Archive for May, 2009

Tonsil Stones (Tonsilloliths)

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Tonsil stones, also known as tonsilloliths, are caused by an accumulation of sulfur-producing bacteria and debris that become lodged in the tonsils. The debris, which can include mucous from post nasal drip, putrefies in the back of your throat and collects in the tonsil crypts (small pockets which appear on the surface of the tonsils).

Tonsil Stones and Tonsilloliths Can Be Prevented

Along with tonsil stones, when the debris combine with the volatile sulfur compounds produced by the anaerobic bacteria beneath the surface of your tongue, it can also create chronic Halitosis (and other bad breath and taste disorders).

Important: If you do not have your tonsils then you will not under most circumstances experience tonsil stones. However, this does not mean that you should run out and get your tonsils removed.

As we get older, tonsillectomies become increasingly dangerous; however, even if you have your tonsils removed, you will most likely still have bad breath! Why?

The sulfur-producing bacteria breeding beneath the surface of your tongue, which are integral to the creation of those tonsil stones, are the most likely candidates to cause bad breath!

So, even if you have your tonsils removed, unless you remove or hinder these anaerobic bacteria, you may still scare away people with your bad breath!

And, since you can’t have your tongue removed (at least not in the U.S.), there is a better idea. Fortunately, getting rid of tonsil stones is not that difficult…

How to Get Rid of Tonsil Stones

A simple combination of oxygenating tablets and nasal sinus drops will effectively eliminate tonsil stones without unnecessary tonsil surgery. Also, the occasional use of an oxygenating spray will help to immediately neutralize the anaerobic sulfur-producing bacteria on contact.

The Bad Breath Bible states that if you truly want to prevent bad breath then you must use oxygenating toothpastes and mouthwashes, and ideally a tongue scraper to effectively neutralize the anaerobic bacteria from the very back of the tongue.

When you use such an oxygenating toothpaste and mouthwash, you will experience a residual effect from the oxygenating tablets and nasal sinus drops solution, and it will stop the tonsil stones from ever forming again.

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Sour, Bitter, and Metallic Taste

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

bad tastes

If you know the cause of these unfavorable tastes, then you are one step closer to fixing the problem.  The reason that taste disorders are related to bad breath is due to the sulfur produced by anaerobic bacteria, particularly on the back (dorsum) of the tongue. Although it was extremely difficult for us to find a direct relationship between sulfide molecules and this area of the tongue in American medical or dental textbooks, several Asian medical texts made reference to sour, bitter, and metallic tastes associated with the rear of the tongue. This is very logical because the bacteria that produce the sulfur compounds breed on the back of the tongue, which is the area that is susceptible to sour, bitter, and metallic tastes.

Neurologically, the sense of smell and the sense of taste have two distinct physical centers in the brain, where specific electrical impulses are received. However, they happen to be next door neighbors. Physical evidence shows that the receptors for the impulses are separate senses that often intermingle with each other. This causes some to detect a sense of odor, even though there is none, based on a stimulation in the taste center and vice versa.

Pharmaceutical companies realized early on that it could be very easy to fool the public by creating strong flavors in oral rinses, which would then be sensed by the brain as if the user’s breath was fresh.

One must understand that just as seeing and hearing are two different senses, and so are smelling and taste. You can have a great mint taste in your mouth (after using Altoids, for example), but the odor being sensed by the person next to you at work can be a disagreeable sulfur odor. This is true because the sugar in those products stimulate the bacteria to produce more sulfur compounds.

Some oral rinses are flavored to taste like medicine with the distinct purpose of creating the sense to the user that product with that flavor is actually doing something.

pH and Tastes:

Bitter, metallic, and sour tastes are all acidic in nature. Our medicated products are the only ones of their type to be pH balanced in such a manner as to neutralize more oral acids. This is significant when attempting to raise the pH (make the environment less acidic) and eliminate these tastes in order to freshen the oral cavity.  Instructions for products like TheraBreath’s also include procedures in order to change the pH and methods to better attack the bacteria which are normally very difficult to reach.

