From poor oral hygiene to diet to medication, the causes and treatments of bad breath are wide and varied. Clinically known as halitosis, about one in four people are affected by bad breath at some point in their lives. We’ll be breaking them down to help give a wider understanding of the condition and how to treat it.
First, check if you have bad breath
The first step in tackling bad breath is knowing whether you have it in the first place. Residual smells from recently consumed food or drink which fade in a short space of time are different from a persistent, unpleasant smell. It can be difficult to judge whether you have bad breath for yourself, and people are often uncomfortable with telling others that it is a problem. Bearing this in mind, there are a few ways you can find out if you have bad breath:
- Ask – If you are uneasy with asking another person about your breath, you can always ask either your dentist or your GP. Sometimes bad breath can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, so don’t let embarrassment prevent treatment.
- Test – A quick way to check your breath is to lick the inside of your wrist and smell it once the saliva dries. Remember to do this either before or a time after eating or drinking something odorous for accuracy.
- Taste – If you have a foul taste in your mouth, then this may also be mirrored in your breath. If the taste does not dissipate with rinsing your mouth or cleaning your teeth, then your breath may also be affected.