Archive for the ‘dry mouth’ Category

Can Your Period Cause Halitosis?

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

As if ladies didn’t have enough to worry about, now there’s this. According to scientists in Brazil, being on your period can give you halitosis. And not only that, but even before you start menstruating, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can lead to bad breath.

The problem isn’t that the monthly visit changes your oral health routine. Instead, having one’s period causes hormonal changes that can lead to oral odor.

Don’t kill the messenger

In the human body, hormones rule your every urge, regardless of your gender. Whether you’re hungry, tired, aroused, scared, moody or satisfied, hormones are the molecular messengers that are helping make it happen. In fact, hormones help control nearly every major body function, including metabolism, immunity, cell turnover and reproduction.

They also evidently cause bad breath. Here’s how.

As cellular signals, hormones stimulate various cellular responses. Some of these can be pleasant, like when serotonin makes you feel more relaxed. However, others are less welcome. For instance, the messenger hormones that initiate menstruation can cause cramping, irritability and – according to the study – halitosis.

Dry mouth, too

For their investigation, researchers from the University of Campinas in Piracicaba, Brazil, took periodic measurements of the breath odor levels of both women and men. To do so, they gauged the levels of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) in healthy participants’ mouths. (These molecules give oral odor its stinky scent.)

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Science Takes Bad Breath Studies to Some Weird, Wild Places

Monday, March 19th, 2012

In the quest to keep bad breath at bay, halitosis experts can (and have) tried all sorts of experiments to see what neutralizes odor-causing bacteria. In fact, all sorts of researchers and experts of every stripe – including chemists, bacteriologists, allergists, psychologists and even…martial arts masters? – are prey to bad breath, so why shouldn’t they take a swipe at eliminating it?

For example, I recently appeared on QVC UK to discuss the inception of my research into the connection between microbes, dry mouth and halitosis. The person who pointed me in the right direction was my daughter, who was 13 years old at the time. She said that her friends kept offering her breath mints and gum after athletic practice, and she knew (smart girl!) that they were tactfully telling her that she had bad breath.

Today, I hear this complaint in breath clinics all the time. The origin of this kind of bad breath is bacteria, since microorganisms are what release the sulfur-based molecules that give halitosis its bad scent. However, I knew there was an underlying problem, and eventually it occurred to me: dry mouth.

Whether or not you’re an athlete, you’ve probably suffered from this problem before. Lots of things can dry out your mouth. Physical activity parches your tongue and palate due to all the panting it requires. But just think of all the other situations that can leave your mouth dry: anxiety, fear of public speaking, mouth-breathing, talking for extended periods of time, smoking, sleeping with your mouth open, using an alcohol-based mouthwash, breathing cold or dry winter air, even having Sjogren’s syndrome, which is a fairly rare autoimmune condition that leaves the eyes and mouth chronically dry. (You might recall that tennis star Venus Williams recently announced that she’s been diagnosed with it.)

The solution is to use a product that can moisten the mouth, oxygenate the tongue, rinse away bacteria and freshen breath all at once. The History Channel recently called such specialty products a “modern marvel” as part of a special, odor-themed episode of the show of the same name. My daughter’s been using these products for years, and she no longer gets offered free gum and mints, that’s for sure!

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A Look at Canker Sores

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Few things evoke a wincing quite like the mention of a canker sore.  Not to be used confused with cold sores (although those are equally disliked) canker sores are those annoying and painful sores that develop in your mouth, making it hard to eat, drink and even talk when they are at their prime. Canker sores are fairly common and short-lived (although it doesn’t seem like it while you have one). Here are some articles that discuss these pesky sores and how you can avoid them.

Having a canker sore is hard to ignore. A canker sore is an erosion of the inner membranes of the mouth and along with pain; they can also cause bad breath. What causes a canker sore? They occur because of bacterial infections but sometimes a small cut or other vexation is the culprit for inviting this microbial growth. What is the best way to try to avoid canker sores? Stay away from mouthwashes and toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or alcohol. These ingredients can irritate and dry out your tongue, checks and gums which can lead to inflammation of the delicate tissue in your mouth where canker sores occur.  These inflammations may attract bacteria, leading to a canker sore. Avoiding products with these ingredients can reduce your risk of getting an aphthous ulcer (which is what a canker sore is). If you do get canker sores frequently, you aren’t alone. An article in the British Medical Journal stated that canker sores are the most common condition of the mouth’s membranes in developed countries. Also, don’t worry about spreading the sores to your friends – they aren’t contagious.

