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Skatole – A Natural Monstrosity in Perfume, Parliaments, Produce and Poop

Skatole – A Natural Monstrosity in Perfume, Parliaments, Produce and Poop

Guest post from Dr. Josh Bloom – Executive Vice President and the Director of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science

There is a naturally-occurring chemical called skatole. Its claim to fame is that it is named after, and smells like, fecal matter. It’s “synthetic” but also “man-made” and there’s a revolting distinction in this case. It’s also an additive used in cigarettes and strawberry ice cream (??). Do your “duty” and read this article.

There are about 20 million known organic chemicals, so it should not be at all surprising that there are some pretty strange dudes floating around in that huge group. Here is one of them; it fits the term “strange” and then some.

It is called skatole (aka 3-methylindole) and it has something for everyone – people who are made of protein, use cologne or perfume, eat strawberry ice cream, smokers, those who have a sense of smell and some rather odd folks who are into some unspeakably nasty sexual practices. (Rumor has it that one member of ACSH staff falls into the last category, but I shall say no more.)

Some revolting facts about skatole

skatole chemical
  • Found in feces
  • Metabolyte of tryptophan
  • Perfume additive
  • Food additive (Ewwww!)

Talk about versatile!

Good luck finding another chemical that:

  1. Can smell either very good or very bad.
  2. Goes in one end and comes out the other.
  3. And is added to a few foods to make them taste better (!)
  4. Its name is derived from skatos – Greek for dung. If you dare, go to the Urban Dictionary and look up “skat.” Just don’t say that I didn’t warn you because it’s 50 Shades of Disgusting.

How is skatole formed?

Skatole is formed from the breakdown (metabolism) of the amino acid tryptophan by bacteria in the gut and mouth. The metabolism involves two consecutive enzymatic transformations: deamination (replacement of an amino group by hydrogen) followed by decarboxylation (replacement of a carboxylic acid group by hydrogen). Both of these reactions can be found in any first-year biochemistry textbook.

Skatole has a bipolar scent

In my career, I had to use skatole exactly once. Although organic chemists are exposed to the most ungodly smells on a regular basis this one scared me more than a little. Its reputation precedes it. But at least it comes well-wrapped.

Skatole comes in a double-sealed bottle. And you can sometimes still smell it

Despite opening the bottle well inside the fume hood I still caught a whiff of the stuff. My reaction was odd – two reactions, in fact. They were quite different:

  1. “This stuff isn’t so bad.”
  2. “Kill me.”

Both are actually normal. In very low concentrations skatole is described as smelling like orange blossoms and jasmine and is added to perfumes and colognes. But in higher concentrations, it lives up to its name. Like someone dropped a deuce in your briefcase.

This is why skatole is used in perfume.

Listerine ain’t gonna touch this

Since the degradation of tryptophan is promoted by a dozen strains of bacteria in the gut and in the mouth some unfortunate individuals suffer from the latter. It does not help their social lives. There’s even a study that examines the composition breath of people with normal breath and those who could take the heat shields off spacecraft.

elevated skatole levels are found in people with oral malodor
A study of the components of bad breath. Skatole and three other stinky chemicals were measured. Subjects S1-S5 have normal breath. Note the low measured concentrations of skatole in the breath. Subjects OM1-OM3 (OM = oral malodor) exhale considerably more skatole with the exception of OM3. **Although s/he is “skatole-light” this individual had very high levels of hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs) and methyl mercaptan (farts).
Can’t top this quote

Perhaps the most famous perfume to feature skatole in doses that should perhaps be illegal was Nuit de Chine (Chinese Nights) by Maurice Schaller in 1913 for Les Parfums de Rosine. Nuit de Chine was a fougere (fern) type perfume built around a core of sandalwood, skatole, peach, and rose. When you smell this fragrance, the skatole makes its presence known from the get-go, but it is so perfectly balanced with the other ingredients that you can’t stop sniffing it.

Top 10 Bizarre Ingredients In Perfume, Listverse, 2016

Speak for yourself.

Other strange uses

Skatole is one of the 599 chemicals added to cigarettes (for flavor). If this isn’t enough to get you to stop smoking…

And someone discovered that a little skatole makes strawberry ice cream taste better. This begs a couple of questions…

  • Who the hell came up with that idea???
  • Why?
  • How was this, uh, ingredient added?
  • Am I the only one who thinks that we now need a distinction between the terms “synthetic” and “man-made?” Think about it. Skatole in the bottle is synthetic. It can easily be made by a 140-year old reaction called the “Fischer Indole Synthesis (1).” But (at least until this moment) “man-made” and “synthetic” have been synonymous. This might diminish the appeal of strawberry ice cream, no?


(1) The Fischer Indole Synthesis is the reaction of a phenylhydrazine with an aldehyde or ketone using an acid catalyst. It was invented by Emil Fischer in 1883. His lab probably didn’t smell so great.

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control and treatment of SIBO and IBS

control and treatment of SIBO and IBS

guest post from Stuart24 over at HealthUnlocked

Hello, this is my general response to help people find a baseline.

First, go to the doctors and get yourself checked for intestinal infections, and whatever other tests they want to do.

Most people find they are all clear, and that IBS is a condition brought on by our modern diet, freely accessible food, sedentary lifestyles and is usually initially set off by a GI infection or other trauma to the GI tract.

The gut becomes hypersensitive to certain triggers, and the official description is that a physical brain-gut dysfunction develops which causes the gut to over-reacts to very mild stimuli.

Be aware that you can get new GI infections, or other GI issues that are not connected to IBS, so you need to be vigilant for this, and if concerned then visit your doctor again.

However this post is to help you to establish a baseline of understanding what is probably down to IBS.

about me

After 27 years of suffering with IBS I have found that the long-term solution that actually works for controlling it is about FOUR key topics:

  • your vitamins
  • daily fasting periods
  • toxins that are freely dished out by the food industry
  • and adrenaline control

You are effectively the manager of a “food nutrient extraction factory”

I know that may be obvious, but I have found that IBS is not about medicines, but about changing the way you run the factory, and learning how to get the best performance out of it.

I don’t recommend any medicines, as they only work in the short-term and eventually become less effective, and I just don’t want to be dependent on medicines until one day when I have no other choice.

nutrition and feeding

This is based on some excellent publications, and also by observing how healthy people live.

But, if you are all clear from the doctor’s, then the first thing to sort out is your vitamins and the timing of your eating and fasting periods.

An incident of food poisoning or infection can start you on a cycle that you need to make a really concerted effort to break out of.

IBS causes vitamin deficiencies which are practically impossible to overcome in most people’s diets, especially because you are probably eating selectively to manage your symptoms.

Your vitamin levels affect the health of your intestines, and the health of your intestines affects your vitamin absorption, so it is a vicious circle that you have to break.

If your farts really stink like something died in your guts, then this is because partially undigested proteins are making it through to your large intestine and the amino acids lysine and arginine are being metabolized by bacteria into cadaverine and putrescine which are the compounds that give the smell to rotting flesh! –

do not worry that you yourself are rotting, this is just temporary, but it shows that you really need to sort your digestion out.


So, get some really good, expensive, multi-vitamins (ideally constituted for your age) and take them without fail every day before your breakfast.

Get a blood test for Vitamin D and get you doctor to judge your supplement level required in IU’s to get you well healthy for Vitamin D.

