Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Why won't this pain and bad taste in my mouth go away?"
I had a root canal about 2 years ago. A cap was placed on the tooth after the procedure. But since then I have had intermittent pain near that tooth when I chew something a little too hard like crisp bread. There is also a bad taste that I have in my mouth almost daily. The odor it causes is also left on my toothbrush after brushing. I tried flossing twice, sometimes three times, a day and brushing more but the bad taste and pain keep coming back. Do I need another procedure or could this be an infection after all this time?
It sounds like you are having some difficulty with your teeth! That can be very frustrating, so hopefully a visit with your dentist or endodontist will help clear this up. Anytime you have a root canal or crown put on a tooth, it is always possible to get an infection underneath the cap. Pain and a bad odor can sometimes be associated with infection, and there is no time limit after which you are no longer at risk of a dental infection. So, this is certainly a possibility. In addition, it could also be possible that you have developed a problem with another tooth in the area with referred pain to the tooth that had the root canal. Or, you may have a different problem with your mouth and gums that is causing the pain or foul odor. Acid reflux can sometimes give you a foul taste in your mouth, particularly in the morning. Tonsilliths are small particles of food and saliva that can get trapped in the tonsils and also cause bad breath. To sort out these possibilities, the best place to start with is your dentist or the endodontist who performed the root canal. This will help make sure your teeth and gums are healthy, and then if there is no problem there you can pursue further assessment with your primary care physician.
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