Archive for the ‘diabetes’ Category

Gingivitis (a Major Cause of Bad Breath) May Be Genetic

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

gingivitis

More people than you may think have gingivitis–up to half of the U.S. population.  Some people do not even realize that they have it, and they might have common symptoms like bad breath, and/or swollen, red and bleeding gums.  Gingivitis can cause complications like heart disease, pre-term birth, and diabetes if it is not treated.  Most of the time, people think it is caused by a lack of proper oral hygiene or the hormonal changes that occur during a woman’s pregnancy (pregnancy gingivitis). 

A new study, on the other hand, shows that genetics actually can play a major part in the onset and healing of gum disease.  The goal of this study was to pinpoint various changes on a molecular level during the onset and healing processes of the disease.  Research showed that ~30% of the human body’s genes are expressed differently during the formation and healing of gingivitis.  How one reacts to gingivitis depends greatly on how the body’s immune system is activated.  The findings of the study enabled scientists to identify certain biological pathways activated by the onset and remediation of gingivitis, including energy metabolism, immunity response, neural processes, vasculature, chemotaxis, steroid metabolism and wound healing.  The information gathered from this study should certainly help scientists and doctors come up with better cures for gingivitis.

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Celiac Disease / Gluten Intolerance Causes Bad Breath

Friday, September 11th, 2009

gluten

There are many different causes of bad breath, as most of us know by now. Another cause is gluten intolerance (also known as celiac disease), which can cause halitosis, white tongue (a coating of white on the tongue that will not go away), and mucus in the throat.

Since the body’s own immune system causes damage with celiac disease, it is said to be an autoimmune disorder. This disease exists in one’s digestive and damages the small intestine, not allowing the correct absorption of nutrients. What happens is the small intestine is damaged as gluten is consumed, and the villi on the lining of the small intestine are lost. These villi are supposed to be what is absorbing the nutrients into the bloodstream. Without villi, a person becomes malnourished, no matter how much he or she eats. Those who have this disease cannot tolerate gluten, which is often found in rye, wheat, barley, oats, and so on.

This disease runs in families, and can be triggered by pregnancy, childbirth, viral infections, surgery, or severe emotional trauma. Different people have different symptoms.

One way to know that you might have a problem with gluten is if you begin a diet that is gluten-free and the symptoms (like bad breath, bloating and gas) go away. Some people with mild cases of this disease may never be diagnosed, so their sensitivity to gluten remains unexplained. However, other health issues can cause similar symptoms, so do not jump to conclusions until you have a solid diagnosis.

In order to get diagnosed with celiac disease, one usually needs to run blood tests that check for the antibodies antigliadin, anti-endomysium and antireticulin.

For those who have a genetic predisposition to celiac disease, there might not be a cure, and the only way to deal with this problem is to simply avoid gluten. If you do have a gluten intolerance and continue eating gluten, you are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.

It is thought that some people may never be diagnosed with celiac disease because the case may be mild, but they might still have a gluten sensitivity.

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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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Bad Personal Habits Can Lead to Bad Breath

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Simple personal hygiene can go a long way when combating bad breath (halitosis).  Most of the time, bad breath is caused by carelessness and inconvenience.  Some people fail to visit the dentist enough to ensure the proper care of their teeth and gums.  Good personal hygiene and regular dental visits will help rule out the main causes of halitosis.

Metabolic Causes of Bad Breath

Some disorders in the body can cause halitosis.  Diabetes is yet another cause of bad breath, and may not cause any symptoms in the beginning.  Diabetes causes the build up of ketone (foul-smelling chemicals in the body) in the blood.  Exhaling breath can get rid of ketone naturally.  Dentists cannot fix this problem; instead, they may have to refer the patient to a specialist for treatment.  It is important that if you have chronic bad breath, that you get checked out for serious medical conditions.

If you change your diet, this can also cause bad breath.  If people are fasting or on a protein diet, they may also suffer from halitosis.  If people are trying to lose weight quickly, they use fat as energy, which encourages the build up of ketone in the bloodstream.  Therefore, it is common to have bad breath if you are on a diet or fasting.

If you want to avoid the problems of ketosis while on a diet, you should see a nutritionist and do your research.

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