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Old 09-09-2005, 11:37 PM   #1
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Persistent Bad Breath/Taste in mouth, etc.

For a few months now, I have been suffering from a halitosis that is described as smelling particularly like mothballs. It comes and goes, but at times it apparently permeates the air around me for miles, as my parents and girlfriend have voiced a strong distaste for the smell and a very serious concern as to eradicating it. The smell is emitted from me when I talk and also when breathing through my mouth and nose. I have experienced this smell on the breath of the elderly, especially my maternal grandfather, but never in a person of my age (20 yrs.). The smell is often accompanied by a sharply sore throat, with the pain localized to a dime-sized portion of the right part of my upper esophagus. Two separate trips to a general practice and an ENT specialist have produced two differing diagnoses, neither of which have helped much at all. The first gave me generic antibiotics in hope of maybe killing a sinus infection, as I have attested that the source of the smell may perhaps be coming from the cavities connecting the nose and throat, which I have determined from a distinctly bitter and coexisting taste from that area. Think about what a filled dumpster might taste like and throw in a good coating of thick rust, and you may have an idea of the taste I'm dealing with constantly. The ENT visit resulted in a diagnosis of acid reflux, which I am very skeptical of, having never knowingly experienced heartburn in my life.

Recently the smell and taste had subsided, but following last Saturday's home football game and the resultant abuse of my voice, I have developed a severe sore throat in the same spot as usual, and the smell and taste have increased intensity to a dramatic point, seemingly flared up by drinking and eating, often drowning out the taste of the food with the wonderful garbage flavoring as it crosses my palate. I assumed all would be correctable with time until earlier this evening when the taste and smell became (and have remained) unbearably bad, and I have begun producing a decently frightening amount of blood from the mucus snorted into my mouth and the sputum coughed up from my throat. I'm wary about letting this go untreated, but when two different doctors have looked at me about this matter with the understanding and empathetic capacity of a household appliance, I'm also hesitant to potentially waste more of my time and money.

Any help in the matter will be greatly appreciated. This is becoming distressing.

 
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Old 09-09-2005, 11:47 PM   #2
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Re: Persistent Bad Breath/Taste in mouth, etc.

Also, my diet and exercise are both kept well in check. I am very active and go to the campus gym three times a week and play racquetball often. My diet is balanced, and I take a multivitamin every day if I can remember it before I scoot out the door in the morning.

Please offer some advice. I'm tired of feeling like I've just licked the bathroom clean.

 
Old 09-10-2005, 04:10 AM   #3
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Re: Persistent Bad Breath/Taste in mouth, etc.

I'm not sure what your problem is but I wanted to tell you that you can have acid reflux without the painful symptoms you read about. It's called "silent reflux". Were you given any medication for it? If you did you might want to try it to see if it helps.

 
Old 09-10-2005, 06:54 AM   #4
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Re: Persistent Bad Breath/Taste in mouth, etc.

I was given some Nexium, but I did not take it. The diagnosis just seemed a little outlandish to me, but I suppose it isn't necessarily so. The soreness has increased today, but is still totally localized to that one spot. It almost feels like it's in my mouth, but I think it stretches into the back of my throat as well.

Regardless, no screaming at today's game.

 
Old 09-10-2005, 08:45 AM   #5
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Re: Persistent Bad Breath/Taste in mouth, etc.

I didn't read your previous post thoroughly before and I just saw your statement about the blood. Are you still bleeding? Do your doctors know you were bleeding? It sound like you need to make another appointment. You may still have an infection.

 
Old 09-10-2005, 09:26 AM   #6
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Re: Persistent Bad Breath/Taste in mouth, etc.

Look up the thread on tonsil stones. This could very well be what is going on.

 
Old 09-10-2005, 02:08 PM   #7
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Re: Persistent Bad Breath/Taste in mouth, etc.

No tonsils since I was 5 years old.

 
Old 09-10-2005, 08:55 PM   #8
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Re: Persistent Bad Breath/Taste in mouth, etc.

Hi, I would try the nexium. If it doesn't work in two weeks you know it wasn't the problem. Hum, how about your teeth? Any bleeding from the gums or bad teeth? Sore throat could be postnasal drip. Amazingly, as we get older we get alot of "what the heck is wrong now" stuff.

