Why Your Wisdom Tooth Smells – The Causes & How to Put it to an End

Experiencing a foul smell from your wisdom tooth can be distressing and embarrassing. The odor may be caused by various factors related to oral hygiene, dental health, or the position of the wisdom tooth. Understanding the potential reasons behind the bad smell and knowing how to remedy it can help you address the issue and maintain good oral health. In this article, we explore common causes of a bad smell associated with wisdom teeth and practical remedies to resolve the problem.

Causes of Wisdom Tooth Odor:

  1. Impacted Wisdom Tooth: An impacted wisdom tooth is one that does not have enough space to fully emerge or erupt through the gum line. The partially exposed gum tissue can trap food particles and bacteria, leading to bad breath.
  2. Pericoronitis: When an impacted wisdom tooth tries to erupt but remains partially covered by gum tissue, it can lead to an infection called pericoronitis. This condition can cause pain, swelling, and a foul smell due to the presence of bacteria in the affected area.
  3. Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups can lead to the buildup of plaque and bacteria around the wisdom teeth, contributing to bad breath.
  4. Food Impaction: Food particles can get trapped between the wisdom tooth and the neighboring teeth, causing decay and producing an unpleasant odor.
  5. Decay or Gum Disease: If there are cavities or gum disease around the wisdom tooth, it can result in a bad smell.

Remedies to Address Wisdom Tooth Odor:

  1. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly, and use an antibacterial mouthwash to reduce bacterial growth in the mouth.
  2. Rinse with Saltwater: Gargle with warm saltwater to help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria in the area around the wisdom tooth.
  3. Use an Irrigator or Syringe: If your dentist recommends it, use an oral irrigator or a syringe with a curved tip to gently flush out any debris or food particles that may be trapped around the wisdom tooth.
  4. Warm Compress: Applying a warm compress to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with pericoronitis.
  5. Visit Your Dentist: If you suspect an impacted wisdom tooth or any dental issues causing the smell, schedule an appointment with your dentist. They can examine your mouth, take X-rays, and determine the cause of the odor.
  6. Wisdom Tooth Extraction: In cases of severe pericoronitis or recurrent issues with the wisdom tooth, your dentist may recommend wisdom tooth extraction to alleviate the problem.
  7. Maintain Regular Dental Check-ups: Regular dental check-ups are crucial to monitor the health of your wisdom teeth and address any dental issues early on.

Prevention of Wisdom teeth smell:

To prevent wisdom tooth odor and associated dental problems, follow these preventive measures:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.
  • Seek early treatment for any dental issues, such as cavities or gum disease, to prevent complications.
  • If you experience pain, swelling, or persistent bad breath around your wisdom tooth, consult your dentist promptly.

Can Wisdom Teeth cause Mouth Odor?

Yes, wisdom teeth can contribute to mouth odor, particularly if they are impacted or partially erupted. The presence of wisdom teeth in the back of the mouth can create spaces that are difficult to clean properly, leading to the accumulation of food particles, plaque, and bacteria. As a result, this trapped debris can cause bad breath or mouth odor.


A bad smell coming from your wisdom tooth can result from various factors, including an impacted wisdom tooth, pericoronitis, poor oral hygiene, or dental issues. Practicing good oral hygiene, visiting your dentist regularly, and promptly addressing any dental concerns can help prevent and remedy wisdom tooth odor. If you are experiencing persistent bad breath or discomfort around your wisdom tooth, consult your dentist for an evaluation and appropriate treatment. Addressing the underlying cause can improve your oral health and eliminate the foul smell associated with your wisdom tooth, ensuring a fresh and healthy smile.

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