Why is it that the last to know that a person has bad breath is the person himself?
The medical term for bad breath is halitosis, fetor oris,ozostomia, or stomatodysodia. It means an unpleasant odor of the breath of a person. Halitosis is common among humans around the world and is usually caused by an accumulation of bacteria in the mouth as a result of gum disease, food, or plaque.
Often, the person with halitosis does not know about it before others do. Most people nearby may be too embarrassed to say anything. The majority of people with halitosis who don’t know they have it are told by a family member or close friend.
Experts say that at least half of us have halitosis at some point in our lives. Meals with strong tasting foods, such as onions or garlic may result in what some people may consider as bad breath. Some types of bad breath in one culture may not be considered as such in another. Lifestyle may also influence whether certain kinds of “breaths” are smelly and unpleasant; a non-smoker may find a smoker’s breath unpleasant, while another smoker may not. However, smoking is linked to a higher risk of dry mouth, dental and gum diseases, which can cause bad breath.
Preventing, curing or masking bad breath is big business. The shelves of supermarkets, pharmacies, and several other types of retail outlets are usually well stocked with a wide range of mints, gums, mouthwashes, sprays and other products aimed at combating bad breath. In the majority of cases they only control the bad breath for a short while – the shopper would be better off focusing on floss, toothpaste and a good toothbrush.
Good dental hygiene can improve bad breath and is usually considered the best preventive measure. Somebody with good dental hygiene who continues having bad breath may need to see a dentist to find out whether an underlying condition may be causing it.
According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary, halitosis is “A foul odor from the mouth.”
What are the causes of bad breath?
Halitosis can have a number of different causes, including:
- Poor dental hygiene – experts say that at least 90% of bad breath cases are caused by poor dental hygiene. When we eat, the food is broken down by bacteria that live in our mouths naturally. As the food and proteins are broken down gas is released – this gas (e.g. hydrogen sulfide vapors) is smelly. After swallowing, some of the food is trapped between our teeth and decomposes (rots) – bacteria continue breaking it down.
Rotten eggs usually give out hydrogen sulfide. The stench that is sometimes smelled in barnyards is usually created by methyl mercaptan. Sometimes the ocean may smell, this is partly caused by dimethyl sulfide. Bacteria that live in our mouths excrete hydrogen sulfide. These are all sulfur compounds. Dentists often refer to these compounds as VSCs (volatile sulfur compounds). Volatile means they evaporate readily, even at normal temperatures.
The best way to prevent food from remaining in your mouth after you eat is to brush and floss your teeth regularly and properly.
Bacteria also combine with food and saliva and form a colorless, sticky film on the surface of the teeth – this is called plaque. If you don’t brush your teeth regularly or properly plaque can build up. The accumulation of plaque eventually irritates the gum, causing gingivitis and tooth decay, which can also cause the mouth to be smelly.
- Poor denture hygiene – people who use dentures and don’t clean them regularly have a higher risk of bad breath. If the dentures don’t fit properly food is more likely to get stuck.
- Dry mouth – our mouths are moistened and kept clean with the help of saliva (spit). If the mouth is dry dead cells can build up on the tongue, gums and the insides of our cheeks. These cells then start to rot and give off an unpleasant smell. Smoking can cause dry mouth. If you have a problem with your salivary glands you are more likely to suffer from dry mouth, and possibly bad breath.
- Morning bad breath – most of us find that our mouths are not as nice-smelling first thing in the morning, compared to later on during the day. Our mouths tend to become drier when we sleep. People who sleep with their mouths open will probably have a dry mouth when they wake up. Once we are up and start eating the flow of saliva increases, and with good dental hygiene the morning bad breath is usually temporary.
- Food and drink – certain foods, such as onions, garlic and some spices may cause the breath to smell after consuming them. Alcohol and coffee might also cause bad breath. Bad breath from garlic is not caused mainly from the bacteria, but from the garlic itself – many people would argue that garlic breath is not unpleasant, and therefore not an example of halitosis. The bacteria in our mouths tend to give off higher volumes of smelly gases when they decompose proteins, such as meat or fish. If bits of meat get stuck between your teeth and you don’t clean them properly, your risk of having bad breath is significantly increased.
