Visit your dentist on a regular basis. Regular checkups can detect problems such as gum disease, infections, and dry mouth. If you have bad breath and the dentist can't find the cause, you may be referred to your primary care provider for more detailed follow-up. If you have bad breath, review your oral hygiene habits.
Try making lifestyle changes, such as brushing your teeth and tongue after eating, flossing, and drinking lots of water. A person who complains of bad breath may initially be evaluated by a primary care physician (PCP). The doctor will start with a complete medical and dental history and an oral exam. Tests can be performed to confirm the presence of halitosis by measuring the intensity of bad breath on a predefined scale and using instruments to detect specific compounds related to halitosis.
The intensity of the bad smell is usually evaluated by smelling the air that the person exhales through the nose or mouth, or by judging the smell of a scrape of the tongue, a piece of dental floss, or a dental appliance, such as a night protector. Most of the causes of bad breath are due to inadequate oral hygiene and are rarely life-threatening. If good oral hygiene practices don't eliminate bad breath, see a dental professional. In most cases, a dentist can treat the cause of bad breath.
Some people worry too much about their breath even though they have little or no smell in their mouths, while others have bad breath and don't know it. Studies show that 50 percent of adults have had bad breath, or halitosis, at some point in their lives. Because it's difficult to assess how your own breath smells, ask a close friend or family member to confirm your questions about bad breath. Bad breath (halitosis) can be caused by a variety of factors, such as diet, medications, poor oral hygiene, and diseases or conditions such as diabetes, GERD, lactose intolerance, gum disease, and more.