A person having bad breath himself may not know about it because our nose gets habitual to the smell of our own breath, so it is not perceived. So, a person may get to know from a companion about his bad breath. In case you feel that you have bad breath then you are self check it by applying these facts on to yourself.

Following are some ways to test your breath

To test the quality of your breath, lick your wrist and let the saliva dry for about 5-10 seconds and then smell it. It tells about how the anterior (front) portion of your tongue smells.

Now, scrape the posterior (back) portion of tongue with back side of a spoon, the whitish material scraped off is allowed to dry for 5-10 seconds and then smell it. It will tell how the back portion of your tongue smells.
Halimeter: This is an instrument for detecting the quality of breath. Halimeter  measures the level of volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs) in the person’s breath. So, it can detect only that bad breath which is due to presence of VSCs in the saliva. Thus it does not provide a definitive diagnosis but has certain advantages:

  1. It is portable

  2. It is very easy to use

  3. Measurements can be made quickly

  4. The apparatus itself is comparatively inexpensive

Gas Chromatographs: They are generally used by investigators conducting studies on halitosis as they provide gold standard evaluation for measurement of breath.It is probably the best way to test for the compounds associated with bad breath,but it has certain drawbacks:They are not portable and difficult to use. Also,they are relatively expensive and require personnel with special training to operate them.

BANA Test: This test identifies microbes present in the saliva which cause halitosis. Bacteria which produce enzyme that degrades BANA (Benzoyl-D-L-Arginine Naphthylamide) an be detected using this test.

Chemiluminescence: This test also measures VSCs present in the bad breath. When saliva containing VSCs is mixed with a mercury compound, the product formed shows fluorescence confirming presence of VSCs in the saliva and hence halitosis.The strength of chemiluminescence methodology is that it can provide better selectivity and sensitivity when measuring low levels of sulfur compounds, as compared to testing with a Halimeter.


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  • Dr.Ritz

    Dr.Ritz 22 - November - 2012, at 00:33 AM

  • Hi MATHEW,The first step you should take to get rid of bad breath is to practice good dental care.Eat herbs or drink herbal teas. Try parsley, spearmint, peppermint, tarragon, cardamom, coriander or rosemary.High protein foods like meats, fish, milk and cheese produce bad breath.Avoid them.Bad breath is common for 7-10 days after removal of adenoids and can occur for up to 4 weeks after surgical removal of tonsils.Hope that helps.Good luck!!

  • mathew

    mathew 21 - November - 2012, at 14:08 PM

  • I am interested in knowing more about these equipment that test for halitosis. If your tonsils and adenoids are removed, you brush your teeth and tongue regularly, do you still get halitosis.

  • Dr.Ritz

    Dr.Ritz 14 - February - 2012, at 10:04 AM

  • Syed, Halitosis is basically because of poor oral hygiene which causes growth of bacterial in mouth and deposits. The treatment is to keep the mouth clean by regularly visiting dentist and geting the cleaning done 6 monthly. You can use some good quality antimicrobial mouthwash also. Deposits on tounge is also one of major cause of halitosis. So regualr cleaning of tonuge is also important.

  • Syed Najmul Hoda

    Syed Najmul Hoda 14 - February - 2012, at 04:19 AM

  • I am interested to no more about halotosis and there treatment. Also let me know who is the manufacturer of Breath Alert. Thanks for your kind information in this regard. Best regard

  • dr ritz

    dr ritz 19 - January - 2012, at 03:30 AM

  • Harold, You might be having bad breath. Bad breath can occur because of poor oral hygiene of the patient or can occur because of caries or periodontal problems present. Unclean tongue, less of fluids and some of the systemic problems like respiratory and gastric problems can also lead to bad breath. Bad breath is not a disease but is a symptom of disease. If there are caries or gum infections present, then get treatment done for them. Maintain a good oral hygiene and clean your tongue with a tongue scrapper or a tooth brush to avoid bad odor from mouth. Take more of fluids. You can also use a mouth wash or sugar free gums to mask the effect of bad breath. If bad breath still persists, then you can visit a medical doctor for evaluation.

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