Is Bad Breath a Deal Breaker: Dating Rule #4

Is Bad Breath a Deal Breaker

Have you ever dated a person who had chronic bad breath? I can tell you from personal experience that it isn’t the most pleasant trait a significant other can have, neither is it the most pleasant to bring up.

Is bad breath a deal breaker?  Bad breath can most certainly be a deal-breaker. However, it’s not something you or your significant other have to live with. 

If you just got back from a date, are you wondering why didn’t he kiss me on the first date? It can be the breath!

Bad hygiene is one thing, but my boyfriend still has bad breath after brushing, and he doesn’t have bad hygiene. He’s fairly routine, he brushes his teeth in the morning, showers daily, and generally takes care of himself fairly well. 

He didn’t always have bad breath, but often enough for it to bother me. And it was confusing because I watched him brush his teeth in the morning and everything.

One night after work we sat down and talked about it. He wasn’t even aware of how bad his breath stank, and was immediately embarrassed and confused himself.

So we sat down and put our heads together and with a little research, we found out how to break a potential deal-breaker, and now I’m going to share it with all of you gals who may be experiencing a similar issue in your relationship.

How Important is a Fresh Breath

A study completed by that included 5,000 members concluded that 43% of singles have stated that having clean, fresh breath on a date is important. This number is even higher amongst teens who polled in at 70%.

So bad breath being a deal breaker isn’t so much of an opinion as it is a statistical fact. It actually ranked the third most important factor for singles from the poll.

This really should go without saying.

For instance, I myself have dipped on a dinner date because of this one guy’s bad breath. Don’t get me wrong, he was a cool guy and we were having a lively conversation, when at one point he leaned in to excitedly tell me about something, and I noticed how rank his breath was.

I still can’t remember what we were talking about, since I noticed how his breath smelled even over the food we were eating.

After we paid, I promptly came up with somewhere else I just had to be that night. I forgot Barbara asked me to let her dog out, it slipped my mind, or something like that. 

If I had known him better, like my current boyfriend, I would have said something or even helped him find out a solution. Things being what they were that night though, it was definitely a deal breaker. 

Can bad breath ruin a relationship?


Would you date someone with bad breath?

If not, then don’t feel bad wondering, why do guys stop talking to you after you reject them?

What Causes Bad Breath?

Dating someone with bad breath, also called halitosis, isn’t easy, especially if it’s persistent. It makes pillow talk difficult if not unbearable, and even makes more intimate moments less than enjoyable.

Most people with bad breath don’t know how their breath smells, I mean, you smell your own breath all day so you may become used to it, which is called sensory adaptation. That means people who have a breath that even komodo dragons run from aren’t aware of it.

Bad breath can stem from a few things, up to and not including poor hygiene. Even when good oral hygiene is practiced, bad breath can still occur since not everyone is playing with the same stats.

That white-ish pasty stuff that builds up on and around teeth and on the tongue is the number one culprit for many causes of bad breath. This biofilm stuff is called plaque, and produces a foul-smelling odor on its own.

If left alone plaque can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis, which can cause infected gums, oral bleeding, ulcers, and tooth loss.

So while your boy or girl may have good hygiene, they may not be scrubbing their whole mouth, from the incisors to the back of the tongue. This may be all that causes them to have bad breath, so a simple alteration to their self-care routine may be all that’s needed to eliminate their mal-odorous breath.

Also, using a mouthwash daily is another great way to get after the offensive bacteria that hides in all corners of the mouth. A daily thorough scrubbing and complementary mouthwash should be enough to keep the bacteria that live in the mouth manageable.

What if Brushing isn’t Enough

Well, honey, then his bad breath may not be an oral hygiene problem but could be caused by something else out of his control. There are quite a few medical conditions that have symptoms that can lead to bad breath. 

I mean wild, awful, out of control, bad breath.

Like, my boyfriend’s breath smells like poop, bad.

A persistent dry mouth can let bacteria grow at a prolific rate. For instance, both type 1 and type 2 Diabetes can cause xerostomia, which is the medical term for dry mouth. 

Xerostomia is a common side effect of a bunch of medications, as well as being a symptom of numerous autoimmune disorders. 

Smoking tobacco is another big one for causes of dry mouth and bad breath. The worst part about smoking is that it doesn’t just affect the mouth and throat, but that bad breath comes from the lungs itself.

So if your S.O. is a smoker, it might be time for them to put the pack down. It’s healthier on the body, the mind, the bank account, and clearly, relationships.

Xerostomia can even be caused by something as simple as not drinking enough water. Believe it or not it can be difficult in today’s fast paced world to stay properly hydrated, helping to remind your other to drink water regularly may be all that’s needed.   

 So while bad breath might be a deal breaker, it’s not necessarily the end of the world.  There are solutions.

The Good News

So as unattractive as bad breath can be, it is totally treatable and can be a simple fix. Instead of pulling the plug on your relationship, maybe it’s time to see how much your significant other cares about how you feel.

I often find that talking things out has better results than pulling the pin on a relationship. 

Practicing more thorough oral hygiene methods, such as brushing for a solid 2 minutes, flossing, and using mouthwash is generally the trifecta for dealing with most bad breath.

If it’s caused by medication or a medical issue, then maybe a trip to the doctor’s office may be in order. Maybe a switch in medication or a professional opinion could be just what the doctor ordered.

On the other side, if the person you are dating doesn’t take action against their own hygiene or is dismissive of your commentary, then it’s definitely time to pull the plug on your relationship. 

 While bad breath can certainly be unattractive and maybe a deal-breaker for some, especially on first dates, an obvious lack of self-care or mutual respect most definitely is. 

Just to brag on my man, after the initial awkward conversation about how his breath smelled, he sat down and did some quick research. As it just so happens, he hadn’t been brushing the back of his tongue or using mouthwash.

After a few days of a new brushing routine, his breath was much less noticeable.

In fact, he even reported that his whole mouth felt different and cleaner, and even went so far as to thank me for pointing it out, actually embarrassed that none of his friends or coworkers brought it up before.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Some people say that catching bad breath is as simple as kissing or sharing a drink with someone who has it. The illness, however, is not infectious.

The bacteria that cause halitosis remain in the mouth of the person who has it, and other conditions that cause bad breath aren't contagious.

Infections of the sinuses and lungs can cause a person's breath to smell like feces.

Bronchitis, colds, viruses, and strep throat produce bacteria that spread from your nose to your throat, resulting in foul-smelling breath.

Cupping your hands over your mouth and nose or licking the inside of your wrist and tasting it will help you determine whether you have bad breath.

Poor oral hygiene is a common cause of bad breath.

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