hello! After terrible pain I have been feeling in my mouth, I went to a dentist and he had to extract my teeth. However, it has been 4 days after the extraction and I am experiencing horrible taste in my mouth. Any ideas what this could be? Thx
Dreading trips to the dentist is incredibly common, and that's probably as much because what happens after you're done as what goes on in the dentist's chair itself. Numbness because of the local anesthetic, bleeding, a weird feeling in your mouth after dental work, and a slightly unpleasant or new taste are all almost par for the course.
Judging by this person's post, they had several teeth extracted, though they don't say whether they were wisdom teeth or not, and had a "horrible taste" in their mouth four days following the procedure. It's not clear whether this appeared on the fourth day or has been present since the extraction itself, neither does the person describe the taste in more detail.
The SteadyHealth team reacts
Aftercare following a tooth extraction
Almost everyone requires a tooth extraction at some point in their lives, especially if you include wisdom teeth. While your dentist should always give you thorough aftercare instructions, it is up to you — the patient — to follow them to the letter to reduce the risk of complications. Some important things to remember include:
- Take painkillers and antibiotics as instructed — never stop taking antibiotics without finishing the course!
- Carefully rinse the extraction site with a saline solution as your dentist instructed you to, after 24 hours have passed to allow a blood clot to form. Do this after mealtimes to prevent food from becoming lodged in the hole left behind and to avoid bacterial buildup, but don't overdo it, as that can cause bleeding.
- If you smoke, don't do it during the healing process!
- Use cold compresses to help fight swelling.
- Do brush your teeth, but avoid causing further trauma to the extraction site.
While it is completely normal to experience some pain, swelling, and even bruising, and while many people experience a changed taste in their mouth for a while during the healing process, it is also essential to see your dentist again if:
- You experience severe pain
- You have heavy or continuous bleeding
- You have signs of infection, such as pus oozing from the area, warmth, and a fever.
- You have a very bad taste in your mouth, or a foul odor (bad breath)
Complications after a tooth extraction
Many complications can occur after a tooth extraction, such as poor healing and excessive bleeding, but two are associated with a horrible taste or very bad breath, and they are dry socket — as so many SteadyHealth members suggested — and an infection.
Dry socket is a condition in which the blood clot that should develop after you have a tooth removed down form the way it should, or it comes out. This is more common in smokers, people with poor oral health, women who use hormonal birth control methods, and those who start vigorously rinsing their mouth shortly after the tooth extraction.
- Pain! Of course, everyone feels a little uncomfortable after having a tooth pulled, but severe pain on days one to three that doesn't get much better with the use of painkillers is a serious red flag.
- You don't see a blood clot in the hole left behind after the extraction (the socket).
- A foul taste and very bad breath.
- A mild fever.
Signs of infection, meanwhile, would include fever, increased pain, pus oozing from the extraction site, warmth emitting from it, and swelling. Like dry socket, infections can lead to a foul smell and bad breath. Many dentists will prescribe antibiotics to prevent infections. Regardless of whether you are taking antibiotics or not, always see your dentist if you notice any of the signs of infection.
Plenty of other community members had questions relating to the same problem — a horrible taste in their mouths after they had a tooth removed:
- What is going on?
- Any ideas what this could be?
- Has anyone experienced this before?
- I actually quite like that taste that you're all describing :-DI just needed to know it was nothing to worry about and that I wasn't going to die or anything
- Did u feel like the stitches on the sides hanging and getting in the way?
People experiencing the same problem described it in these ways:
- But it's the taste and the breath that are bothering me more than anything.
- I have this nasty taste in my mouth where it was taking out.
- The gum around there also hurts but in between the other teeth.
- I got my wisdom teeth removed a week ago and the taste in my mouth is awful.
- I almost threw up today due to it!
What is it?
Others joined the thread to speculate on the possible causes behind the horrible taste, or to say the phenomenon was normal:
- He said that it's fairly common when you have food getting stuck in the holes.
- But atfer reading up on it seem like it just mean everything is healing
- Part of it is the bacteria that builds up on your tongue.
- Factors that effect the mouth and cause bad breathe:Food stagnation between the teeth.
- Gum disease.
Many people suggested that people experiencing a horrible taste in their mouth, or dealing with bad breath, could be suffering from dry socket:
- To me it sounds like a dry socket, or maybe that's just because I had two of them.
- Dry socket is when the blood clot is lost too soon, which occurs more often in women than men but can happen to anyone.
- The typical symptoms are increased pain in the area that doesn't seem to get better with medication, a bad taste or smell coming from the removal area, and sometimes you can actually see the bone.
- I'm worried about dry socket, and wondering if I should go to my dentist just to make sure.
- I thought it was a dry socket.
So, what should a person do when confronted with a horrible taste in their mouth after a tooth extraction? Here's what community members had to say:
- I had this bad taste starting around day 5, and it mostly went away after I went to my follow-up appointment and the surgeon irrigated the holes with the syringe.
- The taste has gone away about 95% now since I have been using the syringe on my own with tap water, salt water, and sometimes mouthwash diluted with water.
- I had alot of mints and nothing seemed to help.
- You have a bacterial infection and need to see your doctor/dentist/or oral surgeon ASAP for antibiotics.
- It helped me a lot when I got a tongue scraper.