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foul smell along one area of gum
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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foul smell along one area of gum

Hi

I have recently noticed a repulsive smell when I rub my finger along the gum in one area at the back of my mouth.
I don't get this smell from anywhere else, or even when flossing near that tooth.
I do have a crown on the tooth and read here that it could be the cause of it - I am seeing my dentist on Monday, but I am concerned nothing will be done to get rid of it straight away! Any advise?

Thanks

Mags
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
It sounds like the crown is loose and or decayed. That is a repulsive odor from the bacteria in that area. Good idea to see your DDS.
4 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
a foul smell usually means bacteria. wshether it is from the gum tissue or the tooth or food caught between the teeth will be determined by the dentist. sometimes, when there is a failure of the cement seal of the crown, bacteria leak in and the odor is quite characteristic. If you do not have a problem with the gum tissue in your mouth or specifically around this tooth, this could be the cause. if it is determined that your gum tissue is fine, and the odor persists after a good cleaning and upkeep with flossing and brushing (2 weeks is plenty of time), and if crown is old, if it were me I would want the crown removed and the tooth underneath evaluated. remember no dentist can see through a crown on an x-ray. odors don't happen for no reason, so do not accept that for an answer, especially if your current dentist made the crown.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been to my dentist and had an x-ray where nothing was found - as I have no pain he informed me that it isn't an abscess.
He told me he couldn't smell anything (which was very frustrating as I definitely could) and gave it a thorough clean - I felt a little disappointed as he seemed rather abrupt with me when I voiced my concerns and even said 'I don't do miracles' which I felt was unnecessary and irrelevant!
Anyway, as it has only just been cleaned I can't smell anything other than the fluid he used and a little blood - I am hoping that the clean was all it needed!
Thanks for all your advise.

Regards
Mags
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

~I have had a similar experience. I got a root canal and cap years ago. A smell started to become apparent a few years after having it done. Eventually it became apparent that my crown was loose and the smell was definitely coming from it. I went to my dentist, who took it off and cemented it back on. He said it should be fine. There was no smell for about three months and then it came back. It is only in the gum line of where that tooth sits in my gums. I smell it when I floss that tooth but not when I floss the rest of my teeth. If I push on the tooth the smell seems to be released. So, I went back to my dentist who claims the crown is just perfect and gave me some recommendation of a swish. Well, now it is driving me crazy, the smell. I have really good cleaning habits and all my teeth are visibly really nice and clean. I just came onto this site today to find an entire thread about this phenominan (sp?). Not a single person's dentist could find a reason behind this. There were thoughts about the crown material being cheep and eminating a smell once a bit loose, bacteria forming under the crown, sinus punctures when the root canal was done, and the last thing I read was someone saying their periodontist was going to take the crown out and file it down flat so there were no air pockets for bacteria to form.

~So, I hope your tooth has ceased from smelling. Let us know how things are going~

~R
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