ZocdocAnswersAre there any alternatives to killing bacteria in the mouth and throat?

Question

Are there any alternatives to killing bacteria in the mouth and throat?

For the past two years and a half, I have been struggling to find an alternative to mouthwash since they cause me abdominal pain. Through several changes in my diet, I came to the conclusion that I am both Lactose and Gluten intolerant. My stomach is very sensitive to certain foods, gums specially those with alcohol sugar ending with "tol", and mouthwash. Probiotics are helping heal the lining in my stomach. Thus, repairing anything in the GI tract that could lead to bad breath. I have tried gargling with warm water and salt, which seems to kill the bacteria stored in the back of my mouth. However, this alternative always causes bloating. Green Tea has become my best friend lately. It seems to be working. Halitosis has negatively affected all of my relationships (with family, friends, at school, and in the workforce). I would greatly appreciate any assistance in finding alternatives that would give me the assurance and confidence that I need. Please help!

Answer

Thank you for your question. I recommend that you speak with your doctor or dentist about your concerns. Halitosis can be quite frustrating for patients and their doctors as it is not always apparent what the source may be. In your case, it seems that you have been able to identify that you have some gastric and other GI problems that are contributing to your bad breath. Unfortunately, you imply that you are unable to use many of the common mouth rinses and other dental products that are good for oral hygiene. In this situation, you will need to work closely with doctors and dentists who are able to work through your problems in the detail and with the patience that you require. This may require referrals from friends and your other healthcare providers to identify someone who will be able to help appropriately with this problem. There are other rinses that can be used to help decrease the bacterial burden in the mouth and upper aerodigestive tract, but these usually need to be prescribed. Most of the time your doctor will need more information before recommending this sort of therapy. Please speak with your doctor or dentist about this problem, and good luck!

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