Archive for the ‘Bitter Taste’ Category

Another Bad Breath Spray?

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

If you are like me, then you’re probably thinking “Not another breath spray – isn’t rinsing and brushing enough?”

It’s a valid question…and one that I think I’ve tried to answer before, but I don’t mind doing it again.

Let me start by saying this – bad breath is the odor of the volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that are created from the anaerobic bacteria that live in your mouth, between your teeth, beneath the surface of your tongue, in the back of your throat, and in your tonsils (if they exist).

breath spraySee the picture to the left…. reaching your mouth, teeth, and front of your tongue in regions D, E, and F is simple – tens of thousands of you do it every day with our TheraBreath Oral Rinses and Toothpastes. But what about the production of odors farther back (Regions A, B, and C) – in the very back of your tongue, deep in your throat or in your tonsils?

When you gargle with an oral rinse (mouthwash) – most of time it can be very difficult to reach way down deep in your throat. Many of my patients find that a ‘Gag Reflex’ kicks in (this happens automatically in most people when something touches a sensitive area in the back of your throat and tongue). So what can you do? To stop bad breath you MUST neutralize the sulfur compounds that have been created by the anaerobic bacteria that live in deep recesses of your throat and tongue.

In response to this exact concern, I’ve created a breath spray that addresses this problem. TheraBreath PLUS Extinguisher Breath Spray has a unique 7.5cm long, swiveling, extended head which holds down the tongue and sprays the potent Therabreath PLUS formula directly on the bacterial breeding ground located in the back of your tongue and throat. It’s the only patented extra strength formula that can literally reach the part of your throat and tongue that no other formula can touch!

Many of you have told me that during your first clinical appointment, you’ve always felt something stuck in your throat – and you’ve attributed that uncomfortable feeling to your breath and taste disorder. This spray was designed to solve that problem.

Please remember that for chronic conditions, the only way to prevent the anaerobic bacteria from creating VSC’s is through daily use of an oxygenating line of products such as TheraBreath Oral Rinse and Toothgel (now at Albertsons, SavOn, Jewel, Osco, and Acme). For specific instructions on how to do this, see the Instructions of Use.

It’s especially useful for patients with:

  1. Chronic bad breath who want extra relief throughout the day
  2. Occasional (situational) breath or taste disorder, who want instant relief without an overbearing strong minty taste or smell
  3. Dry mouth sufferers, whose tongue tends to become extra sticky as the day goes on

TheraBreath PLUS Extinguisher Spray is small enough to carry in your pocket, purse, or briefcase, so that you can even use it before or after your favorite garlic dish. I hope you can now see how a breath spray (especially one that actually reaches the source of bad breath) can help you regain your confidence.

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on a 3-pak of ‘Extinguisher’ Breath Spray

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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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Getting Close on Valentine’s Day without embarrassing Bad Breath

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

The Day of Hearts is coming again – a time when we celebrate romantic love, cherish it with our special someone, or celebrate the beginnings of a romantic relationship. It is different things for different people. Some of us will have a valentine, some of us won’t.getting closeChances are though, on Valentines Day, we will get close to someone.We will meet new people. Because of this, having fresh breath at all times is very important, because you never know when it’s time to get close. How can you have on-the-date freshness if you don’t have time to brush?

Be armed and safe with Therabreath Gum and Zox Mints. “French Kiss”, the gum used by Hollywood Celebrities is also available.

Why won’t regular gum do? Why does it have to be Therabreath? Because most gum out there in the market are sugar-based, and sugar actually feeds the anaerobic bacteria already in mouth. The worse thing that you can do is pop an Altoid in your mouth after you eat – unless you’re egalitarian and you feel that the bacteria should eat too.

Now. . . Exactly what do I put in my gum that makes it so great at keeping your breath fresh? Simple. . . zox

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. . . (which is what we use in ZOX and all of our chewing gum formulas – as well as ALL Plus formulas.)

Second, I’ve used Xylitol as a sweetener, instead of sugar or Aspartame (Nutrasweet) like so many other chewing gums. Xylitol is an all-natural sweetener made from the bark of hardwood trees. It is also naturally produced in small quantities in our own bodies.

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.

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

Finally, I’ve included 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.

