Tooth Tips for Later Life

Odorous Dental Crowns Explained: Why Your Dental Crown Has Begun to Smell Bad

Dental crowns are an excellent alternative to tooth extraction and often follow a root canal. A well-fitted crown is all but indistinguishable from your natural teeth. However, like any dental replacement, they are not completely infallible and can sometimes confusing issues can arise. One such issue is the presence of an unpleasant odour in the immediate area where the crown is located.

Although a crown that fits well and is well taken care of could very likely last for up to 40 years, an unpleasant odour is an indication that something is amiss.

An unpleasant odour could be emanating from your crowned tooth for one of three reasons:

There May be a Cavity under the Crown

It is possible for a cavity to form near or under a dental crown. This has nothing to with the fit of the crown. This is due to diet and oral hygiene practices. If you frequently eat sugar-rich foods and fail to brush your teeth twice a day, bacteria will flourish on the surfaces of your teeth.

This in itself will cause bad breath.

However, if the source of the unpleasant odour appears to be concentrated around the crown, you may have a small cavity near or under the crown. This could be because the enamel in that area is slightly weakened due to damage prior to the crown being fitted. Bacteria can thrive in the safety of a cavity and once sufficient numbers are present, an unpleasant odour, which is due to the gases released by the bacteria, will be present.

Some of the Cement May Have Dislodged

If you have had your dental crown for several years, some of the cement originally used to keep the crown in place may have dislodged. Even a tiny amount can allow bacterial organisms to enter the recess and multiply relatively safely from your oral hygiene practices.

The sulphurous gases released by the bacteria will then cause the area to smell, especially if you have not brushed or flossed for a while.

The Crown May Have Been Poorly Fitted  

Good dentists rarely make mistakes, but even the tiniest miscalculation may leave just enough room for bacteria to gain access to the area between the tooth and the crown. As in the case of dislodged cement, bacteria will flourish and multiply in any available space that is safe from your flossing or brushing habits.

Whatever the case may be, an unpleasant odour in proximity to your crown indicates that it may be time to replace the crown or have it refitted. Try to see your dentist as soon as possible if you detect an ever-present odour around a crown, as decay or gum disease may soon follow. 

Contact a dental clinic near you for more information and assistance.