Tooth/gum odor problem

S

sharon

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Hi, I posted this in Ask Your Dental Questions Here last week but didn't get any responses. So I apologize for double posting but I really need to know if anyone has a clue as to what could be wrong with me.

For quite a while I have noticed a terrible taste/smell and I was hoping it was all in my imagination. This morning I woke up at 1:AM with a terrible pain in my lr quadrant, hurt bad but didn't quite feel like a toothache. I touched the gum in that area to see if there was any tenderness (there wasn't) but in the process of doing that I realized my finger smelled like the taste I have been tasting (gross, I know). I washed my hands and touched other areas of my mouth. This area is the only one that produced the same "smell." (again, very gross, I know!) This morning the tooth pain is gone, I'm not even sure which of the three teeth in that area is the culprit. Flossing between all of them causes smelly floss (sorry, gross) but nowhere else in my mouth do I have this problem.

So obviously it wasn't in my imagination and I now need to see the dentist. My wisdom tooth back there is gone, the next two teeth have crowns, one definitley has a root canal, the other may also. What could be going on? What can I expect? I am scared he will remove the crown and the odor will be overpowering. All my adult life I have religiously had my 6 month checkups and have had all needed work done just to avoid major problems. But a year ago I developed a problem with dysphagia and with this my dental phobia skyrocketed and I haven't had a cleaning for 18 months. Needless to say I am sick with fear, both at the thought of what could be going on and the prospect of having to sit still in the dental chair. What could be causing this smell? ugh, I hate this more than you can imagine.

Since I posted this I bought some of those tiny brushes that get between your teeth and have been using them several tiimes a day hoping to clean up the area, I'm also brushing that area over and over but nothing seems to help. There is no food caught between the teeth, that I am sure of. I am afraid of so many things, lying in the dental chair, losing the tooth/teeth, finding out my teeth are sitting on a cancerous tumor, and this dysphagia problem I am having really messing up things for my dental visit (btw, I've been evaluated and tested for the cause of my dysphagia and no definite cause fount other than "probaby neuro-mustular."
 
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kariebell098

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Hello friend, i think there is some kind of infection in your teeth that is the reason behind that odd smell. but it is only my opinion and i am not a dentist so please consult a dentist as soon as possible to avoid any future damage.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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Hi,

It is impossible to give you any diagnose before checking you first. Otherwise it is only speculations and these do more harm than good. Speculations and non-relevant information only increase the level of disorientation and confusion. You need the exact opposite of.

I am am positive that for examining the tooth the dentist will not need to remove the crown. An X ray and a bit of direct examination (maybe a bit of poking in the gum) should be enough.
 
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hamna

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You need to go to your dentist asap cause usually the bad odor is associated with some kind of infection. Might be possible that he may just give you a mouthwash or something and that will be it but you do need to consult your dentist.
 
Dr. Daniel

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Bad taste is not necessarily caused by infection.
Bad taste can be caused when there is a chronic supportive infection and then the pus of the infection has a bad taste (metallic bitter taste) and it is also associated with pain/sensitivity. However, this is not a life-threatening situation, far from it.
 
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sharon

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Hi and thank you all for your responses. I so appreciate you taking the time for me. Dr. Daniel, as you said, I hope I don't have to have the crown removed, though I imagine at some point I will. I'm getting quite nervous about this and I think speculation might help as my mind always goes to the worse case scenario and maybe it isn't quite that bad. Someone else (not here) told me I most likely have a deep down infection in the bone and the tooth must be extracted. I guess that means a dental implant is also out, ugh!

I know the issue is beyond use some mouthwash, all the scrubbing of this area and swishing listerine doesn't help. I'm so depressed over this.

I think my biggest problem are the strange neuro problems I've developed over the last year 1) oropharyngeal dysphagia which has been determined to be of a neuro-muscular origin but beyond that no one can tell me exactly what the problem is and what to do about it it and 2) very odd esophageal spasm type things that happen and happen over and over causing me to feel like I will gag every few minutes. This is extremely disturbing an makes sitting in the dental chair even for 5 minutes almost impossible (valium doesn't help these at all and after much testing no doctor can tell me what is wrong or how to fix it, even temporarily). This is what is keeping me from the dentist much more so than my dental phobia.
 
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comfortdentist

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Hi and thank you all for your responses. I so appreciate you taking the time for me. Dr. Daniel, as you said, I hope I don't have to have the crown removed, though I imagine at some point I will. I'm getting quite nervous about this and I think speculation might help as my mind always goes to the worse case scenario and maybe it isn't quite that bad. Someone else (not here) told me I most likely have a deep down infection in the bone and the tooth must be extracted. I guess that means a dental implant is also out, ugh!

I know the issue is beyond use some mouthwash, all the scrubbing of this area and swishing listerine doesn't help. I'm so depressed over this.

