Why Do I Suddenly Notice a Foul Odor Near my Implant Gumline?

I've had my implant and crown for approx 3 years. Just recently when I "rubbertip" the area (which I do daily), the typicaly bit of oozing that occurs has a very foul odor. I saw my dentist who had no concerns but she followed up with my periodontist, who also said he wasn't concerned. I pushed the issue and got an appt to see my periodontist but not for another 2 weeks. Should I be concerned and request a sooner visit? Thoughts on the cause of this odor all of a sudden?

Doctor Answers 6

Odour near existing dental implant

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Odours in the mouth can occur for various reasons ranging from abscess, infection, hormonal, physiologic or some foreign substance being stuck in your gums. Often times, if some cement is stuck under the gums after a crown is placed on an implant, this can take years to dislodge and cause a mini-abscess or what's called a "fistula" (bubble on the gum). You my not be at the fistula stage yet but it may happen sooner or later. I would not panic right now. Just keep your appointment and have the periodontist take an X-ray. Cement and other things lodged in the gum may show up. 

Toronto Periodontist

Cleaning around an implant

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When an implant is placed, that's not the end of maintenance. We have many patients on 2-3 month cleaning intervals because sometimes the access is difficult. You could ask your dentist to modify the contour of it so it's easier to get a small brush, floss or waterpik in there to keep it clean.

Randall LaFrom, DDS
San Jose Dentist

Problems with a Dental Implant

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Foul smell and exudates around a dental implant, or a natural tooth for that matter, is not the norm and needs to be address ASAP.  Make sure to see the doctor that placed your implant to make sure that there is no active infection occurring, this can cause the implant to fail even after 3 years. It is probably something that can be addressed very simply, but if you wait it may turn into something that cant be fixed.

Brian Dorfman, MD, DMD
Phoenix Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

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Don't delay seeing your dentist

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I hope all is well. Don't delay seeing your dentist. You need to protect your investment in your oral health.

Mitchel Friedman, DDS
Eatontown Dentist

Problem around dental implant

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Without seeing you, it can be hard to tell what is happening. The first thing that I would be concerned with is that there in not an infection in the area. This could have the odor you are referring to. Another possibility is a food trap where bacteria is collecting and not being removed. Proper flossing and other cleaning tools can help to remove the bacteria that is contributing to this issue. When you see your dentist and the problem is discovered, ask how you can continue to keep the implant clean so the odor and related problems do not recur. I would try to be seen a little sooner.

Fred Peck, DDS
Cincinnati Dentist

Foul odor and oozing around dental implant

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Foul odor and oozing around your implant may be suggestive of inflammation. Inflammation can lead to further loss of tissue and bone and create implantitis (equivalent of gum disease, but around implants), so it is important to control and treat it as soon as possible. This can be due to food or plaque entrapment, poor hygiene practices, or poor margin on your crown causing difficulty to keep the area clean.

A surgeon and your restorative dentist should be able to evaluate this by a simple clinical evaluation and X-ray and then either correct it or suggest ways to keep it cleaner.

H. Ryan Kazemi, DMD
Bethesda Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.