Archive for April, 2009

Oral Care is a Big Part of Overall Health!

Friday, April 24th, 2009

oral care

In the long run, not only will maintaining good oral health save you money and unwanted discomfort, but it will help prevent serious diseases. By using your toothbrush frequently, flossing daily, and using antibacterial mouthwash, you will help prevent oral trouble.

As a rule of thumb, it is much easier to prevent problems before they start than restoring your oral health after you begin having problems. Oral health issues can also cause problems in other parts of your body, since there are links between your oral health and your overall health.

As a matter of fact, diabetes and other diseases can get into the blood stream through the mouth. One major disease is oral cancer, and it kills about one-third of those diagnosed. The annual mortality rate of oral cancer is on the rise, and heavy drinking, smoking, and HPV can be associated with the increasing death rate. There are even more deaths yearly from oral cancer than there are from cervical cancer, which is much more discussed in the media.

The president of New Brunswick Dental Society, Dr. Frederic Duke, stated in a news release that there are warning signs that people should know about and have checked out. He said that if a person has a sore that lasts longer than two weeks; a swelling, lump, or growth in or around the mouth or neck; red or white patches in the mouth or on the lips; oral bleeding; or difficulty swallowing/persistent hoarseness, they should have this looked at by a dentist immediately.

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Oral Health Benefits (& Other Benefits) from Strawberries

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Not only are strawberries tasty, but they also have many health benefits. Its vitamins and minerals help the physical well being. It even has various oral care benefits; for instance, it strengthens the gums and helps heal bleeding gums. One can also remove tartar from their teeth by rubbing strawberry slices on them. When using strawberries to remove tartar, leave the juice on the teeth as long as possible to dissolve the tartar, and then rinse the mouth with warm water. Strawberries also help prevent oral cancer and can even help whiten teeth.

It is an anti oxidant and prevents chronic conditions such as heart disease. It improves the circulation of oxygen in the blood and body and improves the memory. It is also skin cleansing, a sluggish liver, gout, rheumatism, constipation, high blood pressure, and even syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease.

Nutritive Value : Per 100 gm.

* Vitamin A : 60 I.U.
* Vitamin B : Thiamine .03 mg.;
* Vitamin C : 60 mg.
* Calcium : 28 mg.
* Phosphorus : 27 mg.
* Potassium : 220 mg.
* Carbohydrates : 8.3 gm
* Calories : 37


Identify and Avoid Chronic Bad Breath

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Plugging nose because of bad breath

Chronic bad breath can negatively affect you in social and professional situations.  Unfortunately, we do not always know if we even have bad breath.  So, how do we tell?  Here are a few ways:

1.  If you usually have a white or yellow coating on your tongue, especially on the posterior part (back), this can indicate that you may have the bacteria that causes bad breath.  Try scraping that part of your tongue.

Also, you can lick your wrist, and wait five seconds for it to dry.  Smell the odor on your wrist, and that is what your breath smells like to others.

2.  Often if you have bad tastes inside your mouth, your breath is probably just as bad.

3.  Another way to tell is if people back away from you as you talk.

4.  People offer you mints, breath strips or chewing gum.

5.  Your significant other doesn’t want to kiss you.

What are some ways to stop bad breath from happening?

1.  Improve your oral hygiene, and definitely maintain it.  Also, don’t just brush your teeth, but also floss and use oral rinse for the best results.

2.  Drink plenty of fluids (especially water), but do not drink a lot of coffee and alcohol as these can leave residues that may create worse bad breath.

3.  Eat foods high in fiber as they are very good for your oral health and general wellbeing.

4.  Try to brush your teeth, tongue, and gums immediately after eating dairy foods, fish, and meat because these foods are very heavy on smell.

5. When brushing your teeth, make sure to brush your tongue (especially the posterior where the bacteria thrive).

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Bad Breath in Kids

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009
Bad Breath in Children Can Mean a More Serious Health Issue

Bad breath in children can get worse throughout the day because as they breathe, their mouth becomes dryer, allowing bacteria to grow. Children need to see a pediatrician especially if they have to breathe out of their mouths due to colds, sinus infections, allergies, or bigger-than-average tonsils and adenoids blocking their nasal passages. Thumb sucking can also dry out the mouth.

