Q. What could be the reason for bad breath in a RC treated tooth?

Answered by
Dr. Naveen Thomas
and medically reviewed by Dr. Nithila A
Published on Sep 16, 2019

Hello doctor,

Two years ago, I had a problem with one of my wisdom teeth. It caused pulpitis in the front teeth, so I got a root canal treatment on it, but I did not get the wisdom tooth out. The dentist cleaned the cavity on it as well but covered it with amalgam. Recently I started to feel bad breath when I clean with my tiny bristles toothbrush in this area. I think it mostly coming from the interdental space. Please let me know should I get it drilled again?

Dr. Naveen Thomas

Dentistry Endodontist Paediatric Dentistry Periodontist


Welcome to icliniq.com.

You have not attached X-ray with this query. Still, it might be an infection near the wisdom tooth. You may need extraction of the wisdom tooth. Send X-ray if possible and use warm salt water gargle twice a day for a week or two to remove the smell.

Thank you doctor,

I have attached the file.

Dr. Naveen Thomas

Dentistry Endodontist Paediatric Dentistry Periodontist


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The wisdom tooth is tilted, and it seems there is a gap in front of it and the tooth in front, which may be causing food accumulation resulting in bad breath and taste. You may need to get the wisdom tooth removed later on if you get pain there. The root canal treated tooth in front of wisdom tooth also do seem to have a bit of a problem as the mesial root of this second molar appears to be not filled adequately like the distal root.

You can see it clearly in X-ray that the root closer to wisdom tooth is very opaque (whitish) and the mesial root is dark in color indicating that the filling material has not gone down till the root tip. So, if at any stage you get pain on this second molar again, you may need to do root canal treatment again on that mesial roots.

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