Can You Smell or Taste a Cavity?

Brunette woman cringes and touches her cheek due to tooth pain from an untreated cavity

Some patients claim they are able to taste, feel, and smell their own cavities, or even smell them on the breath of others close to them. Is this possible? Do cavities smell? Can you taste a cavity? Read on to learn what causes cavities and if they can cause bad breath.

What Is a Cavity?

Bacteria that adhere to the surface of your teeth in a sticky film called plaque produce acids that dissolve enamel, causing damage and erosion. A cavity, or tooth decay, is a common dental problem that arises when this outer protective layer of your teeth is destroyed and a common cause for rotten tooth smell.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Sugar in the foods and drinks you consume feed your oral bacteria, which multiply and accumulate into plaque. Plaque then produces enamel-dissolving acids as a byproduct. Daily dental hygiene helps prevent cavities and preserves the health of your teeth, so be sure to brush your teeth two times daily for two minutes each time and floss at least once a day.

Can You Smell or Taste Decay?

Typically, cavities are detected and treated by dentists during routine cleanings, which should be done every six months. But for a person who isn’t regularly seen by a dentist you’re probably wondering to yourself “Do cavities smell?”  Absolutely. If cavities go untreated until you may notice unpleasant symptoms of advanced decay. Advanced tooth decay and plaque accumulation can lead to bad breath and a bad taste in your mouth. Moreover, once your enamel has been eroded and decayed enough to expose and allow irritation of the underlying layer of dentin, which contains tiny tubes that connect to your tooth’s nerve endings, you may feel sensitivity and pain.

What Happens to Untreated Cavities?

Untreated decay can spread and become worse, leading to a stronger decaying tooth smell, greater pain, and even tooth loss, so it’s important to get your cavities fixed right away! At Dublin Corners Dental, we’re ready to patch it up for you and get you feeling like yourself in no time. To prevent future tooth decay, practice outstanding at-home oral hygiene and keep up with your biannual dental appointments. Contact us to schedule your appointment so we check if you are cavity-free!

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