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Video

Dr. Pixie:

We’ve had loads of questions to the Embarrassing Bodies website about bad breath. Now I think the first thing you need to know is whether you’ve got bad breath or not, and a very simple test is the lick and sniff test. It’s really easy; you just lick the inside of your wrist, leave it for ten seconds and then sniff. If it stinks then it’s highly probably that your breath pongs as well.

Lots of you are asking questions about brushing your teeth and using mouthwash and why, if you do that, why does your breath still smell. The reason is many of you probably aren’t doing it properly. You really need to brush your teeth for two minutes morning and night-time, and ideally with an electric toothbrush rather than an ordinary toothbrush.

That just gives a good clean and ensures that all of the food particles are removed. The other issue is flossing and I think lots of us have a fear of flossing, we feel it’s time consuming but it really is a must. Next step is investing in a tongue scraper; scrape all that gunk at the back of your tongue, it may make you gag but it will definitely make you smell a lot sweeter if you remove it.

And finally, mouthwash. Again use it twice a day and ideally use a preparation that doesn’t have any alcohol in it, because overuse of alcohol based mouthwashes can actually sometimes lead to bad breath.

Lots of you have been leaving messages about having bad breath when you’re on a diet and the reason for that is that lots of us choose a high protein, low-carb diet, and in doing so the build of protein tends to make our breath stink. So it’s really important, if you are on one of these diets, just to realise that this is a spin-off and actually trying a low calorie, well balanced diet will a much more favourable effect on your breath.

A really common cause of bad breath is dehydration and you may be really dehydrated after a very, very sunny day, if you’ve been exercising, if you’re hung-over or even if you’re ill so it’s vitally important to get your eight glasses of water a day and if you have been exposed to excessive exercise or excessive heat drink more, take 50% more of that and you’ll ensure that your mouth is well hydrated and your breath should be absolutely fine.

I’ve had an interesting message left which was ‘does oral sex cause bad breath?’ I’m not aware that it does, certainly from a medical point of view but plausibly, if the genitals aren’t clean then of course you can feel that your breath is smelly afterwards and it may be obvious to others. The other thing is that sometimes people have a low grade infection, like maybe a thrush infection in the genitals and therefore this can be passed from down below to the mouth, and a thrush infection would give rise to a build up of white gunk and debris on the back of the tongue which can smell and can also be quite sore. So my advice is if you are concerned about this then make sure that obviously you’re nice and clean in the mouth, and that the genitals are absolutely scrupulously clean down below, and you shouldn’t have any further problems.

Loads of you are talking tonsils on the website. ‘Are my tonsils making my breath smelly?’ Well if you are unlucky enough to suffer from tonsil pits, so these are little craters on the surface of your tonsils, which look like the surface of the moon, and these become filled up with food particles, then these can be a problem and can make your breath pong, because the food particles rot and create a smell after several days. Don’t try and remove them please, many people have a habit of trying to pick these bits of food out. That can be quite dangerous, can result in bleeding or infection, so don’t do that. If you are someone who suffers from recurrent tonsil infection, so from bacterial infections or viral infections, where your tonsils get coated in white gunk, and you become unwell with a temperature, go and see your GP because if your tonsils are really giving you recurrent trouble it may be that you simply need to have them out.

There are other medical conditions which you need to think about as well so if you are someone that suffers from chronic sinus congestion and a drip back the back of your throat remember that this can run into your mouth and really, really create a stinky breath. So too can reflux of acid so that’s acid coming up from your stomach and reaching the back of your throat, again that is very, very smelly. And other problems, like liver problems or general medical problems may too result in smelly breath so if you think you’re doing the right thing as regards your teeth and your oral hygiene do go and chat to your GP about your breath.

Read the video transcript

Doctor Responses: Bad Breath

There can be several causes of bad breath, and most of us struggle with it at one time or another.

In this video Dr Pixie answers your most frequently asked questions on the subject. Most questions were posted by Embarrassing Bodies viewers on our condition guides to halitosis and gingivitis.

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Comments and Questions

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I wander whether people with this problem have dental implants and whether they started noticing changes in their digestion and these smells after the the implants where in place.





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This is definitely a problem linked to tonsil stones (youtube it) or behind tonsil area where you cant see and also directly linked to diet. For me, it comes and goes depending on how much dairy and sugar I am eating. So chocolate is a curse!!! Also my friend thinks it is linked to too much meat. But really it could be different for different people, what ever is making your digestive system unhappy, toxins appear in your throat. I will be trying all the above cures and less chocolate and more excercise, it is always worse when I am in an unfit, bad diet phase and not drinking enough water.





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Tonsil stones are usually caused by diet and oral hygiene. If you cut your carbs, drink water and brush 2x a day you shouldnt get them. Theyre made up of deposits of plaque that harden and get trapped into pits at the back of your throat. Brushing well, and removing plaque effectively should sort it out.