Looking for another way to possible eliminate getting canker sores? David Zabriskie, a 32 year old road bicycle racer that participated in his sixth Tour de France this year told the UK Daily Mail what he plans to do to stop canker sores. He’s gone vegan! Not only has eliminating eggs, dairy products and meat from his diet and replacing them with protein-rich seeds and rice stopped his canker sores and saddle rash, but he also stated that this change in diet has actually boosted his performance. Is this just a rare occurrence that David is lucky enough to reap the benefits of? According to several sources, it has been noted that dietary changes can help stop and treat canker sores. Specifically, a study in the Journal of American Board of Family Medicine found that by increasing one’s vitamin B12 levels can help to heal canker sores more quickly. No doubt a change in Zabriskie’s diet gave him a boost of B12, which is also known for increasing energy. Experts still aren’t fully endorsing becoming vegan to eliminate canker sores, but it could be a healthy side effect of making the switch. Rather, since these aphthous ulcers are caused by irritation, dentists are telling patients to avoid oral care products that contain harsh chemicals like SLS and alcohol which can inflame the tissue of the cheeks and gums where canker sores often appear.

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The Latest TheraBreath Blog Reviews and Giveaways

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Please note: if you have already been lucky enough to win one of these bloggers giveaways, please refrain from entering in order to allow others to win. Thank you!

Talk about Lucky – My Winnings! has posted her TheraBreath review, perfectly titled “Welcome to a TheraBreath Fresh Mouth! Oral Care Product Review. Here’s a little of what she had to say about discovering TheraBreath: “I had come to dependant on my regular toothpaste and mouthwash but lately they have just not been cutting it.  While searching online for any home remedy solutions to add to my oral routine, I came across Therabreath being listed in google search menu and decided to look thoroughly into the product line.  Their site is so informative as well as their blog. Their product line is so multifaceted for solutions such as canker sores to dry mouth and used by a lot of celebrities (check out the coverage of the Golden Globes).  I suffer from dry mouth and was elated to try some products from the product line.” Were we able to help her with her dry mouth? Go here to find out.

Are you a blogger located in the United States and interested in reviewing TheraBreath products?  Just go to http://www.therabreath.com/blogger and fill out the form to let us know. Please note, we do not pay for reviews but will send the products to try at no cost.

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Your Dry Mouth and Bad Breath Might be Linked

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

The winter season brings with it many things: time with family, the spirit of giving, cold weather and dry mouth. Yes it’s true. The cold and sometimes dry weather can cause dry mouth (if you don’t have it already). Here are some articles that discuss bad breath and even offer some explanations and solutions.

Let’s back up a little and talk about dry mouth in general. Most people experience bad breath or morning breath from sleeping. This is because many tend to sleep with their mouths open or even snore, making your mouth dry while you sleep. But for others, dry mouth syndrome can be blamed for chronic halitosis and also dry eyes.

This can be due to Sjogren’s syndrome which is an autoimmune disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that people that have Sjogren’s have dryness is both their eyes and mouth because their immune systems attack their salivary glands and can also lead to hindered tear production and even arthritis. While you might not know anyone with this syndrome, it really is more common than people think.

Earlier this year famous tennis player Venus Williams publicly announced that she has Sjogren’s. She has dry mouth syndrome and it took doctors years before her halitosis, dry mouth and dry eyes were diagnosed. Williams is one of 4 million Americans who have this disease. Interestingly, the NIH stated that nine out of ten people with halitosis due to dry mouth syndrome are women. To treat this condition, lip balm and artificial saliva can be helpful and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is good advice regardless of who you are. Sucking on lozenges or any type of hard candy can be helpful in keeping one’s mouth moist throughout the day – just be sure to stay away from candy that has sugar as it can cause more problems such as tooth decay while trying to help with oral dryness. Gargling with an alcohol-free mouthwash can also be helpful, even to those that only experience morning breath.

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