Having a bad taste in your mouth is a symptom you might be tempted to ignore. It’s a nuisance and can make it hard to enjoy your favorite foods, but it doesn’t seem serious. Unfortunately, this is a potentially very serious symptom.

A bad taste in your mouth, like bad breath, is often associated with infections, either in your teeth or in your gums, or even elsewhere in the body. So what’s causing the funny taste in your mouth? It can be a number of things.

woman covering her hands over her mouth

1. Gum Disease

Gum disease is the most common cause of persistent bad tastes and bad breath. It’s also 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 of gum disease are red gums, bleeding or 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. If you’re noticing any signs of gum disease, you need to visit your Blue Bell dentist as soon as possible for treatment. Otherwise, untreated gum disease can lead to bone loss and tooth loss.

2. Tooth Decay

Tooth decay can also contribute to a bad taste in your mouth. When a bad 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 experience a toothache and bad taste, there’s a very good chance that it’s a bad cavity causing it. Visiting the dentist every six months for dental exams and cleanings is a smart way to catch cavities early for treatment to prevent a bad taste in your mouth.

3. Infected Tooth

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 bad 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.

4. Tongue Bacteria

Another reason you might have a bad taste in your mouth is simply that you’re harboring bacteria in an unknown area. One of these areas is your tongue. If you don’t effectively clean your mouth and your tongue, it’s possible for bacteria to accumulate under your tongue or on top of your tongue. Make sure not to skip this step when brushing your teeth.

5. Acid Reflux

Acid reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic condition that can send undigested food back up into your throat and/or mouth which can cause bad breath. If you experience regular heartburn or other symptoms of GERD, we highly recommend talking to your doctor. There are medications that can help treat your condition and therefore prevent bad breath.

6. Dry Mouth

Saliva is responsible for washing away bacteria in your mouth, regulating your mouth’s pH balance, and remineralizing your teeth. When you suffer from a dry mouth, bacteria can linger behind and cause bad breath. Several factors can contribute to dry mouth, like medications, dehydration, heavy alcohol consumption, and smoking. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don’t suffer from a dry mouth. It will help wash away bacteria and prevent bad breath.

7. Tonsil Stones

Your tonsils are supposed to catch bacteria but when they catch too much oral bacteria, they can cause tonsil stones. Tonsil stones are smelly bundles of bacteria. If you’re getting consistent tonsil stones, it’s a good indication that you need to visit a dentist more frequently.

8. Diet

Your diet and the foods you eat can also have a big impact on a bad taste in your mouth or bad breath. For instance, if you eat garlic or onions, it’s a given you will have bad breath. If you’re on a low-carb diet, you might experience ketosis. This can cause your body to produce a surplus of ketones which can impact your breath.

9. Retained Food

Another major factor that can contribute to a bad taste in your mouth is retained food. After you’re done eating, your saliva should help wash away all the food particles from your mouth. If you have gapped, crooked, or crowded teeth, food particles can become stuck in your mouth and cause bad breath. To prevent funny tastes in your mouth due to retained food, it’s essential to straighten your teeth with orthodontics like Invisalign. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating is also helpful.

Bad Breath Treatment in Blue Bell

The proper treatment for your bad breath or the funny taste in your mouth depends on what is causing it. 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.

To learn what is the right treatment to eliminate the bad breath or bad taste in your mouth, please call (610) 272-0828 today for an appointment with Dr. Siegel at Dental Excellence of Blue Bell.