- Medications – any medication that causes a dry mouth or nose is more likely to cause bad breath, examples include antihistamines and drugs for treating sinus problems.
- Smoking – smoking does not cause bad breath just because of the unpleasant smell of smoke that has been in the mouth and the respiratory tract. Smokers are more likely to suffer from gum disease and other dental problems which cause bad breath. A significantly lower percentage of non-smokers have bad breath compared to smokers.
- Illnesses, conditions and situations – experts say that about one tenth of all cases of halitosis are caused by an illness or medical condition. Examples include:
- Other throat infections
- Diabetes – uncontrolled diabetes may produce a fruity breath.
- Bronchitis and chronic lung infections, including lung abscesses
- Sinusitis – nasal discharge can get to the back of the throat and make the mouth smelly.
- Acid reflux (GERD – gastroesophageal reflux disease).
- Very low carbohydrate diets
- Liver problems – liver failure may produce a fishy breath.
- Kidney problems – kidney failure can produce a urine-like odor.
- Some cancers.
How is bad breath diagnosed?
Anybody with a sense of smell and who is willing to tell the truth can diagnose your bad breath.
If you are found to have bad breath a visit to the dentist will help you find out what might be causing it. As 90% of cases of halitosis are caused by something in the mouth, the dentist is the best person to see first.
When you visit the dentist do not try to disguise the smell – the smell is one of the signs that helps the health care provider either make a diagnosis, or know who else to refer you to.
If the dentist finds that food decay in the mouth and/or plaque are causing the halitosis, he/she will usually treat this immediately. You will also be advised on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
If the dentist does not identify anything in your mouth that might be causing the halitosis, you may be referred to another health care professional.
How do you treat and prevent bad breath?
- Dental hygiene
If you regularly floss and brush your teeth you are much less likely to have bad breath.
Most dentists will advise their patients to brush their teeth at least two times a day, using a fluoride-containing toothpaste.
Your tooth brush should be small to medium sized. It should have soft, multi-tufted nylon bristles.
Replace your toothbrush periodically.
A tooth-brushing session should last at least two minutes. Make sure you have covered all areas, especially where the tooth meets the gum. Use a back and forth brushing motion on the outside and inside of all teeth. Don’t forget to reach all your back teeth; the ones that do all the chewing.
Lightly brush your tongue with a tongue scraper or a separate toothbrush.
Floss your teeth once a day with dental floss to remove any trapped food. Flossing will reach areas brushing might not, such as along the gum line between the teeth. Get a strand about 18 inches long and wrap the ends of the strand around the middle finger of each hand until there is about 1 inch of floss between each hand. Gently push the floss in between your teeth “sawing” back and forth until you reach the gum line. When the floss has reached the gum line, scrape the side of each tooth in an up-down motion. Keep moving to new sections of the strand so that you are not flossing with worn floss.
If you like you can also use an anti-bacterial mouthwash. However, this is complementary and should never be a substitute for brushing or flossing.
If you have eaten acidic food or drink, such as oranges (orange juice), wait thirty minutes before brushing your teeth. Your teeth are less likely to erode.
- Dentures Take dentures out at night so that your mouth can recover.
Do not clean dentures with toothpaste, as they will scratch and possibly stain them.
Clean dentures thoroughly with soap and warm water, a denture cream, or a denture-cleaning tablet.
Written by Christian Nordqvist
Last week, I noticed some discharge on my panty liner. Well, discharge is actually common to me, that’s way I wear panty liner every day, but what made this particular discharge noticeable is that it looks different. It’s not my usual mucous like discharge, it looks more like crushed piece of rice.
I checked the net and the closest I found is yeast infection. Though of course I’m not sure it’s what I have.
What is a vaginal yeast infection?
A vaginal yeast infection is irritation of the vagina and the area around it called the vulva (vul-vuh).
Yeast is a type of fungus. Yeast infections are caused by overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans. Small amounts of yeast are always in the vagina. But when too much yeast grows, you can get an infection.
Yeast infections are very common. About 75 percent of women have one during their lives. And almost half of women have two or more vaginal yeast infections.
