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Bad Breath (halitosis) Research

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How do I know when I have bad breath?

questionSome people who come to malodor clinics claim that they can smell their own breath. They do this in a variety of ways some ingenious. The most common thing to do is just to cover your mouth and nose with your hands and take a deep whiff.
Some people are able to detect odor in this manner. An easier thing to do is to lick your wrist. Some people smell their odor on the telephone receiver after a conversation. Others rub their gums with their finger and smell it. One woman claimed to be able to smell her own bad breath by covering her head with a blanket.

The problem with all these techniques is getting an objective viewpoint of the odor coming out. In a recent study, we asked 52 to smell their own bad breath and score it on a scale. In general, the results showed that people were unable to score their own bad breath in an objective fashion. This is probably because we all have a certain preconception of how bad our breath smells, and when we come to score what we smell, we are heavily influenced by our mindset, regardless of how bad the smell actually is.

Several years ago, a Japanese company came out with a little bad breath detector that looks like a small powder box, mirror and all. But when you open it, there are little buttons and lights that go on and off. You blow over a small grid, and within several seconds it gives you a score. However, there is a serious question as to whether these small instruments are at all accurate.

Most people have bad breath at one time or another. The best way to find out if your have it on a regular basis, is to ask someone close to you. Provided that they love you, and that they have a sense of smell, family members will find a way of telling you the truth. You can also ask a very close friend.