding gums.
You might need to have your wisdom teeth extracted. This way, you can prevent problems in the future. Remember that if they are not removed, wisdom teeth can cause decay, bone and gum infection, and bone loss.
Why are wisdom teeth full of bacteria?
Misaligned or impacted wisdom teeth are a little difficult to clean and they’re the perfect host to food particles and bacteria. Since bacteria thrive in warm and damp environment, impacted wisdom tooth can cause infections, cysts, and decay. As you can expect, all these can result to bad breath and an even off taste in the mouth.
If your wisdom tooth is submerged and causing bacterial profusion, the tiny air pocket between the tip of the tooth and the gum can be where bad breath is coming from. The sensitive gums surrounding the impacted wisdom tooth get infected easily and the bacteria in the wound can release sulphur compounds with foul odour.
Will the Wisdom Tooth Infection Get Better on Its Own?
You can’t expect an infection to get better without proper treatment. Some signs of wisdom tooth or gum infection include an awful taste in the mouth, pain, tenderness or swelling, inflammation, bleeding, and bad breath that doesn’t go away. Visit Pickering Square Dental to find out if your wisdom tooth infection needs immediate attention.
Extraction is Necessary
Because impacted teeth are a potential cause of various problems, they have to be extracted. Extractions may be done one tooth per visit or multiple teeth can be extracted simultaneously.
Bad Breath May Be Caused by the Extraction
Wisdom tooth removal does not instantly stop bad breath. When your wisdom tooth is extracted, a blood clot is formed in the empty socket and when removed, it leads to a “dry socket”. Bacteria can get in there, lead to an infection, and bad breath.
Antibiotics and medicated creams may be prescribed by the dentist to clean the socket and aid in the healing process. Expect for the dry socket to take a few weeks to fully heal. Bad breath may seem persistent for some time after your wisdom tooth extraction, but with proper oral care, it should be gone soon. However, if you notice that it persists too long, you should take a trip to the dentist so it can be checked.
Whether it is caused by a wisdom tooth or not, bad breath is never a good sign. Schedule an appointment with us at Pickering Square Dental so we can assess the situation and help you bring your fresh breath back.
How Will I Know If I Have Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
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When I was quite a bit younger, my orthodontist showed me on X-rays of my jaw that I will only have two wisdom teeth (lower jaw). The one has recently started appearing above the gum. At what point can I tell if it is impacted? It has not been too painful.
The only way to really know if a wisdom tooth that is partially through the gum is impacted is to see a dentist or an oral surgeon for an X-ray.
Wisdom teeth often can’t grow in normally. When they are impacted, it means the teeth either become stuck under the gum or are only able to partially break through the gum. Wisdom teeth usually become impacted because the jaw doesn’t have enough space for all the teeth that are growing in, or because the tooth comes in at the wrong angle and bumps into the tooth in front of it.
Although some people never have any trouble with them, impacted wisdom teeth can cause problems. An impacted wisdom tooth can sometimes trap food, plaque, and other debris in the soft tissue around it, leading to swelling, gum tenderness, cavities, and bad breath.
You should see your dentist or oral surgeon to find out if your tooth is impacted. Dentists or oral surgeons often remove impacted wisdom teeth because they may damage other teeth or cause pain or infection.
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
Reviewed by: Kenneth H. Hirsch, DDS Date reviewed: July 2015
Everything you need to know about impacted wisdom teeth
If a wisdom tooth is painful or troublesome, or if it causes damage to other teeth or the jaw bone, it will be taken out.
An oral surgeon will need to see a patient if an existing medical condition puts them at a higher risk of complications.
Dentists cannot accurately predict which wisdom teeth are going to cause problems. However, the angle at which the tooth erupts and the extent to which it pushes against other teeth can offer a clue.
What to expect at the dentist
The dentist will probably take an x-ray to see how the roots lie and how the tooth is growing.
The removal may take place at a dentist’s surgery or as an outpatient at the hospital.
How straightforward the operation is will depend on the position of the tooth or teeth to be removed.
After having the tooth or teeth removed, there may be pain and swelling for a few days. Painkillers such as ibuprofen can help sometimes antibiotics might be prescribed.
The dentist will advise on mouthwashes. If there are stitches, they may need to be removed about a week later. It is important to follow the dentist’s post treatment instructions.
It is important to relax and to avoid alcohol and smoking for at least 24 hours, to make sure there are no bleeding problems.
Complications of surgery
Some patients have problems during or after the extraction of their wisdom teeth, but these are not usually serious.
Problems may include:
- Malaise, or a feeling of being unwell
- Bruising and discomfort
- Dry socket
- A hole between the mouth and the maxillary sinus
- A fistula between the mouth and the sinus, sometimes through the tooth socket
Nerve damage can occur in nearby teeth, when the wisdom tooth is removed. This can lead to numbness or paralysis in the lip, tongue, or cheek.
Some people may have an adverse reaction to medications.
