Wisdom Teeth Extraction and Bad Breath

wisdom teeth bad breath

Age comes with wisdom, and more specifically your wisdom teeth. For many people, removal of wisdom teeth or rather the third and last molars is a rite of passage. The removal of wisdom teeth is meant for improving your general dental health. While it’s good to have your wisdom teeth extracted, many people often neglect this procedure and can lead to a myriad of problems.

In fact, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), the professional organization representing more than 9000 oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the United States strongly advocates for the removal of wisdom teeth. The study by AAOMS indicates that wisdom teeth are more difficult to clean and may lead to the proliferation of harmful bacteria.

Additionally, the study further asserts that adults who kept their wisdom teeth reported that it`s more expensive to treat and maintain the teeth over the course of their lives than it is to have them extracted.

According to Lois K. Rafetto, chair of the AAOMS, even if the teeth are not causing any immediate problem, it`s likely that individuals will face greater complications down the road, and since extraction of wisdom teeth is easier in young adults, it should be given consideration.

However, wisdom teeth extraction comes with a set of drawbacks. Firstly, wisdom teeth extraction is accompanied by bad breath. Bad breath is one of the worries that individuals face after wisdom teeth extraction.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

There`s at times when the wisdom teeth do not fully emerge or originate from the gums, a condition known as “impacted” wisdom teeth. If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, it means that your tooth is partially or fully submerged below your gums.

Impacted or poorly aligned wisdom teeth can be a contributing factor to bacterial overgrowth, and consequently bad breath. The bacterial overgrowth is caused by the small pockets of air that exist between the wisdom tooth crown and the gum.

Since the pockets are covered partially by the gum, they`re difficult to clean and are a haven for trapped food and bacteria. And because bacteria thrive in a warm and moist environment of the mouth, an impacted tooth can result in infections, decay, and cysts.  Consequently, this results in dragon breath, persistent bad taste in the mouth or complaints of bad smells that won`t go away.

Finally, gums around the impacted wisdom teeth are extremely sensitive and tend to get infected easily, and the bacteria are infecting the wound release smelly sulfur compounds.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Bad breath from an impacted tooth can be treated using antibiotics or cleaning and irrigating the gums with hydrogen peroxide.  Eventually, though, to avoid further complications and bad breath, wisdom teeth extraction should be your best bet.

However, wisdom teeth extraction does mean that you`re out of the woods though.

Let us look at some of the common causes of bad breath in adults after a wisdom tooth extraction procedure.

Causes of Bad Mouth Breath After Wisdom Teeth Extraction


  • Bleeding

Like any other surgical procedure, wisdom teeth extraction can result to flow of blood. Typically, a tooth extraction site can occasionally bleed for the first 2-3 days, which can create bad mouth smell accompanied by unpleasant taste in your mouth.

To stop bleeding put a folded, damp gauze on your extraction area and bite gently for an hour. Relax with your head elevated.

  • Blood Clot

The reflex physiological response of the body to the bleeding is forming a blood clot on the extraction site. While the blood clot will conceal the jaw bone and the interior surface of the gum, it can also contribute to a foul smell. And you know blood clot doesn`t smell pleasant.

However, a blood clot is a good sign and should eventually fade away after 3-4 days.

  • Dry Socket

The tradeoff of not having a clot stick in the extraction site is ironically still a bad breath. If you notice bad breath or sour taste after two to four days after wisdom teeth extraction, you could have a dry socket.

A dry socket occurs when the blood clot dislodges from the socket or oozes from the socket leaving bone and nerve tissue exposed. In most case, dry socket is accompanied by nerve-racking and wave-like throbbing pain.

In addition to the pain, dry socket comes along with a foul smell and bad taste. Therefore, ensure that you don`t dislodge the clot by sipping through a straw or eating hard foods.

  • Poor Oral Hygiene

Due to the sensitive nature of the extraction site, dentists recommend that you leave the site undisturbed for the first couple of days. This is to mean that you`re not allowed to brush or floss your teeth thoroughly.

Without proper dental hygiene, this can lead to bad breath due to the accumulation of food particles and bacteria.

  • Pain Medications

As we`ve seen above, wisdom teeth extraction might be accompanied by excruciating pain, and this may prompt your doctor to prescribe some medication pills. While the medications will fasten your healing process, they make your mouth dry and produce smelly compounds, and as a result, causes bad breath (read our article about causes of bad breath in adults).

How To Get Rid of Bad Breath After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

If you`re facing bad breath after wisdom teeth extraction, you should not panic and know that this is a common occurrence. In the article, you will learn how to avoid or reduce the bad breath after a tooth extraction.

Use a Water pick

The importance of a water pick cannot be overemphasized, especially if you`re going for a dental procedure.

Since it`s challenging to clean the food junk and particles after the tooth extraction, a water pick comes in handy. Using high-pressure water sprays, the water pick is effective at flossing your teeth. What separates the water pick from your regular dental floss is that it`s able to floss the empty wisdom tooth socket- the most difficult part to reach.

Avoid Hard Foods

Within the first 24 hours, avoid any solid hard foods. These types of food will not only increase your pain but also risk dislodging the blood clot.

If possible, aim at consuming liquid foods.

Use a straw


Unless drinking water, any other liquid beverage should be consumed using a straw. Drinking while using a straw reduces the amount of exposure the extraction site receives from sweet beverages such as fruit juices. Bacteria in your mouth relies on these sweet beverages to create a plaque on your mouth.



Use Salt Water

Salt Water

Poorly oral hygiene is among the top reasons for bad breath after wisdom teeth extraction. As such, one needs to brush regularly, avoiding the extraction site to avoid further complications.

Your regular mouthwash with a good toothpaste, however, might not be an ideal cleaning agent as it harbors chemicals that are too strong for the extraction site. Instead, softly gargle with salt water. The salt will not only help in fighting the bacteria but will also reduce the bad breath.

Other Methods

  • If you`re an alcoholic or smoker, avoid the drugs till the wound heals, otherwise you`ll have to bear the sink for longer.
  • Drink and rinse your mouth with plenty of water

You might also have other prublems, for example, acid reflux and bad breath are often connected.


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