May 30, 2019

why do I have bad breathDo you ever wake up with a tin-like taste in your mouth? Perhaps thought it was morning breath, brushed your teeth and wrote it off. Later you notice that it’s still lingering or perhaps your partner says something – you realize that “morning breath” smell didn’t go away.

This smell or taste seems to follow you everywhere. When you floss it hurts – it might even bleed a little – and oh my, there’s that smell again.

The scent of this breath can be recognized and is common on many people. It’s different than garlic breath or the waft of what someone has just had for lunch.

Sore gums and consistent bad breath are indicator signs of periodontal disease. In this blog we will try to offer a better understanding of what exactly is happening inside the mouth when this smell is starting to arise.

“Periodontal” means the gums, bones and supporting structures around the tooth. Bacteria and food hide in these tight and hard to access spaces. If not cleaned thoroughly the plaque is allowed to accumulate under the gum line. As it accumulates it forms into a highly organized bacterial colony and eventually mineralizes to form calculus.

When calculus starts to fester it leads to bleeding gums and stinky breath. If it is not treated in time the residual calculus causes our gums to inflame and to pull away from the tooth. This creates hidden “pockets” between the teeth and the gums. The longer that calculus is allowed to fester and accumulate: the bone loss and gum recessions that occur will be more severe. Eventually, this leads to teeth becoming loose and finally – to them falling out as their supporting structures have eroded away beneath them.

This characteristic “old man’s breath” is a smell that is caused by the build-up and festering of bacteria. It is an acute indicator to the presence of periodontal disease.

Covering it up with mints or mouthwash ignores the valuable messages that the body is trying to communicate. At home oral hygiene tools such as the toothbrush, floss, waterpik, etc. don’t have the strength or ability to remove this very hard, crusted calculus from the surface of the teeth or below the gumline.

By this stage, regular dental cleanings are no longer substantial enough to rid the mouth of its discreet areas of colonized calculus. Visit our blog on the difference between periodontal maintenance cleanings and regular cleanings for more details.

When ready to curb bad breath and its underlying cause – periodontal disease – the course of treatment looks different for everyone. The longer that the bacteria have been acting without being interfered with, the more intensive and expensive the procedures are to rid the mouth of its calculus deposits.

The distinct smell of periodontitis is coming from your mouth for a reason. Don’t let your bodies warning signs slip past you. The earlier that infection and decay is caught – the greater chance there is to save your smile.


Dr. Adrian Pawlowski has been an established leader in Seattle’s periodontal community for over 20 years. He has worked with thousands of patients to halt the progression of periodontal disease. Located in Belltown, Dr. Pawlowski specializes in restoring teeth, gums and the infected areas of the mouth back to optimal, infection free oral health. Back to the smiles of fresh breath.

Dr. Adrian Pawlowski is currently welcoming new patients. Book a consultation appointment today and secure your spot with Belltown’s 5-star dental clinic.

Bell Harbour Dental, Downtown Seattle, WA is a family owned, patient-first dental practice in the heart of Downtown, Seattle. Check us on out Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or contact us today to assist you in taking initiative towards vibrant dental health!

©2024 Bell Harbour Dental | Privacy Policy | Web Design, Digital Marketing & SEO By Adit