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Home > Dental Conditions > Bad Breath > Bad Breath Symptoms & Causes > Identify Your Bad Breath Symptoms
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Identify Your Bad Breath Symptoms (Before Someone Else Does!)


Let's face it — bad breath isn't something that anyone wants, yet it's one of those inconveniences that most of us face. If fact, you may experience bad breath symptoms and not even know it. If you need help determining whether you have bad breath, we can help.

Here's how to tell if you have bad breath:

Bad Breath Symptoms

Bad breath symptoms: how to tell if you have bad breath that bites.

Some bad breath symptoms are completely obvious — especially to others! In this case, the best bad breath detector around is a nose. Bad breath symptoms to look (or smell) for include:

  • A rotten egg smell, which is a common bad breath symptom that originates in your mouth from leftover food particles or poor oral hygiene. It's the result of volatile sulfur compounds produced by mouth bacteria
  • A fruity smell, which could be the result of a medical condition or dieting
  • The smell of tobacco or alcohol, which results from its original products
  • A putrid smell that comes from vomiting, gastrointestinal issues or other sources

Understanding Bad Breath Symptoms

While bad breath symptoms may be noticeable to others, you probably won't know how to tell if you have bad breath on your own. Our oral and nasal cavities are connected by an opening in the back of our mouths. Our noses tend to filter out what's considered "background smells," making us somewhat immune to the state of our own breath. Unfortunately, the breathing-into-your-own-hand bad breath test usually doesn't work. Sometimes a bad taste in your mouth may be a sign, but other than the morning breath you may occasionally experience, most people don't have an internal bad breath detector. So how do you know when you're experiencing bad breath symptoms?

How to Tell If You Have Bad Breath

There may not be a bad breath test on the market, but there are a few things you can look for. Common bad breath symptoms include:

Buildup of Plaque -- Poor oral hygiene results in plaque buildup, an invisible film that forms over your teeth. Dental plaque is a breeding place for the bacteria that cause bad breath symptoms. If your dentist says you have a large buildup of plaque, bad breath may be a side effect.

"Bad Taste" in Mouth -- The bad taste in your mouth left behind by certain foods, tobacco and alcohol products can offend others. A bitter, sour or metallic taste is not only a bad breath detector, but could be a side effect of a health problem or medication you're taking.

Coating on Tongue -- A yellow or white film on your tongue can be a sign of an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth. While you may be able to brush some of it away, it usually won't entirely eliminate the problem.

Dry Mouth -- Saliva helps wash away food particles and neutralize acids that cause tooth decay. The bacteria that cause bad breath symptoms thrive in a dry mouth, so it's important to keep your mouth hydrated to help prevent bad breath. Dry mouth is a normal occurance during sleep, which is why some people wake up with morning breath.

Post-Nasal Drip -- Sinus conditions, colds and allergies often coat your throat with mucus, which can emit an offensive odor. Mucus also protects bacteria from meeting with oxygen, which is needed to help kill the anaerobic bacteria that causes bad breath. The worse your cold, the worse your bad breath symptoms can get.

When Bad Breath Symptoms Aren’t Present

In some cases, the bad breath symptoms listed above may not be apparent. But there are other ways to conduct a bad breath test. If you notice that people turn their heads when talking to you or repeatedly offer you breath mints or gum, it may be a sign you have bad breath.

Sometimes determining how to tell if you have bad breath may mean asking someone directly. Someone who knows you well may be able to tell you whether you have occasional or chronic bad breath symptoms. If you're not comfortable having this conversation, your dentist may be able to tell you.

Detect It and Forget It

If you're experiencing bad breath symptoms, visit the dentist. He or she can help determine  your bad breath causes and offer the correct bad breath treatment.

To find a dentist for help with your bad breath, call us at 1-866-970-0441 24 hours a day.

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