Just having a bad taste in your mouth is a symptom you might be something you’re tempted to ignore. It’s a nuisance, and, yeah, it makes it hard to enjoy your favorite foods, but it doesn’t seem serious. Unfortunately, this is a potentially very serious symptom.
Checking for Gum Disease
Gum disease is the most common cause of persistent bad tastes and bad breath. And it’s especially important to pay attention to these bad tastes because you may not have very many other symptoms of gum disease that you notice.
Among the common symptoms for gum disease are red gums, bleeding gums, swollen gums, and receding gums. Many people don’t pay attention to their gums closely, and often only notice gum disease when they begin to see one or more teeth getting longer. It’s not getting longer, it’s becoming exposed by receding gums.
Cavities or Tooth Decay
Cavities or tooth decay can also contribute to a bad taste in your mouth. When a cavity grows into the interior of your tooth, the bacteria there have access to food, but not oxygen. As a result, the bacteria that grow there “breathe” sulfur, which creates a number of foul-smelling and bad-tasting byproducts.
If you are getting food stuck in a place where it wasn’t before, it’s likely that you’re experiencing some tooth decay.
Tooth Pain Doesn’t Always Come with Cavities
Many people think that they will always experience tooth pain associated with their cavities. But that’s not true.
Tooth pain is caused when the tooth nerve–also called the pulp–is exposed to negative stimuli. This can be pressure, heat, or cold. A cavity could cause all three of these exposures, but sometimes it hasn’t reached the tooth nerve yet, or the cavity is protected from biting pressure and isn’t building up pressure inside the tooth.
Or it’s possible that the tooth pulp in this tooth is already dead and therefore the ongoing infection of your tooth won’t give a warning sign until it reaches another tooth, your jawbone, or your sinuses–which can be an emergency situation.
The point is that don’t assume no pain means everything is fine.
Eliminating Bad Tastes
The proper treatment for your mouth infection depends on the extent of the infection. It might be as simple as changing your oral hygiene routine. Or it may be a simple tooth-colored filling. On the other hand, an invasive procedure like a root canal may be necessary, especially if you’ve ignored the signs for a while.