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Dental Hygiene

Bad breath

12/01/2008

Question:

Hi, my daughter has had this problem for years. When she was younger and into adulthood she has always had regular dental checkups and cleanings every six months. She brushes and flosses regularly however she still has a bad bowel odor coming from her mouth. I know that she is taking iron for low blood, but what could her problem be? I am 51 and I have never had the problem and neither has her dad or other siblings, so it couldn`t be genetic.

Answer:

Bacteria can harbor in the tongue. Be sure she is brushing her tongue daily. There are even special devices called tongue scrapers that can help. Try using a mouth rinse as well, such as Listerine or Crest Pro Health.

Occasionally, the problem can be gastrointestinal. If these suggestions do not help, I would talk to your dentist and/or physician about this and see what they recommend.

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Response by:

Michele P Carr, RDH,  MA Michele P Carr, RDH, MA
Associate Professor of Dental Hygiene
Associate Professor of HS Nursing Quality & Research
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University