James C. Calcagno, DDS

General & Cosmetic Dentistry

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blog-logoNobody likes bad breath, but what causes it?

Bad breath (oral malodor) is most often caused by excessive bacteria on the tongue or an infection in the mouth.

The textured cells on the tongue can trap and harbor bacteria like a kid's legos in a shag carpet. When this layer of bacteria accumulates, it can start to smell. 

Using a tooth brush on your tongue, or regularly using a tongue scraper can help to remove this film. There are a variety of metal, plastic, and other scrapers on the market. Using a tongue scraper has a variety of benefits; aside from generally keeping the oral cavity cleaner, it can even improve your senses of taste and smell!

Bad breath might also be caused by gum disease, or the inflammation of the gums and supporting tissues. If harmful anaerobic bacteria get beneath the gums, they can cause an infection, inflammation, and bad breath. While daily flossing and proper tooth brushing can prevent this sort of infection, professional cleanings performed by a dentist or dental hygienist might be required to clean out infection-causing bacteria.

Less likely, internal factors relating to gastrointestinal or medical illnesses such as sinus infections, diabetes, liver and kidney disorders, acid reflux, and other diseases may be contributing to the odor. If bad breath still exists after good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, a medical examination by a physician may be necessary.

If you notice that you have bad breath or you have been told that you have bad breath, consult with your dentist or hygienist. Should the problem still exist after proper oral hygiene, a referral to your medical doctor may be necessary.

Written by: Camile Periat, RDH and James Calcagno, DDS

Edited by Serena Calcagno 6.16.2020

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Client Testimonials

As always, a very pleasant, relaxing visit..this team is the best! And Dr.Calcagno their suburb leader!5stars
My dental hygenist does an excellent job of cleaning my teeth in a thorough and efficient manner. The dentist exam is also thorough and I appreciate that he keeps me informed about areas of concern and what his plan of action is.5stars
The dental asst always makes me feel so comfortable so my anticipation is never stressful. I thought i was going to need a crown or at the least a new filling but he was able to repair the tooth... Thank you Dr. Calcagno and staff.5stars


Dr Calcagno has been my dentists for over 20 years. He and his entire staff will always spend time to have everything explained to you and what all the possible options are. They will treat you like family, need I say more!5stars
I always have a great experience at Dr. Calcagno's office. Dr. Calcagno and his Staff are always very caring and positive. It is a wonderful environment and always love to go back to his office. They have taken care of all my dental needs and go above and beyond for their clients. 5stars
Always satisfied with the expert service from Dr. Calcagno and his very qualified staff.5stars


As always!!!...the best care a patient can receive. Dr. Calcagno, you and your staff have my healthcare at the top of your mission. Thank you for a wonderful visit and keeping my smile, smiling!!! Enjoy your work days and keep those smiles coming.5stars
I love this dental office! The whole office is so professional yet super friendly. The office staff sets the tone by knowing exactly who you are when you walk in the door. The hygienist does the best job ever, and the doctor is super friendly at the same time explaining the best course of action to correct any problems without feeling any pressure. I highly recommend this dental office!5stars


The entire staff is excellent in delivering the highest quality dental care under the guidance of Dr. Calcagno. I drive from San Jose to see the Calcagno team. They are, far and away, the very best.5stars
Camille is very professional and excellent at what she does. She always makes me feel comfortable. Recently, someone tried to recruit my husband and I to their dental practice. I told my husband; "no Camille, no deal!" My experience with Dr. Calcagno and his staff has made the experience of "going to the dentist," pleasurable. Thank you.5stars