Don’t go out on Valentines without these essentials. Carry your box of chocolates in one hand, your roses in the other, and Therabreath Gum or Zox mints in your pocket. The sweetness of your breath really does effect how sweet a time you’ll have with your loved one.

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Gum Disease Linked to Heart Disease

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

In The Toronto Daily News, we read about how the health of your gums is directly related to the health of your heart. Gum disease is no less serious than other bodily diseases, and should be prevented with purposeful, conscientious oral hygiene. Dr. Katz has created Periotherapy and Hydrofloss for daily gum care.An increasing evidence shows a link between gum disease and heart disease.

PerioTherapyA French study, reported just last month at the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology, has shown that the more severe the periodontal (gum) disease, the more widespread the damage to the arteries.

It’s not yet known how gum disease might trigger heart disease, but there’s a suggestion that bacteria released from infected gums may enter the bloodstream where they activate the immune system causing inflammation and narrowing of the blood vessels.

Bacteria also cause tooth decay. They collect on and between the teeth as dental plaque, and react with sugars in our diet to destroy the tooth enamel. The result: is inflammation, cavities, root canal infection and gum disease.

The role of fluoride in preventing tooth decay is well established – whether that fluoride comes from fluoridated water or from pastes, mouthwashes or gels. Dental fluorosis, mottling or marks on the teeth from excessive fluoride intake, is rare but occasionally occurs in children at the time of the formation of tooth enamel if the children swallow too much fluoride from either pastes or supplementation.

So parents should clean their infants’ teeth with just a soft brush – no toothpaste; and for older children, up to the age of six years, the tooth pastes specially formulated for children (containing a low concentration of fluoride) should be used.

For adult tooth cleaning, I recommend Waterpik Sensonic Professional Toothbrush. It works on advanced, high-speed SONIC plaque removal. It’s softer and gentler than other electronic toothbrushes and buffs the tooth surface and hard-to-reach areas between teeth and the gumline. For more advanced gum problems, there’s Hydrofloss, which works on hydromagnetic techonology to blast away hard to reach plaque.

Gum disease is very common. Generally it can be managed by reasonable attention to oral hygiene; but recurrent or ongoing gum disease may be indicative of a serious underlying cause.

Gingivitis is the name given to inflammation of the gums. Periodontitis is a more severe form of gingivitis when the connective tissue around the teeth is progressively destroyed. Apart from lack of attention to tooth and gum care, other factors which might frequently cause or worsen these conditions are common mouth infections, such as oral thrush, more serious infections (such as HIV) where the immune system is compromised, poorly controlled diabetes, smoking and certain medicines, notably: phenytoin, cyclosporin and the calcium channel blocker blood pressure medicines. Periotherapy is available for those who need gum repair and need to take extra care of their gums on a daily basis.

Medicines are also a major, possibly the most common, cause of dry mouth known medically as xerostomia.

As we get older, all our body secretions are reduced in both quantity and quality. We get dry skin, dry eye and we’re more likely to have dry mouth. When taking a few medicines as well, then dry mouth becomes a strong probability.

Antidepressants are among those most commonly implicated, but the list of possible offenders also includes some non-prescription medicines such as antihistamines (particularly the older, more sedating antihistamines) and the so-called anticholinergic medicines used for stomach cramp. The high dose codeine-containing pain relievers might also be a problem for some people.

There are a number of useful products for the treatment of dry mouth – mouth sprays, mouthwashes, gels and toothpastes. Pharmaceutical Society’s Self Care health information program has a fact card titled Dry Mouth which offers suggestions on how to avoid this condition. Therabreath oral rinse and toothgel oxidize the mouth and prevent dry mouth.

The Mouth Ulcers card is another useful fact card. It explains the likely causes and the possible `cures’. Local trauma is often the reason for a mouth ulcer – maybe from a hard bristle toothbrush, dentures or some other form of orthodontic appliance.

Periotherapy Oral Rinse is especially helpful for people who are experiencing the onset of periodontal disease. When combined with the Periotherapy toothpaste treatment and the Hydrofloss it is extremely effective at halting gum diseases. It attacks the initial production of the Volatile Sulfur Compounds before symptoms get worse, preventing serious gum problems.

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Bad Breath: You Are What You Eat – Dr. Katz interviewed by WGAL news

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Expert: Odor Sticks Around Until Food Leaves System

This piece comes to us from Michele Biaso of WGAL news in Lancaster, PA, who recently interviewed Dr Katz about the relationship of what you eat and how your breath smells.