The most common symptom of a yeast infection is extreme itchiness in and around the vagina.
Other symptoms include:
- Burning, redness, and swelling of the vagina and the vulva
- Pain when passing urine
- Pain during sex
- A thick, white vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese and does not have a bad smell
- A rash on the vagina
You may only have a few of these symptoms. They may be mild or severe.
Yes, you need to see your doctor to find out for sure if you have a yeast infection. The signs of a yeast infection are much like those of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia (KLUH-mid-ee-uh) and gonorrhea (gahn-uh-REE-uh). So, it’s hard to be sure you have a yeast infection and not something more serious.
If you’ve had vaginal yeast infections before, talk to your doctor about using over-the-counter medicines.
Your doctor will do a pelvic exam to look for swelling and discharge. Your doctor may also use a swab to take a fluid sample from your vagina. A quick look with a microscope or a lab test will show if yeast is causing the problem.
Many things can raise your risk of a vaginal yeast infection, such as:
- Lack of sleep
- Poor eating habits, including eating extreme amounts of sugary foods
- Having your period
- Taking certain medicines, including birth control pills, antibiotics, and steroids
- Diseases such as poorly controlled diabetes and HIV/AIDS
- Hormonal changes during your periods
Yes, but it is rare. Most often, women don’t get yeast infections from sex. The most common cause is a weak immune system.
Yeast infections can be cured with antifungal medicines that come as:
- Ointments or suppositories that are inserted into the vagina
These products can be bought over the counter at the drug store or grocery store. Your doctor can also prescribe you a single dose of oral fluconazole (floo-con-uh-zohl). But do not use this drug if you are pregnant.
Infections that don’t respond to these medicines are starting to be more common. Using antifungal medicines when you don’t really have a yeast infection can raise your risk of getting a hard-to-treat infection in the future.
Yes, but always talk with your doctor before treating yourself for a vaginal yeast infection if you:
- Are pregnant
- Have never been diagnosed with a yeast infection
- Keep getting yeast infections
Studies show that two-thirds of women who buy these products don’t really have a yeast infection. Using these medicines the wrong way may lead to a hard-to-treat infection. Plus, treating yourself for a yeast infection when you really have something else may worsen the problem. Certain STIs that go untreated can cause cancer, infertility, pregnancy problems, and other health problems.
If you decide to use these over-the-counter medicines, read and follow the directions carefully. Some creams and inserts may weaken condoms and diaphragms.
Yeast infections are not STIs, and health experts don’t know for sure if they are transmitted sexually. About 12 to 15 percent of men get an itchy rash on the penis if they have unprotected sex with an infected woman. If this happens to your partner, he should see a doctor. Men who haven’t been circumcised are at higher risk.
Lesbians may be at risk for spreading yeast infections to their partner(s). Research is still being done to know for sure. If your female partner has any symptoms, she should also be tested and treated.
To help prevent vaginal yeast infections, you can:
- Avoid douches
- Avoid scented hygiene products like bubble bath, sprays, pads, and tampons
- Change tampons and pads often during your period
- Avoid tight underwear or clothes made of synthetic fibers
- Wear cotton underwear and pantyhose with a cotton crotch
- Change out of wet swimsuits and exercise clothes as soon as you can
- Avoid hot tubs and very hot baths
If you keep getting yeast infections, be sure and talk with your doctor.
Call your doctor. About 5 percent of women get four or more vaginal yeast infections in one year. This is called recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC). RVVC is more common in women with diabetes or weak immune systems. Doctors most often treat this problem with antifungal medicine for up to 6 months.
Every Friday is my brother’s off from work. So, I was kind of surprised last Friday when I heard him pacing around at the break of dawn. He usually gets up late during days off. But then I heard him singing and playing his guitar. My first thought was that he was in one of his sentimental moods, but when I listened more carefully, I heard that he was singing a particular song over and over again. Well, that didn’t seem sentimental at all. It seems like he was perfecting a song.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t make the recorder of his laptop work, so he couldn’t compare and couldn’t tell whether he was getting better or worse.
