Halitosis (Bad Breath)


Do you have Halitosis (Bad Breath)?

Bad breath is particularly bothersome because people rarely know they have it unless they are told of it. Yet it can spoil one’s social and even economic life. And mouth washes are not always useful. When bacteria stagnate, or remain in one place, they multiply and give off toxins and odors. So the treatment/ prevention is to avoid having bacteria accumulate in one spot. In the nose this means salt water nose spray or Pulsating Nasal Irrigation if you have crusts and other sources of odor. For the throat, check the teeth. Any open cavities? Any gum disease? I strongly recommend eating yogurt in order to bring in the good bacteria that make the mouth healthier. If the gums are red and swollen, better brushing and flossing is a must. A common cause of breath problems are the deep holes in the tonsils, known as crypts. These holes are supposed to be there, they provide areas where the good white cells of the body can fight the bad bacteria. Then the dead bacteria and dead white cells are extruded and swallowed. Sometimes the holes are too wide or crooked and the material gets to accumulate and cause odor. Here, pulsatile throat irrigation can be very effective because the pulsation removes the dead material.

The mouth may be extra dry for lack of fluids. Try increasing fluid intake. Indigestion may be a factor. An excellent remedy is to take protelytic enzyme tablets for digestion. (Papain and bromelain, in combination, and with calibrated enzyme activity are best.) If you are milk intolerant, there are lactase tablets for digesting milk and milk products. If you have an acid stomach check with your doctor about reducing excess acid with Tagamet or Zantac. It is best not to self diagnose on hyperacidity in the stomach.

The mouth wash people spend millions trying to convince every living soul that they have bad breath. As a result I see patients in consultation who DON’T have any unpleasant odor, they just have seen too many advertisements. so unless someone is complaining, if you don’t have nasal problems, or dental disease or unusual material out of your tonsils, I would recommend doing nothing. On the other hand, my patients like to use pulsatile throat irrigation before a heavy date “to be sure”.

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