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Dentist, Keiron Fallon
"It can be a very serious social problem"
 real 28k

Friday, 26 November, 1999, 07:27 GMT
Bad breath 'damages career prospects'
Unclean teeth Bad breath is linked to poor oral hygiene

If you want to get a job, get a good tooth brush and lay off the coffee.

Nearly half the population (45%) believes that people with bad breath are less likely to be promoted at work, a survey has found.

The research, commissioned by the British Dental Association (BDA), found that people in the higher socio-economic classes (ABC1) were more likely to believe that the condition could damage career prospects.

How to beat bad breath
Brush teeth and gums properly
Floss between teeth
Drink plenty of liquids, but not too much coffee
Clean the mouth after eating or drinking milk products, fish and meat
Ask a dentist to recommend a tongue cleane
Chew sugar-free gum
Eat fresh, fibrous vegetables like carrots
One in five people said that bad breath was the most unattractive feature a person can have. Only scruffy clothes and body odour received more votes.

However, only three per cent said that bad breath was the first thing they noticed about a person.

Nearly half the people surveyed knew that bad breath problems are caused by problems in the mouth, such as oral hygiene and cleanliness, and nearly seven out of ten correctly thought that a dentist could help with the problem.

Taboo subject

Dr Geoff Craig, chair of the BDA's Health and Science Policy Group, said: "Bad breath is one of the last great taboo subjects.

"People are very reluctant to discuss it, but it is believed that most adults occasionally have bad breath, and that up to a quarter of us may suffer regularly.

"The best way to beat bad breath is to visit your dentist regularly and look after your oral hygiene."

Ruth Lea, head of policy for the Institute of Directors, said bad breath could be a problem at interview.

She said: "It is common sense that poor general appearance and personal hygiene does not help.

"To some extent it depends on the job. If it involves a lot of meeting and greeting then it could be a serious problem."

The BDA survey coincides with a seminar in Dunblane to help dentists who want to learn more about treating the condition.

Professor Mel Rosenberg of Tel Aviv University, the world's top expert in bad breath, will lead the one-day seminar.

He said: "Bad breath is one of the main reasons people go to dentists yet in most dental schools students are only given about half-an-hour on the subject during their whole period of training."

Bad breath sufferers can call an advice line on 0870 333 1188 or find out more about the problem at the BDA's website at www.bda-dentistry.org.uk
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See also:
19 Feb 99 |  Health
To breathe, or not to breathe
20 May 99 |  Health
Breath of fresh air for testing
11 Sep 98 |  Health
Diagnosis by breath smell

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