Bad breath is a tricky one because it can be quite subjective and can also vary a lot day to day. Lots of people worry and become paranoid about bad breath when they don’t really have it. Plenty of other people have bad breath but never actually notice it.

If you are worried about bad breath, you need to try to work out whether it really is an issue or just something that you perceive. You may need to ask a trusted friend to get their opinion. If they don’t notice anything then great. If they agree with you then you need to try to work out where the smell is coming from.

If you have bad breath when you are just breathing through your nose then it is an issue away from your mouth. Sometimes, it can be an issue with your sinus’ or your tonsils. If this is the case, then you may need to go along to the doctor and see what they can do.

If the smell comes out when you are speaking but not when you are breathing through your nose then it is probably coming from your mouth. If you are unsure, get yourself an antibacterial mouthwash. Check the bottle and look for one with as much ‘chlorhexidine’ as possible. ‘Chlorhexidine’ is an antibacterial that is great for bugs that cause bad breath. Rinse and gargle with this every day for a week. If this helps with the bad breath then it is definitely coming from your mouth.

Be aware, don’t continue to use a mouthwash containing ‘chlorhexidine’ every day. These types of mouthwash are very good at staining your teeth if you use them for too long.

If you think it is coming from your mouth, you really need to focus on keeping your teeth as clean as possible. You need to use the tips and tricks in our ‘How to care for your mouth’ articles. When it comes to bad breath, it will often be the back of your tongue which is the main offender. The back of your tongue is hard to clean. It doesn’t get much saliva running over it and so will often act as a harbour for bacteria. It’s these bacteria that give off toxins and create a stink.

So if you think your bad breath is being caused by something in your mouth, focus on getting your teeth and gums clean but also pay attention to your tongue. You can either use a separate toothbrush or a tongue scraper. I wouldn’t advise using your normal brush, it may get a bit mucky on the back of your tongue and you’re probably not going to fancy spreading those bugs around the rest of your mouth.

Try to get as far back on your tongue as possible as the stinkiest bugs are going to hide the furthest back. It may make you want to gag the first time you do it but try to persist and it will start to feel more normal.

The good news is that bad breath is normally really easy to treat if you can work out what’s causing it. It’s either going to be something in your mouth, nose, sinus or throat. Try to establish where it’s coming from and ask your dentist or doctor if you need more help.

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