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Bad Breath: What’s It All About?

October 15, 2021


Bad breath plagues more than fifty percent of the general population. With this fact, there shouldn’t be any shame in it, but people still feel anxious and self-conscious about how a friend or coworker may respond to any foul odors. Therefore, bad breath can negatively affect your self-confidence and relationships, but more importantly, it can be a sign of a more serious health issue. Chances are that at some point you will have bad breath, and you will want to know what causes it and what you should do about it. 

Causes  

Halitosis, or bad breath, is usually (about nine out of ten times) caused by an oral cavity, and the rest is usually from medical reasons with the smallest percentage tending to be from diet or pharmaceuticals.  

A doctor or a dentist can help you figure out the source of the problem, so make an appointment with one to help ease your fears and start you on the right path to fresh breath. 

Tackle Bad Breath 

Your doctor or dentist may find the issue fairly easily, and give you a list of habits to help keep the air up there more pleasant. Quitting smoking, brushing and flossing at least twice a day, and drinking plenty of water are common notes for doctor’s orders.   

There is also a possibility that it is imagined from a fear of having bad breath, also known as pseudo-halitosis and halitophobia, which would require therapy. For this reason, there are assessment tools for diagnosing and measuring halitosis. This speaks volumes that the fear of the condition is so strong that scientific means have been developed to single it out and address just the fear of it. 

No Shame 

Having bad breath can lead to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem, but only if we allow the feelings of humiliation to take over. Shame is not an effective means for changing behavior, so squash the embarrassment for yourself and others. 

Covering up halitosis with gum, mints, and sprays only does just that- an attempt to mask the scent but not change the root cause, and the root cause can be health-related and pretty serious. Ending the shame, the internally focused negative feelings, and instead of turning our minds upstream and fixing the condition is the ticket to better breath and overall health. 

You can also check your social responses for shame.  Be open with your experiences and careful and kind in your own responses to halitosis. Knowing that gum disease can lead to heart disease, you should treat this as a medical condition. Who knows- you addressing your own or someone else’s bad breath with care and concern could save a life. 

You can be the one in your family or office to start this healthy behavior of addressing bad breath as it is- a usually minor health condition that can be solved by a dentist, but may need to be addressed for more serious health reasons. You care about your health and the health of your family and friends, so make sure your comments concerning halitosis reflect those values. Call our dental hygenist team for more information on how to get rid of bad breath and encourage others to do so, too, without the weight of any shame.