Do not get vitamins with high calcium and magnesium content initially as certainly in large doses these minerals can mess you up as they consume your stomach acid, and magnesium particularly can give you diarrhoea.

You should get enough of these minerals from your diet.

If you are on the low FODMAP diet, go for all lactose free dairy products to boost your calcium, as unfortunately the diet tends to cut out almost all of the good calcium sources.


Second, sort out your fasting periods immediately.

This is normally overlooked by GP’s, but is an absolutely essential element for resolving IBS.

Your small intestine should be practically sterile, and your stomach acid along with bowel cleaning contractions during fasting (called MMC) will usually do the cleaning.

But, you need to fast for this to be effective, and by that I mean, ABSOLUTELY NO eating in between meals, ideally drinking only water.

Imagine that you never washed your dinner plates and just kept putting food on them all the time!, they would be filthy and full of bacteria.

In your guts, this results in SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth), which is apparently responsible for 85% of IBS cases, but is only one of factors that you need to address.

You need to give your small intestine plenty of time free of food for cleaning and maintaining the factory.

The modern scenario of have cupboards full of rich foods permanently available day and night is a modern luxury outside of human evolution.

Your stomach will sort itself out when you have got control of your small intestine (although if you’ve got gastritis you’ll need to finish a course of omeprazole first), and then your large intestine will improve later as nutrients are more efficiently absorbed from your small intestine.

Furthermore, you should be able to avoid future bouts of gastritis as during the fasting periods, your stomach acid is more neutral at nearly pH 4.

suggested eating schedule

As a basic program, eat a good breakfast at say 7am (porridge with 50% almond milk or lactose free milk) or what suits you and then a good lunch at 12 o’clock – absolutely no food in between.

After lunch, no food at all for at least 5 hours, and eat well again for your evening meal because it has got to get you through the night.

Ideally, no food after 7 pm, no supper or snacks, no food or milk at all until breakfast the next day.

You will feel hunger in the fasting periods, but you will not starve, and this is doing you good!,

You must NOT respond to the hunger – only with water or black tea.


Unless you are in a very healthy GI state, a mid-morning or afternoon snack interrupts your set meal digestion, causing SIBO and driving premature advancement of food into your colon resulting in the putrid gases mentioned above.

stick to the plan

Importantly, when you are feeling better, do not resort to your old ways, you are still recovering as you villi repair and become more efficient, and you need to make a life-style change to have this level of discipline in your eating and continue with it.

It takes a few weeks at least, and you need to persevere with this.

You then need to maintain a healthy and consistent way of eating and always keep the vitamins topped to prevent you from relapsing.

In a couple of weeks, you should be able to be getting off the low FODMAP diet, and begin mixing back in the higher FODMAPs.

Eventually, you can almost forget about low FODMAPs altogether, depending on how well your small intestine is performing and your fasting discipline.

every day toxins

The third aspect of IBS is that some food additives are quite simply toxic for you and cause direct inflammation of the colon, allergic reaction of the colon, or they are laxatives that give you diarrhoea that you didn’t realise you were eating.

These are to be considered separate to the usual SIBO and vitamin mechanisms that you are dealing with above:


Try to seek out and eliminate “trans-fats”.

These cause direct inflammation of the colon, and you will be more sensitive than most people and this confuses what is causing you trouble.

Chips, hash browns, butter, doughnuts, popcorn and things cooked in cheap or old frying oil as you find in many restaurants and commercial products can give you colon pain directly through inflammation.

It can take up to three or four days to recover from this inflammation, but trans-fats are bad for you in a myriad of ways (cardio-vascular and diabetes), not only by inflammation of the colon.

There is evidence that as cooking oil is re-used that the trans-fats (and other compounds) increase.

So, if you want fried food as a treat, do it at home with good oil at a low temperature, and use it only once.

Ideally, starches should only be boiled, rather than fried.


E407, or “Carrageenan” – is a food additive derived from a red seaweed, which is only present in small quantities as a thickener, but even at low levels it has been shown to be “highly inflammatory to the digestive tract” and associated with IBS, colitis and other GI diseases.

There is loads of literature and objections to this substance on the internet.

It is present in cheap Crème Caramels, and many other dairy and meat products.

After weeks of good health, just one of these products knocks me out for 24 hours with colon bloating and pain.

I have found this by trial and error several times.

Food tests show that even the food grade carrageenan contains between 2 and 25% of the non-approved “degraded” carrageenan, which is colon damaging and carcinogenic.

Some food agencies now prohibit this additive altogether, and it may be responsible for a lot of IBS cases.

It might be found in chocolate milk, cottage cheese, cream, crème caramel, ice cream, almond milk, diary alternatives, such as vegan cheeses or non-dairy desserts, coconut milk, creamers, hemp milk, rice milk, soy milk, and particularly processed meat.

It is used extensively in cheap meats and is even injected into beef joints – so always get organic or local butcher fresh good quality meat!).

It may be labelled as E407 or Carrageenan, but if you’ve got IBS, consider it as highly toxic for you.

carboxyl methyl cellulose (CMC)

In the same category is carboxy methyl cellulose (CMC) which is more widely used in the food industry, but has similar toxicology in animal studies, giving inflammation of the colon.

However, the jury is still out on CMC to its impact on humans.

mono-sodium glutamate (MSG)

I’ll also mention here mono-sodium glutamate (MSG).

Clinical trials and several scientific articles connect MSG with IBS, so given the option to avoid it you should avoid it.

aloe vera

Also, NICE advises against the use of Aloe Vera for IBS – although I would say for skin burns it is miraculous, so get a tube of the pure plant gel for your medicine cabinet for minor burns.


E338, E339, E340, E341, E450, E451 and E452, are phosphates, diphosphates or polyphosphates as different salts.

Natural phosphates are essential for life, and your body is full of organically bound phosphates, however, free ionic phosphates have several problems.

Firstly, they are laxatives and will give you diarrhoea (sodium phosphate was once used to prepare patients for colonoscopies!).

Secondly, they are associated with cardiovascular disease and accelerated aging.

Since the 1990’s we are now exposed to twice the amount of added phosphate in foods, and this is bad.

There are calls to have added phosphate labelled on products as a health warning.

Particular culprits are mass produced sausages and processed ham and chicken slices (and other meats), some cheeses, and cola (both diet and normal).

Personally, for me all phosphate additives make me ill.

low calorie sweeteners

Aspartame and other sweeteners definitely have a negative role to play in IBS for many people.

As with the other toxins above, your ability to cope with them varies on a spectrum.

If you look at some of the work of K.J. Mielke, many of these additives can be allergens or “pseudoallergens” and with time you can develop a reaction to them.

The best sweetener for IBS is normal table sugar (sucrose), but it will rot your teeth in tea / coffee all day unless you do extra teeth cleaning.

Ideally, general advice is to cut down on these stimulants, no more than 3 cups a day is the NICE guidance.

You must remember that there are many different causes of IBS, and one person’s solution may not be another’s – because of the allergies that you may or may not have developed, plus all other factors in play.


The fourth major topic in treating IBS, is adrenaline control.

The GI tract is very sensitive to adrenaline.

There is some literature about serotonin along a similar vein.

A friend of mine says that “adrenaline not used by your muscles goes to your guts” and there may be some truth to this.

If you have a busy life, you are probably not coasting along on a bed of feathers, and you probably not aware of your almost constantly high adrenaline levels – that is until you start actively lowering them.

