Dental crowns can last for many years, but it can be alarming to realize that there's an unpleasant smell coming from one of them. If you've recently noticed an odd odor or bad smell coming from a dental crown in your mouth, this guide can help to explain why it happens and what you should do about it.
Reasons Why Dental Crowns Can Smell
When oral health problems develop, the gums can take on a foul smell. This is generally due to either a buildup of bacteria or from the decomposition of tissue. The same problem can occur with dental crowns if they begin to break down.
When dentists put a crown in place, they prepare your tooth and the crown to be a perfect fit for each other. Then, with dental cement, they secure the crown in place. This process should be nearly permanent, but over time, dental cement can wear down. If this occurs, foreign substances like bacteria and food debris can get into the space between your tooth and the crown. This can cause a foul smell to develop, and if left untreated, it can potentially cause an infection in your gums or the root of your tooth, if it was left exposed after being drilled.
One of the best ways to figure out if you have a problem with your dental crown is to perform adequate dental hygiene. If you're experiencing a strange smell, try flossing and brushing your teeth followed with mouthwash or a salt water rinse. If these steps don't alter or diminish the smell, the problem needs professional help from a dentist. However, if you notice that the smell decreases, keep performing these steps, as they are helping to kill the bacteria between your dental crown and tooth.
If you can't get any relief with home oral hygiene methods, you should see a dentist right away. Dentists can often repair dental crowns that are damaged or coming loose due to decaying dental cement. However, if enough time passes and the tooth is damaged from bacteria, plaque, tartar, or infection, it may be necessary to drill the tooth again and place a new crown on top of it.
If you see your dentist early enough, they will inspect the site and thoroughly clean the surrounding area. If decaying dental cement is found, your dentist will remove the remaining cement and thoroughly clean the tooth to guarantee that no decay occurs. Afterward, they will re-adhere the crown to your tooth with new dental cement.
A bad smell coming from your dental crown may be one of the first signs of trouble. If you haven't been maintaining adequate oral hygiene practices, try improving your habits for relief. If that doesn't work, see a dentist like James V Bachman DMD soon; it could be the difference between an easy fix and needing a brand new crown.