So, you have a weird taste in your mouth and you suspect it might be coming from your tooth?
Now, there are a few possible reasons for this and one of the most common causes is an infection caused by releases from an abscess in your mouth, or an infection in your gums or a jawbone. In case the infection is still at its early stage, the bad taste most likely won’t be accompanied by pain and because of it, you might notice a weird taste for days, weeks and even months before you start feeling the pain and by the time you do feel it, the infection, unfortunately, has already spread and the bacteria may already be in your circulatory system, affecting other organs, such as your heart.
The bad taste that you’re experiencing may vary. Some patients describe it as bitter, or sour, while others say it’s merely unpleasant, and the third ones say that it’s changing from time to time. No matter what it tastes like, you should contact your dentist immediately, because the infection might lead to oral decay and it could also be halitosis. We’ll explain a bit about the causes and then as a bonus, we’ll let you know what you can do to make it a thing of the past.
Halitosis, also known as bad breath
Halitosis is a symptom characterized by an unpleasant odor in your breath. It is often associated with anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder among those affected by it. In about 85% of halitosis cases, the bad smell comes from the inside of the mouth, while in the rest of the cases the disorder could be in the nose, sinuses, throat or stomach. Rarely, bad breath can happen due to underlying medical conditions, such as a liver failure or ketoacidosis in diabetics.
When it does come from the oral cavity itself, it’s most likely caused by advanced tooth decay and an infection that might be following it. In this case it’s easily treatable with the improvement of oral hygiene as a first step, followed by resolving the existing issue on the tooth at the dentist’s office.
The treatment depends, of course, on the cause of the issue. Initial efforts include brushing teeth more often, tongue cleaning, rinsing your mouth and regular flossing.
Often, halitosis is viewed as a social taboo, and those affected by it are stigmatized, which is one of the most common reasons they seek dental care. It is estimated that rates of bad breath are going up to even 50% of the population in the United States, although not all cases are classified as halitosis.
Poorly maintained, old or just bad tooth fillings
Another common reason that you’re tooth tastes weird is that you have bad or worn out dental fillings, especially if they’re falling apart and causing sort of a metallic taste. Even if you have fillings made out of more durable materials, they could still erode during time. If that happens, bacteria can now freely inhibit the tooth, causing a bad odor and taste in your mouth.
If this problem is left untreated, it can cause tooth decay and even result in tooth extraction. If the poorly maintained filling is the reason of this weird taste, it should be replaced with another one as soon as possible because the more you wait, the more bacteria accumulates, increasing the chance that the dentist won’t be able to save your tooth, leaving him the extraction or at least a root canal therapy as the only options, which is really unnecessary.
Other possible reasons for the weird taste
Poor oral hygiene. In case you’re not brushing your teeth and flossing regularly, the development of the gingivitis is inevitable, as well as a possible tooth infection. Your dentist might recommend a prescription medicine, such as antibiotics, to get rid of the infection first, and once that’s been taken care of the weird taste should disappear. But what’s more important than that is that you take the matter into your own hands, literally. Brushing your teeth at least two times a day, followed by flossing, as well as rinsing your mouth, is a necessity if you want to keep your oral cavity healthy.
Prescription drugs. Antibiotics, gout medicine and cardiac drugs are some of the medications that can affect your taste and your taste buds as well. Apart from these prescription drugs, some over the counter vitamins are also known for the taste change that they cause. Vitamin and mineral supplements, such as copper, zinc and other heavy metals can cause a metallic taste in your mouth, which shouldn’t last long after you stop using them.
Inadequate diet. A giant factor to your mouth tasting weird is also your choice of food and drinks. Food rich in simple carbs and especially sugars are known to cause a bad taste afterwards, as well as sugary drinks, that are also very acidic and can cause bad reactions in your stomach, causing a whole lot of aftermath. Besides that, they can and will wear out the outer, protective, layer of your teeth, also known as enamel, leaving the tooth more prone to damaging. They are also a lead cause of tooth decay, especially in children, which is a reason good enough to cut their consumption a lot, or eliminate them completely from your diet, which will also affect your overall health and wellbeing. Common and often consumption of alcoholic beverages, especially hard liquors, such as vodka and whiskey, is proven to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth after a certain amount of time.
Inadequate diet and improper hygiene are truly the only factors you can take care of by yourself, by practicing self-discipline, and get rid of that bad taste. In all other cases, dental assistance is most definitely needed in order to fix the original problem that’s causing the weird taste and bad breath, so make sure to schedule your dentist appointment as soon as you start feeling the symptoms, if nothing else, just to get a regular teeth cleaning which will keep your mouth healthy and less prone to problems like this.
