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Bad Breath

Bad breath can usually be cured. It can be caused by food rotting in the mouth, stomach acid regurgitating up to the mouth, or infections releasing chemicals that smell. Look for white dots on your tonsils that are usually foul-smelling bits of decayed food that your saliva has turned white. You can remove them by gargling after meals or by rubbing a Q-tip against your tonsils.

If you have belching or burning in you chest or abdomen, you may have acid backing up from your stomach. Your doctor can order a blood test for helicobacter, the germ that causes stomach ulcers. If it is positive, you can often be cured by taking antibiotics for one week. Another cause is an infection in your mouth, teeth, gums, throat or esophagus. Your dentist should look for an infection and order a throat culture. If the culture is positive, you can be cured with the appropriate antibiotic. Even if no disease-causing bacteria are found, you can still ask for a trial treatment with antibiotics. There are so many different germs in your mouth that it is impossible to tell whether a germ that is found there is causing the odor or is a normal inhabitant of your mouth.

Checked 2/2/08

May 30th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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