English as a Foreign Language
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It is horrible to find oneself in a close conversation with someone and become suddenly aware that the person they are talking to has horrible smelling breath. It can almost make someone feel nauseous to continue the conversation and it is almost impossible not to make a facial expression that communicates disgust.
The putrid odor elicits almost involuntary responses. This is a very difficult situation to deal with and many people want to simply get away from the offensive odor as quickly as possible. Bad breath is especially nasty for others to deal with but it is important that is dealt with on all levels both personally and as a friend, relative or coworker of a person with the problem.
So what can be done about bad breath? First of all, each and every person has a responsibility to take good care of their teeth and perform good oral hygiene that will help to prevent bad breath. It is a common courtesy to make sure that others do not have to suffer with a person’s laziness and lack of personal care. People who know that they have a problem with foul breath should recognize the fact and take care of the problem to the best of their ability. If they can not handle the problem on their own they should seek professional help of the dentist and doctor.
When a person is faced with speaking or dealing with another person who has bad breath it is important to address the situation rather than get away from it. Sometimes a person has a medical problem that causes them to have bad breath and they are completely unaware of the odor in their mouth or the medical problem. By telling someone they have bad breath a person can be saving another person’s life. Even though this may be a difficult conversation to initiate it is important.
One easy way to address the situation is to offer the person a piece of gum or a mint and gently tell them that they may need to see a physician to discover what their problem is. Or a person can bring up the subject of bad breath and talk about its seriousness and then offer the mint or gum. This should help most people understand they have a problem. Some people will require a very direct statement telling them they have bad breath and need to do something about it. Although this is a hard thing to do it is something that needs to be done.