Archive for the ‘immunity’ Category

Gum Disease (One of the Major Causes of Bad Breath) Myths

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

gum disease myths

Many people fail to treat gum disease, even though it can cause severe damage if left untreated.  This is probably because most people fail to understand how serious gum/periodontal disease can be.   Statistics say that around 75%-80% of people have a for of gum disease, ranging from mild to severe. 

Here are some common MYTHS that you need to discard:

1.  Bleeding gums are not a big deal.  FALSE!  Many gum symptoms (i.e. bleeding/receding/red/swollen gums/bad breath) are all key signs that you might have periodontal disease.  If you notice that certain foods, flossing, and/or brushing can cause your gums to bleed, it’s best that you go to the dentist and get a diagnosis.  Gum disease not only can lead to tooth decay and loss, but it may help instigate disease in the heart, diabetes, and so on.  It may also be a sign of other serious issues in your body!

2.  Flossing every day is not important.  FALSE!  A good oral hygiene regimen requires that you floss on a daily basis as one of the main ways, besides brushing, to prevent gum disease.  Allegedly, only 13.5% of Americans floss that often.  Not a good sign! 

3.  Periodontist visits are intimidating, and they’ll pull your teeth if you go in for treatment.  FALSE!  Experts on gum disease have received specialized training to help with your dental problems– everything from the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of gum disease.  Also, technology and treatments are always improving, so visits are becoming more and more comfortable.  If you avoid gum disease treatment, the gums will continue to recede and you’ll lose your tooth naturally. 

4.  Once a tooth is lost from gum disease, you can’t get it back.  FALSE!  Gum disease may be one of the main causes of tooth loss in people over age 18, but periodontists are extremely knowledgeable in placing dental implants.  These are artificial tooth roots that are inserted into the jaw to hold a replacement tooth.   Dental implants have a 98% success rate, and according to surveys, over 70% of people are extremely satisfied with the results of their dental implants. 

5.  Practicing poor oral care is the only way to get gum problems.  FALSE!  Neglecting your oral hygiene can definitely be a reason for gum disease progression, but other important factors need to be acknowledged.  Tobacco use, stress, a poor diet, and even genetics can alter how your body reacts to bacteria in the oral cavity. 

6.  Gum disease gets better on its own.   FALSE!  With the right care, it may clear up eventually, but it is an infection that needs immediate attention.  Just imagine if you had these open sores on your skin–just because it is in your mouth doesn’t mean you can ignore it.

7.  Bleeding gums are normal.  FALSE!  There is a reason as to why your gums are bleeding.  It does happen to almost everyone, but there has to be an actual injury to the gums causing them to bleed.

So, all in all, these statements are NOT true, and gum disease is something that you need to treat ASAP. 

Source:  The Mouth Doctor, Perio

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Foods That Will Help Bad Breath

Monday, March 15th, 2010

cinnamon bad breath

Some foods that are notorious for causing halitosis are garlic, onions, curry, fish and cheese.  Therefore, you’re going to want to freshen your mouth after eating these.  You also need to freshen your mouth once every 30-60 minutes until the breath offending-food is out of your bloodstream- sometimes this takes up to 24 hours!  It isn’t a good idea to brush your teeth that often, so trying some foods that banish halitosis may be just what the dentist ordered.

Foods that can fix bad breath:

1) Lemons- These are easy to find in restaurants, bars, etc.  Lemon-flavored candies can work as well as normal lemons, and are more easily portable.

2) Green garnishes (i.e. parsley, basil, and rosemary) - A garnish doesn’t always just serve as a decoration.  The meals that have garnish often have a lot of onions and garlic–thus needing a breath freshener afterward.  If you chew on a parsley’s sprigs, it releases breath-freshening oils. 

3)  Crisp and fresh foods like apples, firm pears, carrots, jicama are all high in fiber, plus chewing bumps up the productive of saliva (functions like a scrubbing rinse inside the oral cavity). 