For those individuals who may have a slightly more acidic oral environment/saliva, here’s a helpful hint:

Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on the bristles of your dry toothbrush. Then, place toothgel over the baking soda to cover the bristles – then brush. The baking soda neutralizes more of the oral acids and creates a cleaner taste sensation.

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The Evolution of Chewing Gum

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

CHEWING GUM Have you ever walked by a tree, looked at the sap oozing out of it, and thought to yourself, “Hmm. . . that tree sap looks really good, I might like to chew on some of that!“? It sounds pretty strange when you think of it like that, but that’s exactly what the Mayans did when they walked by a sapodilla tree (that’s where the word “sap” comes from).  This is a good thing, otherwise the gum we chew today could have evolved in a very different manner!

The history of the evolution of gum is a fascinating subject and has a great story to it (at least I think it does anyway, and your kids can always use this for a science report!)

Gum chewing (although it wasn’t even close to gum as we know it) has it origins back in ancient Greece. The Grecians chewed mastic gum (pronounced mas-tee-ka), which is the resin obtained from the bark of the mastic tree, a shrublike tree found mainly in Greece and Turkey. The Grecian women especially, favored chewing mastic gum to clean their teeth and sweeten their breath.

But the Mayans weren’t too far behind the Greeks; they simply got their sap from a different tree.  However, the tree the Mayans chose (the sapodilla tree) actually produced a sap called chicle which is exactly where much of the gum in the US comes from.  Ironically enough, even though the Mayan civilization literally disappeared overnight in about the year 800, virtually the only Mayan practice that remained intact was that of chewing gum.

Meanwhile, the Native Americans of New England also used chewing gum, but this was made from the resin of spruce trees. Although chicle-based gums would ultimately win out in the US, the first gums ever marketed in the US were those based from the resin of spruce trees.

Over the mid 1800′s, spruce gum was gradually replaced by paraffin wax gum to which sweeteners were added, however the one drawback of paraffin wax gum was that it required heat and moisture from the mouth in order to render it suitable for chewing.

General Santa Anna sold chicle to Thomas Adams, who used it to make the first commercial chewing gum. It wasn’t until 1869 that modern day gum products first appeared. The famous Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was searching for a substitute for rubber, and thought that chicle (remember the sap from the sapodilla tree that the Mayans chewed on?) might be a good fit. He contacted the American inventor Thomas Adams, and while Adams couldn’t get chicle to work as rubber, he had the brilliant idea to turn it into a gum base. Thus, modern day chewing gum was born from information that the Mayans had known for thousand of years – chicle makes great gum!

As you can see, the evolution of chewing gum makes for an interesting story, but it’s not until recent years have manufactures figured out how to add a variety of ingredients which are responsible for an assortment of proven health benefits (besides fresh breath).

Did you know. . .?

  • Chewing Gum after meals may prevent heartburn
    Source: Digestive Disease Week. Orlando, Florida
     
  • Chewing sugar-free gum raises your metabolic rate by 20%, resulting in burning the equivalent of an extra 11 pounds of extra weight each year!
    Source: New England Journal of Medicine. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
     
  • Chewing gum can improve long-term and working memory
    Source: British Psychological Society in Blackpool, Lancashire, UK

Pretty interesting, huh?

Now, from all you’ve learned about chewing gum, here’s what I think is the best part. As you know, I’ve founded my career on helping to stop bad breath. And let me assure you. . . this is no simple task. Bad breath comes in different forms, different odors, and is caused by different strains of anaerobic bacteria.

So before I tell you about the following ingredients in my chewing gum, let me preface this with one statement.

If you have chronic halitosis, all the gum in the world is not going to stop it! You must be using an oxygenating oral rinse, a non SLS toothpaste, and following the instructions rigorously at http://www.therabreath.com/bonus_directions.asp.