He came home late that night, and as I suspected, he performed in a birthday party and he was actually practicing his piece when I heard him. He looked so exhausted that I forgot to mention that he should check out a zoom h6 recorder at musicians friend for his recording needs. Oh well, maybe later..
It has been 9 years since my brother’s keyboard got water dripping on his keyboard in one of their performances in a rural area. It was an accident brought about by an attempt to save the keyboard from getting wet but ended up in a worse condition, worst actually, because it was messed up for good.
However, my brother, as sentimental as a typical musician, found it hard to let go of his beloved keyboard. It seems like he doesn’t have the heart to dispose of it. Though he only got it second hand, the keyboard and he shared a lot of gigs together that it simply became one of his most prized possessions. So, replacing the old one wouldn’t be easy. But hopefully, a new alesis keyboard might be the perfect replacement. Well, I’m kind of considering it.
As I mentioned in my previous posts, I am under medication for my acid reflux. I have been for more than 3 weeks. The first batch of medication was good for 2 weeks and I was scheduled for a follow-up check up. So, I went back to the doctor after 2 weeks. Unfortunately, it seems like I wasn’t responding to the medication as well as I should, and I was given another set of medicine.
When I checked out the meds on the internet, I found out that it was for duodenal ulcers, and here’s what I found about it:
A duodenal ulcer is usually caused by an infection with a bacterium (germ) calledH. pylori. A 4-8 week course of acid-suppressing medication will allow the ulcer to heal. In addition, a one-week course of two antibiotics plus an acid-suppressing medicine will usually clear the H. pylori infection. This usually prevents the ulcer from coming back. Anti-inflammatory medicines used to treat conditions such as arthritis sometimes cause duodenal ulcers. If you need to continue with the anti-inflammatory medicine, then you may need to take long term acid-suppressing medication.
Understanding your gut and digestion
Food passes down the oesophagus (gullet) into the stomach. The stomach makes acid which is not essential, but helps to digest food. After being mixed in the stomach, food passes into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). In the duodenum and the rest of the small intestine, food mixes with enzymes (chemicals). The enzymes come from the pancreas and from cells lining the intestine. The enzymes break down (digest) the food which is absorbed into the body.
- Peptic inflammation is inflammation caused by stomach acid. Inflammation may be in the stomach, the duodenum (as acid flows in with food), or the lower oesophagus (if acid splashes up to cause reflux oesophagitis).
- A peptic ulcer is an ulcer caused by stomach acid. An ulcer is where the lining of the gut is damaged and the underlying tissue is exposed. If you could see inside your gut, an ulcer looks like a small, red crater on the inside lining of the gut.
- The duodenum is the most common site for a peptic ulcer. This leaflet deals only with duodenal ulcers. There are separate leaflets called ‘Stomach (Gastric) Ulcers’and ‘Acid Reflux and Oesophagitis’.
What causes duodenal ulcers?
Your stomach normally produces acid to help with the digestion of food and to kill bacteria. This acid is corrosive so some cells on the inside lining of the stomach and duodenum produce a natural mucous barrier which protects the lining of the stomach and duodenum. There is normally a balance between the amount of acid that you make and the mucus defence barrier. An ulcer may develop if there is an alteration in this balance, allowing the acid to damage the lining of the stomach or duodenum. Causes of this include the following:
Infection with Helicobacter pylori
Infection with Helicobacter pylori (commonly just called H. pylori) is the cause in about 19 in 20 cases of duodenal ulcer. More than a quarter of people in the UK become infected with H. pylori at some stage in their life. Once you are infected, unless treated, the infection usually stays for the rest of your life. In many people it causes no problems and a number of these bacteria just live harmlessly in the lining of the stomach and duodenum. However, in some people this bacterium causes an inflammation in the lining of the stomach or duodenum. This causes the defence mucus barrier to be disrupted (and in some cases the amount of acid to be increased) which allows the acid to cause inflammation and ulcers.
Anti-inflammatory medicines – including aspirin
Anti-inflammatory medicines are sometimes called non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). There are various types and brands. For example: aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, etc. Many people take an anti-inflammatory medicine for arthritis, muscular pains, etc. Aspirin is also used by many people to protect against blood clots forming. However, these medicines sometimes affect the mucus barrier of the duodenum and allow acid to cause an ulcer. About 1 in 20 duodenal ulcers are caused by anti-inflammatory medicines.
