For those of us who can't be bothered to visit the doctor, there's an easy at-home test that will expose any secret health concerns and potentially save your life; all you need is a spoon!
During a recent taping of the TODAY Show, Dr. Natalia Azar shared her one-minute self-exam with host Matt Lauer, explaining that this simple action can detect anything from gum disease to diabetes and kidney disease. Yikes!
So how does it work? All you need to do is scrub your tongue with the base of a spoon. Then, place the spoon in a plastic bag. Put the bag directly under a light source and wait for a minute. Once the minute is up, you're going to take a whiff of the spoon—yuck, we know!
According to Dr. Azar, a healthy tongue's coating should be clear. So if you don't notice any off-putting smell or questionable layer on your spoon, then there's no cause for concern. But if you notice a foul odor and/or a thick, discolored cover on your spoon, your body is trying to tell you something.
Fortunately, bad breath is usually a sign of gum disease or tooth decay. While not entirely pleasant, these issues are easily fixable. However, if you sniff your spoon and notice a fruity smell, you could have an undetected case of diabetes. An aroma of ammonia potentially signals kidney disease, and any other abnormal scent might indicate gastric or lung problems. In any case, it's best to seek out a doctor immediately if you think something is not normal.
That said, this simple spoon test is probably the best way to know how your breath smells to other people. So if you scrunch up your nose after smelling your spoon, it might be time to pop in a Tic Tac. Better yet, why not brush your teeth?