Archive for August, 2009

Antidepressants = Dry Mouth + Bad Breath

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Reuters published an article about a study that found antidepressant use has more than doubled in the US, going from 13 million to 27 million Americans, between the years 1996 and 2005.  One of the reasons may be that more Americans are accepting the diagnosis of depression than ever before.  An increase in use, however, has not been seen among blacks.   

The researchers noticed that not only are more Americans using antidepressants, but they are also receiving more antidepressant descriptions.  According to IMS Health, more than 164 million prescriptions were written last year for antidepressants, costing people $9.6 billion in the United States.   

As with most medications, there are many negative symptoms.  These include the obvious dry mouth and bad breath, which are symptoms in most prescription drugs.  For that, patients should try out TheraBreath and ZOX Breath Mints

These drugs affect the brain chemical serotonin, and studies found that those undergoing treatment with antipsychotic medications were less likely to undergo psychotherapy.  However, the decrease in visits to therapists may be attributed to the out-of-pocket costs for visits and lower insurance coverage. 

The FDA added its strongest warning on the use of all antidepressants in children and teens, called the “black box.”   Unfortunately, clinical trials have showed the increase in suicidal thoughts/behaviors in people using antidepressants, especially children and teens.

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China bans bad breath in outer space. Dr Katz comes to the rescue!

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009



Aug 2 06:58 AM US/Eastern


Bad breath (as well as dry mouth and taste disorder) is enough to fail the test to enter China’s manned space program, state media said Sunday.   China only wants to send the best of the best into orbit, meaning unfortunate personal smell is sufficient reason to get disqualified right away, the website reported.

In order to educate Chinese scientists about the latest treatments to eliminate bad breath, Dr. Harold Katz, the internationally recognized expert on bad breath and founder of, was invited as the main speaker to the Shanghai People’s Hospital last year to educate China’s leading doctor’s on the latest treatments to eliminate halitosis.  Dr. Katz is founder of The California Breath Clinics and developer of the popular TheraBreath formulas, which use patented oxygenating compounds to instantly absorb all breath odors.

“Bad body odors will affect the colleagues in the narrow confines of a space shuttle,” said Shi Binbin, a doctor with the 454th Air Force Hospital in the east Chinese city of Nanjing.

China became the third nation to put a man in space when Yang Liwei piloted the one-man Shenzhou-5 space mission in 2003. Last September, the Shenzhou-7, piloted by three “taikonauts” or astronauts, carried out China’s first space walk. China will launch a space module next year and carry out the nation’s first space docking in 2011 as a step towards its goal of building a space station, state media said.


(Dr. Katz on right)


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Is Gingivitis Contagious?

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Is Gingivitis Contagious?

Gum disease / periodontal disease is a bacteria infection in the gums and bone area around your teeth.  Researchers have employed DNA techniques to track the path of infection between people.  How contagious it is depends on how susceptible a person is to getting the disease. 

Saliva contact is possible in settings like kissing, coughing, sneezing, sharing food (a cup, glass, etc.).

Studies by Canadian scientists showed that gingivitis is contagious with a transmission rate of between 30-70%.  It is believed that the periodontal bacteria can be transferred between partners during a kiss.  However, just because the bacteria is transmitted, does not mean that gum disease will occur, based on each individual’s immune systems.   It also depends on how often the person is exposed to infected saliva. 

Periodontal infections can be a serious problem because they are responsible for 75% of all adult tooth loss.  Unfortunately, peridontal disease also increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteroporosis, respiratory diseases, and pre-term low birth weight infants.

How do you avoid catching or spreading gingivitis?

  1. Complete recommended periodontal treatments.  This destroys or reduces the bacteria causing the disease.
  2. Frequent periodontal cleaning dental visits.  This reduces the risk of being re-infected.
  3. Have everyone in your family screened if there is a genetic predisposition to getting the disease.
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