4) Crunchy spices like anise, coriander, cardamom, and fennel seeds are available in many grocery stores.  Try getting these spices, mixing equal parts together in a covered bowl, and keep them around for mealtime.  If you chew on a few seeds here and there, enough oil should be released to freshen your breath after eating.  They taste good, as well.

5)  Mint sprigs/cinnamon sticks (cinnamon/mint gum, etc.)- These especially help against onion and garlic.  Cinnamon, with its essential oils, also helps kill various types of oral bacteria.  Gum without sugar is less likely to cause cavities and fuel the bad breath-causing bacteria. 

6) Berries/yogurt- Eat these foods to prevent bad breath…if you eat half of one cup of plain and sugarless yogurt twice a day, this can lower the levels of hydrogen sulfide in your mouth.  The same goes with berries, melons, oranges, and other foods high in Vitamin C- they help kill smelly bacteria in the oral cavity.  Try having a cup of fruit with yogurt twice a day, and this should help get rid of the bad breath.

Last but not least, practice good oral care, and this will decrease your “Real Age” as much as 6.4 years!

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Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath? Free Dental Check-ups for Dogs in the UK

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

In the United Kingdom, March 2010 is the launch of “Oral Care Month“.  Vets are teaming up with a dog food company to give free dental checks for canines.  The veterinary services at Bristol University said that the purpose of these free exams was to put emphasis on the problem of gum disease in dogs.   In adult dogs, gum infections are the most common problem, and it affects 80% of dogs over age three.  That’s only one out of five dogs that is gum disease free!  Unfortunately, only TWO PERCENT of owners employ the use of a regular oral maintenance routine for their pets.

Hopefully, Oral Care Month helps educate pet owners on how important it is to maintain regular dental care, which includes brushing daily and offering a dog chews.  Both of these help to diminish the amount of plaque and tartar buildup in the oral cavity.  Chews can reduce plaque buildup by up to 60%, and tartar buildup as much as 80%.  Also, people will be learning what gum disease symptoms to look for in their pets, like bad breath, picky eating, and so on.  Sometimes these symptoms can signify a health condition, and should not be accepted as ‘normal’.

It is said that dogs need their dental health attended to just like humans.  When a dog hits age three, 80% have gum disease, which is caused by excessive tartar and plaque.  So, if you have a dog and live in the UK, this is the month to take advantage of a free checkup!

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Grapefruit Seed Extract: Prevent Halitosis, Post Nasal Drip and Tonsil Stones

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

grapefruit seed extract

Bad Breath, post nasal drip, and tonsil stones are all common problems that people have.  What else do they have in common?  Grapefruit seed extract is an extremely versatile compound that can help cure/prevent these issues. 

 Overall, grapefruit seed extract is great for prevention purposes.  It helps prevent caries/tooth decay, gingivitis/gum disorders, plaque, sore throats and flu viruses.  It also helps with allergies, bladder infections, bacterial cystitis, incontinence, chronic urethritis, candida/fungal/yeast infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypotension, chronic inflammation, coughs, laryngitis, diarrhea, earaches, flatulence, gastritis, gastric/duodenal ulcers (H. pylori), parasites, phlegm/mucus, the respiratory system, sinusitis/nasal issues, tonsillitis, thrush, toxic shock syndrome, virulent staph infection, and ulcerative stomatitis

Tonsil stones is a condition that many people have– it is not as uncommon as you might think.  For more information on tonsil stones, its causes and cures, click here.  Alcohol and dairy products can also contribute to the formation of tonsil stones.  All of the aforementioned dental health issues can cause bad breath. The reason as to why grapefruit seed extract works to help these issues is because it kills the bacteria causing plaque, bad breath, and so on.  This extract is antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral.