Personally, listening to whale music doesn’t lower my adrenaline, nor does yoga, because immediately afterwards I’m back in the busy life again.

Crucially, what does work, is hard exercise to burn up your adrenaline and stop it interfering with the nervous system of your guts – and this is a powerful effect.

My advice is to do something every day, two or three times if you can just before eating.

Do whatever you can manage in your busy life, because it will all help.

It will improve your gut motility, general health, bone strength, relieve tiredness, help you sleep better, improve your mental agility and help get your anxiety under control.

To many people, exercise may seem like a waste of time, but it is equivalent to spending a bit of time sharpening an axe – it is not wasted time, but time very well spent in servicing your whole body and mind.

Other points…

red meat

Red meats generally take a long time to digest, and also contain some trans-fats, but are usually tolerable.

Only have them once a day, ideally for lunch, and just a light salad to go with them, not a load of starchy food or grains, as they have long digestion times.

You don’t want carbohydrates being held up in transit because of heavy meat digestion late in the day.


There is a lot of support for L-glutamine to help with repair of your small-intestinal lining;

this means buying 500g of the bodybuilder powder type and having a couple of tea-spoons of this a day –

one before breakfast and one just before you go to bed, and you can have this in a light cordial drink.

I don’t think this is a permanent requirement, but I think can help you recover more quickly from long term issues.


I am not a fan of probiotics,

I have never found that they actually do anything, although some people may disagree.

However, I am a fan of prebiotics, which is basically food for your large intestine good bacteria.

This helps to strengthen the lining of your colon, and further improve your resilience to potential trigger foods and inflammation.

Again, I would only use these short-term to help you back to a good state which you can then manage with the other good behaviours.

It’s not that they do you any harm, but you want to be as self-sufficient as possible.


I should also mention hormone changes in women can be connected with IBS, affecting the brain-gut nervous system, but I have no personal experience in this.

Similarly, hypnosis is actually recommended by NICE as the best alternative therapy, again trying to get a grip on the nervous dysfunction.

Personally, I’ve yet to try it, but I wouldn’t rule it out.

Dealing with Flare-ups…

First thing is, fix your SIBO as described above.

If you still have SIBO symptoms, oregano oil capsules are very good, it is bactericidal and can help with acute SIBO problems.

It is not “gassy” as you may find with peppermint oil.

Fixing your SIBO has got to be your priority.

If you are on top of your SIBO, then a bowel toxin such might hit you 5 to 8 hours later as the food gets to your large intestine.

The first line of attack in this case is ibuprofen which is far more effective than paracetamol for bowel pain, and I find that 200 mg alone is enough.

Second, a couple of Buscopan will stop the cramps.

linseed aniseed tea for stomach cramps

Have available in advance some linseed (seeds) and natural aniseed (Star Anise), and make the following tea: in a saucepan, add

  • 1 teaspoon of linseed
  • ½ to 1 anise star
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • a squirt of lemon juice (bottled is fine)
  • and one mug full of water

Boil to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, then sieve off the hot liquid back into the mug.

This is a very effective remedy that I have used countless times, and it really does help.

The reason that it helps (anecdotally) is that the “gooey” linseed extract coats the intestinal lining.

There may be some truth to this, as some propose that the mechanism of bowel inflammation is a chemical attack on the mucus lining of the intestine which then allows food particles be exposed to the more delicate tissues underneath, causing inflammation.

The linseed goo would provide a temporary replacement to the mucus lining, preventing further inflammation.

In fact, NICE recommends oats and linseed for daily consumption for IBS patients.

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neutralizing odor with zwaardemaker pairs

neutralizing odor with zwaardemaker pairs

Henry Zwaardemaker was a Dutch Physiologist who invented the olfactometer in 1888

The olfactometer is still less sensitive than the human nose today

Zwaardemaker also discovered that certain pleasant aromas blocked the perception of specific foul odors, effectively neutralizing their scent

These pleasant aromas and the corresponding foul odor they each blocked were termed zwaardemaker conjugates or zwaardemaker pairs and are listed here

odorz-pair essential oilodor common sourcesodor characteristicsz-pair active ingredient
Butyric acidJuniper Oilvomit, flesh decomposition, rancid dairy productsvomit, rancid butter
AmmoniaRose Oilurine, liver failureIonone
TobaccoWintergreen Oilcigarette smokeMethyl salicylate
MuskBitter Almond OilBenzaldehyde
RubberCedar Oil
SkatoleCedar OilFeces, Coal Tarfeces, defecation
MercaptanEucalyptus OilsulfurEucalyptol
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My Breath Smells Like An Open Sewer

My Breath Smells Like An Open Sewer

Guest Post from WholeHealth Chicago

Robert’s breath had become his worst nightmare and as a consequence he knew was starting to isolate himself socially. For three years, he’d tried every over-the-counter remedy. When he walked, Tic Tacs rattled in several pockets.

Robert had seen specialists, had his teeth cleaned every three months, and followed a twice-daily oral regimen that included flossing, brushing, and jet-streaming his gums. The finale was a vicious tongue-scraping that left his taste buds raw and aching. He’d then blast whatever was left with undiluted mouthwash.

Robert had tried everything.

“The tongue-scraping is especially horrible,” he told me. “I can actually smell that sewer odor coming from that guck I scrape off.”

One doctor said it was all in his mind, that he should see a good psychiatrist because his breath might be a symbol of some deeper issue and that he might be sinking into the terrain of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Robert was intelligent enough to consider this for a moment, but because his wife had recently remarked that his breath was interfering with their lovemaking he skipped checking the mental health benefits on his insurance.

An otorhinolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat specialist) scoped his sinuses and pronounced them clean. A gastroenterologist (GI) scoped his esophagus and stomach and found nothing out of the ordinary. The GI doc was less than hopeful. “My brother has had bad breath since he was 20. He’s 50 now and spent a fortune trying to figure it out. Nothing. Nada. He lives on Certs.”

Robert offered the doctor a Tic Tac and left the office.

My meeting with Robert

When I first saw Robert I was not hopeful. First of all, I couldn’t smell a thing, which isn’t saying much because I have a dreadful sense of smell. He’d already read one of my previous Health Tips citing poor digestion as a possible cause of bad breath, but a month of digestive enzymes and betaine didn’t make a dent.

I reviewed Robert’s entire health history and there wasn’t much. He did have some heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD) that he’d self-treated on an as-needed basis with Nexium, one of the proton-pump inhibitors that reduce stomach acid. Robert told me he had frequent bloating, but generally his bowels were regular and there were no particular foods that gave him trouble. Except for seeing a dermatologist for some stubborn rosacea, there was nothing really wrong with him that decapitation couldn’t cure (I knew he’d laugh when I told him this).

Clinical testing

Since he already had a primary physician (who had pronounced him healthy) and had been pretty thoroughly tested by other doctors, I ordered two tests of his gastrointestinal function.

stool analysis

For the first, a Comprehensive Stool Digestive Analysis, he would send stool specimens to Genova Labs to determine if he was digesting and absorbing his food normally. This test would also look for intestinal parasites and determine if there were any imbalances in his intestinal bacteria. Robert’s results were normal. He was digesting and absorbing his food well.

breath test

The second test would measure the contents of his breath for two gasses, hydrogen and methane. This test would determine if there were an overgrowth of bacteria in his small intestine, called SIBO for small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Some bacteria in the small intestine is allowable. But an overgrowth can produce all sorts of mischief, including bloating and impairing your digestion and absorption of food.

