Halitosis Identifying Bad Breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a condition that affects millions of people. While bad breath can indicate a serious underlying health condition, more often than not, bad breath is simply an embarrassing problem caused by eating certain foods or poor oral hygiene.

Halitosis in Children

Halitosis isn ‘t just a problem affecting adults. Often you ‘ll see halitosis in children. Many children, especially young children, don ‘t practice proper oral hygiene. This can cause bacteria to accumulate in their mouths and can lead to bad breath. To prevent children from suffering from halitosis, teach them the importance of brushing and flossing.

Many people fear having bad breath. Often, however, it is hard to tell when your breath smells less than fresh. Sometimes people don ‘t know they have bad breath until they get the news from a friend. This can be an awkward and embarrassing situation. How can you identify bad breath before it is pointed out to you by someone else?

Tips on Identifying Bad Breath

Identifying bad breath might not be as difficult as you might think. Unlike other health conditions, you don ‘t need to go to the doctor or undergo medical testing to determine if your breath smells bad. You may, however, need to visit a physician in order to determine the causes of bad breath.

You might suffer from halitosis if you notice any of the following:

  • If you notice a bad taste in your mouth, you might have bad breath. Often, people with chronic bad breath will have a bad mouth taste even after brushing their teeth.
  • If your significant other avoids kissing you or getting intimate with you, you could have halitosis.
  • If people stand far away from you or turn their heads when you are speaking to them, you might have bad breath.

Of course, there are some simple tests you can perform at home to help in the process of identifying bad breath. If you think you might have halitosis, hold a cupped hand over your mouth and blow air from your mouth into it. Immediately smell your hand, taking note of any offending odors.

Another simple test is to chew on a small piece of cloth for 30 seconds. Once the cloth is moistened with your saliva, take it from your mouth and smell it. If your breath is OK, the cloth shouldn ‘t have any odor.

Of course, one of the easiest ways to determine if you have halitosis is to ask a good friend or loved one who you trust to give you an honest answer.

Preventing Bad Breath

If you determine that you have bad breath, there are a number of steps you can take to remedy the problem. Follow these steps to keep your breath smelling fresh:

  • Brush your teeth and tongue after you eat.
  • Change your toothbrush on a regular basis, preferably every three months.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • If you wear dentures, be sure to clean them thoroughly.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to prevent dry mouth, which is a common cause of bad breath.
  • Visit a dentist regularly, at least twice a year.

Following these simple steps can go a long way in preventing halitosis.


Mayo Clinic Staff (June 19, 2006). Bad breath. Retrieved December 12, 2007, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://mayoclinic.com/health/bad-breath/DS00025/DSECTION=1.