No one wants to be that person with chronic bad breath — but what if you didn’t realize your breath is buzz-killing every social situation you find yourself in? What if you just didn’t see the cues people were giving you about your breath?
Why We Can’t Smell Our Own Bad Breath
One of the reasons we fear bad breath in social situations is because we usually can’t self-detect it.
A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association called this the “bad breath paradox.” Researchers found that study participants almost always scored their own bad breath— for better or worse — according to preconceived notions. Even though participants seemed physically capable of detecting their own bad breath, their ideas about how their breath should smell skewed their ability.
Other theories suggest it is a matter of evolution. If we had to smell our own foul breath all the time, our poor brains would be overwhelmed and miss out on detecting other odors more important to our safety and survival.
Whatever the reason, humans just plain stink at noticing our own stink. When bad breath strikes, you can only hope a trusted friend, or even a benevolent stranger, clues you in.
But what if no one steps up? It might be time to take matters into your own hands and pay attention to the clues around you.
Common Clues For Bad Breath
If you suspect you suffer from bad breath, look for these nonverbal cues:
- Leaning out or away
- Touching the nose
- Popping a breath mint
If Bad Breath Persists, It’s Time to Make an Appointment
Most bad breath is only temporary. A good brush and floss usually does the trick. But if you suffer from bad breath more often than not, this might be the sign of a larger issue. Make an appointment at Sherman Oaks Dentistry so we can help detect and tackle to cause of your bad breath.