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One way to identify if your breath smells bad is to ask a close friend or family member for their honest opinion. You could also try licking the back of your hand and then smelling it, or breathing out into a cupped hand.
If you are still uncertain, visiting your dentist for a professional opinion is the ideal way to get an accurate diagnosis.
The most important thing your dentist will do is to figure out the underlying cause of your bad breath. Once it has been identified, they can recommend the most effective treatment options. Sometimes, you may just be advised to improve your oral hygiene and other habits. However, you may require treatment if your bad breath is due to a more serious condition.
Here are some tips for managing bad breath at home:
- Practise good oral hygiene habits by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. You may also use a tongue scraper to help remove bacteria from your tongue.
- Rinse your mouth with mouthwash after eating.
- Avoid smoking and consuming foods and drinks that cause bad breath.
- Drink plenty of water and chew sugar-free gum to keep your mouth moist.
- If you have dentures, clean them regularly and make sure they fit properly.
- Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.
Yes, bad breath can sometimes signify other health problems. Diseases, infections, and certain medical conditions can cause halitosis. It can also be a side effect of certain medications.
If you are noticing other symptoms along with bad breath, it is important to see a physician to rule out any underlying health conditions. In some cases, when these are managed, bad breath resolves on its own.