Archive for the ‘colds’ Category

Bad Breath Triggered by Colds

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

bad breath cold pnd

In the thick of cold and flu season, getting sick can come with an odorous side effect: bad breath.

It’s already difficult to detect your own foul breath, and when your nose becomes clogged, it becomes even trickier. However, I have talked to a handful of spouses who can tell that their loved one is getting sick based on the stench of their exhalations.

There are several ways breath gets fouled by a cold. Most of the time, the culprit is a combination of post-nasal drip and cough, according to experts at the Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center. When an individual catches a cold, the body quickly begins to expel foreign matter – in this case, bacteria or viruses – through mucus production. The yellowish mucus, which normally runs out the front of your nose in the form of runny nose, now thickens and drips down the back of the throat. With this mucus building in the back of the throat, the mouth becomes a breeding ground for halitosis.

Congestion can also spur another issue. When we have a stuffy nose, we tend to sleep with our mouth open, which severely dries the palate and causes repugnant morning breath. Doctors point out that inhaling and exhaling this zaps the mouth of saliva - typically a natural cleaning agent – and makes your breath susceptible to odor-causing sulfuric bacteria. During colds, a dry mouth harbors these smelly bacteria on the tongue, gums and cheek.

Furthermore, a cough complicates cold-related halitosis. Since the reflex occurs when the throat and lungs are exposed to irritants, post-nasal drip can play a role in triggering it. Coughing not only drags up stale, ammonia-smelling air from the lungs, but also continues to parch the throat, mouth and palate.

Other incidental aspects of being sick can worsen halitosis. Drinking thick, syrupy cough medicine can leave breath smelling bitter. Constantly eating savory foods, like chicken noodle soup, may create a film of oil on the teeth, which can result in more odor-causing bacteria.

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Tips on How to End Tonsil Stones and What to Do when Someone is Sick in the Household

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

It happens to us all – one of the kids or the spouse or you (yuck!) brings home a cold or flu. What are some precautions to take to make sure the rest of the house doesn’t share the bug? Our very own Dr. Katz has some great (and inexpensive) tips on how to keep the rest of the family healthy.

Do you suffer from tonsil stones? Dr. Katz also discusses in this interview with KOIN-TV Channel 6 in Portland how to treat tonsil stones effectively and naturally. Also, find out what product is great for protecting against ear infections. It’s definitely worth watching.

Tips on How to End Tonsil Stones and What to Do when Someone is Sick in the Household

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Probiotics Serving New Functions in Different Markets

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

probiotics

Many people are beginning to understand with probiotics that not all bacteria are bad.  In fact, probiotics have been contributing to good health for years. With an increasing demand of probiotics, people are requesting that they be available in forms other than yogurt and oral dietary supplements.  Consumers want more choices, since some people are sensitive to certain kinds of processing (i.e. temperature).  However, with constantly-improving technology, probiotics are being used in a broader market of goods.

The thought of beneficial bacteria has become more popular with the public, since studies have shown that probiotics can aid the immune system in the fight against the “bad guys”.  More and more yogurt brands are boasting probiotics on their labels, and companies are continuing to find ways to implement good bacteria strains into other foods that are not cultured by tradition.  This doesn’t necessarily mean a consumer will purchase this product, since a company tried adding probiotics to cheese, and this product didn’t sell too well.  This is because a consumer is not generally looking for cheese to add health benefits to a meal; instead, he or she usually uses cheese to add taste to what is being eaten.

People tend to be the most comfortable with probiotics being added to oral health care products, since strains of bad bacteria reside in the mouth, gums and teeth, and these bacteria can cause tooth enamel and gum disease.  Two of the most popular products that have received a high increase in growth are gums and mints, since functional gum has jumped 10% between 2007-2008.  A current trend in consumer education is people learning about the role that good strains of bacteria have in staying healthy and recovering one’s health. 

Streptococcus mutans is one of the Lactobacillus strains that work against enamel-eroding bacteria, and people can expect this strain to appear in gums and mints.  A sugar-free gum that came out recently contains the strain Lactobacillus reuteri, and there are mints that contain a mixture of strains L. reuteri, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosis and L. acidophilus, which target bad breath-causing bacteria.  Another company has developed a breath mint that features Streptococcus oralis, Streptococcus uberis, and Streptococcus rattus, all targeted at preventing and fighting dental decay and halitosis.  Surprisingly, there is even a strain of bacteria called Streptococcus oralis that actually has a whitening effect on the teeth, since it crowds out bad bacteria on the teeth’s surface. 

Pharmaceutical companies are creating different probiotic breath mints that will be designed for improving oral health, and lasting much longer than current probiotics without being stored in cold temperatures.  An important thing for manufacturers to remember is that the new oral care products being made need to use bacteria that exist naturally in the oral cavity, otherwise they will not last long in the mouth. 

 There are over 400 different species of bacteria in the digestive, and all of these strains are competing for space to inhabit.  In general, the good bacteria can crowd out the bad bacteria, which is why consuming probiotics can be helpful for those who have diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, lactose indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, H. pylori (ulcer-causing bacteria) problems, and colon cancer.  It is also worth pointing out that these bacteria exist all over the body, including the mouth, skin, reproductive organs and other membranes.  Ingesting probiotics can even be beneficial for those with allergies, autism, arthritis, and liver and kidney problems.  