A dry socket, or alveolar osteitis, is when a blood clot does not form properly in the socket left by the wisdom tooth. This can lead to a throbbing pain. It normally results from patients not following the dentist’s instructions. It can result from smoking, rinsing the area too soon after surgery, or sucking on it.
Sometimes removing the wisdom tooth can cause a fracture in the maxillary tuberosity, which is just behind the upper wisdom tooth.
A lower jaw, or mandibular fracture, can occur during surgery or within 4 weeks after surgery.
It is important to practice good dental hygiene and to have regular checkups to minimize the risk of dental problems.
Halitosis (Bad Breath)
Extensive plaque buildup
Your dentist or periodontist may recommend an antimicrobial mouth rinse. Also, you may be told to brush your tongue gently each time you brush your teeth to help remove odor-causing bacteria.
Diagnosis and treatment of an existing health condition may get rid of the bad breath.
How can I prevent halitosis?
Halitosis can be prevented or decreased if you:
Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day.
Brush your tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth. Most bad breath bacteria live on the tongue. , So brushing or scraping the tongue can make a big difference in your breath.
If you have dentures, take them out at night and clean them completely before putting them back in your mouth. Talk with your dentist before using deodorizing sprays or tablets. Some only mask the odor for a short time.
If you smoke, quit. You will have better smelling breath, and a healthier body overall.
Keep your saliva flowing by eating healthy foods that make you chew. Carrots and apples require a lot of saliva. You can also chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candies. If you still don’t have enough saliva to keep your mouth moist, your dentist may suggest artificial saliva.
Visit your dentist on a regular basis. Regular check-ups can find problems such as gum disease, infections, and dry mouth. If you have bad breath and the dentist can’t find a cause, you may be referred to your primary healthcare provider for more follow-up.
5 Causes of Bad Breath and What You Can Do About It!
Unlike the months on either side, August isn’t known for major holidays. But it does have one cause for celebration: National Fresh Breath Day! True, this observance will probably never achieve big-time recognition. Yet everyone would agree that fresh breath is something to appreciate! Unfortunately, bad breath is a persistent problem for many people. The first step in treating it is to identify the cause. Here are 5 common causes of bad breath:
1. Poor oral hygiene. Certain types of oral bacteria cause bad breath, and the mouth provides a perfect environment for them—especially when dental plaque and food debris is not well cleansed. So to keep your breath fresh, maintain a diligent oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once a day. For an extra-clean mouth, use a tongue scraper—a plastic tool about the size of a toothbrush that’s available in most drug stores. This will remove bacteria and food debris from your tongue for extra freshness.
2. Oral diseases. Bad odors in your mouth may also be caused by infections—which is what tooth decay and gum disease actually are. Sometimes old fillings wear out, allowing bacteria to re-infect a tooth that was once treated for decay. Other signs of these common oral diseases include tooth pain and bleeding or puffy gums. If you notice any of these, don’t ignore it—make a dental appointment today!
3. Diet. Smelly foods will give you smelly breath; it’s that simple. And the odors may linger after you have eaten them. When onion, garlic and other pungent foods are digested, their odor-producing substances enter your bloodstream and proceed to your lungs—which can affect how your breath smells. If you suspect your dietary habits are causing bad breath, try eliminating certain foods (at least temporarily) and see if that helps.
4. Dry mouth. Saliva helps cleanse your mouth, so reduced saliva flow can lead to bad breath. This accounts for “morning breath,” which is caused when the mouth dries out during sleep (especially if you are a mouth-breather). However, some people don’t produce enough saliva throughout the day. Sometimes it’s just that they don’t drink enough water. But a very common cause of chronic dry mouth is regular use of medications, both prescription and over-the-counter. If you notice that medication is drying out your mouth, let your doctor know. And stay hydrated!
5. Smoking. Given that smoking increases your risk for many serious diseases, including oral cancer, the fact that it can lead to bad breath seems almost trivial. Still, it’s worth noting that smoking causes mouth odor both directly and indirectly by reducing the flow of saliva and promoting gum disease. In fact, tobacco in all forms is a hazard to your health.
If you’d like more information on bad breath, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Warning Signs of Periodontal (Gum) Disease” and “Dry Mouth.”
Bad Breath, or halitosis, is an embarrassing problem that affects millions. To combat it, many people use breath mints, chewing gum, sprays and mouthwashes. In fact, Americans spend billions of dollars each year on these products — even though they offer only a temporary fix. Getting rid of persistent foul odors on the breath in a lasting way requires a little detective work on the part of dental professionals.
Bad breath can affect anyone temporarily — think of “morning breath,” or the way your mouth smells after eating onions or drinking coffee. Some people, however, exhale noticeably unpleasant odors throughout the day, every day. That’s when it is important to find the cause of the problem, so a lasting solution can be achieved.
Most often, bad breath originates in the mouth, from trapped food particles that are then processed by oral bacteria. The most common location for mouth-related bad breath is the back of the tongue, where large quantities of naturally occurring bacteria can thrive on food remnants, dead skin cells and post-nasal drip (mucus coming down your throat from the nose). The waste products of these bacteria include volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), which have a smell resembling rotten eggs. Other places where bacteria and food particles can be trapped are between the teeth, beneath the gums, and in oral appliances or dentures. Poor oral hygiene sets the stage for these problems, as well as for tooth decay and gum disease, which can also cause foul odors.
