Bad Breath Anxiety

Coping with anxiety and stress is an important part of living a happy life. But when you have bad breath, it’s not uncommon to find that your bad breath causes an increase in anxiety and stress that is otherwise hard to control. There are numerous factors that cause bad breath to lead to anxiety.



Some of these factors include:

  • Confirmation Bias:  

The most common reason that those with bad breath experience anxiety is because of confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is a psychological term that refers to only seeing the reactions in others that you expect, and ignoring all other behaviors. When you have bad breath, it’s not uncommon to look to see how people react to you, and when you see anything that looks even remotely negative, it causes you to believe that your bad breath lead to that reaction – ultimately creating more anxiety in social situations.

  • Reinforcement:   

If someone reacts to your bad breath in any way, even in a friendly way (such as offering you a piece of gum), that can also reinforce your fear. Chances are when you have bad breath you experience a bit of social anxiety whenever you’re in any social situation. When someone responds directly to your bad breath, it reinforces your fear, and shows you that your anxiety was worthwhile causing more anxiety the next time.

  • Self-Consciousness:

Bad breath forces you to think about yourself, and that self-consciousness can also lead to anxiety. Normally we thrive in social situations specifically because we have enough confidence in ourselves and aren’t focused on our behaviors, how we look, etc. Self-consciousness decreases that confidence, and that can create further anxiety.

These are all reasons that bad breath may lead to anxiety. If you also have other stress in your life, anxiety may become even more common.

Curing this anxiety does take time, but there are several steps you can take to reduce the effect this anxiety has on your life.

These steps include:

  • Cure Your Bad Breath:    

The most important thing you can do is clean your teeth and reduce your bad breath. The more confident you are in your breath, the easier a time you’ll have learning better ways to cope with your anxiety.

  • Have Someone Check Your Breath:

Find someone you trust, like a relationship partner, and have them check your breath so that you can be confident that you’re going into a social situation free of any negative smells. Generally it’s a bad idea to pay this much attention to your breath when you’re trying to be less self-conscious, but when you’ve first cured your bad breath it’s normal to have a bit of fear. Having someone check can be a huge help.

  • Try To Retrain Your mind: 

Earlier we mentioned confirmation bias – the most common cause of anxiety in those with bad breath. You need to be able to retrain your mind to stop thinking that people are reacting to your breath, and most likely reacting to something else. You can do this by writing down alternative reasons someone reacted to you in a way that made you feel self-conscious about your breath. For example, if you feel you saw them move away from you, maybe it’s because they enjoy more personal space or they had somewhere to be. If you can learn to see all of the other reasons that people react as they do and stop focusing on your breath as a reason, the anxiety should decrease.

Finally, simply relieving other causes of anxiety can be beneficial as well. If you are someone that experiences anxiety regularly in your daily life, using strategies to reduce that anxiety can also help you cut back on your bad breath anxiety.

Overall, bad breath is something that can be relieved with the right treatment. Any anxiety you had related to your bad breath, however, may take a bit longer to cure. Take the time to focus on relieving your anxiety symptoms so that you don’t allow your bad breath to have a long term effect on your mental health.

Your Views Please!!  

Has bad breath caused you to experience anxiety? Leave a comment about your own bad breath anxiety experience or ideas you have to relieve anxiety caused by bad breath.

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