How To Tell If Your Breath Smells & What To Do About It

Bad breath can be a source of discomfort and embarrassment around friends, at home, and even in the workplace. You may know of someone with this problem, or you may be wondering about your own breath. Luckily, there are a few tricks to determine 1. if you are suffering from this problem and 2. what the source of the problem is.


How can I tell if I have bad breath?

There’s a simple test you can do to figure out if your breath isn’t up to sniff.

  • Clean the back of one of your hands.
  • Give the back of your “clean” hand a good lick.
  • Rub the saliva on your hand and let it dry.
  • Now, take a good whiff of your hand. If it doesn’t smell great, then you’re not in good shape. 


Where does bad breath come from?

There are a few different causes of bad breath. Ranging from stomach problems to diet and teeth problems, most of the causes can be found in the mouth. They are:

  • Tongue (when bacteria grows in between the papilla)
  • Teeth cavities (especially when food particles get stuck in them)
  • Gum diseases
  • Extraction sites during healing
  • Dentures when not cleaned properly
  • Alcohol and tobacco


If you or someone you know is concerned about bad breath, the first step is a dental check up. Your dentist will be able to confirm or rule out the source of the bad breath.


When the cause is found, treatment will be determined and explained by your dentist. If the source of the bad breath is your mouth, there is little chance that mouth washes or mints can treat the problem. They usually mask the problem for a short period of time, and can sometimes exacerbate the situation (mouthwashes that contain alcohol cause dry mouth and usually make the bad breath worse).


These are a few other, non-dental reasons that cause bad breath:

  • Sore throat
  • Tonsillitis
  • Some food
  • Infection of air passages


Following a good oral hygiene routine and receiving regular dental check ups are the best ways to prevent bad breath. If you live in or around Santa Monica, give us a call today to schedule an appointment and get rid of bad breath forever!