What are some things I can do to fight halitosis?
If it may be awhile before you can visit your dentist then you might want to take a few steps to help combat your halitosis temporarily. Thankfully, there are a number of things which you can do in order to keep that bad breath at bay. We’ll go into some foods and drinks that you can use, as well as some herbal home-remedies, but there are some basics to consider first. Some best practices are as follows:
- Stay hydrated – Dehydration can cause halitosis. If you find that your mouth is dry when you wake up or quite often during the day then try making sure that you are getting enough water. 2 liters of water per day (which is about 8 glasses) is the recommended amount.
” Try carrying a travel toothbrush with you.”
- Keep a travel toothbrush if you like aromatic foods – If you have a fondness for onions, garlic, curries, and other aromatic dishes, try carrying a travel toothbrush with you. A quick brush after lunch or dinner can go a long ways.
- Breath mints or spray – A ready-made solution, keep these around for emergencies.
What are some foods that fight halitosis?
Some foods are function as natural breath fresheners and are a good idea to add to your diet to help keep the halitosis at bay. Some examples of foods that can help are:
- Citrus fruits (especially lemons) – Citrus fruits promote salivation, which is a natural means of cleaning the mouth. Lemon slices are the best, as they have the highest citric acid content to kill bacteria as well, so chew a lemon slice for a quick clean and breath freshening after lunch.
- Apples – Apples are fairly fibrous and as such, they can scrub your teeth and help to remove trapped particles between them at the same time that they help produce cleansing saliva.
- Cucumbers – The same as apples, cucumber slices can clean those teeth and keep your mouth hydrated so that bad breath stays at bay.
- Cherries – Research indicates that eating cherries can help to combat methyl mercaptan, which is a gas that the body produces which contributes to bad breath.
- Sugarless gum – Look for sugarless gum with Xylitol in the ingredients. This sweetener has antibacterial properties and the chewing of the gum will help to get rid of dead cells while removing food from your teeth.
- Yoghurt (probiotic) – Probiotic yoghurt is great for you, as it helps to reinforce the healthy bacteria that lives in your mouth which lowers your sulfite levels. Make sure that you are enjoying the unsweetened variety, however, so that you get the desired effect without accidentally promoting tooth decay.
Are there any drinks that can help me to have fresher breath?
Yes, indeed! A few tweaks in your beverage selection can make quite the difference when it comes to having good or bad breath, so consider some of these suggestions until you can visit the dentist:
- Tea – A number of teas are good for you. The tannins have antibacterial properties and depending on your selection there are herbal benefits as well. Good choices are green tea, mint tea, chamomile, and black tea. Since tea is generally caffeinated, try using it as a coffee substitute until you can get to your dentist appointment for treatment.
- Unsweetened Orange juice – Unsweetened orange juice is tasty and aside from reducing the bacteria, the citrus will also promote healthy salivation.
- Milk – Milk is good at neutralizing some of the sulfur content of bad breath. It is also an excellent compromise if you like to eat lots of garlics or curries, as a glass of milk after such a meal can help to neutralize the bad breath that might come with those selections as well.
- Apple cider vinegar – Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to some water or a tea that you like and drink this once daily. The vinegar is great for killing bad bacteria (but limit yourself to drinking it once a day, as too much can damage enamel). Apple cider vinegar is also said to be good for lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well but it is definitely aces for oral hygiene!
Herbal remedies for halitosis that you might consider
If the recommended foods and drinks are not enough and it will be awhile before you can see your dentist, then some old-fashioned herbal remedies might just do the trick. Some classic examples that you can employ are as follows:
- Ginger root – Ginger root is most often used for a sore throat or an uneasy stomach, but it also freshens the breath as well. Boil a few slices with a teaspoon of honey in it to make a nice, breath freshening tea.
- Roasted Anise seeds – If you like black licorice, get a hold of some roasted anise seeds and chew a few on occasion when you want to ‘freshen up’. This is a very old breath freshening technique from India that is still in use today.
- Rosemary – Chewing rosemary or other sweetly-scented herbs is an old-timey way to freshen your breath that is still around for a good reason… because it works!
Some final words
In this article we have attempted to provide you with an in-depth exploration into the reasons as to why your tooth tastes weird, accompanied by strategies which you may employ in order to lessen the impact of the halitosis that often accompanies this phenomenon. While this information is useful, please be sure to consult your dentist. Strange tastes emanating from teeth can be signs of infection or other conditions so you will want to be sure to consult your dentist. After all, your smile is worth it!