For the SIBO test (done at home), Robert would drink a small amount of lactulose, a harmless sugar that’s like cotton candy to the target bacteria, which promptly respond to this treat by producing more gas than ever. For the next two hours, Robert would collect samples of his breath by blowing into a specially designed balloon and then attaching a vacuum tube to extract an air sample. He’d send off six tubes of air, which looked empty, but definitely were not.

When the test results came back from the lab, I knew we had an answer. Robert’s hydrogen-methane content started rising at the 20-minute point and remained at the very top of the graph for the rest of the two-hour collection period. His was among the highest gas levels I’d ever encountered.

Treating Robert’s SIBO

Robert’s response to Xifaxan, the antibiotic most widely prescribed for SIBO, was dramatic. On the fourth day of his ten-day Xifaxan prescription, the nauseating odor from his tongue scraping had vanished. By the tenth day, neither he nor his wife could detect any breath odor whatsoever and I hoped they were now able to resume their passions.

Just why Robert had developed SIBO is hard to say. Some people get it if they have a chronic intestinal inflammation, like Crohn’s disease. Some get SIBO as a consequence of using the Nexium family of meds, which reduce the stomach acid necessary to keep the small intestine’s bacterial population in check. SIBO has also been linked to anything that slows intestinal motility (movement), like underactive thyroid or constipation-dominant irritable bowel syndrome. But for most people with SIBO, the “why me?” is left unanswered.

Fortunately, as in Robert’s case, treatment can be dramatically successful. The only caveat is that the bacteria are stubborn and a return of symptoms can occur. We reduce this possibility using an antibiotic blend of herbs and a quality probiotic, since nobody needs to be carpet-bombing what helpful bacteria they do have by taking an antibiotic regularly.

Three intriguing points worth mentioning

First, the question of the garbage-y odor itself since the two gasses measured with SIBO testing, hydrogen and methane, are both odorless. The likely reason for the odor is that the bacteria are producing other gasses, especially hydrogen sulfide, the villain behind your odiferous farts. You’re better off not thinking about this too much.

Second, a few weeks after treatment, Robert’s rosacea had disappeared. The link between SIBO and rosacea is relatively new, first described by a group of Italian physicians in 2008. Unfortunately, testing for SIBO has been slow among US dermatologists seeking a rosacea cure, but the connection might explain how Flagyl (metronidazole) works. Flagyl, the top-prescribed drug for rosacea can also be used to treat SIBO if Xifaxan is unavailable. Perhaps dermatologists prescribing Flagyl are inadvertently curing SIBO, which in turn cures the rosacea.

Third, I have to wonder if something as thoroughly annoying as having horrible breath ever affects celebrities and other beautiful people. There’s a real imbalance in the universe. I mean, if Brad Pitt or Taylor Swift or Princess Kate had socially isolating breath problems, they’d be able to compensate by saying, “Thank god I’m Brad Pitt” or “Wow, at least I’m Taylor Swift” or “I’d be even more miserable if I weren’t a princess.”

Instead, this stuff strikes plebes like you and me. No justice.

Be well,
David Edelberg, MD

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recommended daily oral hygiene routine

recommended daily oral hygiene routine

what is a good oral hygiene routine?

this mostly depends on several factors including age, lifestyle, diet and health status

it is important to look after your teeth, gums and mouth tissue so they can serve you well for your whole life

you can do this by keeping biofilm and bacteria levels low with regular cleaning

and by avoiding being too harsh on the mouth and teeth, which can cause permanent erosion or damage

the trick to a fresh healthy mouth is to gently keep smelly bacteria levels low over the course of the day

this approach is a little different to most recommended practices of harshly attacking bacteria (and the mouth!) just once or twice a day

for some people smelly bacteria can get out of control in the hours between a usual morning and night cleansing routine

the suggested method below gently keeps bacteria levels down over the course of the day

it is inexpensive and quickly becomes an easy habit once put into practice

the following oral hygiene routine has worked well to get bad breath under control for many clients


copper tongue scraper, oral irrigator / water flosser, hydrigen peroxide, water, hydroxyapatitie remineralizing toothpaste, soft bristle toothbrush, mixing jar, sea salt, xylitol chewing gum
daily oral hygiene routine tools
copper tongue scraper
a copper tongue scraper removes most of bacterial biofilm from the tongue and has antibacterial properties
copper tongue scraper

a tongue scraper is the most effective method of removing tongue biofilm

copper is a highly antimicrobial metal making it the best choice for a tongue scraper that can be used for many years

keep the tongue scraper clean from debris and the teal colored verdigris which is toxic if ingested

the scraper can kept clean by scrubbing with toothpaste and a toothbrush, or cleaned in the dishwasher, and then dried thoroughly

a different metal scraper may be used if preferred, or a plastic scraper may be used if it is replaced once per month because synthetic materials tend to retain microbes and odors over time

oral irrigator / water flosser
use a water flosser or oral irrigator to flush biofrilm from the tooth and gumline and from between teeth

a battery or mains powered oral irrigator / water flosser is the most effective method of removing biofilm from the gumline and between teeth

dental floss doesn’t reach all areas and most manual oral irrigators don’t achieve enough water pressure to effectively flush biofilm the gums

keep the water flosser clean by flushing with hydrogen peroxide regularly

pull apart and scrub all pieces with toothpaste or similar regularly and allow to dry thoroughly

tap water can be used to deodorize smelly hair and scalp, bad breath, underarm odor, smelly genitals, smelly feet and whole body odor

either tap or bottled water can be used for rinsing and making up solutions

food or technical grade hydrogen peroxide 3% (h2O2)
food or technical grade hydrogen peroxide 3% H2O2 to deodorize mouth and tonsils and sterilize accessories

hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) 3% is an inexpensive topical antiseptic acid available from most supermarkets and pharmacies

H2O2 can be used as a mouth rinse, as an additive to an oral irrigator / water flosser, a tonsil flush and also to sterilize dental tools

H2O2 can irritate mouth tissue at 3% concentration

use a jar to dilute H2O2 to personal tolerance, starting with 10ml H2O2 50ml water, diluting further if needed

H2O2 will whiten teeth over time and may also cause tooth sensitivity after prolonged use

for this reason it can be a good idea to alternate between H2O2 and other mouth rinses such as salt and water and/or zinc citrate and water and/or chlorine dioxide, to lessen the likelihood of sensitivity

other mouth rinse ingredients that are effective antimicrobials are chlorhexidine and delmopinol

however both of these chemicals can stain teeth an unpleasant yellow or brown color therefore their use is not recommended

add one to three capfuls of H2O2 to the oral irrigator tank and top up with water to flush the gumline and between teeth

keep the last portion of the flush in the mouth and gargle it for at least 60 seconds to clean and deodorize the back of the throat

soft white bristle toothbrush
a white soft bristle toothbrrush gently cleans he tooth and gumline and teeth white bristles show any dirt or debris the handle can be composted and the bristles are recyclable

an inexpensive disposable soft white bristle toothbrush is the best option to clean the teeth

using a toothbrush with good technique is effective at removing surface buildup

brushing can wear away tooth enamel if firm bristles are used or the teeth are brushed too frequently

white bristles can be inspected for debris or discoloration as one indicator of cleanness

colored bristles can hide signs of microbe build up

toothbrush bristles are generally made from synthetic material which tends to retain odors and microbes and is impossible to completely sterilize

they should be replaced frequently, especially if bad breath is a problem

a toothbrush should be thoroughly cleaned and allowed to dry after every use

to clean a toothbrush

  • rinse well under running water
  • swish in 3% hydrogen peroxide for at least 30 seconds
  • allow to dry
hydroxyapatite remineralizing toothpaste
nano-hydroxyapatite remineralizing toothpaste gently cleans teeth and provides hydroxyapatite for the teeth natural enamel repair process

hydroxyapatite is a natural mineral that forms bones, teeth, eggshells, seashells and coral

nano-hydroxyapatite can be utilized during the daily dental remineralization process that occurs between eating and brush (when teeth are being demineralized)

fluoride toothpaste can also be used sparingly, however controversy exists around the health impacts of fluoride accumulation in the body

fluoride (and chlorine) also negatively effects iodine absorption in the thyroid which can lead to hormone imbalances

avoid harsh abrasives such as sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as their demineralization effects can be greater than the body’s natural remineralization ability

it is better for the long term health of teeth and gums to brush gently and more often 2-4 times per day than to brush aggressively 1-2 times per day

