Do You Have Bad Breath and Not Know It? Here’s How to Tell
According to an article on CNN.com, 90 million Americans have bad breath. And you might be one of them but not even realize it. That's because you smell your own breath every single day, so your brain gets used to it, and you stop noticing.
But there are also a lot of people who THINK they have bad breath, and don't. So here's how to figure out if you do.
The most common thing people do is breathe into their hand and smell it. But that doesn't really work. Instead, you should LICK the back of your hand, wait a few seconds, then smell the back of your hand. Seriously.
Because contrary to popular belief, bad breath doesn't have anything to do with dental hygiene. Unless you have a rotting tooth or something else nasty going on. It's all about your TONGUE.
So if you're not down with licking the back of your own hand, just look at your tongue in a mirror. If it's pink and smooth, your breath is probably fine.
If it looks white and scaly, your breath might smell like Charlie Sheen after a three-day bender.
If that's that case, here's what to do: First of all, drink more water. If your mouth is dry, it's easier for bacteria to grow on your tongue.
And chewing sugar-free gum is better than using mouthwash or a mint, because it forces you to produce more saliva, which stops bacteria from growing. Mouthwash and mints DO work, but not for very long.
If your breath really stinks, you should also start watching what you eat. Obviously garlic, onions, and curry can cause bad breath. But so can beer, wine, coffee, and soda. And anything with a lot of sugar promotes the growth of bacteria.
Two things that are GOOD for your breath are cinnamon . . . which has essential oils that help KILL bacteria . . . and green tea, which does the same thing.
And even though they contain sugar, fruits that are high in vitamin C . . . like berries, melons, and oranges . . . can help freshen your breath naturally.
If you try all that, and you STILL have bad breath, see your doctor. It can also be a sign you have a chronic sinus infection, acid-reflux disease, a liver or kidney disorder, diabetes, or even cancer.