Halitosis, colloquially called bad breath, is a symptom in which a noticeably unpleasant odor is present on the exhaled breath. Concern about halitosis is estimated to be the third most frequent reason for people to seek dental care, following tooth decay and periodontal disease (gum disease), and about 20% of the general population are reported to suffer from it to some degree. [Wikipedia.com]
This is Wikipedia’s point of view though I beg to differ on some accounts; firstly, I don’t think it is one of the reasons people (Nigerians really! I just don’t want to stereotype, although it is our area of focus as regards this article) visit the dentist.
Most folks aren’t even aware that they have bad breath, let alone see it as a big enough problem to visit the dentist. I can understand that a good number of people especially in the North here where I reside don’t see brushing their mouth as an option but when I see finely groomed guys and ladies exuding the same whiff, I know something must be amiss and this is an issue to address/discuss.
Frankly, this is one reason why I loathe public transportation because once you’re stuck in close proximity with someone with a bad breath you are done for till either of you gets to your destination or come to the end of that journey. Despite the fact that okadas (commercial motorcycles) are really dangerous, I didn’t mind; jumping okadas became the norm for me as long as the bike man didn’t talk to me just because I wanted to avoid being in a bus with many people, battling with you-know-what and their sweaty selves.
It really embarrasses me when you come across a very pretty lady, corporately dresses and looking like the next best thing since creation, only to be assaulted by her breath. Out of genuine likeness for a couple of them I have met, I have thought to point out the white elephant in the room and probably proffer advice on how best to deal with it, but for fear of their adverse reaction and reception to my concern I would rather keep mum.
No one needs to be ashamed when and if you discover you have bad breath, just have it at the back of your mind that it could be a medical condition or just an oversight on your path when it comes to your oral hygiene.
There are ways to brush your mouth (tongue basically) to avoid such; firstly, I know it’s pertinent for most people to have sparklingly white teeth but that’s really not the crux of the matter. It is very important to focus on your tongue also. When brushing, if you haven’t felt like vomiting three or four times, you’re definitely doing something wrong; secondly, if you haven’t spat out thick/really slimy spittle you are bound to have bad breath throughout that day and consequently go on to making it your signature [my two cents]
Also your dentist would advise you to change your toothbrush every 3 months to make sure they are still effective. I didn’t buy the idea before but recently I’ve begun to see reasons with them; the bristles of our tooth brushes get weak over time and can’t clean our tongues well enough.
For many, a powered toothbrush is a good alternative. It can do a better job of cleaning teeth, particularly for those who have difficulty brushing or who have limited manual dexterity [Colgate.com]
This is a very dicey topic to discuss because bad breath is relative?
Did I just say relative?
I know there are some meat that is everyone’s poison, not just that of one man, and that some people are just downright too picky (sensitive noses) but still…
How do you tell a very good friend or colleague of yours that their breath stinks without hurting their feelings? I know how it goes supposedly, that in true friendship you should be able to tell each other stuff but trust me this is one of the things that are easier said than done.
Let me end this by talking about flossing cos toothpicks don’t exactly do justice to the assignments we send them on. Proper flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach — under the gum-line and between your teeth. Because plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, daily flossing is highly recommended.