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What could cause a rotten taste in my mouth?

A rotten taste could be related to halitosis, also known as bad breath.

Bad breath is an unpleasant condition that can be cause for embarrassment. If you don't brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Food that collects between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums can rot, leaving an unpleasant odor. Some people with bad breath aren’t even aware there’s a problem. If you’re concerned about bad breath, see your dentist. He or she can help identify the cause and, if it’s due to an oral condition, develop a treatment plan to help eliminate it.
If you have a rotten taste in your mouth, you might have bad breath, also known as halitosis. Many different things can leave a bad taste in your mouth, from the garlic-infused pasta you had for lunch to the medicine you're taking. Dry mouth, smoking, and certain health conditions can also change the taste -- and aroma -- in your mouth.

Forgetting to brush and floss every day can lead to bad breath as food particles build up in your mouth and attract bacteria. If you don't get regular dental care, you are more likely to suffer from gum disease, which can also leave behind a bad taste.

To improve the taste in your mouth, brush twice a day and floss daily. Rinse with mouthwash for an extra freshness boost. Cut down on stinky foods like garlic and onions, which can leave behind a lingering taste and smell. If you smoke, quit. Smoking not only gives you stinky breath, but it also yellows your teeth.

If the bad taste doesn't go away, call your doctor. You might have a medical condition that needs to be treated.
Peggy Rosen
Dentist

A rotten taste in your mouth is often caused by:

  • Food left inside the cavity between your teeth or inside the gum for a long period of time
  • Infectious material from an untreated dead tooth
  • Gum disease

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.