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How to Approach a Friend With Bad Breath

12 Nov, 2015

How to Approach a Friend With Bad Breath

Halitosis, or foul smelling breath, affects more than 90 million people in the United States though many people remain unaware as to how to treat and live with this condition. The good news is that remedies exist for bad breath and it is fixable; the bad news is that few people want to talk about it. Unfortunately, with the vast amount of people suffering from unpleasant odor emission when breathing, just as many bystanders experience the smell. Many times, people with halitosis are unaware they have a bad odored breath because an individual becomes accustomed to one's own odor. More often than not, friends, family and colleagues, in an attempt to be sensitive and avoid uncomfortable conversations, tend to avoid and draw back from the person suffering from halitosis.
If you notice a close friend or family member exhibiting signs of chronic halitosis (foul odor from the mouth that cannot be eliminated with normal oral hygiene products), you should address them. Getting up the courage to discuss a potentially awkward topic will be hard, but the payoff for your friend will be worth it. Think about it - wouldn't you want someone to tell you so you could learn how to get rid of halitosis?
There are a few ways to go about speaking to someone about their bad breath.
Be clear and honest. Find a time where the two of you are in private where you can bring up this potentially embarrassing problem. Start the conversation letting the person know that you noticed the bad smell from their mouth and weren't sure if he or she was aware. Let the person know that there is a remedy for halitosis and medical solutions to help fight the smell.
Or you could pull the passive, more inconspicuous route to bringing up bad breath. Offer a piece of gum to a friend, or suggest brushing teeth after going out for a meal. If the friend denies, through in a friendly "I think that you need to." This slyly brings up the topic without having to talk about the bad breath.
A final way to bring up a friend's bad breath is to naturally bring up bad breath in an everyday conversation. Inquire and investigate what your friend knows about getting rid of halitosis, the medical signs of bad breath and how to remedy and fix bad breath. If your friend is blissfully unaware, bring up some ways to self diagnose bad breath.
I think direct and honest is always the best approach, even if it may be uncomfortable for a short bit of time. Being passive and indirect may eventually lead your friend to figure out he or she suffers from chronic foul breath, but they also may miss your hints entirely. Figure out the best approach that works with your conversational style and remember, be kind.
If your friend listens and wants to know more, let them know about The Center for Breath Treatment. Additionally, if your friend has a raspy voice and has experienced post nasal drip, bad breath is an inevitable side effect. Talk to them about sinus and nasal irrigation systems which help combat bad breath as a result of post nasal drip. The link between halitosis and nasal systems is strong and is worth researching.

About Dr. Dailley: Dr. Dailley has been practicing dentistry since 1981 and founded the Center for Breath Treatment in 1996. He holds a degree in Cell & Molecular Biology from San Francisco State University as well as a Dental Degree from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry. Dr. Dailley is performs on-going halitosis research for both the Center of Breath Treatment and NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company where he serves on the Board of Directors.


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