I think my biggest problem are the strange neuro problems I've developed over the last year 1) oropharyngeal dysphagia which has been determined to be of a neuro-muscular origin but beyond that no one can tell me exactly what the problem is and what to do about it it and 2) very odd esophageal spasm type things that happen and happen over and over causing me to feel like I will gag every few minutes. This is extremely disturbing an makes sitting in the dental chair even for 5 minutes almost impossible (valium doesn't help these at all and after much testing no doctor can tell me what is wrong or how to fix it, even temporarily). This is what is keeping me from the dentist much more so than my dental phobia.
Consider consulting with a swallowing expert ( usually a specially trained speech pathologist) and also using biofeedback can be a help.I am assuming you have been well worked up to rule out a tumor.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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This is extremely disturbing an makes sitting in the dental chair even for 5 minutes almost impossible o(valium doesn't help these at all and after much testing no doctor can tell me what is wrong or how to fix it, even temporarily). This is what is keeping me from the dentist much more so than my dental phobia.
Usually 5 minutes should be enough for a diagnose.
 
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sharon

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Consider consulting with a swallowing expert ( usually a specially trained speech pathologist) and also using biofeedback can be a help.I am assuming you have been well worked up to rule out a tumor.
That tumor sentence is a little scary . . . . and I'm not sure if you mean brain tumor because of my neuro problems or tooth tumor because of my tooth problems. I had a brain MRI which was "essentially normal" for someone my age, I've also had a neuro exam, upper/lower gi scopes, ent exam, swalling evalutation and not much showed other than hyperreflexia and a small hiatal hernia.

Anyway . . . . I saw the dentist yesterday for my "smell" problem. He took an xray of the back two teeth and said it was normal, there was no change from 2 years ago, and poked around for half a minute and said he couldn't see anything wrong except that I need a cleaning (scheduled that for next week). Should I be satisfied with this or should he have looked further? And do you think a simple cleaning will really get rid of this nasty order or should I be seeing a periodondist?
 
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Grimace

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I have some odour from my gum around the top and bottom eye teeth; one is a root canal one and the other has a space next to it from an unsuccessful attempt at extracting a remnant from a tooth that was removed a number of years previously. No matter how much I brush and floss and go for teeth cleaning, I can get a whiff of it at times. I was told by my dental hygienist that it was probably from bacteria, and the teeth are deep.

You mentioned the neuromuscular symptoms - pharnyx, esophagus. Have you ever had sinus trouble? Sometimes people can get olfactory hallucinations when they sinus problems or a neurological condition that affects the area of the brain related to smell. Is it possible you have developed a hypersensitivity to smell? I remember one time I would suddenly smell vomit for no earthly reason, and one time when I had a very bad cold I smelled this overpowering chemical smell when I went into the hallway and outdoors that affected my breathing. Everybody around me was acting normally and I must admit I thought I was going crazy until I got up the courage to ask a staff member in the pharmacy about the smell and he explained the city was cleaning the underground pipes. It took a few years before my reaction to the chemical subsided. Odours can be powerful psychological triggers as well and cause flashbacks. I'm just throwing out some avenues of exploration to pursue. The mind and body are so complex and interconnected.
 
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sharon

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Grimace - has your dentist hygienist suggested what you need to have done with the one area that has an odor? Or are the just letting you roll along with it?

I do have a good sense of smell but this isn't an olfactory hallucination. It't the real thing, :o. It's only in one area right between my back 2 molars. If I rub the gum I can smell it on my finger (sorry, gross). This doesn't happen anywhere else. I remember 20 years ago I had a similar problem on three teeth that have rc's and crowns. I told the dentist it felt uncomfortable there (didn't tell him about the odor). He took a look and immediately shot me up with novacaine so that he could take a deeper look. I ended up at the periodontist for gum surgery and then had to have all 3 crowns redone. And about 15 years ago I had this problem on another tooth (I think I developed a little bubble near the gum line). When the dentist removed the crown to take good look underneath the odor was much stronger. I ended up losing that tooth as there was a crack. So needless to say I'm a little nervous about what will happen with this one. I have a feeling a good cleaning won't fix it.
 
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Grimace

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Grimace - has your dentist hygienist suggested what you need to have done with the one area that has an odor? Or are the just letting you roll along with it?

I do have a good sense of smell but this isn't an olfactory hallucination. It't the real thing, :o. It's only in one area right between my back 2 molars. If I rub the gum I can smell it on my finger (sorry, gross). This doesn't happen anywhere else. I remember 20 years ago I had a similar problem on three teeth that have rc's and crowns. I told the dentist it felt uncomfortable there (didn't tell him about the odor). He took a look and immediately shot me up with novacaine so that he could take a deeper look. I ended up at the periodontist for gum surgery and then had to have all 3 crowns redone. And about 15 years ago I had this problem on another tooth (I think I developed a little bubble near the gum line). When the dentist removed the crown to take good look underneath the odor was much stronger. I ended up losing that tooth as there was a crack. So needless to say I'm a little nervous about what will happen with this one. I have a feeling a good cleaning won't fix it.
The hygienist just said to keep monitoring it. It's interesting that you mention root canals and discomfort because the upper tooth with the root canal is the one that still has some odour, and I have never felt discomfort/pain free since I had it done. I particularly hate the metal clip or whatever they have in it, it actually irritates my gum and sometimes radiates along the top back teeth. Now I found out when I went for a cleaning on Saturday that I have 3 cavities, one of which is the tooth next to the one with the root canal and crown. I do believe there is a connection.
 
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