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Wed, 10th December 2014
 

Your best friend won't tell you, and its probably because they have the same "challenge". It goes by a variety of names, such as "Oral Malodour", or "Halitosis" or simply bad breath. Surveys indicate it affects between 8 and 50 per cent. Truth is probably nearer to 90 at some stage. There are heaps of causes. Dental hygiene heads the list.

Dental Hygiene

This means bits of food become unconsciously deposited between teeth or in uneven nooks and crevices, often behind the teeth or towards the back. The rot gradually sets in, causing an unpleasant odour. Plaque, those dread black spots that often develop towards the root are common. It can gradually penetrate the gums, and allow food particles to collect. Any infection in the oral cavity is a starter. Such as ulcers and inflammation, may be from chipped or broken teeth. The upper respiratory system. is a common cause, with bronchitis, infected nasal airways, or infected sinuses. Sometimes germs in the stomach (helicobacter the cause of ulcers) may produce gas which is later absorbed by the gut wall, and exhaled via the lungs.

Smoking

Smoking is probably the most common cause, and around one in five cling to the nerve sticks. Alcohol maybe a temporary cause. Some sleep with the mouth open and this can lead to dryness and some morning halitosis. The management is simple. Clean teeth regularly, using a circular motion including gums, in front and behind the teeth. Pick out any remaining bits of food. Drink lots of water. Sleep on your side. Have airways checked or any respiratoryssue treated if it persists for long. Many are self healing, but many persist in a chronic state, specially in the sinuses, the large air containing cavities just beneath the eyes. Commercial mouth rinses can help. Chewing parsley can help, a nice simple "alternative" health measure. Parsley oil capsules are also available at health food shops. Visit your dentist at least annually, particularly if there is plaque present it must be removed. For any debris on the tongue, scrape with the tooth brush. Nearly all cases are both fixable and preventable.

 
THICK HIDE

Q: 

I am amazed the skin is not forever bursting forth with horrible infections seeing we are constantly exposed to them in the environment.

A: 

The skin is very user friendly and silently produces its own anti-germ agents, which rapidly kill off unwanted superficial bugs that constantly land there. Just the same, there are heaps that stay behind, specially with a sudden overload, say from wiping the nose, using toilet tissues, and other unmentionables. Frequent hand washing is a good idea.

 
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GOING CRAZY

Q: 

My ageing mum, now 88, refuses to go into a retirement place saying she is not ready, and wait till she gets old. Meantime I run around like a blue arsed fly attending to her incessant demands - like food, washing and cleaning the house. When is a person old enough to go into a purpose built place?

A: 

The answer is "Never ... as long as the family (like a loving dutiful daughter) runs around like mad being the slave". None the less she gave you life and did the same for you as a little one. The later-life burden usually falls on one person, invariably a daughter. It is up to you the extent to which you go. Sometimes this ends in a marital brawl with the life partner stomping off enraged and feeling he is being neglected because of the mum in law.

 
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WARM COMFORT

Q: 

I develop painful knees, hips and legs, specially if standing. However, when warm weather comes it seems a lot easier.

A: 

The body likes being warm, and heat is perhaps the worlds best "cure", at least temporarily. Keep warm when it is chilly. However, keeping active, whatever joints or limbs involved also helps ease pain and stiff joints and muscles.

 
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CATASTROPHE

Q: 

I am aged ten and have a pet cat called Cindy. This sleeps on my feet in winter and keeps them (and me) cosy and warm. But mum says it is unhealthy having animals in the house and wants to kick it out.

A: 

I had a cat bed warmer as a child, and mum disagreed, but fortunately the cat learnt how to silently creep in when she was not around. A cat is perhaps the best bed warmer ever invented, and you do not need to plug it into the power socket. It has its own inbuilt heating device. Mum wins and so does the cat!

 
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BIRD FLEW

Q: 

I often visit the Gold Coast. At 12.30pm precisely a fish shop on the beach throws out bits of fish. Five minutes before hand, dozens of pelicans and seagulls fly in exactly on time, and fight and scramble for the stuff the local bloke throws out to them. How do the bird brains know when its feeding time within minutes?

A: 

Birds have some inbuilt gene which makes them robots. Whether to signal them on a 50,000 km journey north or south to reproduce, or to attend a gourmet free feed of their favourite food. Basically we are all living things and dominated by some unseen robot. How do the seeds in the ground know when to burst forth and poke their green heads above the ground? In fact, what is life, and the meaning thereof? Drop me a line if you know the answer.

 
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This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.

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