Your impression matters everyday to your friends, colleagues, spouse and the strangers you come across anywhere.
Besides your clothes or behaviour, one notices your breath, and if they quickly extend a bit away from you, or put on a weird look and lose focus and look for any lame excuse to leave, your issue may be bad breath.
It is very irritating to realise that the one person you wish to spend all of your quality or even lifetime with, has bad breath or avoids kissing you.
When every time you snap into your alone time, there is this unwelcome guest that appears with every word, literally killing the mood. You want to play it cool but are dying deep inside.
The real question you have been keeping on your mind here is; How do I mention it to him or her? Or does my breath stink?
First, we need to understand what bad breath really is. Its clinical name is Halitosis. Its a condition where the person with it almost always has a stinky smell from their mouth.
According to the National Health Services (NHS) United Kingdom, bad breath is a very common phenomenon affecting one in four people of all ages and race from time to time throughout their lives.
Bad breath is however a by-product of bacteria in the mouth digesting remainders of food particles and is usually just an issue of poor oral hygiene that regular teeth brushing can deal with, monthly use of dental floss between the teeth as well as refraining from use of cigarettes and drinking large volumes of alcohol. Eating strongly flavoured foods like garlic and onions can grossly affect your breath.
In the other cases, its a sign of progressive tooth decay, gum disease, an untended illness or infection, usually related to the nasal or digestive system, such as in the case of diabetes, ulcers, post nasal drop and ketosis. These however are easily detectable by a dentist or GP (General Practice) doctor.
Many people, even our closest of friends are not so comfortable or straight-forward enough to tell you that you have bad breath for fear of a shaming and hurting you. So the bigger question comes, how can I know I have bad breath?
Simple, according to colgate.com, just get to a private place, lick one of your wrists once with the back of your tongue (not just the tip) and wait a few seconds for the saliva to completely dry. Then smell the wrist you licked and if it smells unbearable, there is an even higher chance it smell worse to others.
Now that we have established who has bad breath, you may confront your closest friend and ask them to be honest with you about whether they have noticed it, and I mean very close friend to avoid embarrassment.
If it is you trying to let a close friend or spouse know they are killing you with their bad breath, you must approach this politely and sensitively so as not to embarrass or demean them or ruin your relationship.
You could playfully show them this article in a pile of others and do the bad breath wrist test together so they themselves can establish the extent of the damage or rather in private, ask what they had for breakfast or lunch and tell them it made their breath smell a bit.
Soon after they are calm about it, you may tell them how you had noticed it a few weeks ago and maybe thought they had not brushed well that day or it was something they had eaten. Then ask them to go for a dental check-up before a worse embarrassment.
There is no particular way to explain to someone that they have bad breath but you may express to your partner, how you are doing this only out of love and because you really care about what others think of them out there too.
If they get too upset, they will take a moment to think about it and understand what difficulty you went through just to open up about such a sensitive matter.
This could be either your opening or closing question to them, ask;”Dear, how would you have opened up to me if it were me that had bad breath?.”
By Mukisa Francis