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The Doctors Lounge - Primary Care Answers

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Forum Name: Oral and dental diseases

Question: A petty question

temp - Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:13 pm

I have just come across your site and it was the best one I could find for receiving medical advice from professionals. However, I have a very minor and quite stupid question and I'm not sure it is worthy of being posted here. I would appreciate being redirected to a proper site. Anyway, my question is this
I believe I have bad breath and I was wondering if there is anything medical that can be done about it - such as treatments or a remedy.
I would like to clarify my problem if I may - I do not sense that I have bad breath, nor has anyone ever told me so. Instead, what I do sense is an unfavorable odor from my saliva.
I have tried breath mints or breath sprays but they do not remove the odor from my saliva. I was wondering if there were a way to solve my problem but I am too embaressed to ask my local doctor.
I would appreciate any kind of advice,
Dr. Tamer Fouad - Wed Jul 07, 2004 6:36 am

Saliva is the natural mouthwash we were born with. People who do not have sufficient flow of saliva tend to suffer from more dental caries and periodontal disease. They have more trouble wearing dentures.

Bad breath is worst when there is little or no saliva flow, for example after a night's sleep. As soon as one wakes up and starts to salivate, the smell recedes somewhat.

Another classic way to get saliva flowing is to drop a few drops of lemon on your tongue (also helpful for saxophone players).

It becomes obvious then that saliva should smell a little offensive as it is responsible for ridding the mouth of its bad odours.

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