Straight Talk About Bad Breath

Straight Talk About Bad BreathBad breath is a topic nobody wants to talk about. If you think you might have bad breath, that’s an uncomfortable position to be in. And if you have a friend or loved one whose breath isn’t the best, that’s an uncomfortable situation as well. It might help to know that anyone can have bouts of bad breath. Whether the bad breath is from a recent meal, lax dental hygiene, untreated gum disease or some other issue, bad breath is curable. Checkups are a great time to bring bad breath questions to our attention.

Gum Disease and Breath Odor

Food particles can migrate under the gum line. Gently brushing at the gum line, and flossing daily will dislodge these particles. If the particles remain under the gums, the bacteria will do what bacteria do, and cause the food particles to decay. The decay is trapped in pockets underneath the gum line, causing redness, irritation, and odor. Ideally, good preventive care will defend against gum disease. The early stages of gum disease (gingivitis) can often be treated with careful home dental care. In more advanced stages, we have office treatments that can help. The final stages of gum disease (periodontitis) may require gum surgery or tooth extraction.

How Cavities and Infected Root Canals Affect Breath

Bad breath can also be linked to tooth decay. A cavity in a tooth is a pocket caused by decay. As decay moves from the top layer (the enamel) to the middle layer of the the tooth (the dentin) the decayed area becomes larger. Bad breath is one sign of the more advanced decay. When a cavity reaches the inner portion of the tooth (the pulp and the root canals) it is likely to be causing discomfort as well as bad breath. When the cavity is cleaned and filled and when infected root canals are treated, unpleasant breath usually subsides. Bad breath isn’t anybody’s favorite topic, but talking about it frankly is the first step in getting it cleared up.


Dr. Cassandra Pietrok and Dr. Tom St. Germain of Pacific Hills Dental believe in ongoing education, and use advanced technology to provide you and your family with high-quality dental care. As a Master and a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, they are uniquely qualified to provide you and your family with a full range of dental health treatments. To make an appointment for yourself or for a family member, call our Omaha, NE, dental office today at (402)330-2243. We proudly treat patients in Omaha, NE, and all surrounding areas, including Papillion, Elkhorn, La Vista, and Millard.