how to tell if you have bad breathe

How to tell if you have bad breath

Having bad breath is a special kind of torture.

It the kind of affliction that you really can’t detect in yourself with any kind of certainty, and you won’t meet too many people who are willingly going to tell you “hey, you’re kind of stinky.”

Well, you might, but they’re either really good friends or very mean strangers.

Secret bad breath might only be a secret to you, causing people to avoid close talk and whispered conversations of any kind. You might have noticed this, and labeling the resulting feeling as “embarrassing” is a massive understatement.

So, you might be asking, is there a way to tell if I actually have bad breath?

The answer is yes!

There are a few different ways, some more discrete than others, but we’ll start with the first, sure fire way for you to get an answer.

Ask a Friend


Absolutely not.



The most reliable way to get the answer you need is ask a close friend you trust. If you can get over the initial embarrassment of asking them to confirm or deny that the air that you breathe out of your mouth is offensive, then this is a great strategy.

The fantastic thing is that even if they tried to lie, their face would probably reveal some mild distaste if your breath is truly bad.

And yes – this will probably lead to some embarrassment for a moment, but then you know you have something to visit your dentist about.

You’ll be on the road to fresh breath in no time!

The Lick Test

The following two “tests” are less reliable, but definitely more discrete.

If your stomach turns at the thought of asking someone for the honest truth, then maybe you should try out these simple methods that involve just you…

Make sure that your wrist is dry and free of any sort of lotion, perfume, or cologne.

Now, lick your wrist.

Wait 10 seconds.


Is it bad? Good? Neutral?

Chances are, if the smell on your wrist is not good, then your breath might need some work.

The Q-Tip Test

This test is similar, but it involves a cotton swab.

Take the Q-tip and run it along the inside of your cheeks and tongue.

Remove the Q-tip, and let it dry for several minutes.

Sniff, check, evaluate.

The Bottom Line

When it comes down to it, the only way to REALLY know if you have a problem is to try out method #1 and ask a friend.

The reason is this: we can’t really smell our own breath.

This is because our brains acclimate to the smells around us to help us better detect new smells. It’s a pretty cool trick, but not when it comes to our inability to tell if our house smells like cat pee or our breath might ruin our next date or a job interview.

Luckily, we’re here to help. If you are even a little self conscious about the scent of your breath, come see Dr. Chauvin in Lafayette. We’ll help you determine the cause and figure out an easy, effective way to get it minty fresh.