125ml mixing jar
a glass jar is ideal for mixing tonsil and sinus flush solutions while a plastic cap won't corrode
glass jar

a jar is used to dilute hydrogen peroxide with water – 1 parts hydrogen peroxide to 5 parts water or to tolerance

the jar can also be used dissolve 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in 100ml warm water to use as a mouth rinse

another use for the jar is to ‘brew’ cotton mouth swaps to check for bad breath

a plastic lid should be used as a metal lid will corrode on exposure to both hydrogen peroxide and salt

regularly rinsing the mouth throughout the day with salt water is effective at minimizing microbe buildup

xylitol chewing gum
xylitol chewing gum cannister
xylitol chewing gum

studies have shown xylitol to be effective at decreasing harmful bacteria while maintaining good bacteria levels

harmful bacteria consume xylitol but can’t use it nutritionally

the consumed xylitol then blocks consumption of glucose, causing the bacteria to starve and die

this benefits the whole body’s microbiome including the mouth, teeth, sinus cavities, ears and digestive tract


this daily routine seems daunting at first – why are there so many steps?!

each step doesn’t take very long and after a few days it becomes a simple habit

you may need to make adjustments to suit the way you go about your day but this is a solid starting point that keeps breath fresh 24/7




as soon as you wake up

remove biofilm build up from the night

this is when the least (antimicrobial) saliva is produced and so the best opportunity for smelly bacteria to multiply

  1. gently scrape the tongue with a clean tongue scraper
  2. use a water flosser to gently flush the gum line and between teeth with a hydrogen peroxide solution
  3. keep the last of the flush solution in the mouth and use it to swish and gargle for at least 60 seconds
  4. gargle and spit out some plain water to remove any excess hydrogen peroxide
  5. drink a large glass of water to flush the throat
just before you go out for the day
or after breakfast if you’re staying in for the morning

provide teeth with remineralizing nutrients

remove any food or odor compounds if you ate or drank anything

  1. use a water flosser to flush between the teeth if you ate or drank anything other than green tea or water
  2. gently brush teeth, gumline and tongue with a soft bristle toothbrush and hydroxyapatite toothpaste

during the day
after eating or drinking anything other than water, green or herbal tea
or every 3-4 hours

remove food and odor particles from the mouth and keep bacteria levels low

  1. gargle and swish salt water between teeth, around mouth and throat for at least 60 seconds
during the day
every 2-3 hours

keep saliva circulating to moisten the mouth

starve any present bacteria

  1. chew 1-2 pieces xylitol gum
as soon as you get home

remove any lingering food particles and any excessive smelly compounds

  1. gently flush the teeth and gumline with plain water

after your last meal

remove food and odor particles

minimize bacteria levels

  1. use a water flosser to gently flush the gum line and between teeth with a hydrogen peroxide solution
just before bed
literally the last thing you do before lying down for the night

remove biofilm

provide teeth with remineralizing nutrients

  1. gently scrape the tongue with a clean tongue scraper
  2. gently brush teeth, gumline and tongue with a soft bristle toothbrush and hydroxyapatite toothpaste

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sulphur content of foods

sulphur content of foods

consuming more sulphur than the body can metabolize can lead to bad breath and body odor

the following table, first published in 1939, provides the sulphur content of the edible portion of more than 300 foods

while we tend to eat a little differently today and growing methods have changed, a recent review indicates sulfur levels in the table are still accurate

