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Spouses, Divorce and Bad Breath

An earlier article post was about the ugly side of bad breath, suicide, so let's get away from that but still stay serious...bad breath causing divorces.

Let’s get away from that subject but always remembering bad breath is also serious from another perspective…if bad breath can drive people to take their lives then it would surely affect divorce, right? Yes, you are a 100% correct for many different reasons.

As you read this you may even know someone who got a divorce because bad breath was an early culprit to their marriage relationship. We already know that bad breath is socially nasty, turning others away from the offending person which also is the same in marriage relationships.

Initially, love will often cover many of our faults…our snoring, aggravating twitches, how we dress ourselves and even maybe a little bad breath problem. Later, things may start to pile up and as bad breath gets worse, the social-closeness starts to diminish, instead of a kiss on the lips, a cheek is offered and later not even that. Now, the social distancing becomes greater and greater where bedroom intimacy is reduced to nothing or almost nothing. As you can see, bad breath is like a social-rust on a marriage eating away at the fabric of this initially great relationship making everyone wonder “what went wrong?”.

What went wrong is that someone in the marriage became complacent in the basics of life. Initially, everyone cleaned themselves up, washing, smelling good, nice clothes, the whole “dating” package. Later, as a couple felt more and more comfortable with themselves, they also became socially complacent. Things like clothes, washing and something as simple as oral hygiene, keeping the mouth clean neutralized of bad breath.

An example of this is when a child is growing up into their teen years, they tend to listen to their parents less and less. Where they used to brush their teeth, now they are lucky to brush once a day with bad breath the end result. These teens don’t care until boys and girls start to look cute and they want to date. Now, they wash, comb their hair and brush their teeth to have fresh breath. Ultimately, as dating becomes successful, they get engaged and they marry.

Then what happens? “Teenager Complacency” returns. They get comfortable in their marriage relationship. Clothes on the floor, dishes in the sink, less cleaning and the toothbrush spends more time in a cup then in their mouth. Bad breath becomes the norm and a spouse “tries” to tolerate this but slowly, like rust on metal, it starts to take it’s toll. Less closeness. Less intimacy. Finally, what brought them together, love, begins to erode. Finally, a day comes where a spouse asks for a divorce completely befuddling the other “why?…what happened?…etc”. Little did they know it started when they stopped taking care of their mouths. Their teeth. Bad breath literally “ate” away their marriage.

Now, don’t take me wrong, that bad breath is the sole source of divorce. Divorce is a dynamic, complicated social aspect in life but our appearance, our personal odors (bad breath) can and do affect a marriage relationship. As an odontologist, I can approach the subject of oral health and bad breath with a strong degree of expertise. That said, improving your oral hygiene will improve your breath, improve relationships and ultimately your health. Go to my video BAD BREATH AND IT’S SOCIAL EFFECTS at or visit my BLOG site BETTER BREATH 4 BETTER HEALTH at

Steven Jaksha DMD, Odontology, Oral Diseases, Bad Breath Specialist

San Diego, CA

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