Grapefruit seed extract is handy because it is a natural cure with a low toxicity, but it is not recommended to take it longer than a short period of time.  Also, this extract may defeat the bacteria/yeast causing a bad breath smell, but the root of the bad breath problem may still exist.  People should also monitor their intake of red meat, processed foods, and other foods that encourage bad breath.  It will also be harder to see improvement if you are eating sugar and carbohydrates, since these can fuel the bad breath-causing bacteria. 

Grapefruit seed extract has been diluted in mouthwash solutions, in order to promote healthy gums and fresh breath. For information on how to use this extract to prevent or cure bad breath, tonsil stones, post nasal drip, etc., consult a professional who works with natural cures to see what best suits you.

What are some other uses that you probably didn’t know?  Grapefruit seed extract can be useful to prevent infection and relieve pain during tooth extraction, and it can be used to help clean your toothbrush.

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Dental Care for Rabbits – Bad Breath Bunnies

Friday, February 19th, 2010

bad breath rabbits

Those of you who own those adorable bunnies may not realize how vital proper oral care is for them.  Most people do not know how many teeth rabbits actually have.  Besides the four large incisors, they have two tiny incisors, and six upper and five lower cheek teeth on each side.  Rabbits have teeth that are very much like horses’ teeth.  Their teeth are designed for constant wear because they are open-rooted, so the teeth grow nonstop their whole lives.  Because of this, rabbits need a certain amount of fiber in their diets.

A rabbit who only eats pellets will not be able to achieve the constant wear on the teeth that nature intended for it to have.  This can cause abnormal wear to the teeth and possibly sharp edges and points in the teeth, which could in turn cause cuts to the tissues in the oral cavity.  It may cause malocclusion, which is what is caused when the teeth do not meet correctly.   Malocclusion can cause problems like roots that become impacted, elongated, and inflamed, as well as possible bone infections or “jaw abscess”.  Once rabbits have malocclusion, it is very unlikely that the teeth will ever return to normal, and it may require trips to the vet, tooth trims, and surgery. 

As with humans, tooth problems in rabbits cannot be ignored.  Rabbits are prey animals, meaning they are not designed to show signs any illnesses or problems, so a pet rabbit needs to be brought to a vet (experienced in rabbits) regularly to check its health.  A complete exam may require the rabbit to be under anesthesia.  Also, dogs, cats, and birds are not the only animals that can have bad breath–rabbits can have halitosis as well!  If you notice that your rabbit has excessive salivation, tooth grinding, or bad breath, you should definitely take it in to the vet as soon as you can. 

Aside from bringing your rabbit to the vet 1-2 times a year, you can also make sure it has an appropriate diet.  Some things that you can offer your rabbit to provide a fibrous diet are hay, tree branches, leaves and twigs.  It is also important that all of these are gathered from vegetation that is not treated with herbicides, pesticides, fertilizer, etc.   Also, try to place the branches in water or put them in the freezer overnight to kill any insects. 

Rabbit-safe vegetation:

  • Orange/lemon trees: rabbits should be fed fresh or dried branches
  • Apple trees: fresh or dried branches
  • Willow: fresh or dried branches
  • Maple/ash/pine trees: dried branches
  • Rose canes: remove thorns first, and feed the branches fresh or dried

What are some tips for monitoring the dental health of my rabbit?

  • Make sure your rabbit has a good appetite, eats its daily diet of pellets and veggies, and chews his hay often
  • Monitor any changes in the rabbit’s eating habits
  • In order to check for any abnormalities, feel the left and right sides of the rabbit’s head (meaning in front of the eyes, on the cheekbone below the eyes, under the lower jaw, etc.).  If you notice any lump on one side that is not on the other side, take the rabbit to the vet ASAP.
  • Lift up the rabbit’s upper lips to see if the incisors meet evenly– if not, go to the vet!
  • Under the chin, look for any excessive salivating/wetness (not including moisture from eating veggies, drinking water, etc.)
  • If you can smell rabbit bad breath, go to the vet!
  • Eye/nasal discharge can signify that there are teeth problems
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