Other causes and factors
Other causes are rare. For example, the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. In this rare condition, much more acid than usual is made by the stomach. Other factors such as smoking, stress, and drinking heavily may possibly increase the risk of having a duodenal ulcer. However, these are not usually the underlying cause of duodenal ulcers.
What are the symptoms of a duodenal ulcer?
- Pain in the upper abdomen just below the sternum (breastbone) is the common symptom. It usually comes and goes. It may occur most before meals, or when you are hungry. It may be eased if you eat food, or take antacid tablets. The pain may wake you from sleep.
- Other symptoms which may occur include: bloating, retching, and feeling sick. You may feel particularly full after a meal. Sometimes food makes the pain worse.
- Complications occur in some cases, and can be serious. These include:
- Bleeding ulcer. This can range from a trickle to a life-threatening bleed.
- Perforation. This is where the ulcer goes right through (perforates) the wall of the duodenum. Food and acid in the duodenum then leak into the abdominal cavity. This usually causes severe pain and is a medical emergency.
What tests may be done?
- Endoscopy is the test that can confirm a duodenal ulcer. In this test a doctor or nurse looks inside your stomach and duodenum by passing a thin, flexible telescope down your oesophagus. They can see any inflammation or ulcers.
- A test to detect the H. pylori bacterium is usually done if you have a duodenal ulcer. If H. pylori is found then it is likely to be the cause of the ulcer. See separate leaflet called Helicobacter Pylori and Stomach Pain for more detail and how it can be diagnosed. Briefly, it can be detected in a sample of faeces (bowel motions), or in a breath test, or from a blood test, or from a biopsy sample taken during an endoscopy.
What are the treatments for a duodenal ulcer?
Acid suppressing medication
A 4-8 week course of a medicine that greatly reduces the amount of acid that your stomach makes is usually advised. The most commonly used medicine is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). These are a class (group) of medicines that work on the cells that line the stomach, reducing the production of acid. They include: esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole and rabeprazole, and come in various brand names. Sometimes another class of medicines called H2 blockers is used. They are also called histamine H2-receptor antagonists but are commonly called H2 blockers. H2 blockers work in a different way on the cells that line the stomach, reducing the production of acid. They include: cimetidine, famotidine, nizatidine and ranitidine, and come in various brand names. As the amount of acid is greatly reduced, the ulcer usually heals. However, this is not the end of the story …
If your ulcer was caused by H. pylori
Nearly all duodenal ulcers are caused by infection with H. pylori. Therefore, a main part of the treatment is to clear this infection. If this infection is not cleared, the ulcer is likely to return once you stop taking acid-suppressing medication. Two antibiotics are needed. In addition, you need to take an acid-suppressing medicine to reduce the acid in the stomach. This is needed to allow the antibiotics to work well. You need to take this combination therapy (sometimes called triple therapy) for a week.
One course of combination therapy clears H. pylori infection in up to 9 in 10 cases. IfH. pylori is cleared, the chance of a recurrence of a duodenal ulcer is greatly reduced. However, in a small number of people, H. pylori infection returns at some stage in the future.
After treatment, a test to check that H. pylori has gone may be advised. If it is done, it needs to be done at least four weeks after the course of combination therapy has finished. In most cases, the test is negative meaning that the infection has gone. If it has not gone, then a repeat course of combination therapy with a different set of antibiotics may be advised. Some doctors say that for people with a duodenal ulcer, this confirmation test is not necessary if symptoms have gone. The fact that symptoms have gone usually indicates that the ulcer and the cause (H. pylori) have gone. But, some doctors say it is needed to play safe. Your own doctor will advise if you should have it. (Note: a test to confirm that H. pylori has gone is usually always recommended if you have a stomach ulcer.)
If your ulcer was caused by an anti-inflammatory medicine
If possible, you should stop the anti-inflammatory medicine. This allows the ulcer to heal. You will also normally be prescribed an acid-suppressing medicine for several weeks (as mentioned above). This stops the stomach from making acid and allows the ulcer to heal.