categoryfood - edible portionsulphur mg/100gwater g/100gNitrogen/Sulphur ratio
fruits, rawapples, empire, eating3.7
fruits, rawapples, english, eating7.65.1
fruits, rawapples, english, cooking2.9
fruits, rawapricots6.1
fruits, rawavocado pears19.4
fruits, rawbananas13
fruits, rawblackberries12.5
fruits, rawcherries, eating6.8
fruits, rawcherries, cooking7.9
fruits, rawcranberries11.1
fruits, rawcurrants33.1
fruits, rawcurrants28.6
fruits, rawcurrants23.6
fruits, rawcustard apples26.7
fruits, rawdamsons6.4
fruits, rawfigs, green12.9
fruits, rawgooseberries, green15.9
fruits, rawgooseberries, ripe13.5
fruits, rawgrapes, black7.4
fruits, rawgrapes, white9.1
fruits, rawgrapefruit5.1
fruits, rawgreengages340
fruits, rawlemons, whole12.3
fruits, rawlemons, juice2
fruits, rawloganberries18.1
fruits, rawmedlars16.6
fruits, rawmelons, cantaloupe11.7
fruits, rawmelons, yellow6.3
fruits, rawmulberries8.8
fruits, rawnectarines10
fruits, raworanges914
fruits, raworange juice4.6
fruits, rawpassionfruit18.7
fruits, rawpeaches5.7
fruits, rawpears, empire, eating5.6
fruits, rawpears, english, eating2.7
fruits, rawpears, english, cooking3.4
fruits, rawpineapple2.6
fruits, rawplums, victoria, dessert3.5
fruits, rawplums, cooking4.6
fruits, rawpomegranate juice4.2
fruits, rawquinces5.2
fruits, rawraspberries17.3
fruits, rawrhubarb8.2
fruits, rawstrawberries13.47.5
fruits, rawtangerines10.3
fruits, rawtomatoes10.7
fruits, driedapricots164
fruits, driedcurrants30.8
fruits, drieddates51
fruits, driedfigs80.8
fruits, driedpeaches240
fruits, driedprunes18.5
fruits, driedraisins23
fruits, driedsultanas44.3
fruits, tinnedapricots1
fruits, tinnedfruit salad1.8
fruits, tinnedloganberries3
fruits, tinnedpeaches1
fruits, tinnedpears1.3
fruits, tinnedpineapple2.7
fruits, tinnedbottles olives (in brine)35.6
nutscoconut milk23.8
vegetablesartichokes, globe, boiled15.5
vegetablesartichokes, jerusalem, boiled21.6
vegetablesasparagus, boiled46.6
vegetablesbeans, baked50.7
vegetablesbeans, broad, boiled27
vegetablesbeans, butter, raw9.5
vegetablesbeans, butter, boiled47.2
vegetablesbeans, french, boiled8.3
vegetablesbeans, haricot, raw166.520.5
vegetablesbeans, haricot, boiled46.323
vegetablesbeans, runner, raw14.112.8
vegetablesbeans, runner, boiled9.512.7
vegetablesbeetroot, boiled22.1
vegetablesbroccoli tops, boiled45
vegetablesbrussels sprouts, boiled77.8
vegetablescabbage, red, raw68
vegetablescabbage, savoy, boiled30.4
vegetablescabbage, spring, boiled26.7
vegetablescabbage, winter, boiled23.4
vegetablescarrageen moss, dried5460
vegetablescarrots, old, raw6.9
vegetablescarrots, old, boiled5
vegetablescarrots, young, boiled9.3
vegetablescauliflower, boiled29.4
vegetablesceleriac, boiled12.8
vegetablescelery, raw14.9
vegetablescelery, boiled8.3
vegetableschicory, raw12.7
vegetablescucumber, raw11
vegetablesegg plant, raw9
vegetablesendive, raw25.7
vegetableshorseradish, raw212
vegetablesleeks, boiled48.9
vegetableslentils, raw122.5
vegetableslentils, boiled37.3
vegetableslettuce, raw11.8
vegetablesmarrow, boiled5.5
vegetablesmushrooms, raw33.8
vegetablesmushrooms, fried73.8
vegetablesmustard and cress, raw170
vegetablesonions, raw50.7
vegetablesonions, boiled23.7
vegetablesonions, fried87.8
vegetablesonions, spring, raw50
vegetablesparsnips, raw16.5
vegetablesparsnips, boiled14.6
vegetablespeas, fresh, raw50
vegetablespeas, fresh, boiled43.5
vegetablespeas, dried, raw129
vegetablespeas, dried, boiled39
vegetablespeas, split, dried, raw166
vegetablespeas, split, dried, boiled45.7
vegetablespeas, tinned43.9
vegetablespotatoes, old, raw34.6
vegetablespotatoes, old, boiled22.2
vegetablespotatoes, old, chips44.7
vegetablespotatoes, old, roast56.3
vegetablespotatoes, new, boiled24.3
vegetablespumpkin, raw9.5
vegetablesradishes, raw37.5
vegetablessalsify, boiled25.2
vegetablesseakale, boiled52
vegetablesspinach, boiled86.5
vegetablesspring greens, boiled28.5
vegetablesswedes, raw39.14.6
vegetablesswedes, boiled30.54.6
vegetablessweet potatoes, boiled14.9
vegetablestomatoes, fried9.2
vegetablesturnips, raw22.1
vegetablesturnips, boiled21.2
vegetablesturnip tops, boiled39
vegetableswatercress, raw127
cereals and starch productsAll Bran, Kellogg's182
cereals and starch productsArrowroot1.6
cereals and starch productsBarley, pearl117
cereals and starch productsBiscuits, Cream Crackers77.8
cereals and starch productsBiscuits, Digestive72
cereals and starch productsBiscuits, Plain Mixed83.4
cereals and starch productsBiscuits. Rusks107
cereals and starch productsBiscuits, Sweet mixed31.8
cereals and starch productsBiscuits, Water99.9
cereals and starch productsBread, Currant59.4
cereals and starch productsBread, Hovis77.3
cereals and starch productsBread, Malt114.5
cereals and starch productsBread, White54.5
cereals and starch productsBread, Wholemeal76
cereals and starch productsBuns, Currant73.4
cereals and starch productsCornflakes, Kellogg's92.5
cereals and starch productsCornflour1.1
cereals and starch productsDoughnuts56.4
cereals and starch productsDundee cake55
cereals and starch productsFlour, white108.5
cereals and starch productsFlour, wholemeal123.5
cereals and starch productsForce105
cereals and starch productsGrapenuts145
cereals and starch productsMacaroni95
cereals and starch productsOatmeal155
cereals and starch productsPost Toasties83
cereals and starch productsRice78.5
cereals and starch productsRyvita87
cereals and starch productsSago0.45
cereals and starch productsSemolina91.8
cereals and starch productsTapioca3.5
cereals and starch productsVitawheat93.2
Dairy ProductsButter9.1
Dairy ProductsCheese, Cheddar230
Dairy ProductsCheese, Dutch186.5
Dairy ProductsCheese, Gorgonzola177
Dairy ProductsCheese, Gruyere206
Dairy ProductsCheese, Packet321
Dairy ProductsCheese, Parmesan251
Dairy ProductsCheese, St ivel186
Dairy ProductsCheese, Stilton228
Dairy ProductsCream33
Dairy ProductsEgg Yolk164.5
Dairy ProductsEgg white182.5
Dairy Productsice Cream30.6
Dairy ProductsMilk, fresh, whole29.2
Dairy ProductsMilk, condensed, unsweetened75
Dairy ProductsMilk, condensed, sweetened82.5
Dairy ProductsMilk, condensed, skimmed, sweetened94.3
Sweetmeats, Jams, etcChocolate, milk67
Sweetmeats, Jams, etcChocolate, plain32
Sweetmeats, Jams, etcCherries, glace21
Sweetmeats, Jams, etcHoney0.8
Sweetmeats, Jams, etcHonecomb0.8
Sweetmeats, Jams, etcJam (edible seeds)6.5
Sweetmeats, Jams, etcJam (stone fruits)3.2
Sweetmeats, Jams, etcJelly, packet36.6
Sweetmeats, Jams, etcMarmalade2.1
Sweetmeats, Jams, etcMincemeat28.4
Sweetmeats, Jams, etcSugar, Demerara14
Sweetmeats, Jams, etcSyrup, golden53.8
Sweetmeats, Jams, etcTreacle, black68.5
BeveragesMalted Milk, Horlicks167
BeveragesBeer, Pale ale, draught23.2
BeveragesBeer, Pale ale, bottled23.8
BeveragesBeer, Mild ale, draught20.4
BeveragesBeer, Mild ale, bottled25.2
BeveragesBeer, Strong ale, 34.1
BeveragesBeer, Stout, 23.1
CondimentsCurry powder86
CondimentsGround ginger145
Condimentsmustard and cress1280
CondimentsSalt: block401
CondimentsTable Salt A34.7
CondimentsTable Salt B23.3
Sausages and PastesBeef sausage, fried163
Sausages and PastesBlack sausage173
Sausages and PastesBreakfast sausage78.5
Sausages and PastesPork sausage, fried95
Sausages and PastesFish paste185
Sausages and PastesMeat paste131
MeatsBeef, corned22255.617
MeatsBeef steak20372.616.4
MeatsBeef steak, fried27159.315.4
MeatsBeef steak, stewed28762.616.2
MeatsBeef, topside21270.414.8
MeatsBeef, topside, stewed3415816.1
MeatsChicken, roast23247.214.9
MeatsDuck, roast39542.613.8
MeatsGoose, roast32657.513.8
MeatsHam, boiled23353.713.8
MeatsHare, roast348--
MeatsLamb cutlet16665.315.1
MeatsMutton chop19765.615.5
MeatsMutton, lg16452.415.4
MeatsPheasant, baked30251.513.7
MeatsPork, leg19566.316.1
MeatsTurkey, roast234--
OrgansBrain, sheeps10880.114.9
OrgansHeart, sheeps17675.414.1
OrgansKidney, sheeps14172.117.2
OrgansKidney, ox1547617.5
OrgansLiver, calves26466.811.1
OrgansLiver, ox2636911.8
FishCod, bakes25671.313.7
FishCod's roe21275.314.1
FishFillet, smoked, boiled24975.913.1
FishHaddock, fresh22680.212
FishHaddock, smoked22173.414.7
FishHalibutm steamed22773.214.9
FishHerring, fried27055.313.5
FishHerring's roe17576.915.9
FishPlaice, fried2466812.6
FishSalmon, tinned24167.314.6
FishSardines, tinned in oil24653.612.3
FishSprats, smoked22262.315.2
FishSole, Dover23378.412.5
FishSole, lemon19579.113.6
FishTrout, rainbow16877.717.2
ShellfishMussels, boiled262797.9
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smelly tonsil stones

