February 18, 2019

If you failed to land a date on Valentine’s Day, it might be worth checking your breath. That is at least the conclusion reached by a survey conducted by the Oral Health Foundation, that found that bad breath is the single biggest turn-off for British adults when looking for a partner.

Of the survey results, 85 per cent said they would be put off from dating someone if that person had bad breath—outranking poor manners, being late and making bad jokes. Furthermore, 80 per cent said they wouldn’t go on a second date with someone if that person had bad breath on the first date.

Bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis, is extremely common and can be caused by a variety of factors. Food and drink such as spicy or strong-smelling food, coffee or red wine can cause bad breath. However the most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. Failing to brush your teeth twice a day, in combination with flossing or using an interdental brush, can lead to the formation of plaque between the teeth, which releases foul-smelling bacteria and unpleasant smells.

Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, spoke of how preventable bad breath is through the adoption of good dental health habits.

“The tongue can harbour a lot of bacteria, some of which encourages bad breath. Brushing your tongue on a daily basis can help to improve bad breath,” said Carter.

“Ultimately, the best place to go to understand why you might be experiencing bad breath and how to prevent it, is your dentist. It is important that we take bad breath seriously. Bad breath can be a sign of wider problems, including gum disease, which, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss,” he continued.

“Some people try masking bad breath by simply popping a mint into their mouth, but this will not solve the problem. Chewing sugar-free gum, on the other hand, can help as it increases saliva flow. Saliva helps clean your mouth and get rid of bad-breath bacteria. However, if bad breath lingers, be sure to seek professional advice,” he concluded.

If you would like more information on how to tackle bad breath, talk to your dentist or pick up one of our bad breath fact files full of useful tips which can help!