That Dreaded Kiss From Your Uncle With Halitosis

That Dreaded Kiss From Your Uncle With Halitosis

Dinner parties, holiday get togethers and family reunions have many relatives, old and young that attend them. There is usually at least one older relative that has bad breath, or halitosis, and you really cringe when they come near to give you a customary hello kiss or tight hug.

Inevitably, you go into stealth mode and swiftly dodge their attempts for a greeting. Maybe you try to dodge them again when they are leaving, or hold your breath so as not to have another close encounter with the odor.

Or maybe you’re the one with bad breath and notice your family flocking way from you at these exact moments. An all too common situation when large family gatherings fill your holiday calendar. Here’s some info on this thing called bad breath, or halitosis, and what you can do to avoid or lessen its impact.

The facts about halitosis are that it can be situational or chronic.

The facts about halitosis are that it can be situational or chronic. Situational halitosis is caused from eating or snacking on foods with a strong odor, such as garlic or onions. The food is broken down in your mouth, then digested and absorbed into your bloodstream. Then it is carried to your lungs and eventually the odor rears its head in your breathe.

You can simply offer a person with situational halitosis a mint as you happily munch on one yourself and it will not be offensive to the person.

People with situational halitosis generally can tell when a food odor is lingering in their mouth. A peace offering of a mint is a great way to help all the family members out, so no one has to smell bad breath. The good news about this type of halitosis is that when the foods are passed through the body, the smell subsides.

Chronic halitosis is when a person has bad breath all the time. It isn’t that they don’t care about it and the way it affects others, but they are so used to the smell through acclimation. Acclimation is when the body gets used to the smell because it is always or often around. A person’s nose eliminates the smell or neutralizes it so they can smell other things.


Causes of chronic bad breath, or chronic halitosis.

Teeth that are not brushed and flossed daily can leave food particles that promote bacteria growing around teeth, gums and on the tongue to cause bad breath. Dentures that are not properly deep-cleaned daily can also harbor odoriferous bacteria resulting in bad breath.

Many dental diseases, such as gum disease, poorly fitting dentures or dental appliances, cavities, and yeast infections of the mouth, can cause chronic halitosis. All of these dental diseases need treatment. In this case, it is best to get the closest family member to urge the bad breath relative to make a dental appointment with before the conditions worsen.

You can personally test if you have bad breath.

Although personal testing is not considered to be as reliable or accurate as professional and clinical bad breath tests, a self-diagnosis can provide a reasonably good benchmark for understanding the extent of bad breath and starting a program to manage it. T

he traditional method of cupping a hand to the mouth and nose and breathing into it simply does not work, because scents on the hand get in the way. Additionally, it is very difficult to smell one’s own breath anyway, even without competing odors, because people are typically too acclimatized to their own odors to make an accurate assessment.

Some methods, however, give more accurate results for testing bad breath and can be done at home for little or no cost, such as a tongue scrape or licking the back of your hand. One of the best self-test indicators – and less attractive – is a confidant test, in which a person asks a relative or close friend to assess a bad breath situation. Good luck with that one, truly!

How to avoid or subside your chronic halitosis during family gatherings.

The first things you need to do is a complete exam including x-rays and a teeth cleaning. Then have your dentist fill cavities that give off an odor. We will also correct the fit of dental bridges and partials so that food particles don’t get trapped near them. We can also prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash that cleans the bacteria out of your family member’s mouth daily or twice daily to leave them with clean, refreshing breath at all times.

If this sounds like you, give us a call at 702-848-7079. Or perhaps it’s a family member or relative who you can recommend treatment to. Your family member may be slightly embarrassed, but a dental appointment can greatly improve the bad breath syndrome and promote healthy teeth and gums.

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