For children, here is a list of uncommon bad breath odors that may be a sign of a much more serious health complication:

  • Acetone – diabetes or acetone, alcohol, phenol, or salicylate ingestion
  • Ammonia – possibly a urinary tract infections or kidney failure
  • Asparagus – eating asparagus (yes, it may happen)
  • Bitter almonds – cyanide poisoning
  • Cat’s urine – odor of cats syndrome (beta-methyl-crotonyl-CoA-carboxylase deficiency)
  • Celery – Oasthouse urine disease
  • Dead fish – stale fish syndrome (trimethylamine oxidase deficiency)
  • Fresh-baked bread – typhoid fever
  • Foul – tonsillitis, sinusitis, gingivitis, lung abscess, or dental cavities
  • Garlic – arsenic, phosphorus, organic phosphate insecticides, or thallium poisoning
  • Horse-like (also described as mouse-like or musty) – phenylketonuria
  • Rancid butter – rancid butter syndrome (hypermethionemia and hypertyrosinemia)
  • Raw liver – liver failure
  • Sweaty socks – odor of sweaty feet syndrome (Isovalryl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency) or sweaty feet syndrome II (Green acyldehydrogenase deficiency)
  • Violets – turpentine poisoning

Also, don’t forget that little kids often stuff things in their mouth or noses, so always pay close attention, especially if there’s discolored nasal discharge.

Source: Alan Greene MD FAAP


Dry Mouth Causes Bad Breath

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Saliva is a very important part of oral health. With regards to the topic at hand, saliva provides 3 important functions:

  1. Provides enzymes to help with digestion of food
  2. Provides a method to stabilize pH (keep the acid levels in check)
  3. Provides high levels of oxygen in order to keep oral tissues healthy and fresh.

If you suffer from dry mouth (Xerostomia) symptoms, you naturally have less saliva. In turn, less saliva means less oxygen. If there is less oxygen available in the oral environment you have an anaerobic environment, which is perfect for these sulfur-producing bacteria. In essence, the bacteria are now capable of making high levels of sulfur gases, which in turn make the breath and taste worse.

It is also true that some tongue formations are also more conducive to dry mouth than others. Generally, the rougher one’s tongue, the more likely they are to have a bad breath problem. This is connected to the belief by some that bad breath can be an inherited trait. Truthfully, one cannot inherit the bacteria of bad breath, but one can inherit a specific shape (geography) of tongue, just as one would inherit a parent’s eye color, hair color, height, and ear shape.

Tongue Image

In the graphic on this page, one sees a deep groove going down the middle of the tongue; this is known as a “fissured” tongue and it may lead to a great deal of the anaerobic bacteria breeding at the bottom of this fissure, because oxygen cannot get to the bottom of the fissure (another reason why tongue scraping without oxidizing products is a waste of time).

Some people may have a condition known as “hairy tongue,” which again describes the fibers that make up the tongue (papillae), being slightly longer than the norm. The longer the papillae, the more rough the appearance of the tongue and of course the better to trap the sulfur producing bacteria.

Once the tongue becomes very dry, or if the tongue becomes irritated by extra hard scraping or brushing, the outer layer becomes very sensitive. One prevalent condition among older people is “burning tongue syndrome”. It is common among both sexes, but slightly higher among women. That fact has caused some scientists to believe that there is a hormonal component to “burning tongue syndrome.” Many patients who are diabetic may notice a burning of the tongue once they become thirsty. It is important, when one has these types of symptoms, to stay away from oral rinses that may burn or make your mouth dry. The resulting pain is indescribably painful according to many of my patients.

The standard recommendation for burning tongue syndrome and dry mouth is the following:

(among patients we have treated)

  • Stop using oral products which make your mouth dry and/or contain sodium lauryl sulfate (see list of oral products at “Oral Products That Create Halitosis”).
  • Stop drinking citrus juices (tomato, orange, grapefruit, etc.).
  • Avoid coffee.
  • Do not smoke.
  • See your physician regarding possibility of diabetes or thyroid problems.

“One who tries the following in their daily oral hygiene can drastically improve their oral health and decrease the occurrence of bad breath.”

Daily Oral Regimen for Those who Have Burning Tongue Syndrome or Dry Mouth:

  • Coat tongue twice daily with toothgel and let sit on tongue for 90 seconds.
  • Rinse with 1-2 capfuls of oral rinse for 90 seconds.
  • Drink 8 glasses of water per day.
  • Take Vitamin C on a daily basis as recommended on label.
  • Mints and oxygenating tablets can also be helpful.

Tonsils and Tonsilloliths:

(Those white-yellow stones that get stuck in your throat).

These bacteria can breed very easily in the back of the throat, and especially the tonsils, if you still have them. One important fact to remember: the bacteria never start off in the throat or tonsils. They only get there because the bugs originate on the back of the tongue which contacts the throat & tonsils every time you swallow. When someone has post nasal drip or allergies, it is possible to form little “white globs” scientifically known as tonsilloliths. They are a combination of sulfur compounds (produced by the bacteria) and mucous (from post nasal drip). Their smell is very strong! Do not attempt to pick them out yourself; you’ll cause a lot of bleeding. Many dentists and physicians don’t know what they are. They are not food particles, and it is not the sign of infection. Do not have a tonsillectomy for this reason because you will still have bad breath due to the fact that the bacteria is still on the back of your tongue. If you no longer have your tonsils, a similar reaction takes place if you have had a history of sore throats your throat is much rougher.

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