Don’t Lose Your Friends With Bad Breath

by Darren Wumoult

Bad breath or halitosis is sadly a very common condition that affects millions of people, and many of them don’t even know it. The smell of bad breath is so oppressive that it can make a few of your friends want to spend less time with you.

Halitosis has a variety of causes. Many times this disorder results after food gets stick between the teeth of the person who has bad breath. The odor comes if a person fails to floss properly or does not brush for long enough of a period of time. Sometimes halitosis is also caused by food becoming stuck into other areas of the mouth, such as in the grooves of the tonsils, in the throat, or up towards the nasal cavity.

Smoking is another cause of bad breath. If your friends don’t seem to mind the smoke from this unhealthy habit, they will certainly notice the stench of your breath if you happen to speak near their face. In the same way, excessive drinking of alcohol can also cause halitosis.

These illnesses and unhealthy habits are not the causes of bad breath directly. What happens is because of these habits and disorders, oral bacteria thrive in the mouth and the back of the throat. These are the ones who produce the offensive smell that is pretty much like that of rotten eggs.

Once you notice that you do have bad breath, immediate treatment is necessary. If you don’t take the steps in eliminating this condition, don’t be surprised if your friends start making excuses not to be close to you or even avoid you altogether. You might have a few honest pals who will tell it like it is and say to you straight to your face that you do have bad breath. If so, you’re lucky. Some people go for months without realizing their situation and just wonder why their friends seem to be disappearing one by one.

This leaves the one with the halitosis condition wondering why they do not have much of a social life. Of course, this is an extreme condition, and most of the time, people are aware that they have this condition. However, in some cases, a person with halitosis is not even aware of it. Instead, they suffer from the curse of not being socially accepted and not knowing why.

On the other hand, you can also have bad breath and nobody will be telling you. Nevertheless, you might notice strange behavior from the people around you, like covering their noses when you talk to them or discreetly turning away.

These can be very awkward and embarrassing situations. To avoid being in the middle of one, it’s good to make regular breath checks. Simply breathe out onto your cupped hand and smell your hand. If you do have bad breath, you will certainly notice a more than unpleasant smell that will stick to your hand.

Before you get mad at your friends for not telling you this right away, remember that it’s really not a very simple task. If you reverse the situation and you know that your friend has bad breath, can you really just say straight out, “your breath stinks”? Perhaps, if you’re that close. But in most situations, letting your friend know the smelly truth will take some amount of planning and waiting for the appropriate moment.

This can be an open door if carefully considered. For ways to tell someone that they have bad breath, a person may start out by reassuring that person that he or she is an intelligent or talented person. Then they can hopefully gradually slide into suggesting that they clean up a little more. This can be a very sensitive subject for most people, so some research should be done about how to successfully communicate with others regarding difficult topics such as these.

If your type of relationship with them allows it, you can say it in a lighthearted way but let them know that you’re serious. However, don’t give them the impression that you’re judging them for it. You can even turn it into a private joke between the two of you eventually. Afterwards, you can even help them in seeking treatment for their bad breath. If you find a way to let them know the truth in a nice way, it can even make for a stronger friendship.

A good friend can also help the person find that answer in oneself, as well. The best way to get a person to realize the uncomfortable feeling of having bad breath and realizing how it pushes others away can come to the realization on his or her own. Careful and thoughtful questioning on the part of a good friend can do this. Eventually the idea will come out as if it is the affected person’s own idea and realization. In this way no one loses.

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