One of the major areas for probiotic’s growth in the market may be in immune defense, since probiotics can benefit the immune system’s response.  Immunity is related to gut health, and research has shown that probiotics improve cold and flu symptoms, allergic rhinitis and pollen allergies.  Asia and Europe have already been linking probiotics with immune health for many years, but the U.S. only recently caught on.  Probiotics also are known to prevent certain infections, so it may be useful with epidemics like the swine flu.  Various strains of bacteria have relieved fever symptoms, viral respiratory infections, and pneumonia

Probiotics, especially Lactobacilli, are effective in aiding the immune response and increasing the resistance to pathogens.  Newer territories that researchers are exploring are the effects of probiotics on inflammatory disease, cholesterol reduction and even anti-aging properties, post-myocardial infarction depression and stress management.  Even more surprising, there is groundbreaking research that probiotics can be beneficial in infant formulas, vaginal microbiota, and satiety (for weight management).

 A major challenge in administering probiotics is getting the right dosage, and making sure the correct strains go to the correct places in the body.  It is far from simple, and one of the major challenges that face manufacturers is heat, since it destroys the beneficial flora.  The ingredients in the probiotic supplements must be able to tolerate the handling, storage, processing, shelf-life issues, and the tempestuous environment of the acid in the stomach.  The limited amount of conditions that probiotics can handle seldom allow for applications outside of refrigerated supplements; however, more and more companies are improving the probiotics’ survival, so they are more protected- with longer shelf lives and slower releases.  With new technology constantly being released, some companies have even created a probiotic chocolate, and up and coming probiotic applications in cereal bars, cereals, ice creams, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, meal replacements, and biscuits.  Probiotics in hot tea and soup have even been made possible with these new advances in technology.  Last but not least, topical and personal care applications are now possible with probiotics, since antifungal and antiviral properties can be brought out during a process of fermentation.

 Currently, one of the main trends is pairing probiotics with other probiotics, since this enhances the probiotics’ ability to survive.  With the ever-changing and improving research, technologies and education of probiotics, innovators will continue to deliver new and improved products geared at improving everyone’s health. 

Source: Natural Products Insider

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Mind Your Own Beeswax, Bees Can Cure Bad Breath?

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Most of us know now that bad breath (halitosis) can be caused by: cavities; dentures; smoking; alcohol; lung, tonsils, adenoid, sinus or throat infections; certain foods (garlic, onions, high sugar products, spicy foods, dairy products); poor oral hygiene; and so on.  We’ve also discussed many different possible cures.  Here are some natural remedies you may not have suspected:

  • Bee Propolis (a resinous mixture that is collected by bees from tree buds and other sources) helps gum infections, as well as other infections.  Obviously, if one is allergic to bees, he or she should not try this method of diffusing bad breath.  Propolis has been used as an antimicrobial, emollient, immunomodulator, dental anti-plaque agent,anti-tumor growth agent, and even in food and musical instruments.
  • Drink water to moisten the mouth, which increases the strength of saliva in the mouth, that cleanses the bad breath bacteria
  • Use a tongue scraper to help remove bacteria
  • Use an odorless form of garlic, which is a natural antiobiotic
  • Zinc also has an antibacterial effect
  • Add half a lemon to a glass a water, and gargle with it
  • When brushing the gums and tongue, use powdered cloves, an herbal remedy for bad breath.  One can keep cloves under the molars without chewing to help maintain fresh breath.
  • Avoid foods like blue cheese, salami, curry, tuna, garlic, onions, anchovies, red meat, milk, coffee, cola, etc.
  • Parsley is a natural deodorizer
  • Cardamom is a breath sweetener
  • Cranberries help fight off the bad breath-causing bacteria
  • Eating a green/raw Guava will help stop bad breath
  • Fruits that are high in Vitamin C, like citrus and oranges, will help control the bad bacteria
  • Eucalyptus Oil is found in many toothpastes and other oral products because it has an active antiseptic ingredient, Eucalyptol
  • Sometimes chewing on sugarless gum or eating sugarless candies will help keep the mouth moist and not contribute to the growth of bad oral bacteria
  • Edible camphor helps against bad breath caused by tonsilitis, sinusitis, and head colds, since it is a very effective throat stimulant.  It helps get rid of clogged mucus, making it a natural and effective nasal decongestant.
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A Few Surprising Causes of Bad Breath

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Brushing, flossing, and gargling may all be part of your daily oral hygiene routine, but taking these steps may not be enough if you have other issues.

Medications like antidepressants, diuretics, and aspirin can dry the mouth. With dry mouth, there is a lack of saliva, and saliva is what rinses away bacteria that make breath odor foul.

Bacteria – Some people may be prone to bad breath more than others. Bacteria exist on the tongue, and expel gases as they munch on food particles and other substances broken down from saliva. Also, they multiply at night, since the salivary glands slow down when you are sleeping. H. pylori, a type of bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers, can cause bad breath and gum disease if it finds a place to reside in your mouth.

Respiratory tract infections- While gum and tooth infections can cause bad breath, so can bronchitis, sinusitis, and even colds. RTIs break down tissue, which starts a flow of mucus and cells that feed bacteria that can emit foul odors.

Skipping breakfast– Not only does breakfast benefit your body and mind, but it helps to stimulate saliva production and scrub bacteria from the tongue (depending in what you eat, of course).

Diet- Low-carb diets can burn stored fat, thus creating toxic-smelling ketones. Foods that generate large amounts of amino acids, like dairy products and foods high in protein, can fuel the bacteria that produce bad breath. Obesity has also been linked with bad breath.

Breathing out of your mouth- When the tissues in your mouth are dry, saliva is prevented from washing away bacteria; thus, bad breath is encouraged. Major candidates for this are people who suffer from sleep apnea, asthma, and snoring.

Chronic illnesses- Breath that is chronically potent in a certain smell can signify a disease. For example, kidney failure can make your breath smell fishy, and uncontrolled diabetes can make your breath smell fruity.

Alcohol- Plain and simple, alcohol is dehydrating, and having a dry mouth encourages bad breath.

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