How to know whether you have bad breath

Interestingly, most people may have chronic bad breath (halitosis) but are not aware of the problem due to a process called sensory adaptation. In other words, your brain becomes accustomed to your own odours and automatically filters out your bad breath as it considers it a non-threatening bad smell. However, bad breath is an embarrassing problem that you don’t have to live with. But how do you know you have bad breath? Read on to find out.

You can taste it

In some instances, you should be able to taste the breath you are omitting. This is particularly so if your bad breath has been caused by a certain type of food you ate, such as fish, onions or garlic, or by a condition such as dehydration or acid reflux (GERD). Some of the signs of bad breath in such cases include a change in taste and thick, foamy saliva. Sometimes your bad breath may cause a stale or yucky taste. An effective home remedy for this type of bad breath is regularly rinsing out your mouth with water to stimulate the cleansing flow of saliva.

Do a sniff test

Many of us may notice our breath smells after waking but then forget about it throughout the day. Bad breath in the morning is often due to bacteria in the mouth feeding on food particles over night, or it may be caused by a dry mouth, particularly if you snore. Throughout the day, a quick sniff test will give you an idea of how your breath smells. All you need to do is lick your wrist, leave it to dry for a few seconds, and then smell the area. Alternatively, you may be able to smell the tape after flossing your back teeth. You can also use a clean tongue-scraper to scrap your tongue gently and smell the scraper. To prevent food debris causing your halitosis, make sure you brush thoroughly for 2 minutes every night just before bed (without eating or drinking afterwards), floss and use interdental brushes throughout the day. If you suspect snoring or medical conditions are causing your bad breath or dehydration, speak to your GP and dentist.

Ask a trusted friend or family member

While it is difficult to get an honest answer from a trusted friend or family member, it is one of the easiest solutions to finding out whether you have bad breath. Ask the person to take a quick peek at the inside of your mouth. If he or she notices a white coating on the back of your tongue, there is a possibility you have some odorous bacteria.

Remedy your bad breath

If you’re too embarrassed to ask a friend or if your halitosis is a chronic issue, seek advice from a professional. At Boston House, you can make an appointment with our skilled hygienist that Liverpool Street locals rely on for their dental hygiene. We will give you a more specific assessment by evaluating the air from your nose and mouth along with your oral health in order to determine if you have bad breath, and the likely causes. We will then suggest the best solutions or be able to refer you if you require more specialist dental treatment.


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