Bad Breath Can Ruin Your Day… No, Really!

Nothing ends first dates as much as bad breath. It can ruin job interviews and prevent other people from actually focusing on what you’re trying to say. What’s worse is that it’s very difficult for you to notice if your own breath smells bad. Why is this?

The human brain has the ability to acclimate to scents we smell frequently. This allows us to smell new scents without having to smell the ones that are constantly with us, in this case our breath. So how can you tell if you have bad breath?

Well, the absolute best way is for someone else to tell you. I know, not exactly the answer you were looking for, but it truly does work. The problem is that most people are too embarrassed to point that out. Although not always effective, there is a way to tell if your own breath stinks.

Simply lick your wrist or the top of your hand, wait 10 seconds and take a whiff. If it smells bad, you can bet your breath smells bad too. This works because you’re depositing that smelly gunk on your tongue to your skin. The problem with this technique is that if you don’t detect a bad odor from your hand it doesn’t necessarily mean your breath smells okay. So why do we get bad breath?

That smelly gunk that accumulates on your tongue, your teeth and underneath your gums is made up of bacteria and their stinky by-products. So the best way to get rid of bad breath is routine oral hygiene at home, that should include flossing and brushing your teeth as well as brushing your tongue. Tongue scrapers can really help too. Antiseptic rinses can also go a long way to reduce bacterial counts, but they are only secondary to good brushing and flossing.

If this still doesn’t work, then maybe it’s time to see your dentist. Chronic Halitosis (persistent bad breath) can be an indicator of gum disease or a condition known as dry mouth, which results from a decreased production of saliva. Bacterial by-products and dead cells that are normally washed away by saliva will begin to accumulate on the top and back area of the tongue leaving a foul odor that is difficult to get rid of. Click HERE for more info on bad breath and how to deal with it.

Dr. Francisco J. Blanco Dr. Blanco has been practicing dentistry for over 20 years in Miami.

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