BY ZOE FOSTER
Are you paranoid about bad breath?
Oh COME ON. You knew we had to talk about it eventually, man. Who else is going to bring up bad breath? No one. No one talks about it. We’re all too busy buying mints and chewing gum and worrying about how much red onion was in that salad. (“A lot”.)
But, my Wrigley-chomping fiends, I too am terrified of having it. And rightly so, for why bother choosing a terrific outfit, and ensuring your makeup and hair looks radiant and breathtaking… and then opening your mouth and the stench of week-old Brie floats out. And that’s why breath fresheners are the biggest selling convenience purchase in Australia, second only to origami sets.
I am pretty sure I must have …”interesting” breath in the mornings, because I am a human being and it’s fairly common to have the breath of a sports sock first thing in the morning when you are a human being.
But I was also convinced I get it when I am hungry, which is always. A lot of people get hunger breath, unfortunately, and if you didn’t know that, and sometimes don’t shove anything in your gob for 3-4 hours, there’s a high and exciting chance you will have that specific stale aroma of hunger breath. Mints and chewy might mask it temporarily, but that’s treating the symptoms, not the cause.
Now, no one has actually TOLD me (you’re all too polite, you sweet, kind, useless things) that I get hunger breath, but judging by the amount of times I smell it on others, I am pretty sure I am a candidate. (“Hungry constantly.”)
So, in a bout of paranoia worthy of Homeland, I went to a breath clinic and did the test. And guess what I found out? It was my TONGUE. My G-damn tongue. I can’t think of ONE useful thing it has ever done for me.
I must come to my own reputational rescue here and tell you that the woman at the place said that I didn’t actually have bad breath, and the chart she showed me after the breath test (zzzing!) proved it, however she said that the small trace of (beautiful, frangipani-esque, probably) odour I might have in the morning or when I have not eaten forever is caused by naughty bacteria (“white gunk”) hanging round on the tongue.