Your dentist will likely smell both the breath from your mouth and the breath from your nose and rate the odor on a scale. Because the back of the tongue is most often the source of the smell, your dentist may also scrape it and rate its odor.
There are sophisticated detectors that can identify the chemicals responsible for bad breath, but these aren't always available.
Dec. 18, 2012
Bad breath: Causes and tips for controlling it. American Dental Association. http://jada.ada.org. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Rosing CK, et al. Halitosis: An overview of epidemiology, etiology and clinical management. Brazilian Oral Research. 2011;25:466.
- What is halitosis? Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=H&iid=306&aid=1254. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Dry mouth. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/topics/drymouth/drymouth.htm. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Should I floss? Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=f&iid=302&aid=1244. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Porter SR. Diet and halitosis. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 2011;14:463.
- Tongue scrapers only slightly reduce bad breath. Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=t&iid=306&aid=3192 Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Bollen CML, et al. Halitosis: The multidisciplinary approach. International Journal of Oral Science. 2012;4:55.
- Sheridan PJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 30, 2012.
- Carr AB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 23, 2012.
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