Bad breath can make your confidence level go from 100 to 0 too quickly. Imagine talking to someone and making them gag because of your breath. Bad breath not only causes social discomfort but it may also hint at underlying health issues. The truth is, most of us have worried about our breath at some point, wondering if it’s fresh and pleasant or possibly harboring an unwelcome odor. So, if you are conscious about how your mouth smells, you are at the right place. In this article, we will share some tricks about how to check if your breath is smelly or not. Read on!
1. Lick The Inside Of Your Wrist
We know how it sounds, but trust us, it works! Wash your hands and then lick the inside of your wrist. Once you’ve licked, allow 5 to 10 seconds to elapse, and then proceed to smell it. This method should provide you with an accurate gauge of your breath’s odor. If you detect an unpleasant smell, it may be attributed to the sulfur compounds present on your tongue’s surface.
2. Run A Finger On Your Tongue And Smell It
To do this, put your finger on your tongue and reach the rear of your mouth. Once your saliva has dried, proceed to smell your finger for a more accurate assessment of your breath. Occasionally, tonsil stones can form at the back of your throat and may result in an unpleasant odor.
3. Breathe Into An Empty Glass
Take a clean glass and exhale into it. Now you can place the same glass near your nose and inhale deeply. The odor will help you check your own breath. Alternatively, you can also use a scent-free plastic bag, preferably one from your kitchen.
4. Wipe Your Tongue With A Clean Gauge
Take a clean gauge and wipe the inside of your mouth and tongue with it. Examine the gauze, if you observe a yellowish coating, it indicates the presence of an odor, likely stemming from elevated sulfide production.
5. Lick A Spoon And Smell It
Use a spoon to gently scrape the back of your tongue. Give it a moment to air-dry, and then proceed to smell it. This is what your breath smells like!
6. Use A Tongue Scraper
Another way of checking your breath is, gently scraping the back of your tongue. If you observe a white-ish coating, it suggests an accumulation of food debris, bacteria, or dead cells. Regular tongue cleaning is necessary in such cases. If the issue persists after a few weeks, consulting your dentist is recommended to maintain your oral health.
7. Use Dental Floss
Opt for odorless dental floss when conducting this test to ensure it does not affect the results in any way. Floss between your teeth just as you would in your daily routine, then proceed to sniff the floss. This will help you know how your breath smells. However, you need to understand that from a distance, a person won’t be able to get the same smell as you are getting from your floss.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath can have several underlying causes that are often rooted in oral hygiene and lifestyle choices. One of the most common culprits is the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria naturally reside in our oral cavities, and when they break down food particles, they release foul-smelling compounds, such as hydrogen sulfide, causing unpleasant odors (1). Inadequate oral hygiene practices can lead to bacterial buildup, which contributes to bad breath.
Additionally, untreated dental issues like cavities, gum disease, or infections can intensify the problem. Diet plays a significant role in it as well. Consuming strong-smelling foods like garlic, onions, and certain spices can lead to temporary bad breath as these odors are absorbed into the bloodstream and expelled through the lungs. Similarly, crash diets and fasting can trigger bad breath due to the metabolic processes involved in burning fat.
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, can also contribute to halitosis (2). Saliva naturally cleanses the mouth by neutralizing acids and washing away food particles and bacteria. A lack of saliva production can lead to a buildup of odor-causing compounds.
Other factors like smoking, alcohol consumption, and certain medical conditions like respiratory infections, diabetes, or gastrointestinal issues can exacerbate bad breath (3). Identifying the specific cause is essential to effectively address and prevent this common issue, often through improved oral hygiene, lifestyle changes, and, in some cases, medical treatment.
Being aware of the quality of your breath is not just a matter of courtesy but also a crucial aspect of personal hygiene and overall health. These methods mentioned in the article will help you provide practical ways to assess the freshness of your breath. Recognizing the signs of bad breath early on can lead you to improved self-confidence and healthier interactions with others.