One of the things in life that no one is wants bad breath. Or to be too close to those who do. Bad breath can be occasional, mild, or severe depending on the cause, which can range from food to an underlying medical condition. However, there are many ways to restore fresh breath so read on..
Don't wait until you notice people recoiling, fainting, or stampeding out of the room.
10 Ways To Know if You Have Bad Breath
- Ask! - Apparently the cupped hand to the mouth does not work when trying to smell ones' own breath. If you notice that people tend to move away from you as you speak, ask someone you trust. They may have been too embarrassed to say.
- Use a Kit - Who knew that you can buy home testing kits at the drug store. Dab some saliva on the test detector and see if it turns blue.
- Wrist Test - Lick the inside of your wrist, or back of your hand, let it dry for a minute and sniff. If you have halitosis, sulphur salts will be transferred from your tongue to your skin.
- Bad Taste - If you have a bad taste in your mouth this can be an indicator that your breath may be affected. If it's just occasional, from spicy or garlicky food, mouthwash should take care of it. If it's constant then it could perhaps be a more chronic condition.
- Halimeter Test - Many dentists now have a halimeter, an instrument which measures the concentration of sulfide molecules in the saliva and breath. This can help with diagnosing the possible cause.
- Dental Floss Test - Floss the back teeth and smell. More food particles get caught in this area and this can give you a good idea of how your breath smells to others.
- Mirror Test - Open wide, stick out your tongue and inspect it. If there is a white film this could be harbouring odour causing bacteria.
- The Spoon Test - Scrape the back of your tongue and check for a whitish coating. If so, it will likely smell due to bacteria, as mentioned.
- Testing with Cotton - Wipe the back of the tongue with a piece of cotton gauze. And do the trusty sniff test again.
- Any other creative method you can think of!
What You Can Do About Bad Breath
The solution depends on the cause.
If your problem is occasional, perhaps taking extra care with flossing, cleaning or scraping the tongue, a rinse with mouthwash or a spray of breath freshener will do the trick. Also, chewing sugar free gum generates saliva which can fight odour causing bacteria.
More severe halitosis - constant bad breath - could be the sign of tooth decay, gum disease or an absess. So it should be taken seriously and not just covered up with temporary fixes.
Other possibilities are from having a dry mouth, caused by medication, too much mouth breathing, mild dehydration, regular intake of heavily spiced foods, alcohol consumption, and smoking of course.
While it can be a little embarrassing to talk about, just think of it as as another part of your dental health which can be optimised. And can be an early symptom of other dental issues, as mentioned. So by monitoring and discussing any concerns with your dentist, you could help prevent an underlying condition from getting worse.
So, please test your breath regularly (but not obsessively!!), with one or several of the suggestions mentioned. And if you have any concerns, please call the office or schedule a quick check up.