Why Do All Dental Offices Smell The Same?

what is that smell

When you walk into a dental office and breathe deeply, you’ll immediately recognize that dental office smell. There’s nothing quite like it. But why do all dental offices have that certain super-clean stench? At my dental office in Lewisburg, we become immune to the everyday smells that go along with working here. We also realize our patients are the complete opposite, and the odor can be odd. But we can explain.



There are unique smells that come from dental procedures themselves. A common term associated with the aroma of a dental procedure is tooth dust, which can be experienced during a filling, root canal, and numerous other procedures. The scent of tooth dust can be limited by using a vacuum and a lot of water during treatment. Since a dental office is packed doing treatments all day long, tooth dust permeates the air and can linger around, contributing to overall dental office smell. However, tooth dust is not the only thing that makes dental offices smell like, well, dental offices.



The materials used in dental procedures can also have pretty strong scents. Acrylic, which is used for crown and denture construction, is one of the most common materials that contribute to the dental office smell. Additionally, clove oil that’s often used in fillings, has a powerful aroma.



One of the most important things to your dentist in Lewisburg is sanitation and infection control. Everything used to keep our patients safe, healthy, and away from germs can have potent odors. The gloves, antibacterial soaps, disinfectant wipes, super-hot sanitation ovens, and the mixture used to sanitize tools that can’t be heat-sterilized are all standards in our practice, and all help create the unique dental office smell. However, pungent smells often go hand in hand with high levels of sanitation. Personally, we’d rather have the smell than an unsanitary dental office.


While we don’t think anyone will be making a dental-office-scented candle anytime soon, we do encourage you to think of the aroma as a good one. It means your teeth are being well taken care of in a clean and sanitized practice, both of which are key at my Lewisburg dental office.


Serving patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and surrounding areas.


Kick Butts for Your Smile’s Sake

cigarettes bad for your teeth

The legal age to purchase tobacco products of any kind in the United States is 18. If a smoker picks up the habit on their 18th birthday, and smokes a pack a day until they’re 35, they will lose an average of four or five teeth. Smoking can also cause additional, serious oral health problems. At my dental office in Lewisburg, we want to explain just how harmful a smoking habit can be to your health.


Gum Disease

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that smokers are seven times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers, and of all diagnosed cases of adult gum disease, 75% can be linked to cigarettes. Gum disease is caused by bacteria that grow and thrive in plaque. And it’s not just a mouth’s problem. Gum disease has been link to heart disease, stroke, and difficulty controlling blood sugar, all things that smoking already does without the help of gum disease. Once gum disease is active, it can destroy the tissue around your teeth, causing pain, bleeding while brushing or flossing, and even tooth loss.


Tooth Loss

Research conducted by The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) concluded that smokers are definitely at increased risk for tooth loss than non-smokers. One of the reasons for that is the higher chance for gum disease. On average, for every 10 years of smoking, men will lose 2.9 teeth and women will lose 1.5.


Oral Cancer

Since cigarette smoke first touches your lips and the inside of your mouth, that area becomes at increased risk for being affected by the vast amount of dangerous chemicals found in each and every cigarette. Among those 4000 chemicals? 43 are known to cause cancer. Take some of these stats about oral cancer:

  • 90% of those with oral cancer have used tobacco
  • Smokers are six time more likely to develop some type of oral cancer
  • Smoke from tobacco products can cause cancer in the mouth, throat, larynx, and esophagus


Whole Body Concerns

As we all know, smoking can lead to really scary whole-body concerns like lung cancer, heart disease, and premature death. On a more superficial level, smoking leads to tooth discoloration, bad breath, and premature aging.


If you’re a smoker, it’s even more important to keep up with regular visits to my Lewisburg dental office, and it’s just as important for us to know if you smoke. We won’t judge you but we will encourage you to quit, both for the health of your smile and for your body.


Serving patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and surrounding areas.