WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

Video

Dr Pixie: Bad breath really isn’t pleasant, not for you or anybody else. But halitosis affects 50% of us at some stage in our lives and it’s not always easy to know that you’ve got it. So if you’d rather find out yourself rather than from a stranger, a loved one or even a colleague, then do the lick and sniff test. Simply lick the inside of your wrist, wait for 10 seconds and then sniff. If it smells unpleasant, chances are so does your breath. Bad breath can be out of your control. About 10% of cases are due to medical conditions like diabetes, sinusitis or tonsillitis. Some medicines actually cause bad breath as well. In a lot of cases it’s down to personal choice. If you choose to eat strong smelling foods like onions, garlic or drink coffee then your breath is going to smell. If you choose to smoke you’re going to risk the stale stench of cigarettes on your breath and, in addition, because smoking increases your risk of gum disease this in turn makes your breath smell. Bad breath is embarrassing. For the majority of people there is actually something you can do about it. In 90% of cases it is due to poor dental hygiene. So how do you improve the problem? Have a dental check up at least once a year. Brush your teeth morning and night time for at least 2 minutes with a fluoride-based toothpaste. Always floss. Rinse your mouth out with anti-bacterial or anti-odour mouthwash. Replace your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months and always use a separate brush to brush your tongue. You can chew sugar free chewing gum to actually stimulate saliva which in itself is a self cleaning agent. If you feel that you have a medical condition or are on medication that is contributing to your bad breath go along and talk to you doctor.

Read the video transcript

Quick Health Advice: Bad Breath

Around 95% of us suffer from halitosis (or bad breath) at some time in our lives, and one in four adults suffer from it on a regular basis. In this exclusive guide, Dr McKenna demonstrates a simple technique to check for bad breath, and advises on ways we can ultimately prevent the ‘death breath’. She also reminds us that around 90% of bad breath cases are due to poor oral hygiene, so a visit to the dental hygienist at least once a year wouldn’t hurt. Well, it might do…but would you rather have bad breath?

Remember that you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

Explore Am I Normal? >

Am I Normal?: Sex And Relationships >
Am I Normal?: Mental Health >
Am I Normal?: Drugs And Alcohol >

Did you find this useful? YesYes NoNo

1450 of 2001 people said they found this useful

Comments and Questions

Comments & Questions are now archived, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

My name is latoya i'm 26 years old and i had bb for as long as i can remember... It's so bad that it's messing up my life.... I'm anti-social i'm a loner i have no friends.... I use to be real happy until i finally realize i have awful breath 😔 i will never get to close to anyone, when i talk people always ask me did i break wind 😔 i'm killing me nothing i use is working for me, i'm depressed, lonely, bitter, anti-social because of it.... Sometimes i just feel like dying 😔





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I've had bad breath since the past 20 years. I am 40 and single and guess what, it's because of my bad breath. It's very painful to think that something like this is the cause of my loneliness. I am not giving up, I have tried everything from proton pump inhibitors like Zantac/Nexium to acupuncture. Over the past two years, I saw 4 naturopaths and all them gave me tips and suggestions that has helped manage my chronic bad breath. 1. Probiotics - i take 2 tablets (60 billion) - FLORA brand 2. Ultimate Digestive Enzyme with every meal - FLORA brand 3. Dr Millers holy tea - to cleanse (this is what made me realize that it maybe my bowel movement cus when I took this for a month, I had NO BAD BREATH) - THIS IS A LAXATIVE, ONLY A MONTH LONG CLEANSE, SHOULD NOT USE IT ALL THE TIME, CONSULT PHYSICIAN/NATUROPATH BEFORE USING 4. 1 TABLESPOON of PURE VIRGIN OLIVE OIL - drink on an empty stomach daily - this will lubricate contents in intestines - hence better your bowel movement. 5. And please cut out bread, pasta, rice, anything rich like dessert There is quinoa pasta, quinoa, other grains that are healthier. The person who commented at the end of this thread to absolutely right, the culprit is the bowel movement.

