It is not always easy to tell some that they have bad breath. In many cases, social boundaries can make it feel nearly impossible, particularly when it is a stranger who is afflicted. However, even telling a loved one can be difficult. The Charlotte Observer's advice column Ask Amy recently told a wife how to break it to her husband that he has halitosis.
The reader - who signed off as "Nauseated" - wrote that her partner has poor dental hygiene. Evidently, he brushes his teeth once a day at most, and his breath is very strong.
The newspaper responded by saying that she should simply and directly remind her husband that brushing at least twice a day can limit the extent of bad breath.
While this advice is backed by the American Dental Association - which also recommends flossing once daily - simply cleaning the teeth may not always eliminate odor.
Advanced tooth decay and gum disease can exude a foul smell even after brushing, since the rot caused by oral bacteria does not simply go away. Likewise, savory foods can leave a tang on the breath that may outlast a good brushing, mainly because pungent foods can leave a film at the back of the throat, where brushes cannot reach.
To eliminate halitosis and keep the mouth clean and moist, individuals may consider rinsing with a specialty breath freshener after each meal.