smelly tonsil stones

warning: images and videos of tonsil stones may cause discomfort

tonsil basics

pharyngel tonsil in the sinus tubal tonsil at the ear's eustacian tube entry palatine tonsils on each side of the back of the mouth and lingual tonsil behind / below the tongue
location of the tonsils

tonsils are lumps of lymphatic tissue located in the upper digestive tract

they educate the body’s immune system and speed up an immune response in case of infection in the early years of life

tonsils grow from birth to puberty then gradually shrink and are less active by adulthood

photo of a healthy oral cavity
austin peay state university

palatine tonsils are the visible tonsils at each side of the back of the mouth

the pharyngeal (adenoid) tonsil is located on the back wall of the sinus cavity

tubal tonsils are found at the entrance of the eustachian tubes to the ears

the lingual tonsil lies behind / below the tongue

palatine and lingual tonsils have crevices or crypts which traps substances that pass by

these crypts help the immune system to identify germs early and build antibodies quickly

the adenoid tonsil has folds which work in the same way as crypts

tubal tonsils are covered by a membrane and don’t typically collect substances

adult tonsils and their crypts and folds come in different shapes and sizes

tonsil stones are a foul smelling buildup of solid white, brown or green substance in tonsil crypts

they are caused by a combination of diet, lifestyle, health and tonsil anatomy

tonsil stones

white tonsil stone visible in the right palatine tonsil

tonsilloliths are another name for tonsil stones

they are most commonly found in the palatine tonsils, located on each side of the back of the mouth

however stones can also less commonly form in lingual tonsil crypts and adenoid tonsil folds

the size of tonsil stones range from tiny pinheads to thumb-sized behemoths and colors vary from white to shades of brown and green

the substance is made up of food debris, proteins, bacteria and mineral deposits

tonsil stones always smell horrific with a high sulfur and mercaptan content

the odor will often resemble the putrefied protein of the sufferers diet

for example a beef eaters tonsil stones might include a rotting beef odor

while a dairy consumers tonsil stones might carry an overtone of very soured milk

a small white patch on left tonsil looks like a pimple but is a tonsil stone
visible tonsil stone right side

diagnosing and removing tonsil stones

diagnosing palatine tonsil stones can often be done by inspecting and prodding tonsils with a strong light and thin long blunt sterile tool

an LED tonsil stone pick, commonly marketed as an ear pick, is an ideal tool to perform this

radiography (xray) can occasionally (less than a third of cases) identify tonsil stones

however computer topography (CT) scan is the most reliable method for tonsil stone diagnosis

palatine tonsil stones can most often be removed by physically coaxing and flushing them from the tonsil crypts

adenoid tonsil stones (adenoliths) can only be diagnosed by CT scan and would need to be removed by an ear nose and throat (ENT) specialist

(A) Preoperative view of the hypertrophic adenoid tissue through the left choana, septum to the left; (B) Unroofing of the hypertrophic adenoid tissue reveals a bright green stone; (C) Multiple stones were removed (scale bar 4mm)
bright green tonsil stones removed from the adenoid tonsil

lingual tonsil stones would also need to be diagnosed by CT scan

but massage and activating nearby muscles can help to loosen and dislodge some lingual stones

camera identification of lingual tonsil stones
lingual tonsil stones

the tubal tonsils are covered by a membrane and are not prone to tonsil stones

removing tonsil stones yourself

large beige tonsil stone being pushed ou of the left palatine tonsil with a cotton bud
cotton bud tonsil stone removal

tonsils are sensitive and can be very ticklish

they are also in a position that can cause a gag reflex when prodded

otherwise removing tonsil stones yourself is safe and reasonably simple

it is important to sterilize the mouth and tools before, during and after the process

this will help to prevent infection and decreases the likelihood of new tonsil stones forming

videos of at-home tonsil stone extractions

tonsil stone man has generously filmed himself picking out his tonsil stones

rudey p also helped out with some of his own tonsil stone removals before he eventually got his actual tonsils taken out

tonsil stone removal by a specialist

many ear nose and throat (ENT) specialists are surprisingly unfamiliar with tonsil and salivary stones

I’ve had quite a few clients present with bad breath and even body odor caused by tonsil stones

one of them had no other tonsil stone symptoms while others had post nasal drip, sore throat, swollen glands and other symptoms

a few clients had been to ENT specialists and come away with a sinus flush, tongue scraper, dental floss and/or antibiotics

unsurprisingly none of these helped

however not all ENT’s are ignorant of tonsil stones and a few have shared some GIANT tonsil stone extractions

videos of ENT tonsil stone extractions

do I need to remove my tonsil stones?

tonsil stones should definitely be removed if possible

they can be full of bacteria and can cause infection, post nasal drip and may even contribute to SIBO, reflux and other gastric disorders

if left in place tonsil stones can keep growing in size and cause permanent stretching of crypts and folds

large crypts are more likely to accumulate debris and form new tonsil stones in the future

should I remove my tonsils?

surgical tonsil removal is a traumatic and painful procedure

removing tonsils doesn’t necessarily prevent tonsil stones forming again in the future

this tonsils and their crypts can sometimes grow back

laser or coblation cryptolysis is another possible procedure

tonsil crypts are sealed during cryptolysis to prevent substances entering and stones forming

however it is critical the crypts are thoroughly sterilized before sealing to avoid potentially trapping a very smelly problem

salivary stones are another source of bad breath and body odor but that is a topic for another day

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even celebrities deal with bad breath and body odor

even celebrities deal with bad breath and body odor

we tend to spend a lot of time looking for clues that our beloved celebrities are normal and just like us

which explains why there is a lot of media dedicated to the flaws of the famous

an brief comment about a stars breath or body odor tends to stick around

repeated over and over again for many years in every sound-bite addressing the topic

most of the time our celebs smell like fresh diamond studded rainbows drenched in morning dew

but a few of the same superstars make the smelly lists over and over again

even our beloved celebrities suffer from bad breath and body odor

I trawled this topic and found that microbes aren’t bothered about fame, social status or bank balance

armpits are armpits, mouths are mouths and feet are feet

microbes love them all

childhood scents
a childhood friend reportedly claimed that christina aguilera smelled like hot dogs as a child
christina aguilera

saying a child smells bad is like saying puppies aren’t cute

I have a friend who smelled distinctly but not unpleasantly like cheddar cheese when we were kids

so it’s not entirely unbelievable that Christina Aguilera might have secreted a hot dog aroma as a mouseketeer

she might have had chronically high stress hormone (cortisol) levels with her work and home situations

this may have made her prone to slightly elevated skin microbes such as Malassezia which altered her scent

my friend smells pretty neutral these days unless she’s a couple of days into a music festival or hanging over a night on the chardonnay

