Mouth Odor After Oral Surgery

Aug 20, 2021

If you’ve had a tooth extraction or some kind of oral surgery at our dentist in Phoenix center, you may have noticed some stinky breath. Mouth odor after oral surgery is common and not necessarily something to worry about. However, you always want to make sure the odor isn’t a sign of something more serious, either in general or related to your healing process. 

Let’s learn more about some of the general causes of mouth odor, as well as those related to mouth odor after oral surgery

General Causes of Mouth Odor

If you have frequently experienced mouth odor, there are some common culprits. The root causes of mouth odor tend to be issues stemming from the gums, teeth, or acid reflux. 

Gums and teeth cause mouth odor when they aren’t being tended to and cleaned regularly and properly. If you don’t brush your teeth well and get regular dental cleanings, plaque can accumulate and harden into tartar. 

The rough surface of tartar promotes further plaque accumulation. In addition, you’ll also have tiny particles of food stuck between your teeth that can rot over time. The bacteria in plaque combined with the rotting bits of food in your mouth cause an unpleasant odor.

Your tongue also can trap bacteria that produce odors. In fact, Halitosis (bad breath) is mostly caused by sulfur-producing bacteria that normally live on the surface of the tongue. Sometimes, these bacteria start to break down proteins at a very high rate and stinky “volatile sulfur compounds” (VSC) are released from the back of the tongue and throat.

Acid reflux is the backward flow of stomach contents such as undigested food, regurgitated bile, and stomach acids into your esophagus. This can lead to bad breath. Most people notice other signs first, like heartburn or a sore throat. But if you notice these in conjunction with bad breath, it’s definitely time to see a doctor. Acid reflux can cause serious damage to your teeth and gums if left untreated. 

Mouth Odor After Oral Surgery

Mouth odor after surgery may indicate normal healing – or something more serious. Make sure to keep your dentist notified of any issues after a tooth extraction or other oral surgery. 


One reason bad breath and oral surgery go hand in hand is because of the increased risk of bleeding. If you notice your breath smells and you’re still bleeding, it might be helpful to drink extra water. However, if your bleeding doesn’t slow within a day or two, contact our dental office for assistance.


If you’re not healing well after your oral surgery, the wound may become infected. Signs of an infection include bad breath, fever, pus from the wound, and severe pain. If you show any signs of infection, please contact us immediately for treatment. 

Dry Mouth

“Xerostomia,” AKA “dry mouth”, is caused by reduced salivary flow. Following oral surgery, it’s fairly common to experience dry mouth as a side effect of pain medications. When your mouth is dry, bacteria can accumulate. And needless to say, bacteria do not smell good.

Once you stop taking your pain medications as you heal, your dry mouth will resolve itself. In the meantime, we recommend increasing your daily water/fluid intake. 

See a Dentist Today

If you are experiencing mouth odor and you haven’t had recent oral surgery, schedule an appointment today. We can help you get to the source of the issue and provide you with a cleaning and a plan for better breath. If you are experiencing any concerns of mouth odor after oral surgery, contact us right away to assist.