Here are 3 simple ways to test yourself for bad breath:
- Take a piece of floss and place it between your upper and lower back molars. Examine the floss. Is it red? Brown? Wait 45 seconds and smell. Does it have a bad odor?
- Take a clean washcloth and then pull your tongue forward with one hand, grasping the tongue with the washcloth. With the other hand take another clean white washcloth and rub or scrape the farthest back portion of your tongue two or three times. Again, wait 45 seconds, and then smell the portion of the cloth that was rubbed on the tongue. Does it have a bad smell?
- Simply lick your tongue on your clean wrist. Wait, then smell. This technique does not get back far enough on the tongue to be of ideal value, but it can be used as a quick test.
Best products for correcting bad breath:
- Products containing anti-volatile sulfur components such as chlorine and chloride dioxide, including: Breath Remedy®, CloSys II®, and Oxyfresh®.
Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are not recommended because they are ineffective in preventing halitosis. These put the mouth into an alkaline (base) pH state, promoting a putrefactive environment in which halitosis or gum disease can flourish. Alcohol and alcohol-containing products can also be harmful and possibly make bad breath worse. In order to prevent bad breath, the mouth must be in a slightly acidic pH state.
Systemic problems such as acid reflux, Lupus and Sjögren’s syndrome can also contribute to bad breath, as can radiation and therapy for cancer. Under such circumstances a consultation with your internist is recommended.
Causes of bad breath:
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Dry mouth, especially in the morning
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Cavities or ill-fitting dental appliances
- Foods such as garlic and onions, etc.
- Ketones released in the breath as the result of dieting
- Tobacco products
- Dry mouth, dehydration
To prevent bad breath, practice good oral hygiene, visit your dentist regularly, drink water in good quantity and drink it frequently, and avoid tobacco products.