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Why can't we smell our own bad breath. Is there any way we can do that?

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  • $\begingroup$ People can, and do, do this all the time. Some people have a decreased sense of smell, and may not taste/smell bad odors (e.g. people with sinus problems, smokers, etc.) but it is quite possible. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 10:35
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    $\begingroup$ keep your hand in front of your mouth and blow on it. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 10:48

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What you might be experiencing is olfactory fatigue, the temporary, normal inability to distinguish a particular odor after a prolonged exposure to it.

It's a form of neural adaptation, a change over time in the responsiveness of the sensory system to a constant stimulus. This adaptative mechanism might prevent the overloading of the nervous system.

However, some people (maybe most of them?) are able to smell their own breath. At least, I know I do. I can't point you to any statistics, but it might be an interesting research project, figuring out how many people can smell their own breath.

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