Talk to someone about bad breath, and you will likely get a relatively negative reaction to the topic. After all, it's a rare person who feels ambivalent, much less positive, about having halitosis. However, some cultures revile oral odor more than others, and some are more likely to have it, too.
A study published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene suggests that a culture's or ethnicity's approach to eating, drinking, smoking and oral health all contribute to their likelihood of experiencing bad breath.
For instance, the paper's authors said that Belgians, Norwegians and Danish people tend to see little importance in preventing their children from eating sugary snacks. Such a diet can contribute to halitosis, tooth decay and gingivitis, making dentists' jobs that much harder - or giving them job security, depending on your perspective.
The report also stated that countries with high rates of tobacco use - like Chile, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Poland, Russia and the Ukraine - may be at the highest risk for bad breath. The same goes for African-Americans in the U.S., whom the study says are the most vulnerable to picking up smoking as teens.
By brushing, using a specialty breath freshener, and avoiding smoking and excess sugar, people with halitosis can begin to reduce their oral odor.