Hey everyone and thanks to everyone who has posted here. I’ve been having the same breath problem for about 12 years now (I’m 32). Reading your posts and seeing everyone trying to figure this out does help alleviate the despair. I just wanted to add what I’ve been through medically to the discussion.
Around 2016 I started noticing people covering their faces when I talked, holding their mouths open as if they were trying to breath through their mouth when I talked, saying something smelled like poop. I never pieced it together before that it was my breath but looking back even my best friend at the time would ask “did you fart?” going all the way back to 2009-2010. I thought he was just being stupid because I could never smell anything. Then I was talking to my dad, who just recently tried to come back into my life. and he asked me, “I’m not sure why I’m asking you this but how often do you go to the dentist?”
That’s when it all clicked. But if I had such bad breath, why would people talk to me? Why wouldn’t they tell me? I asked my mom straight up, she said I didn’t. I didn’t believe her because she’s always offering me gum and holds her finger under her nose as soon as I start talking.
(2016-Present) First thing I did was go to the dentist. I got some cavities filled. Had a root canal done. Asked about bad breath. The dental assistant told me she never noticed me having bad breath. The dentist said everything looked good and in his opinion it was an internal issue.
I went to my doctor. He gave me RANITIDINE for reflux and referred me to an ENT to see about sinusitis. The RANITIDINE worked for reflux, but I was still seeing the social symptoms of bad breath. The ENT stuck a long metal thing way up my nose and took a culture. He said they found some staff and gave me 10 doses of MOXYFLOXACIN. Told me to come back in 2 weeks. I went back, he asked if I was better. I told him I didn’t feel any different and I was still seeing social symptoms at work. He suggested that I was imagining it because he couldn’t “smell a foul thing about me”.
I go back to my doctor who then refers me to a GI. I get an upper endoscopy. It reveals I have a Hiatal Hernia and gastritis. They also took a biopsy because I had what resembled Barrett’s Esophagus. The biopsy came back negative for cancer but revealed I had EOE (EOSINOPHILIC ESOPHAGITIS).
GI put me on PANTOPRAZOLE and a food elimination diet. This did not help with the breath.
I recently went back to my doctor. Told him I was still having breath issues. He sent me to a new ENT. He told me to do saline sprays and FLONASE. Neither helped.
I went back to my doctor. Got a blood test for liver failure, diabetes, etc. Negative. Got a scan done to look for intestinal blockage. Also negative but did show I looked constipated.
The next things on my list are to go back to GI and ask about diverticulum in my esophagus, which is extremely rare in someone my age, and I feel like if I had that they would’ve seen it when I got the endoscopy. Also I was going to ask about H. Pylori. Now after reading everyone else’s story, I realize I have a lot more to look into.
When thinking back to that time period when I remember my best friend start asking if I farted whenever I talked (2009-2010), I started thinking about what brought this on. What changed? I specifically remember a girl I worked with in 2005-2006 commenting on how good my breath smelled when I was chewing some gum so I know it wasn’t always this way. It doesn’t matter what gum or mints I use now, people still cough, hold their nose, clear their throat.
I did date a girl from 2007-2008. We were sexually active and I engaged in oral sex with her. I’ve been wondering if maybe I could’ve received some type of STI from that. But from what I’ve read bad breath isn’t a symptom of any STI. Is that something I should ask my GI or General Physician?
Also i feel it is important for me to say, no one has ever directly told me I have bad breath and out of shame and embarrassment, I’ve never asked anyone if I had it outside of my mom. The closest I’ve ever been was I was in a group. Someone asked me a question and I answered. That person then turned to the group and said “That boy’s breath STINK!” and everyone laughed.