If you suspect that you have bad breath you’ll want to try and determine what type of bad breath you have so that you can take steps to cure it. Bad breath can come under three categories:
(1) morning breath, (2) temporary bad breath, and (3) persistent bad breath.
There are ways of deciding whether you have bad breath so that you can find a remedy:
• If you find your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth it is almost certain that you have bad breath as well.
• Inspect your gums to see if they look red and swollen in places; if they do, it is likely you have bad breath.
• It is sometimes suggested that you can detect your own bad breath by breathing out through your mouth into a paper bag and then breathing in rapidly from the bag through your nose. You might catch a smell of your bad breath by using this method, but usually it does not work because your nose is so used to your own breath smell.
• Put your tongue out as far as you can. Then lick your upper arm or the inner surface of your wrist. Wait four seconds and then smell where you licked.
• Buy a BreathAlert device from the pharmacy. You breathe into the battery-operated device and it gives a reading in terms of one of four grades from no bad breath to strong bad breath.
• Put a piece of gauzy cloth on your tongue, as far back as you can without gagging. Wait for a few moments. Take out the gauze, let it dry and then sniff it.
• If you are a smoker you probably have smoker’s breath.
• Ask your dentist or dental hygienist; they are very used to being asked this question.
Bad breath can come about from a variety of sources all the way from the foods that you eat to a medical problem. Your dentist will be able to tell you if your bad breath is the result of tooth decay or gum problems. If your bad breath is caused by a dental condition it should disappear once you have been treated by your dentist.
If you find that you get bad breath after eating certain foods you may want to avoid these foods when you know that you’re going to be out in public or spending time with your loved one. Common foods to avoid include garlic, curry spices, cabbages, and alcohol.