Bad breath can have a wide range of causes, including dietary choices, dehydration, disease, and poor dental care. Unfortunately, dentists may be the only people in your life who will be honest with you about this issue. Other people usually try to avoid offending you by not mentioning your little problem. So, if you are not sure whatever your breath smells minty fresh or like day-old fish, here are some ways you can find out.
1. Cautious Kisses. If your romantic partner holds his / her nose while giving you a delicious peck on the lips, that's bad news for your relationship-and could be a comment on your lack of dental hygiene. When your date decides to eat garlic and onions at dinner to combat the smell of your breath, this is another warning sign. Of course, once your halitosis progresses to a certain point, you can forget intimacy altogether. Occasionally, this problem could be fatal since even a trained and dedicated EMT may draw the line at giving you mouth to mouth.
2. Your Guests Are Grimacing. When you throw a dinner party, does everyone around you seem to be clenching or grinding their teeth? They do not have TMJ symptoms. They are just trying not to gag on the noxious fumes you are exhaling. In Western cultures, people tend to have a sense of personal space that makes them feel uncomfortable when others approach too closely. In social situations, this comfort zone extends about two to four feet. If your party guests are giving you a much wider berth than that, it's time to surprptitiously pop a Listerine breath strip.
3. Bite Marks on Your Body. Nothing smells worse than roting meat. So, if you have been bitten by a zombie or vampire and become one of the undead, your breath is likely to smell horrific. The fangs will be another clue that something is terribly wrong with your metabolism. Sure, you can get your misshapen teeth covered with dental veneers, but the putrid breath problem will be much more difficult to conceal. So will the antisocial behavior (biting people, not going out during the day, etc).
4. Your Birthday Cake Combusts. If you try to blow out the flames on your birthday cake candles and the resulting explosion burns the house down, you've got some seriously toxic breath. Acid reflux is no joke when it results in a homeowner's insurance claim. So, if your bad breath is accompanied by burning chest pains and belching, it's time to have your doctor check you for GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
5. Your Dental Hygienists Turn Green. Dental professionals are used to coping with patients who have less than pleasant breath. So if your dentist ditches the little paper mask in favor of a gas mask, you know you're in trouble. Fortunately, this is the perfect time to have the cause of your bad breath investigated and fixed. Braces cost a pretty penny, but awful breath can be much costlier in terms of social currency. Any money you spend getting your halitosis under control will be well worth the investment.