As of late, are you noticing people taking a step backwards or turning their faces ever so discreetly whenever you go closer to them? If yes, bad breath is most probably the reason behind the discomfort your friends and colleagues face when in close quarters with you. The worst part is that you may not even be aware that you’re suffering from bad breath. But no worries, let’s find out how to confirm if you have bad breath or halitosis, as it’s officially known.
It’s quite possible that your close friend and family members have been silent because they don’t want to embarrass you. But if you ask them in confidence, they’ll be honest with you.
If discussing your breath is an idea that you don’t fancy, apply some of your saliva on wrist. Wait a couple of minutes for the saliva to dry up, and smell the spot. If there’s a foul smell emanating from the area, it means you have bad breath problems.
You can also purchase ‘over the counter’ home test kits that are convenient for checking out in the privacy of your room. Smear a small quantity of saliva on the test kit and wait for the result to display. If the result is positive, you have halitosis and if the result is negative, you don’t have bad breath!
The best and surest way to confirm the presence of bad breath problems is to fix up an appointment with your dentist. Using an instrument known as halimeter, the dentist will measure the sulfide molecule composition of your saliva, and compare it with prescribed levels in normal saliva. If your saliva compares favorably with sulfide levels in normal saliva, it means you don’t suffer from bad breath.
Bad breath stems from a variety of factors. To get a cure, it’s important to find out the cause. Let’s look at some common reasons leading to bad breath and ways to address them.
Since bad breath manifests from the oral cavity, the most obvious reasons are poor dental hygiene. People who don’t brush and floss properly and regularly can invariably expect to suffer halitosis. Make sure to regularly brush and floss your teeth twice a day without fail.
Rich and pungent foods.
Many a times, a diet rich in spicy and pungent ingredients results in bad breath. Your dentist will probably ask you to tone down on the rich foods or balance your diet with the inclusion of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables.
Often, bad breath has its roots far beyond the oral cavity, within the confines of our body. For instance, people suffering from diabetes also suffer from bad breath. So, your dentist might advise you to undergo a complete body check-up to rule out health issues like diabetes. Finally, it could just be a side-effect of medications that you’ve been prescribed for health problems. It’s also advisable to cut down on excessive consumption of tea and coffee.
As you can see, bad breath can be easily identified and controlled. Along with regular and proper oral care, maintain a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Avoid smoking and tobacco use. Soon you’ll see a noticeable change for the better in the quality of your breath.
Dr. Inna Trogan – DDS is experienced in cosmetic dentistry, periodontics, and general dentistry. An active member of the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Dental Association, Dr. Trogan continuously stays up-to-date on the latest state-of-the-art technologies and advances in dentistry. She takes personal pride in providing courteous and high quality professional treatment for all of her patients’ dental care needs.
Our dentists have served the residents of Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, DUMBO, and all of our other surrounding communities for years. They can be reached by phone, 718.246.5677 or at their office in 100 Pineapple Walk, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201. You can also book an appointment online.