Health & Fitness

You may be seeking a dentist because you suffer from tooth pain due to a tooth infection. Toothache is the most common symptom that patients visit a dental clinic or hospital for. It is a symptom resulting from tooth decay and infection. It extend into the inner layers of the teeth, affecting the nerves of the tooth that elicit pain. In the majority of cases, basic tooth decay is disregarded in its early stages, leading to severe illness.

Tooth pain is usually accompanied by swelling around the gums, bleeding, pus discharge from the infected tooth or gums, tooth mobility, bad odour from the mouth, and occasionally a fever. But did you know tooth infections can affect your sense of smell? Here’s what you need to know about the link between tooth infections and smell before you head to your nearby dental hospital.

Can a Tooth Infection Affect Your Sense of Smell?

You may find it strange, but a tooth infection affects your sense of smell and taste as well.

Loss of Smell

Bacteria cause tooth decay when they infect a tooth. However, as the decay progresses, it starts to cause the accumulation of bacteria inside and around the tooth. This results in the formation of an abscess with pus discharge. In addition, there is inflammation of the associated tissues. When a tooth in the upper jaw gets infected, it causes inflammation to the floor of the nose and the sinuses. Due to this, one can lose their sense of smell.

If you notice a loss of smell following a tooth infection, you must visit a dental clinic right away. Your dentist will perform a thorough examination and prescribe antibiotics to bring down the infection level. 

Abnormal Smell

In some severe cases of tooth infection, the olfactory nerve gets inflamed and results in abnormal smell. The olfactory nerve is responsible for relaying smell-related information to and from the brain. An impaired or abnormal sense of smell results from infection or damage to the olfactory nerve. Smoke is often perceived as the result of a severe tooth infection, burnt foods, or other smells that are not present. If you experience anything like this, you must consult your dentist in Coimbatore immediately.

Do the smell abnormalities persist even after a tooth infection is resolved? Sometimes, yes! In most cases, the loss of smell or sense of abnormal smell disappears when a tooth infection is treated. However, in some cases, they may persist and require further investigation by your dentist as it may be an indication of a neurological problem.

Abnormal Taste or Dysgeusia

Aside from smell issues, dental infections can cause dysgeusia, or a change in taste. Due to a tooth infection, many people have a metallic taste in their mouths. Regular tastes like sweet can taste salty or bitter if your tooth infection has altered your taste perception. The pus discharge from the infected tooth and its surrounding areas can also cause an altered taste in the mouth.

 If you experience any of these symptoms, you must visit a dental hospital for further treatment. Drink lots of water and stay hydrated at all times if you have an abnormal or altered taste. For example, it is best to avoid dehydrating beverages like tea, coffee, or alcohol as they can aggravate your symptoms.

Sinus Infections And Loss of Smell

When teeth in the upper jaw get infected, it is very common for the sinuses associated with the tooth or teeth to get infected. An infected or inflamed sinus can result in loss or an altered sense of smell. Treating the infected teeth and completely resolving the infection with procedures like root canal treatment and antibiotic medications usually restore the sense of smell. A specialist who treats sinuses may need to examine the case further if a person cannot restore his sense of smell completely


Teeth cleaning, tooth fillings, denture operations, dental implants, tooth extractions, and root canal procedures are just a few of the procedures that dentists do. For an infected tooth, your dentist will either perform a root canal procedure or an extraction to resolve the infection and allow adequate healing. 

Contrary to the popular belief that root canal procedures are painful. They are exceptionally effective treatments for tooth infections and prolong the life of natural teeth in the mouth. Additionally, you should take good care of your teeth. Practice all oral hygiene measures that include brushing twice a day using the right technique, flossing. As well, consult your dentist at least twice a year. If you experience any loss or abnormal sense of taste or smell, visit your nearest multispeciality hospital in Coimbatore right away!

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