However, if you only have occasional bad breath, or dry mouth towards the end of the day, or are simply looking for a solution to neutralize odors after a particularly offensive meal, or before a special moment, then I think you’ll find that my gum will work wonders!

Now, what exactly goes into chewing gum that is effective?

First, I’ve included zinc gluconate. Zinc is a known inhibitor of acid production by mutans streptococci (the bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath). These bacteria thrive in an acidic environment, so when you neutralize acids you kill bacteria (and you help prevent that annoying tinny, metallic taste). In addition, a high level of oral acids is bad for your tooth enamel, so you’re helping to keep a brighter, whiter smile as well. Zinc ions also perform an interesting function when they meet anaerobic bacteria – they clog up certain receptors on the outer cell wall of anaerobic bacteria, so that that bugs cannot create sulfur compounds. (Zinc gluconate is the best tasting of all the zinc compounds which can be used in oral products.) Lastly, zinc gluconate (and only zinc gluconate) has been proven to restore sour/bitter/metallic tastes. Studies have shown that people with long term taste disorders can experience a rejuvenation of their taste buds after long-term use of Zinc gluconate gum or lozenges.

Second, I’ve used Xylitol as a sweetener, instead of sugar or Aspartame (Nutrasweet) like so many other chewing gums.

It is a sugar alcohol, with makes it safe for diabetics because the body doesn’t react to sugar alcohols the same way that it does to sucrose or glucose (found in most of the popular kiddy-flavored gums, such as Big Red, Juicy Fruit, etc.)

Most importantly, it has an interesting property in that it has been proven to fight tooth decay and is the only “sweetener” that does so – the complete opposite of sugar – which oral bacteria use to generate acids, which lead to tooth decay. NEVER chew gum that contains sugar if you want to maintain fresh breath!

Simply put, a good amount of xylitol provides a healthy environment for an oral ecosystem.

Finally, there are oxygenating compounds, specially designed to work with chewing gum base, to gently bathe your mouth and throat with oxygenating molecules designed to neutralize any and all volatile sulfur compounds, located in your mouth, throat, tonsils, and even in the upper reaches of your esophagus. Every time you swallow, your saliva – now loaded with oxygen and zinc molecules – bathes the back of your tongue, throat, tonsils area, and even the very beginning of your esophagus, a formerly ignored hiding place for anaerobic sulfur-producing bacteria.

So while it’s true that chewing gum has been around in many forms for many years, it’s NEVER been as beneficial as it is today.

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Post Nasal Drip and Nasal-Sinus Congestion Will Cause Bad Breath!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

post nasal drip

The anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath feast on the amino acids cysteine and methionine (the building blocks of the proteins that are found in mucus, phlegm, and dairy foods). In fact, many people notice that when they drink too much milk or eat too much cheese they end up with more mucus/phlegm in their throat. This is a natural reaction for many people and unfortunately, ends up causing more bad breath and awful tastes.

If you still have your tonsils, you may be harboring a higher number of the bacteria which can lead to a very misunderstood phenomenon called tonsilloliths. They are tonsil stones produced by the conglomeration of mucus draining down the back of the throat and the volatile sulfur compounds created by the bacteria which easily end up in the nooks and crannies of the tonsils every time one swallows. Countless times my patients told me that their dentists misdiagnosed these and told them that these were merely food particles. This couldn’t be further from the truth! For more information, see our article about Tonsil Stones.

If you suffer from excess mucus, sinus congestion and post nasal drip there are essentially only a few different routes that you can take:

1.  Use medication and or drugs to dry up the sinuses and prevent mucus buildup – all the while being careful to avoid a dry mouth, a likely side-effect of virtually all antihistamines. Dry mouth is the most common initiator of bad breath because it mimics an anaerobic environment, perfect for the bacteria to pump out volatile sulfur compounds. You should be careful about using any antihistamine frequently – many are habit forming!

