Ever suffered from bad breath? Maybe you never noticed your own stench, but maybe you noticed the reaction of others while in close conversation, or you noticed the uncomfortable smell coming from someone elseâ€™s mouth?
At some point in our lives, each of us has at some point suffered from halitosis. Noticing the smell of our own breath, however, can be hard to pick up on. The reason for this is because our nose is connected to an oral cavity by way of an opening in the back of our mouth, or the area of our soft palate. The nose generally filters out and disregards background smells, and therefore filters out and disregards the smell of our breath. As a result, it can be hard to realize how bad our breath really smells.
Want to test your breath? If you cannot or do not feel comfortable asking a friend, spouse, or significant other, you can take this test. Lick your wrist, wait a few minutes for your saliva to dry, and then smell it. The way your wrist smells is the way the end of your tongue smells.
Here is a second test you can try out. Take a spoon a scrape it against the back of your tongue. Expect a thick whitish material to come off on the spoon. Smell it. How does it smell? The smell of the material reflects the smell from the anterior portion of your tongue, aka the way your breath smells to others. This whitish coating on your tongue is responsible for bad breath, since bacteria lives in this material.
If you are looking for more professional thinking you might really have halitosis, there are five ways a doctor can test you for halitosis.
The first method is organoleptic testing for bad breath. Simply, this means a researcher will test your breath by simply smelling. The nose can pick up on 10,000 various smells, but there can be some problems with this form of testing. This method is not always completely objective, and other factors besides odors can impact the testing, such as menstrual cycle, hunger, head position, consumption of coffee, tea, alcohol, or juice, etc.
The second method is a sure way to evaluate bad breath, and this method is gas chromatography. Gas chromatography can efficiently determine the level of various compounds present in a personâ€™s mouth.
The next method, using halimeters, can determine particular aspects of a personâ€™s breath by measuring levels of sulfide gases that create bad breath. Halimeters, however, provide less of a definite evaluation than gas chromatography, since halimeters only pick up on sulfides only, whereas gas chromatography tests for additional compounds.
The BANA method is the fourth method for testing for halitosis. BANA picks up on the bacteria that causes periodontal disease (gum disease), which contains some of the same waste products that contribute to bad breath. This bacteria can produce an enzyme that degrades the compound benzoyl-D, L-arginine-naphthylamide (BANA), and when a BANA testing is completed, the patientâ€™s saliva is broken down, causing a color change in the testing medium.
The last testing method, a more recent one, uses chemiluminescence. Chemiluminescence can provide better selectivity and sensitivity when measuring low levels of sulfur compounds, in comparison with a Halimeter. Chemiluminescence mixes mercury with a sample of sulfur compounds from the mouth, which results in fluorescence.
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