Every year, clients come to the Center for Breath Treatment and explain the frustration and embarrassment they have been suffering from due to their bad breath. They claim to have tried everything under the sun, and yet nothing will cure their bad breath. In some cases, I inch a bit closer, only to discover there is nothing wrong with their breath whatsoever! This is what is known as imaginary or delusional halitosis. Other times, the patient’s bad breath is slight and it appears to be strongly correlated with dairy, spicy foods or just when they wake up. And, of course, I have a large portion of patients who have long-suffered chronic bad breath that interferes with their social life and professional career. These three groups make up the majority of my patients... individuals with halitophobia, average malodor issues and chronic or sever clinical halitosis.
Bad breath can be a sensitive subject for many people, because it carries the weight of both stigma and embarrassment. The truth of the matter is halitosis is a real condition that many people around the world experience. The unwarranted, often irrational fear that one has terrible breath (halitophobia) is more common that you would think! And it can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life as they modify their behavior and live in fear of offending. On the converse side, the actual presence of bad breath is known as halitosis and can be broadly broken into average malodor and clinical halitosis. Average malodor is fairly easy to treat, while patients struggling with severe halitosis often spend many years of their life trying to cure the condition.
First you should get an accurate diagnosis as to whether or not you have halitosis. This can first be done by asking a trusted friend or family member for an honest opinion concerning your breath. Make sure to do this on a normal day while staying away from particularly odorous food such as onions, garlic, coffee, etc. Ask if they have noticed your breath in the past and reassure them that you want an honest assessment. It is possible that they will say your breath is fine and they’ve never noticed anything outside the norm. This may be an indication that you are unjustifiably worried about a breath problem you don’t actually have. If the response confirms your suspicion, there are things you can do to correct the situation.
Determining the Degree of Halitosis
- Find the root of the problem: Does your bad breath stem from a medical or dental issue?
Medical Issue: Bad breath can form as a result of a particular disease, such as kidney or liver disease, blood disorders, tonsil infections or diabetes. Bad breath is also a known side effect for several popular prescription medications such as Prozac, Zantac, Prilosec and many others.
Sinus Issue: Bad breath can also stem from chronic sinus issues. If you suspect allergies or sinusitis is the root of your problem, consult your doctor about medical treatments and invest in a quality nasal irrigator & saline rinse to help flush out lingering mucus and bacteria.
Dental Issue: Many times, bad breath is a dental issue due to tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancers or xerostomia. Decay and gun disease can lead to strong, offensive odors.
- Identify when it occurs: Is your bad breath chronic, occasional or situational?
If your breath is consistently odorous - and is not purely influenced by habits or food - chances are you have chronic, clinical halitosis. If you have occasional or situational bad breath, your bad breath can likely be remedied with simple bad breath home treatment kit. Perhaps you wake up with bad breath, or after eating certain food your breath worsens. Remedies for this situation include brushing with a sonic toothbrush, drinking more water, using an alcohol-free mouthwash and taking a bad breath pill like BreathGemz in the early afternoon.
- How severe is your bad breath?
If your bad breath doesn’t seem to draw attention or affect the way you live your life, it is likely a case of average malodor or even halitophobia. If it is something nearly everyone notices and your routines are affected by your breath, it is more likely you have clinical halitosis.
About the Author: Dr. Anthony Dailley has been practicing dentistry since 1981 and conducts research pertaining to bad breath solutions and treatments at the California Pacific Lab. Dr Dailley specializes in curing bad breath. He founded the Center for Breath Treatment as well as NovaBay Pharmaceutical, a publicly held biopharmaceutical company. Visit Dr. Dailley, the bad breath dentist with a 99% success rate. Tweet this!