Has wearing a mask made you suddenly realize you have bad breath during this coronavirus pandemic? This means you are a victim of halitosis, along with all those around you. Besides the obvious effect on your reputation, bad breath can be a warning sign of some illnesses and conditions. Since it’s difficult to know how your breath smells like, some people who don’t have bad breath sometimes think they do, and others who have bad breath fail to identify it.
Why we might not be aware if we have bad breath?
The reason might be attributed to the opening in the back of our mouth connecting our oral cavities to our noses. Some researchers indicate that through a mechanism called sensory adaptation our brain immediately filters out stimuli that it finds non-threatening. According to this theory, since we’ve become accustomed to our odours, our nose filters out any bad smell coming from the mouth.
How do we know if we have bad breath?
1. Smelling your Saliva:
The lick test: Lick the wrist, and then wait for 10 seconds. If the place you licked smells bad, the probability is, so does your breath. Remember to do that when you’re home and not in a public place, or else you could get some curious looks from those around you.
Spoon test: Choose a small spoon or tongue scraper and gently scrape the back of your tongue, as this is a source of bad breath. Sniff the spoon or the scrapper to get a good idea of how the back of the mouth smells.
2. Smelling your breath directly:
Place both of your hands over your mouth and nose. Form a cup and breathe out of your mouth, slowly, and inhale the hot breath quickly through your nose. You will be able to assess if your breath smells. You can alternatively breathe into a clean plastic container or cup and do the test.
3. Asking your family member or friend:
Pick a person you trust. A close family member or friend who will be honest with you about it and would not be judging you. A tip: Don’t ask your crush or a romantic partner, as it might be a serious turn-off.
4. Asking your dentist:
Asking your dentist is by far the most reliable way to diagnose bad breath. There are several bad breath detection methods and testing devices such as halimeter, gas chromatography, organoleptic testing, chemical sensors which your dentist might use.
Moving around with bad breath is something most people would like to avoid. But you need to be able to tell if you have bad breath before you can cure it. Thankfully, there are several easy ways that you can perform that should give you a good indication.