Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth can be a warning sign of gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup on the teeth. Bacteria cause toxins to form that irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jaw.
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. Bad breath, or halitosis, can be a major problem, especially when you're about to hug your partner or whisper a joke to your friend. 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.
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. 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. When you talk, you tend to get smells out of the back of your mouth (where bad breath originates), which simply doesn't happen when you breathe.