Occasionally, chronic bad breath causes social anxiety disorder
SUMMARY: Ironically, at least one of the physical symptoms of social anxiety can cause bad breath to get worse.
Posted: November 10, 2011
Bad breath can be mortifying. Whether you get it at work, around friends, at family functions or on a date, halitosis can put a serious crimp in your style. Fortunately, specialty breath fresheners can do away with oral odor quickly and effectively - which is a good thing, since a recent study found that chronic bad breath causes a prolonging of social anxiety disorder (SAD).
Halitosis can worsen the symptoms of SAD, making it difficult for patients to overcome the mental condition even after they have freshened their breath, researchers said.
Conducted by a group of Japanese psychologists, the study appeared in the journal Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. In brief, the team found that high-risk SAD patients with measurably strong bad breath tended to have strong social anxiety even after getting treated for their oral odor.
The group recruited SAD patients from a local Fresh Breath Clinic. Scientists administered anxiety tests before and after treatment for halitosis. The found that chronic bad breath causes the symptoms of SAD - also known as social phobia - to be harder to dispel.
In a given year, nearly 7 percent of U.S. adults suffer from SAD, a condition can make a person feel overwhelmingly nervous in social situations, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
Ironically, at least one of the physical symptoms of SAD can cause bad breath to get worse. The NIMH states that true social phobia can lead to sweating, blushing, dry mouth, nausea, trembling and difficulty speaking. A dry mouth is one of the leading causes of halitosis. No wonder people with SAD can feel so self-conscious about their bad breath!
By using a specialty breath freshening rinse, lozenge, toothpaste or gum, people can freshen breath instantly, whether or not they have social anxiety. For the 15 million American adults with SAD, eliminating bad breath causes might lead to positive emotional effects.