Why am I coughing every time the dentist when he check my teeth using metal things. How to overcome this problem.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

i also have bad breath and it's making life hard for me...i need help





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

ok guys i had bad breath for years body mint is a cure for breath and body odur .





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I find that the best thing to help with bad breath is regular oral maintenance. This includes daily brushing and flossing, also mouthwash if you have the opportunity. I have done this for years and it works really well for me. If after this you still have bad breath I would recommend talking with your dentist about it, they will have custom recommendations.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

hey guys I'm not a doctor but check if you have white stuff on your tonsils..it could be tosnil stones.read and watch you tube about them.goodluck





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I too suffered what you all commented on about bad breath. I was sure it was my tonsils and went to an ENT surgeon about having them removed. He said he couldn't remove them because of my 40 plus years of age but said he could fix my deviated septum. I had no idea I had a deviated septum. With a deviated septum I was always congested and couldn't get rid of PND. After the surgery PND is no problem because I can always blow it out or sniff it down. People tell me I no longer have bad breath!!! Also try Afrin as it my provide some nasal congestion relief that allows you to decrease the PND. Best Wishes!!!! This helped me and end the worst nightmare to live through.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Every time I brush my teeth and use mouth wash, I get this icky egg like breath in my mouth and throat. I also brush my tongue. I don't get why I get this icky egg-smelling breath after I brush and use mouth wash. What should I do? I don't want this egg-like breath smell in my mouth and throat anymore





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

hi, i have chronic bad breath for almost 10 years now and its getting very very serious cos i have pushed almost everybody away with disgusting odour coming out of my mouth. it is really affecting my life both mentally and physically and i cant be social anymore. i have tried mouth wash, baking soda, parsley, chlorophyll tablets, changed diets, antacid etc, but its not getting any better pls help me abbey





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I suffered from halitosis for the last 42 years of my life!!! And after tons of trial and errors, i found out that the only culprit was my bowel movement. It seems that i had didficulty properly defecating and emptying. If u have the feeling that something is still there after u had a bowel movement, chances are y have the same problem as myself. The fix?? Easy but not simple. The toilet seats we use are comfortable but not healthy. The healthy way is the old way: squatting. By squatting on the toilet, u r sure to have a perfect bowel movement where the rectum is emptied from its content. It is worth a try. As i read somewhere about supplementing with one capsule if zinc and two of kelp daily to kill any body odor. Good luck

I have this problem too, I've tried everything, I can hav 1 beer and people will b turning away, please help





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


More Information

  1. Body Check: Tongue

    In Videos - Dr Christian talks about tongue abnormalities and how to check for…

  2. Halitosis

    In Conditions - More commonly known as bad breath.

  3. Doctor Responses: Bad Breath

    In Videos - Dr Pixie answers your common questions about curing this annoying c…

  4. James Russell

    Doctor Info - Find out more about James Russell.

  5. Dr Priya Manickavasagar

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Priya.

  6. Dr Pixie McKenna

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Pixie.

  7. We're Coming to Get You!

    In Episodes - The Docs are back, and this time they're coming to get you!

  8. Enlarged Labia

    In Conditions - Many women are born with larger or more noticeably asymmetric labia…

  9. Constipation

    In Conditions - Constipation is extremely common and can affect a broad range of ag…

  10. Sagging Breasts

    In Conditions - Everyone's boobs eventually succumb to the downward pull of gravity…

  11. Vaginal Dryness

    In Conditions - Vaginas should normally be moist, but due to a number of factors, s…

  12. Consultation: Acne Scarring

    In Videos - A patient comes to see Dr Harper about treatment for the scarring c…

  13. Consultation: Acne Keloidalis

    In Videos - A patient receives treatment for the disfiguring condition Acne Kel…

  14. Prolapsed Rectum

    In Conditions - This is a painful condition that can result in the rectum protrudin…

  15. Enlarged Prostate

    In Conditions - An enlarged prostate (known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH)…


Am I Normal?

Share, explore, vote, watch… Am I Normal? is a bold new Channel 4 project that will redefine what you think of as ‘normal’.

Visit Am I Normal? >

Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here