 
Old 09-11-2005, 02:27 PM   #9
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Re: Persistent Bad Breath/Taste in mouth, etc.

My teeth have always been in excellent shape according to the professionals. My gums are not bleeding. More and more I'm beginning to think it may be an ulcer. My mother has gotten one in almost the same spot that sent pain through her mouth, throat, and up into her ear canal. Since mine is beginning to occur in the same places, I believe I may have one of my own. My guess is that maybe the reflux is happening while I'm asleep or otherwise unknowing of its happening, and has perhaps eroded away a section of my esophagus, which I have irritated further with all my screaming. Speaking of which, I couldn't help myself yesterday with the trouncing we gave Mississippi State (guess where I go to school) and now it hurts even more.

Will start Nexium tonight.

 
Old 09-11-2005, 07:52 PM   #10
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Re: Persistent Bad Breath/Taste in mouth, etc.

3 possible options (there may be more)
1. Somewhere along your upper digestive tract, food is getting stuck.
2. Somewhere in your head/throat/neck, there is a pocket of infected materal
3. A combination of 1 and 2

Have you had any symptoms of regurgitation? Feeling like food gets stuck when you swallow? Changes in your eating habits? Fevers? Does the smell change depending on what you eat? Any chest pain? Are there any places in your head or neck that are particularly tender? Do they hurt more when you push on them? Did the bad breath start after an illness or after travelling to a foreign country?

If you answer yes to any of those questions, bring it up with your doctor. Take care.

 
Old 09-12-2005, 12:22 PM   #11
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Re: Persistent Bad Breath/Taste in mouth, etc.

The breath started after beginning a serious workout regimen. Being 20 years old and out of shape, I decided to start lifting weights for the first time in my life and doing cardio four times a week. In the process, I've gotten in very good shape, but for whatever reason, developed mothball breath. That was my only symptom for months and months, and it has been on and off.

In response to those questions, I have a self-proclaimed "iron stomach" and have not vomitted once in over 8 years. I never have a real problem with food feeling out of place or slow to digest, but I have had serious problems with my stomach acidity in the past, resulting in a mild peptic ulcer and a huge loss of weight when I was 16. The smell is consistent in its...fragrance, though the severity of it comes and goes seemingly at random. I have a swollen gland on the same side of my neck as the throat pain, and am now experiencing pain in my right ear more than anywhere else, though the throat pain and taste are still there.

I can't find anything on my own in my throat with a flashlight, though I know that's certainly not a terrific way to diagnose oneself. I think perhaps I have just riled up some sort of infection or injured tissue by screaming my guts out at our first game. I literally felt as though my throat was bleeding after it was over. Maybe that overexertion caused a susceptibility to infection? I used to be a vocalist for a grind/screamy "band" back home, and have definitely ragged my throat out on many occasions because of that. Maybe all that is starting to catch up with me?

 
Old 09-22-2005, 06:31 AM   #12
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Re: Persistent Bad Breath/Taste in mouth, etc.

Alwaysanxious,

Sounds it like it could be a form of reflux called LPR or Laryngo pharyngeal Reflux which is acid all the way into the throat, voicebox and nasal passage. Symptoms include something stuck in throat feeling, excess mucous and throat clearing, congestion, burning throat, tongue coating, bitter taste and breath. It can go undetected for sometime but still causing damage by changing your oral microbial balance eg acid allows bacterial growth. Your fitness regimen may indeed have been the cause namely in the form of a hiatus hernia which you may have had unbeknown to you until the reflux symptoms have presented. My breath varies from yeast like to more traditonal acidic plaque. The mucous is thought to be post nasal drip from ineffective sinus drainage. It is possible that the infection could also lay deep in the sinuses and is carried to the throat and esophaegus by the pnd. LPR is thought to be a cause of sinusitis type symptoms when the acid fumes inflame the nasal membrane and slow down the cillia movement allowing an infection to take hold in the sinuses. Early symptoms of LPR are thought to include a period of coughing bouts some quite prolonged often following alcohol, enamel erosion and cavities. Perhaps the first noticeable symptom is
something stuck in throat sensation and increasingly acidic taste and breath.
Meds called PPI's can help but if you have a structural problem of hiatal hernia then corrective surgery is the only real way forward.

Hope helps

 
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