Q. I have had bad breath all my life. I brush my teeth, floss and use
mouthwash, but to no avail. I don’t feel comfortable talking to people. Can
A. You assume your bad breath is due to bad oral hygiene, but this is unlikely
as you’re doing all the right things. While 90 per cent of bad breath is
caused by the mouth, other causes include a blocked nose, chronic tonsil
infections, reflux of stomach acid, your diet (eg garlic and curry), and
rare but more serious problems such as diabetes, liver, and kidney
disorders. Interestingly, a quarter of people who seek professional advice
about bad breath don’t actually have it, but suffer from halitophobia, the
delusion that they have bad breath. Your GP can tell the cause of bad breath
using a halimeter, a device you breathe into, and salivary enzyme tests. For
further advice, contact the Fresh Breath Centre on 020 7935 1666 or visit Freshbreath.co.uk.
Q. Recently I’ve had times when I lose my hearing completely for several
minutes and have had painful migraines too. What’s wrong?
A. Keep a diary to see how closely linked the hearing-loss episodes are to the
migraines, then show your GP. While the usual symptoms of migraine are
headache and blurred vision, hearing loss can also occur. Alternatively,
your symptoms might be caused by a growth on the hearing nerve – an acoustic
neuroma – so your GP may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist. If
it is migraine, a pharmacy treatment like Kool ’n’ Soothe Migraine used at
the first sign of symptoms should help.
Tissue or issue?
Should you get checked out sharpish or do you just need to man up, dry your
eyes and get on with it?
This week… breastfeeding troubles
Sore or cracked nipples can affect women who are breastfeeding.
Cracked nipples aren’t something that new mums should have to put up with, but
it is a common problem, and can cause added worry that you don’t need when
you’re dealing with a new addition to your family. One of the most likely
causes is that your baby isn’t latching on to your breast properly, so ask
to speak to a breastfeeding specialist or midwife for tips. But cracked
nipples can also be the sign of an allergy to a body cream or laundry
detergent, or the result of using a breast pump to express milk.
Breastfeeding is not supposed to be painful, so don’t suffer in silence –
new mums need all the support theycan get. You’ll find plenty of helpful
hints on breastfeeding at Nhs.co.uk. Plus there are products available to
help relieve the discomfort. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin, £10.20, from Boots for
example, helps ease the soreness, plus you don’t have to wash it off before
feeding, so it doesn’t get in the way of your mum duties.
COMPILED BY: CARLY HOBBS PHOTOGRAPHY: ALAMY