This is probably going to sound strange, but a few weeks after I got my porcelain veneers done, I started noticing a weird taste in my mouth. I don’t know how to describe it other than to say it’s rotten. At first, I thought maybe I wasn’t doing a good job of flossing. My dentist warned me that my gums would have trouble if I didn’t take really good care of them. So, I made sure I was brushing at least three times a day and I’m flossing at least twice. The taste seems to be getting worse. It’s somewhat better right after I brush, but it always returns and it’s been going on for months now. I feel like it has to be tied to my porcelain veneers, but my dentist said it isn’t. He’s certain that I’ve changed my diet or something. Could he be wrong?

-Meaghan in Idaho

Dear Meaghan,

The taste you’re experiencing is very concerning. Generally, it’s a symptom of decay, infection, or another oral issue. Once oral problems are ruled out, the next logical thing is diet.

With that said, you didn’t discuss what tests your doctor ran, if any, to help determine the cause. If it started up right after you got the porcelain veneers, they could still be the culprit. Unfortunately, sometimes the shape is awkward and/or the bonding isn’t properly done and tiny gaps are left between the tooth and the porcelain veneer. This leads to microleakage, where bacteria flourishes underneath the porcelain and the tooth actually decays out of sight.

At this point, it’s probably wise to get a second opinion from an expert cosmetic dentist. He may be able to corroborate what your dentist has already said. If this is the case, no harm done. You can keep investigating other causes with your primary care physician. On the other hand, if he discovers an issue with your restorations, you’ll be able to correct it before more harm is done. Don’t ignore it, because if you are experiencing microleakage and decay, it could cost you those teeth. Right now they might just need to have the decay removed and the restorations remade, but decay can spread rapidly and in no time they might need crowns or be unable to be restored at all.

This post is sponsored by Atlanta cosmetic dentist Flax Dental.