Friday, December 6, 2013

The Emotional Effects of Having Chronic Halitosis

Over the 18 years of treating patients with chronic halitosis one observation we have clearly seen is that this problem does have an emotional, and often times, psychological impact on the person suffering from the condition. Frequently the individual feels they are the only person who is experiencing these feelings, but when we inform them that most everyone who suffers from chronic halitosis experiences similar emotional issues we often see a sense of relief come over them. There is a sense of being alone. Chronic halitosis will often cause a person to lack self-confidence, be withdrawn or introverted, and there are often times varying degrees of paranoia associated with the problem. These psychological issues can sometimes cause a person to imagine normal gestures and mannerisms of others as some sort of reaction to their breath. This is where it can be awkward because it can be quite difficult to determine whether another person’s gesture is a reaction to one’s bad breath or not. We generally try to convince our patients to ignore these types of things because at best it is only a guess as to why a person may be making a particular gesture or mannerism. During the treatment process at the Center for Breath Treatment we work with our patients to educate them about using the proper methods to assess their own breath, and more importantly what methods they should not be using. Using various techniques we do try to help our patients overcome some of the emotional issues that are related to their breath problems because halitosis really is comprised of both a physical and an emotional component. We often find that it takes time for the mind to catch up with what is happening with the body. On more than one occasion patients have left our office after completing treatment feeling elated and experiencing new heightened levels of confidence they haven't experienced in years. We have seen this all come crashing down within a few days because the emotional and psychological effects of their prior halitosis condition begin to creep back into their lives and take control. Overcoming this aspect of a halitosis condition can take considerable time and it is a long healing process. The longer a person has suffered with a chronic breath condition the longer it takes for the emotional and psychological issues to resolve themselves.

About the author: Dr. Anthony Dailley is a practicing dentist that specializes in halitosis treatment. He has been practicing since 1981 and graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Cell & Molecular Biology, and obtained his dental degree from the Pacific School of Dentistry. Dr. Dailley founded the Center for Breath Treatment in the San Francisco Bay Area and conducts research on curing halitosis. Dr. Dailley has also been a founder in a biotech company called NovaBay Pharmaceuticals and on their board of directors from 1997 -2014.