It’s possible for other health conditions and habits to affect your breath. Halitosis may occur in people who have a sinus or bronchial infection, an oral yeast infection (which can be caused by antibiotic use), or even a systemic (general body) disease such as diabetes, kidney failure or a liver malfunction. A chronically dry mouth (xerostomia), which is often a side effect of certain medications, and tobacco use can also contribute to this problem. Even stress, dieting and hormonal changes can affect your breath.
How Dentistry Can Help
Since bad breath most often originates in the mouth, the dental office is the best place to start in your quest for consistently better-smelling breath. After a thorough examination, any of the following might be recommended:
- Oral hygiene instruction. It might be that you could benefit from a demonstration of how to brush and floss more effectively, or how to better clean your dentures. You can also be instructed on how to use a tongue scraper to clean the back of your tongue if necessary.
- Professional dental cleaning. Food particles, bacteria and calcified deposits can become trapped where you can’t reach them — but special dental instruments can. Regular professional cleanings are a great way to promote good oral health in general and good-smelling breath in particular.
- Treatment of tooth decay. Bad breath may be caused by large, open cavities that need to be filled, or old, defective fillings that need to be repaired.
- Treatment of gum disease. More advanced forms of gum disease cause the gums to separate from the teeth, forming pockets in which bacteria can thrive. If you have gum disease, you may need periodontal (gum) therapy, which can include a deep cleaning of the roots of your teeth, antibiotics, and, in advanced cases, periodontal surgery.
- Treatment of infection. Infection that doesn’t originate in your mouth needs to be treated by the appropriate medical professional. Whatever the cause of your bad breath, we are here to make sure you get the treatment you need.
Bad Breath Bad breath has a significant impact both personally and socially on those who suffer from it, as well as those on the receiving end. It may be the result of poor oral hygiene, or a sign of a more serious underlying condition. Find out what causes bad breath and what you can do about it… Read Article
Oral Hygiene Behavior — Dental Health for Life The best tools for maintaining your oral health and minimizing dental problems are a quality toothbrush, toothpaste, a roll of dental floss, approved mouthwash and good diet. This article details a winning game plan for oral health… Read Article
Helping You Relieve Chronic Bad Breath
What is Chronic Bad Breath?
To put it simply, chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis is when your breath persistently gives off a foul odor. Suffering from the condition can be embarrassing and negatively impact your self-confidence. Luckily, chronic bad breath can easily be treated by Dr. Hancock.
Why Treat Halitosis?
Although it is a common and often simple problem, if it is not treated, it can cause gum inflammation, gum recession, and tooth loss. In some cases, bad breath can indicate a more serious health problem. If you are experiencing unrelenting bad breath, it is important to schedule a visit with Dr. Hancock as soon as possible. Early intervention can help prevent further damage to your oral health.
Common Causes of Chronic Bad Breath
Halitosis can be caused by a variety of factors. However, the condition is typically attributed to:
- Bacterial build up around your teeth, gums, and tongue
- Decaying teeth or infected gums caused by plaque build-up
- Certain foods like garlic and onions that cause bad breath as they break down in your mouth
Medical conditions can also lead to the chronic bad breath, including:
- Sinus infections
- Throat and respiratory infections
- Blood sugar fluctuations associated with diabetes
- Acid reflux
Additionally, halitosis may also be a symptom of severe health conditions such as cancer as well as liver or kidney failure.
Dr. Hancock’s Treatment
To treat your chronic bad breath, Dr. Hancock must first determine the underlying issue causing your condition. If it is related to an oral health problem, he can then plan your custom treatment. For patients with gum disease, he can perform a gentle deep cleaning procedure. This procedure is performed using specialized tools to rid your gums of any pockets of bacteria that are causing your bad breath.
If tooth decay is to blame, he can provide a filling, crown, or root canal therapy as needed. We offer comprehensive general and restorative dental care to address bad breath and related conditions to restore your oral health and provide relief.
Preventing Chronic Bad Breath at Home
Preventing chronic bad breath at home can be as easy as:
- Regularly flossing and brushing
- Avoiding certain foods
- Using an antibacterial mouthwash
- Avoiding tobacco products
These simple habits can greatly reduce your chance of experiencing chronic bad breath or from developing it again. If you are not at home or are unable to get to the dentist as soon as you would like, mints, chewing gum, and other similar products are possible temporary solutions. However, they only conceal the symptoms and cannot address the underlying issues.
We offer comprehensive dental care to address bad breath and related conditions to restore your oral health and provide the relief you desire.
Set Up an Appointment Today
Chronic bad breath requires immediate care from your dentist. If you notice an abnormal odor or are concerned about your dental health, contact us online or call us at (615) 383-0132 to schedule a visit. Dr. Hancock’s main priority is to ensure you and your family are well taken care of in a comfortable and relaxing environment.