Bad breath could be standing in your way at work, and you might not even know it. Whether job hunting or hoping for a promotion, personal hygiene can impact career opportunities.
A great first impression is the goal of any job interview, and an applicant’s personal hygiene is often considered a very important aspect of getting a job. But what if bad breath ends up part of a potential employer’s takeaway?
Bad breath is noticeable during face-to-face conversations. And while employers can’t technically discriminate based on bad breath, they can subconsciously end up with a less than stellar impression if hit with a pungent scent when you open your mouth. Worse, you might not even be aware it’s happening.
Many people suffer from bad breath, and very few know when they have it. Even if conscious of it, they don’t know what to do about the situation, especially when the symptoms persist. This has been called the Bad Breath Paradox as referenced by a study in the Journal of the American Dental Association, where people are terrible at gauging the smell of their own breath.
The study puts forward the idea that a lack of awareness could stem from some kind of evolutionary adaptation where your body, concerned about surrounding smells, doesn’t smell its own. That’s why many people who have halitosis are often not aware they’ve got it.
Offering a person with bad breath a glass of water is a common response. Consuming more water does have a lubricating effect on the mouth, while also washing food around so the food doesn’t stagnate means bacteria doesn’t have as much chance to thrive.
But this is not always the solution. The thing is, while dry mouth is a common cause of bad breath, simple hydration won’t automatically resolve the issue if the cause behind the odour is more complex.
There are far more common causes of dry mouth, ranging from the type of food you consume to poor dental hygiene. Illness and disease is another possibility, or a combination of all of the above.
Maintain dental health by keeping your scheduled dental check-ups throughout the year, and stick to a daily oral care routine. Likewise, keep in mind dentures may contribute to bad breath if not cleaned regularly.
Other suggestions for addressing bad breath include the use of tongue scrapers, or you can choose to keep sugar-free gum on hand. Probiotic products may help.
Before a work meeting or interview, pop in a breath-freshening mint. And hit pause when grabbing a bite to eat beforehand. If your lunchtime preference is a soup rich in garlic and onion, you may want to think about opting for a less pungent choice.
Certain food types, including some dairy products, may have a higher chance of causing bad breath. Caffeine can also dry out the mouth so reducing your daily intake is an option worth considering. Modifying your diet is important, and could help reduce the issue.
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