Sometimes people have bad breath and they are unaware of it. Called halitosis, it is caused by many different things including food, drinks, and medication. Bad breath caused by these triggers is easier to get rid of because you can change your diet or your medication. You can also brush, floss, and use mouthwash to help with this type of bad breath.
However, halitosis can also be a sign of an underlying health issue and it may not go away with brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. Dry mouth is a condition where you produce less saliva and bacteria builds up in your mouth. Other conditions, such as infections, liver or kidney problems, and more, can lead to bad breath as well as gingivitis (gum disease).
Whether you have a medical condition or need to change your diet, you need to know whether you have bad breath. It can be hard to tell but you can use the following tests to find out. Continue reading to learn how to tell if you have bad breath.
Ask a Family Member or a Close Friend
When your breath smells bad, you may not realize it because you get used to it. If you have noticed people moving away from you in conversation or you have any questions about whether your breath is bad, you can ask a family member or a close friend. Make sure that it is someone you are comfortable with and ask them to tell you the truth. Normally, close friends and family members will be honest with you.
If you don’t feel comfortable, you can always make an appointment with your dentist and find out there. Your dentist will likely have what is called a halimeter, which measures the sulfur concentration in your breath. If you do have halitosis, your dentist can perform further tests to try to get to the bottom of your situation.
Get a Bad Breath Testing Kit
You may not be aware of this but you can actually get a bad breath testing kit to use at home. Most of these bad breath kits are available online or in drug stores and they are pretty easy to use. One of the most popular versions comes with a strip that you apply to your tongue. If the strip changes color, bad breath is confirmed. These kits can also detect bacteria if there is a lot of it present in your mouth, which is a likely cause of bad breath.
Perform the Wrist Test and the Spoon Test
You can also perform what are known as the wrist test and the spoon test. You should lick your wrist with your tongue. Then, wait five to ten seconds for your saliva to dry. Lean towards your wrist and smell it from about an inch away. This will let you know if the front portion of your tongue had a bad odor.
Next, you need to take a spoon to check the odor of the back portion of your tongue. This is actually the region of your mouth that normally produces bad breath. Turn the spoon upside down, then place it on the back of your tongue and pull it forward. This might cause you to gag a little bit but that’s okay. Next, you can smell the material on the spoon to see if you have bad breath. You should also look at the color of this material. Normally, thicker and darker-colored material is more likely to have a bad smell.
It can be very uncomfortable to have bad breath and it is important to know the truth so that you can do something to treat it. You can perform any of these tests so that you can find out and remedy the situation right away. Ask a family member or dental professional, get a testing kit, or perform a test at home.