Dealing with bad breath, stinky feet

No, people no!
I haven’t grown big headed. Far from it, in fact Mainini Beatrice feels so humbled.Some time ago, I remember promising I would use some of your e-mails in this column. I am also aware I am yet to do that. For failing to do that I sincerely apologise, it is just that there is so much to talk about and Mainini Beatrice just gets carried away and overlooks using the said e-mails.

Mainini Beatrice has been receiving angry e-mails from some dudes who accuse me of getting big-headed and deliberately ignoring their input. In fact I have forwarded some of the e-mails which appealed for advice to my big sis Mai Chisamba.

And she has used them!

I humbly acknowledge receipt of hundreds of your e-mails but guys, it is impossible to use them all as we have little space. However, I agree, with suggestions by Shadrech Bwerinofa that we use two or three e-mails in each instalment.

I just felt I had to acknowledge the e-mails and apologise. I will use them very soon.

We carry on from last week’s discussion on these smelly body parts. This time we are dealing with bad breath and smelly feet.

Chero kiss yacho ingaite imo mukanwa muri gutu-kutu, idzi tsokawo, sori manhingi!

Dental experts say bad breath (which they refer to as halitosis) is a result of poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. The experts say the bad breath could also be worsened by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.

Online sources say basically breaking down of all the food eaten begins in the mouth. As foods are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, they are eventually carried to the lungs and given off in your breath.

If you eat foods with strong odours like garlic or onions, brushing and flossing, even use of mouthwash, merely covers up the odour temporarily.

You know what I am talking about if you have been in the company of some Asian nationals who heavily use garlic and spices in their food.

The odour just will not go away completely until the foods have passed through the body.

The dental experts say if you do not brush and floss teeth daily, food particles could remain in your mouth, which promotes bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums and on the tongue.

This causes bad breath, they say.

Anti-bacterial mouth rinses could help reduce bacteria.

In addition, if dentures are not properly cleaned, odour-causing bacteria and food particles could cause bad breath. Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products also causes bad breath, stains teeth, reduces your ability to taste foods and irritates the gums.

Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be warning signs of gum (periodontal) disease.

Gum disease is caused by the build-up of plaque on teeth. The bacteria cause toxins to form in the mouth, which irritates the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it damages the gums and jawbone.

Yeast infections of the mouth have been identified as a common cause of bad breath.

Another medical condition that causes bad breath is a dry mouth, which dentists call xerostomia.

They say saliva is necessary to moisten and cleanse the mouth by neutralising acids produced by plaque. Saliva also washes away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks.

If not removed, these cells decompose and could cause bad breath.

A dry mouth may be caused by the side-effects of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.
Use the correct organ for breathing  . . . the nostrils.

Dental experts say respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, post-nasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux and liver or kidney problems also cause bad breath.

Mainini Beatrice has gone too medical, thanks to Professor Google!

Stinky feet, medically known as bromodosis, are a common problem and could be embarrassing and unpleasant for you and the people around you.

The main cause is sweaty feet combined with wearing the same shoes every day, especially if these are the cheap synthetic ones dzekwamuChaina.

There are more sweat glands in our feet than anywhere else in the body and anyone could get sweaty feet, regardless of the temperature or time of year.

But teenagers and pregnant women are more susceptible because hormonal changes make them sweat more.

Fungal infections, like Athlete’s foot, also lead to bad foot odour.

Chiropodists, (those experts in foot care) say feet become smelly if sweat soaks into shoes and you don’t dry them before you wear them again.

Feet sweat into shoes all day so they get damp and bacteria starts to grow.

The bacteria continues to breed once you have taken your shoes off, especially if you put them in a dark cupboard. When you put your shoes back on the next day, even if you’ve just had a shower, putting your feet into the damp shoes creates the perfect conditions for the bacteria to thrive – warm, dark and moist, the chiropodists say.

Changing your shoes regularly and investing in at least a leather or canvass pair also reduces smelly feet.

The key is never to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row.

Instead, they advise to wear different shoes on successive days to allow them a minimum of 24 hours to dry out.

And teenage boys should have two pairs of trainers to avoid wearing the same pair for two or more consecutive days! Gutu-kutu chairo!

It’s also important to wash and dry feet every day and to change socks (ideally wool or cotton, not nylon) at least once a day. Chinjai masocks, varume.

Experts also suggest you dab between your toes with cotton wool dipped in surgical spirit after a shower or bath – surgical spirit helps dry out the skin between the toes. (What is the difference between surgical and methylated spirit? Just wondering.)

Wear open-toe sandals in summer and go barefoot at home, at least that’s what the experts say.

Above all, seek medical advice. And keep on reading while rolling them to [email protected]

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  • Christina Berger

    I’ve also had problems with stinky feet – a serious problem. In the long term no home remedy helped me, but there is a very effective natural solution: Cedarsoles from antifungal cedar wood… these insoles helped me very well to get rid of my stinky feet… maybe give it a try.