Diagnose Thyself: How to Tell If You Have Bad Breath

Going out on a date or party? Looking good is important but you also need to maintain personal hygiene. One of the biggest hurdles is bad breath.

Everyone suffers from bad breath in certain parts of the day. But did you know that about 35-40% of people in the world have some level of bad breath?

There are other factors behind it but bad breath (or halitosis) is one of the deciding factors in setting the first impression.

How do you know your breath is as fresh as the morning breeze? Here is how to tell if you have bad breath.


1. Ask Someone to Help You

How to tell if you have bad breath? One way to do that is to ask someone’s help. They can tell you if your breath gives off a foul odor or not.

This may sound as direct as it gets. Trying to catch a breath by exhaling against your cupped hand and taking a whiff at it yourself won’t provide an accurate answer. You might end up smelling your hand in the process.

At most, others will notice your breath during a conversation but might choose to be courteous about it and avoid notifying you. If you do ask them about your breath, there’s a higher likelihood people will tell you.

2. Use a Home Testing Kit

You might find the first method to be rather direct for your tastes. In case you are too embarrassed, it’s time to get a home testing kit.

To put it simply, the kit tests a sample of your saliva. If the kit result comes out as clear, you don’t have problems. When the result comes out blue, your breath is no longer fresh.

This can help you gauge your breath if it smells bad or not. It’s perfect for checking before heading towards important engagements like an interview or a date.

3. The Bad Aftertaste

Do you notice a bad taste in your mouth? You may encounter this after eating certain foods, especially after a spicy meal or an alcoholic or sugary drinks. This should alert you of potential bad breath.

One way to combat this is by brushing and rinsing with a mouthwash. It should help eliminate the odor. Practice this after every major meal.

4. Mirror Test

You can also check yourself in front of the mirror and stick your tongue out. As you look at your tongue, be on the lookout for a white-colored film on it.

If you do see it, you have bacteria lingering in that layer. This would be the source of your bad breath. You can get rid of this by brushing your tongue and rinse it out.

Some mouthwash can also help, as mentioned earlier.

5. Spoon Test

Another method you can try is by using a spoon. Put it inside your mouth and have the spoon get to the back of your tongue. But do it gently to avoid a gag reflex.

As you take out the spoon, see if there is a whitish coating on it. If it does, give it a sniff. You might notice the foul odor emanating from it.

This should tell you if you have bad breath.

6. Wrist Test

Yet another testing method to know if you have bad breath is to lick your inner wrist using your tongue. After doing so, leave your wrist to dry for a minute. Once that time has elapsed, sniff your wrist.

The scent that emanates from your inner wrist should help you gauge if you have bad breath or not. The lick test also works when you use the back of your hand. It follows the same principle.
The reason behind this is that if you have halitosis, sulfur salts transfer from your tongue to your skin.

7. Halimeter Test

Out of all the methods mentioned, this is arguably the best one. A doctor will use a halimeter, an instrument designed to measure sulfide molecules in your saliva and breath.

To put this into perspective, there is a huge difference in sulfide concentration levels between fresh breath and bad breath. With this instrument, you can get an accurate reading.

What Causes Bad Breath?

woman-smelling-fresh-olivesSome causes of bad breath are benign and harmless. Others hint at something more serious within your body. Let us look at some of these probable reasons behind bad breath.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Being negligent with your oral hygiene could easily cause bad breath. Failing to brush and floss your teeth can cause bacteria and plaque to accumulate on and between your teeth. This is what causes the foul odor.

Worse, it could also lead to tooth decay and gingivitis if left unchecked. You can also check out these reasons why your floss smells bad.

Intestinal Obstruction

Bad breath is also a symptom of blockage in your small or large intestine. This is a dangerous medical emergency that needs professional treatment right away. The blockage prevents the food you ate from passing through the intestinal tract.

Aside from bad breath, other symptoms include a decrease in appetite and constipation. It also includes nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal cramps, and inability to pass stool.

Other Internal Problems

Other disorders would also have bad breath as a symptom. Such as:

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Ketoacidosis
  • Liver Failure
  • Sinus Infections

These require immediate medical attention. You may need to look into the other symptoms on these disorders for a fully-detailed approach. Consult your doctor or physician right away if you spot any of them.

Now You Know How to Tell If You Have Bad Breath

Once you have pinpointed the cause of your bad breath using these methods, it’s time to take action. Observe proper oral hygiene to ensure that you have fresh breath every time. If the bad breath is a sign of something far more serious, consult your doctor right away.

Once you know how to tell if you have bad breath, you can find ways to prevent it.
Did you find this useful? We also have other guides and tips that you can check out today.