tooth decay smell
Mar 29

What Does Tooth Secay Smell Like? Learn if others Can Smell Your Rotten Tooth

Mar 29

According to the last survey in 2022, 1 in every 4 adults in the US has cavities, and 26 percent of them have untreated cavities. The figure tends to elevate even further, considering our unhealthy lifestyle.

Tooth decay or dental cavities is an avoidable dental condition that many Americans experience once, twice, or even more in their lifetime. When left untreated, cavities cause a bad odor in your mouth, leading to multiple embarrassing moments during interaction with others.

But don’t worry. This guide will walk you through details on tooth decay, what it smells like, and how to get rid of it effectively. Let’s get started!

What is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is a dental condition that occurs when a bacteria called, Streptococcus mutans make acids upon interacting with sugars in calcium and your saliva to attack the dental enamel to cause a hole in a tooth.

Tooth decay can affect anyone regardless of age and body type. If it is left untreated, it causes discomfort, infection, and even tooth loss.

That being said, it is most common among children and poses a potential risk of ‘early childhood carries’ - a kind of tooth decay affecting the front and back teeth in the mouth.

What are the Symptoms of Tooth Decay?

what does tooth decay smell like

Following are some common symptoms of tooth decay:

  • Tooth pain
  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • A pocket of puss (if it gets infected)
  • Facial swelling
  • fever

How is Tooth Decay Diagnosed?

Tooth decay can be diagnosed during regular dental checkups. However, other signs that you can look for to determine if you have a decaying tooth include constant bad odor in your mouth due to the gases produced by the bacteria as a metabolic byproduct.

What does Tooth Decay Smell like?

As discussed previously, the bacterial activity in the mouth causes bad breath, it smells like sulfur or something rotting in your mouth. That said, it can vary depending on the type of your diet. For instance, it would smell like a rotting version of your last meal.

If you want to determine what tooth decay smells like, you can perform a little experiment.

  • Grab your lunch and put it on the table
  • Let it sit there for 2 weeks
  • Smell the lunch

The smell of the rotten lunch would be similar to the tooth decay smell. Whatever you have in your last meal, its leftovers get stuck between your teeth and facilitate fermentation.

How to Get Rid of the Tooth Decay Smell?

Fortunately, getting rid of tooth decay smell is easier than you imagined. Getting a cavity filler from an experienced dentist would remove the decaying part and fill it with new material. Here is how your dentist will conduct the procedure:

Step 1 - The dentist will numb the tooth

Step 2 - They will drill out the decaying part

Step 3 - They will clean and condition the affected area

Step 4 -  Filling material will be placed

Step 5 - The filling will be exposed to ultraviolet light to harden

Step 6 - Bite adjustment will take place

Step 7 - Polish, and it’s done

How to Get Rid of Tooth Decay Taste?

Tooth decay can cause a nasty taste in your mouth and lingers even after brushing and cleaning your teeth. The most effective way to deal with tooth decay is through the dental filling. Not just will it eliminate the bad odor, but it will cure the bad taste in the mouth.

Other things that you can do to eliminate the bad taste include:

  • Using a mouthwash with generous fluoride content
  • Brush twice a day and clean between the teeth using a dental floss
  • Eat healthily and avoid snacking
  • Get help from a professional

Why one Tooth Smells Bad when I Floss?

People often complain that their tooth smells bad, especially when they floss. A persistent bad smell after flossing indicates an underlying dental condition. To further confirm, floss deeply between and around your back teeth. If you experience bleeding or your floss smells, it’s confirmed that you have a decaying tooth or gum disease.

Why my Tooth Smells When i Touch it?

When the bacteria in the mouth feed on the leftover food between your teeth, they begin to smell. It promotes plaque accumulation and builds a thick layer over time. This might be the reason for your stinking tooth.


When dental cavities get bigger, it digs a hole in the tooth where fermentation occurs. Due to the fermentation in the hole, bacteria produce sulfur compound as a by-product, causing a bad odor in the mouth.

If you experience persistent bad breath even after regular brushing and flossing, book an appointment with your dentist for a proper diagnosis.


What does a tooth infection smell like?

Tooth infection causes puss, which smells like a rotting piece of fruit and causes a bitter taste in your mouth.

 How do you fix a rotten tooth smell?

Depending on the cause of the smell, the dentist will recommend appropriate treatment options. For instance, if tooth decay is the cause, the dentist will recommend you get a filling done.

 What does cavity breath smell like?

Since food leftovers between the teeth cause cavities, they may smell like garbage or a decaying body.

Can others smell my rotten tooth?

When you have a rotten tooth, it can cause your breath to stink. Others can smell your rotten tooth.

 Does a dead tooth smell?

 A decaying or dead tooth can give off a foul smell, and the condition is called Halitosis. It’s a common indicator of a dead tooth.

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