If no one is to hand, one way of checking the odor is to lick your wrist, leave it to dry and then smell it. If it smells bad, there is a strong chance your breath also smells bad.
Some individuals are concerned about their breath even though they may have little or no mouth odor; this condition is called halitophobia and can lead to obsessive mouth-cleansing behavior.
Causes of bad breath...
One of the major factors involved in bad breath is cigarette smoke.Potential causes of bad breath include:
- Tobacco: tobacco products cause their own types of mouth odor. Additionally, they increase the chances of gum disease which can also cause bad breath
- Food: the breakdown of food particles stuck in the teeth can cause odors. Some foods such as onions and garlic can also cause bad breath. After they are digested, their breakdown products are carried in the blood to the lungs where they can affect the breath
- Dry mouth: saliva naturally cleans the mouth. If the mouth is naturally dry (for instance, in the morning) or is dry due to a specific disease, Odors can build up
- Dental hygiene: brushing and flossing ensure the removal of small particles of food that can build up and slowly break down, producing odor. A film of bacteria called plaque builds up if brushing is not regular. Dentures that are not cleaned regularly or properly can also harbor bacteria that cause halitosis
- Crash diets: fasting and low-carbohydrate eating programs can produce halitosis; this is due to the breakdown of fats producing chemicals called ketones. These have a strong aroma
- Drugs: certain medications can reduce saliva and, therefore, increase odors. Other drugs can produce odors as they breakdown and release chemicals in the breath. Examples include nitrates used to treat angina, some chemotherapy chemicals and some tranquilizers, Individuals who take vitamin supplements in large doses can also be prone to bad breath
- Mouth, nose and throat conditions: sometimes small, bacteria covered stones can form on the tonsils at the back of the throat (tonsilloliths) and produce odor. Also, infections or inflammation in the nose, throat or sinuses can cause halitosis
- Foreign body: bad breath (especially in children) can be caused if they have a foreign body lodged in their nasal cavity
- Diseases: some cancers, liver failure and other metabolic diseases can cause halitosis due to specific mixes of chemicals that they produce. Reflux disease can cause bad breath due to the regular reflux of stomach acids.