Michele Biaso, Staff writer

There you are in the office, sitting down for a meeting when something catches your attention.

It’s the girl from accounting sitting next to you. You are convinced she ate a raw onion on her lunch break. She has no idea that the slice of onion in the pita wrap she ate an hour ago is causing people in the meeting to slowly scoot their chairs farther away.

Halitosis — or bad breath — is more common than people think.

Dr. Harold Katz said one-third of the population suffers from bad breath and some don’t even know it.

“That’s because you can’t smell your own breath,” he said, adding that your brain gets used to your own odor, a process called acclimation.

Katz, founder of California Breath Clinics, said the foods you consume play a direct role in odors you emit from your mouth.

open-mouth.jpg According to the American Dental Association, mouth odors will continue until the body eliminates the food. So from the time you take a bite of that garlic bagel, it becomes absorbed in the bloodstream, gets transferred to the lungs and is then expelled you give off a scent.

Obvious foods such as garlic, onions and curry can directly cause bad breath because they contain sulfur compounds, which is what people smell in bad breath. But Katz said there are less obvious foods that can make your breath clear a room.

Feeding Bacteria In The Mouth

One bad breath myth he wants to debunk is that bad breath comes from the stomach.

In almost every case, he said, a smelly mouth is caused by bacteria that breed beneath the surface of the tongue, throat and tonsils.

Some foods play an indirect role because they provide fuel for the anaerobic sulfur-producing bacteria that produce chronic halitosis, he said.

Katz said dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt can also cause breath problems.

“They contain dense proteins that these nasty bacteria use as a fuel source to create odors,” he said.

What you drink is also important in keeping your breath fresh.

Coffee is a problem because it is very acidic. Katz said bacteria love an acidic environment because they can reproduce faster.

Candy and gum that contain sugar are also major problems because sugar feeds the bacteria. And Katz doesn’t recommend adult beverages either, because alcohol makes the mouth dry, allowing the bacteria to breed.

Those cutting calories should also be careful.

“When one diets, saliva is diminished so there is less natural protection,” Katz said. Also, when the body also starts to break down stored fats, which Katz said can lead to a different kind of bad breath.

Body builders are notorious for this problem because of their high intake of whey protein, which they use to bulk up muscle. Whey protein contains high concentrations of amino acids that contain high amounts of sulfur.

“High-protein diets are a problem because the bacteria create odors by breaking down amino acids in proteins. Then they excrete sulfur compounds as their ‘poop,’” he said.

Water Washes Away Stink

Katz said the best thing people can do to keep their breath fresh is to drink six to eight glasses of water per day. Drinking tea is also a good idea, he said.

Saliva is nature’s way of keeping your breath fresh.

“Saliva contains a high percentage of oxygen, which is the natural enemy of anaerobic bacteria,” he said. “The more saliva, the fresher your breath.”

Katz said foods that contain a lot of water also help. Celery, cucumbers, grapes, zucchini and carrots all have high water content.

Foods that are juicy, such as watermelons and strawberries, also ward off bacteria because they encourage saliva production.

If you can’t stay way from the garlic, onions and other stench-creating foods, Katz said to use an oxygenating mouthwash and toothpaste.

Katz, creator of TheraBreath System formulas, said oxygen compounds in the mouthwash and toothpaste attach themselves to the sulfur compounds and create a non-odorous compound.

therakit.jpg

Mouthwashes that contain alcohol defeat the purpose by creating a dry mouth, Katz said.

Breakfast Important To Odor

One thing Katz recommends is to eat breakfast every day. He said people who skip breakfast tend to have horrible breath because a morning meal stimulates saliva production immediately.

“When one sleeps, there is no saliva production. So, you literally have a sulfur factory in your mouth for seven to eight hours since there is no natural saliva or oxygen to fight the anaerobic bacteria.”

And as your dentist has been telling you since your first visit, brushing your teeth is always a great defense.

According to the ADA, food can collect between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums. It can then rot, causing an unpleasant odor.

If you don’t brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the mouth and collect bacteria. This can contribute to halitosis.

In most cases, Katz said, the food you eat will not make you smell bad forever.

“Once saliva kicks in, most people return to fresh breath,” he said.

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