Christina’s natural scent has no doubt also moved on and she probably smells likes she looks – fresh and sweet

saying no to deodorant and excessive washing

some of the rich and famous care deeply about the environment, the health of their children and the health of themselves

this has led them to skipping the deodorant and excessive washing

they’re okay with occasionally smelling like ripe earthy humans

some of them might have excessive odor causing microbes and could benefit from an underarm microbe transplant currently being researched by malodor generating bacteria experts at Doctor Armpit

a less scientific method could work by sterilizing the skin then rubbing against a person who doesn’t wear deodorant and doesn’t smell strong

getting into character

many actors prepare for roles by living the character to bring authenticity to their performance

for some this includes ultra relaxed hygiene habits that generated enough odor for colleagues to complain publicly

it is very unique and somewhat disturbing that anyone would go out of their way to smell bad on purpose

however it speaks volumes for their high self-esteem and dedication to the craft to put themselves and everyone else through it

drinking coffee and smoking

the benefits of smoking are always overlooked because the drawbacks are simply not worth it

smoking is a proven treatment for irritable bowel syndrome

it also is a powerful appetite suppressant, mood enhancer and nootropic with both calming and stimulating properties

however lung disease, heart disease and foul odor easily trump these benefits

combine coffee with smoke and you get a mouth bomb of bitter drying acridness and some seriously offensive odor compounds

the foolproof remedy is to quit

or at least cut down

or at a bare minimum constantly flush the mouth and throat with water and dietary fiber

eating smelly foods and supplements

fish, garlic and onions have all featured on the breath of celebrities kissing other celebrities for a movie

supplement breath has also featured from chinese dirt herbs to selenium or a penchant for brazil nuts

the remedy for these situations is obvious

everybody should eat smelly foods all of the time so we all smell the same

restricting calories

calorie restriction is a cheap and fast way to quickly lose fat and muscle

it is also proven to prolong life and resolve many chronic diseases

muscles eventually run out of glycogen (stored carbohydrate fuel source) on a calorie restricted diet

the body then converts fat stores to ketones as an alternative fuel source

ketones have a strong acetone or nail polish remover odor

these odors circulate through the body and out of the lungs via breath

most celebrities are likely to have had ketone breath at some point in their careers

especially in the lead up to filming or awards season

hunger breath is another diet-related phenomenon

hunger breath odor is caused by putrefied pancreatic juice and/or stagnant digestive tract tissue and mucus

the solution for ketone and hunger breath is to mask it as much as possible with plenty of xylitol gum and mints

hormone-driven body odor

body odor that gets out of control despite strict hygiene habits is tough for anyone let alone famous performers under constant scrutiny

women’s body odor is often stronger just before and during menstruation

this is due to fluctuating estrogen levels and it’s impact on the body’s microbe concentrations

high estrogen levels tend to be anti-bacterial but can promote fungal overgrowth

low estrogen levels don’t support fungal growth but allow for opportunistic bacteria, if present, to multiply and cause odor

if a fungal or bacterial growth rises too high it can be difficult for the body to get under control on its own

the gentlest remedy for this kind of odor is to adjust the diet to improve the bodies other defences against microbes

using antimicrobial hygiene products during pre-menstruation will also help prevent odor causing microbe overgrowth

digestive tract microbe overgrowth

our beloved celebrities are just like us and suffer digestive tract microbe overgrowth

odor causing microbes can flourish anywhere between the mouth and the anus

  • prosthetics such as dentures, grills, veneers, caps or crowns
  • medications causing dry mouth (xerostomia) which favors odor causing bacteria in the mouth
  • helicobacter pylori in the stomach causing reflux, ulcers and halitosis
  • small intestine bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) causing sewage breath and other odors related to reflux, post nasal drip and indigestion
  • large intestine bacterial imbalance or a very high protein diet causing excessive farting

microbe overgrowth can be kept under control a tailored regime of oregano oil, goldenseal, olive leaf extract and lactoferrin

dry mouth or xerostomia can be managed with sour foods and lozenges to stimulate saliva flow

prescription medication can also treat both microbe overgrowth and xerostomia in extreme cases

odors of medication

along with xerostomia, chemicals in medications can cause distinct odors that are difficult to describe in words

whereas the odor of microbes and putrefaction are often recognizable

the best solution to this type of odor is to alter medication to a tolerable dose or change to a different type

where this isn’t possible then a deodorizing foods, deodorizing supplements, a regular deodorizing hygiene routine and use of deodorizing products can bring odors of medications to acceptable levels

the farters

we’re all farters, but some of us fart more than others

excessive farting can be caused by eating too much protein in one sitting

any protein that doesn’t get absorbed in the small intestine becomes fodder for the microbiome in the large intestine

the result is very pungent gas

lactose and other food intolerance and a fast moving digestive tract can also cause excessive farting

the solution here is also obvious

we should all eat too much protein and dairy and fart all day long

so we can become fit and strong and beautiful like our farting celebrities

the freshest celebrities

finally there are the celebrities that get called out for smelling amazing

prince reportedly has a strong lavender scent that enters a room a while before he does

and the legendary lavender scent that preceded prince wherever he went

note: this post was written to provide a plausible, but not actual, explanation for celebrities who have allegedly olfactorily offended at least one person who subsequently mentioned it to the media

the celebrities possibly didn’t smell at all and the comment was a joke or the source was lying or misinterpreted by the media

if you find this post offensive please get in touch

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should I tell someone they have bad breath?

I told my dad he had bad breath

Should I tell someone they have bad breath?

this question comes up again and again and if people aren’t saying it out loud they are definitely thinking it from time to time

my dad had bad breath

my parents live in a different town and I don’t visit them very often

I made the journey to see them one Christmas

When I got through the front door I noticed my dad had an overwhelming mothball and sulfur fug surrounding him

This odor followed him everywhere and hung around behind him until a breeze of cool air carried it away

I told my dad straight away that I could smell plaque on his breath and asked him when he last got his teeth checked

He couldn’t remember his last dentist visit and was adamant he didn’t have bad breath

I immediately became the bad guy for offending him and it wasn’t spoken about again at all that visit

no-one told my dad he had bad breath

Here’s the sad thing about my dad’s bad breath

My mother lives with my dad and had not once told him that his breath was very strong

She did however open all the windows and doors very early in the morning and close them very late at night

she also slept in a different bed and give him a very wide berth

My sister visits my parents often and had also not mentioned my dads offensive breath to him

She gave him an electric toothbrush that Christmas though and I noticed she, along with my brother also gave my dad plenty of personal space

I helped my dad with his bad breath

On the long drive home I thought of my dad socializing and out in public with his terrible breath

It broke my heart that his family were letting him, obliviously, offend many friends and strangers with his unpleasant odor

his family should support him and help him to be his best self

As soon as I got home I located several dental clinics in my dads town

Straight after the Christmas holidays I booked, paid for and filled out the forms for a dental hygienist visit for him

He was still unhappy with me but went along to the appointment

afterward he reported it went well and that the hygienist thought he had great teeth

my dad now smells great

I visited my dad a few weeks after his appointment and he smelled fantastic and I told him so

He seemed happy

I noticed the doors and windows were no longer wide open

and I have no doubt his acquaintances were much more comfortable in his company

This isn’t the only bad odor confrontation I’ve had with my dad, but it was the one which made me realize a couple of things:

sometimes you need to be the bad guy to help a loved one to be their best selves and

being the bad guy to help a loved one makes you stronger and gives you courage to do other hard things

should you tell someone if they have bad breath?