However, in many cases the anti-inflammatory medicine is needed to ease symptoms of arthritis or other painful conditions, or aspirin is needed to protect against blood clots. In these situations, one option is to take an acid-suppressing medicine each day indefinitely. This reduces the amount of acid made by the stomach, and greatly reduces the chance of an ulcer forming again.
In the past, surgery was commonly needed to treat a duodenal ulcer. This was before it was discovered that H. pylori was the cause of most duodenal ulcers, and before modern acid-suppressing medicines became available. Surgery is now usually only needed if a complication of a duodenal ulcer develops such as severe bleeding or a perforation.
Though it’s still not sure whether my husband will be granted vacation this Christmas, I can’t help expecting that he will be home by then. I know I would be disappointed if things don’t go the way I expected them to, still…
Anyways, I found this spectacular Tissot watch on the internet and I think this will the perfect gift for the most wonderful man in my life .
Isn’t it gorgeous? It would look perfect on him. I wish I have enough money to buy this one for him. I know he’s not expecting something flashy and expensive, but sometimes, we want to get something special for our loved ones if only to make them know how special they are to us.
Yesterday, my friend sent me a text message telling me that he felt so drained of energy. He is new in his job and he has trouble adjusting. For one, he’s been out of work for years and this is the first time in four years that he holds a regular job. Second, his new job is as collector of a money lending company, a job which is both stressful and physically tiring. Well, maybe he’s feeling fatigue?
Weakness and fatigue are terms that are often used as if they mean the same thing, but in fact they describe two different sensations. It is important to know exactly what you mean when you say “I feel weak” or “I am fatigued” because it can help you and your doctor narrow down the possible causes of your symptoms.
- Weakness is a lack of physical or muscle strength and the feeling that extra effort is required to move your arms, legs, or other muscles. If muscle weakness is the result of pain, the person may be able to make muscles work, but it will hurt.
- Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness or exhaustion or a need to rest because of lack of energy or strength. Fatigue may result from overwork, poor sleep, worry, boredom, or lack of exercise. It is a symptom that may be caused by illness, medicine, or medical treatment such as chemotherapy. Anxiety or depression can also cause fatigue.
Both weakness and fatigue are symptoms, not diseases. Because these symptoms can be caused by many other health problems, the importance of weakness and fatigue can only be determined when other symptoms are evaluated.
General weakness often occurs after you have done too much activity at one time, such as by taking an extra-long hike. You may feel weak and tired, or your muscles may be sore. These sensations usually go away within a few days.
In rare cases, generalized muscle weakness may be caused by another health problem, such as:
- Problems with the thyroid gland, which regulates the way the body uses energy.
- A low thyroid level (hypothyroidism) can cause fatigue, weakness, lethargy,weight gain, depression, memory problems, constipation, dry skin, intolerance to cold, coarse and thinning hair, brittle nails, or a yellowish tint to the skin.
- A high thyroid level (hyperthyroidism) can cause fatigue, weight loss, increased heart rate, intolerance to heat, sweating, irritability, anxiety, muscle weakness, and thyroid enlargement.
- Guillain-Barr� syndrome, a rare nerve disorder that causes weakness in the legs, arms, and other muscles and that can progress to complete paralysis.
- Myasthenia gravis, a rare, chronic disorder that causes weakness and rapid muscle fatigue.
- A problem with the minerals (electrolytes) found naturally in the body, such as low levels of potassium or sodium.
Muscle weakness that is slowly getting worse requires a visit to a doctor.
Sudden muscle weakness and loss of function in one area of the body can indicate a serious problem within the brain (such as a stroke or transient ischemic attack) or spinal cord or with a specific nerve in the body.
Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness, exhaustion, or lack of energy. You may feel mildly fatigued because of overwork, poor sleep, worry, boredom, or lack of exercise. Any illness, such as a cold or the flu, may cause fatigue, which usually goes away as the illness clears up. Most of the time, mild fatigue occurs with a health problem that will improve with home treatment and does not require a visit to a doctor.