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Breath that smells like mothballs
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Breath that smells like mothballs

Hello. I am a 26 year old female who exercises daily, has a pretty good diet and doesn't have any major medical problems that I am aware of. However, I have had chronic bad breath for as long as I can remember. My family has told me it smells like mothballs. I brush my teeth frequently, have been flossing twice a day for quite a while, and use mouthwash but that only acts as a temporary solution and within a few minutes, the bad breath is back. I also have a very strong, bitter taste in my mouth at all times. I have severe allergies which make me feel like I always have a post nasal drip and I can only breathe out of one nostril at all times. I had my tonsils removed in an effort to help with my horrible allergies but they are still really bad. I have been told I suffer from rhinitis and sinusitis and am often getting sinus infections.  I also suffer from acid reflux which could have added to the problem of bad breath but I take medication daily which seems to keep it under control pretty well.  

Do you think I should have my adenoids (adenoids) removed? Would that help with all the severe sinus problems and bad breath?

This is a very big and obvious problem that is really affecting my social life. What are some theories you have on the bad breath and how do you think I should go about trying diagnose and treat it?

I would REALLY appreciate any advice you can give. Thank you for your time!
242587_tn?1355427710
I sympathize with your plight and hope that a means can be found to correct your alleged bad breath.  The potential site of origin can vary considerably throughout the respiratory tract and the upper gastrointestinal tract.  I suggest that you visit the following web-site and consider a visit or telephone consultation  to The Ohio State Medical Center

http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/patientcare/healthcare_services/dental_care/halitosis/Pages/index.aspx

Please look up this excellent review article on the topic of bad breath.
Diet and halitosis
Porter, Stephen R.
Author Information
University College London, London, UK
Correspondence to Stephen R. Porter, MD, PhD, FDS RCSEd, FDS RSCEng, FHEA, Institute Director and Professor of Oral Medicine, UCL Eastman Dental Institute, University College London, 256 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8LD, UK Tel: +44 20 3456 1038; fax: +44 20 3456 1039; e-mail: S.***@****

Upon reading it, you will note that bacteria are common causes of this condition and that these bacteria often nest in crevices of the mouth or in respiratory tract sites where there is poor drainage.  That your one nostril is chronically blocked suggests to me that any of a number of anatomic sites behind the blockage could harbor bacteria and that includes your adenoids (adenoids).  As for consideration of adenoid removal, you should discuss that with the Ohio State people.  I suggest that you begin with a call to their dental school to get the name and number of a specialist you might consult with.

Good luck,
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