2.  Use nasal/sinus drops. By squeezing 3-4 drops into each nostril (and then lightly inhaling to move the potent formula through the sinuses) twice daily, most people can finally experience that fresh breath and taste feeling by eliminating the production of sulfur compounds created by the reaction of mucus and the anaerobic sulfur producing bacteria.

3.  For chronic sinus problems, many patients will find relief by using an effective nasal-sinus irrigator, designed by an Ear Nose & Throat specialist) to flush the sinuses.

4.  Minimize the amount of post-nasal drip in your throat and sinuses, and eliminate the #1 side effect of excess mucus, bad breath, by using oxygenating oral care products. Other medication and drugs may help prevent post-nasal drip, but at what cost?

There are dozens of different over-the counter nasal decongestants and antihistamines that you can use to help relieve congestion and dry up excess mucus.  Some of them do what their manufacturers claim they can do, but most of them perform the job too well!  They create an extremely dry mouth, which exacerbates bad breath.  Even in cases where the dry mouth side effect is minimal, when you stop taking that medication, the problem often comes back even worse! This is because in some cases your body will actually develop a resistance to any antihistamines or nasal decongestants, especially nasal sprays (but not all of them–TheraBreath isn’t)!

The solution to the problem is to use a Nasal-Irrigator.

Nasal Irrigation is probably the most effective method of eliminating post-nasal drip and helping to control sinus infections. The unique pulsatile irrigation helps to restore ciliary function and relieve post nasal drip. A short period of regular use can stimulate the cilia (the tiny hair-like fibers in the nasal sinus passages) to restore their natural protective “sweeping & cleansing” action.

When you feel a sinus condition come about, or feel that you have persistent post-nasal drip and excess mucus, consistent daily use for 10 days should result in a clearing of the condition.

For best results, we recommend a combination of this easy-to-use home instrument with an oxygenating solution.

Stop Bad Breath Associated with Post-Nasal Drip, Excess Mucus, and Sinus Problems

For people who don’t really have sinus problems, just “off and on” or seasonal post-nasal drip, then an alternative (and better) solution might be to minimize the amount of excess mucus in the back of the throat and more importantly to make sure to neutralize the odor caused by this excess mucus.

The proteins in mucus make an excellent food source for the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath. The bacteria feed off the amino acids, methionine and cysteine, and create extremely odorous and awful tasting volatile sulfur compounds as byproducts, which are the odors and awful tastes found in the medical condition ‘halitosis,’ which is more commonly known as bad breath.

Keep in mind that we always recommend using an oxygenating oral rinse and toothpaste as the primary ingredients of any breath treatment program.  Nasal-Sinus Drops eliminate odor from the sinuses, and these drops are highly effective at cleansing the sinuses (a very hard-to-reach area) of the volatile sulfur compounds that cause bad breath.

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Different Ways to Get Kids to Brush Their Teeth

Monday, May 4th, 2009

toothbrush

In order to get children to brush their teeth, parents have tried creative and new ways to get them to do so.  They need to get the kids to view brushing their teeth as a fun task, and there are various ways that they can accomplish this.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Get your child acquainted with his or her toothbrush, even if it is not time to brush at that moment.
  2. Read your child a bedtime story while he or she is brushing.
  3. Get two brushes- one for the child to play with, chew on, and practice with before brushing teeth with the other one.
  4. Have your child pretend brush on his or her favorite stuffed animal.
  5. Make brushing a fun game.
  6. Play hide-and-seek/chase with your child, and when you find your child, you get to brush his or her teeth.
  7. Have your child practice brushing your teeth, while you brush his/hers thoroughly.

Other tips:

  • Don’t share toothbrushes because various bacteria will spread.
  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, floss often (like after every meal), use mouthrinse, and visit the dentist once every six months minimum.
  • Start your kids on a healthy oral routine as young as possible.
  • Make toothbrushing fun to encourage them to follow a good oral hygiene routine.
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