I'm 16 years old and so i did oral with my boyfriend and i noticed i had really foul breath afterwards along with a white-ish looking tongue. I went to go brush my teeth along with my tongue and i think its somewhat better. Also my tongue is back to a normal looking pinkish color in my opinion. Can doing oral lead to a white looking tongue and or bad breath? I did some research just to be safe and apparently symptoms of HIV can cause white tongue. The thing is i'm not experiencing an other symptoms of HIV and that my tongue isn't white anymore after brushing. And that my boyfriend and i are sure we dont have HIV and or AIDS. I'm confused. Either i have a really bad brushing habit causing my breath to smell bad and the white tongue and or something else? please help





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I tried so many things likes tooth brushing properly with using Floss .Also had been using metronidazole AB oraly for 7 days.it is very emberassing,





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Thanks Anna for sharing your tip on using Metronidzol for bad bacteria!! It took some time to convince my GP but got the prescription eventually. Over a course of 7 days I noticed a change in my bowel action. I believe the protozoa's/ amoebic colonies of this world got zapped and am no longer a host. As a result of taking metronidzol I experienced reduced bloating and cramp especially after eating. I'm extremely regular ... things get expunged after 4-hours which has made such positive change for me. What remains is the foul breath. I should have asked what you meant by 3 doses? I'm thinking I've suffered with foul breath for so long should my expectations rest on taking metronidzole for just 7 days? Maybe I need to take it over a longer course? I do get heartburn but at the same time I drink alot of water. No results there. Also looking into foods with reduced sulphur content. Apparently certain foods produce more sulphur hydroxide in combination with stomach acid. So I aim to include many squash variations in my diet. Thanks again Anna!





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I have this poo breath for 3 yrs now and I never go out. I haven't been in a relationship for 4 yrs. I try scraping my tongue brushing my teeth 3 times a day mouthwash and I have got 5 teeth out and it's still there. I've turned into a loner and never leave house and on the verge of killing myself. I watch people everyday out walking there dogs, couples holding hands, people laughing and having fun and I want that and it seems so far away. I'm looking from my window and wishing I am on the other side of my window walking down d road and nobody looking at you and calling you a freak or he smells of poo. I'm 35 and I hope I get to go out and meet people some day sooner rather than later. Thomas





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Please don't kill yourself.

Don't kill yourself Thomas!! I have this too (Breath like poo). I have become a recluse and before that I was outgoing and talkative. I went everywhere and did things now I am totally secluded in my home. When I do go to stores or the laundry I go in the very early hours. I go to the 24 laundry at 3am, I go to the grocery at 6 am. If I want to do department stores I try to go in the mid day on a weekday that I maybe off. I do have some health issues and have my first doctor appointment in years on Jan 4 2016. But Thomas don't so it. It is hard but you can make it. Teresa

Hi, Same goes for me as the above comments, not really any answers here to solve this problem. I have the same shitty breath, I brush my teeth/ tounge, whole of my mouth twice a day, I CB12 (strong mouth wash only available through chemist) every day, I also have a Yakult or 2 everyday. I have tried Helico x (cleans the gut out, I took 5 capsuals a night for 7 days) I have tried Echinacea with golden seal root Herbal Medicean to kill bacteria. I go through a pack of chewing gum a day. I have not been to the doctor yet but plan to this week, I was hoping for some aunti biotics but reading some comments I can see they are not so effective. I think it has come and gone over the years, but at the moment it's really present. I am male 42. I thought possibly something to do with acid reflux, I may try a prohibitor next to counter act the acid, I do drink a lot of water, I'm a vegetarian and do eat a lot of dairy, cheese and milk. Help !, I did see an earlier post to try Metronidazole which I will do, and maybe get my blood tested. If anyone can help, I would be over the moon ! Many thanks loren





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i had poo breath since 12 until now im 28.. im a girl, my parents said sometimes its smell like internal organ, sometmes poo, and sometimes smells rotten rat :( sad world, everytime i go to crowded place or aircondition room they always say smells like poo, rootten rat... i wanna die :( i need some answer what kind of illness is this?





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I also have this terrible problem. I have had some good results with cleansers such as bowel pocket and chlorophyll pills which worked great for awhile and then the smell returned leaving me to believe that my problem runs deeper. Drinking a lot of water also is crucial.

Sweetie, you have a bacteria problem. I've had BB for over 8 years and Thanks to GOD, he gave me the revelation to take Metronidzalole it kills bad bacteria from our body, just 3 dozes and my BB is GONE!!!

Have you talked to your Dr. about the possibility of tonsil stone? Its mucas and food that get stuck it the pockets in your tonsils and causes bacteria to grow and smell like poo its gross but it could be the problem, one way to tell is if you have yellow or white spots on your tonsils those are actually little balls of yuck which can be removed several different ways. Hope this helps. Im having that problem right now make me want to cry im going to see my doctor in the morning hopefully to find out if im right about it.

Poor digestion. My husband gets this and immediately takes two digestive enzymes and one hcl along with peppermint and fennel tea. It clears it up right away. Without this it just gets worse and worse

It's the infection of adenoid.behind the nose and throat between.it can removed from surgery or operation.but don't tell any this.and don't hide your halitosis or fetor it's cannot hide you know that.now appear it and watch new world don't tell anybody that you've bad breath but silently.every time sniffing your nose.if you hide it.then it more become difficult your life.appear it with the sound of nose.and go further if you're dare to listen that bad breath coming from you...you know that.and you or anybody it is impossible to hide it

Candida Albicans is usually the cause when no other treatment works. Not something doctors usually agree with. It can also cause many other health problems that doctors cannot scientifically find causes for. The symptons are treated not the cause.





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my husband suffered with this but since being diagonized with diebeties2 and is now on insulan he no longer has this problem. get a blood test done to check your sugar.

Candida diet Choloryphyll internal deodorant Very low sugar diet Water often to flush the system Digestive enzymes/probiotic Exercise (Heard magnesium too) **Works**





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