Archive for the ‘immunity’ Category

Pregnant Mothers with Bad Breath May Be Fatal for Babies

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

stillbirths bad breath

Unfortunately, pregnant women with bad breath may have a problem that is staggering in its implications.  Previously, we have discussed the relationship between gum disease and reproductive health (pregnancy gingivitis), which can result in a baby being born prematurely.  Research shows that the bad breath-causing bacteria may even be linked to stillbirths.

Allegedly, the oral bacteria can be transferred to the placenta if it enters the blood stream through open sores in the gums.  The unborn child is not equipped to fight the disease with its immune system in the same manner an adult can. 

Since bleeding gums/pregnancy gingivitis is extremely common among pregnant women, it is vital that expecting mothers brush and floss frequently during the day, after snacks and meals.  Surgery may be needed for serious infections. 

Whereas pregnancy gingivitis is common, the possibility of having a stillbirth is not.  Nonetheless, taking healthy steps will make pregnancy easier and reduce anxiety levels.  Here are some tips for practicing good oral hygiene:

- Go to the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
- Brush your teeth at least 2-3 times a day, ideally after every meal and snack.  This prevents plaque/tartar building up.
- Floss after every meal.
- Use an oral rinse (like TheraBreath) at least 2 times a day. 
- Use a tongue scraper to prevent the bad breath-causing bacteria from building up.
- Eat healthier (more vegetables, less sweets).

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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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Avoiding the H1N1 Flu (and Bad Breath) This Season

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

swine flu

FACT: There are two primary places for the FLU VIRUS (H1N1 and others) to enter your body and cause you to become infected. These two places are YOUR NOSE and YOUR MOUTH. Minimizing the ability of germs to get into your system through those two places is one of best and easiest ways to stay healthy this flu season.

Here are some tips to help you avoid “leaving an open door” for the potentially deadly flu bug during this most contagious season of the year:

1. WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN :
The most common piece of advice to prevent the onset of swine flu is to wash your hands. Why? Most people have no idea how many times we bring our hands to our mouth but the fact is we do it many times per hour. If you pick up the virus by touching a door knob or other infected hard surface and then bring your hands toward your mouth, you have a pretty good chance of getting sick. Wash your hands with soap and water throughout the day and carry instant sanitizer with you on the go. Keeping your hands clean is absolutely essential to keeping healthy.

2. COVER YOUR MOUTH WHEN OTHERS SNEEZE and COUGH:
When someone is sneezing and coughing it’s extremely important they cover their mouth. However, it also helps for you to cover your nose and mouth when others nearby are coughing and sneezing. When those that are sick sneeze, cough, and even breathe they fill the air around them with airborne and highly infections germs. Try to minimize what you inhale by covering your mouth with a handkerchief or your own clean hand.

3. USE TheraBreath Nasal-Sinus Drops and TheraBreath Extinguisher Spray TO HELP CREATE A BARRIER AGAINST GERMS :
While my formulas were developed to help fight the germs that cause bad breath and tooth decay, they are extremely effective anti-microbial agents as well. A few drops of TheraBreath Nasal Sinus drops in each nostril every 12 hours will create an environment hostile to germs in your nasal cavity. Similarly, regular use of the Extinguisher Spray will also make it hard for sore throat and flu germs to take up residence in your throat. By using these formulas in your mouth and nose, the two primary means of entry for germs, you will reduce their ability to transmit infection to you and your likelihood of getting sick.  Also, when you have flu and/or you are taking medications, you are much more likely to have bad breath as well. 

This is a busy season for all of us. By using some basic common sense, following these basic tips, and practicing good hygiene we can make sure to stay healthy and keep those around us feeling in top shape as well.

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Keeping Clean is Important – No More Biofilm

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

teeth

A recent survey about hygiene was done by a dental hygienist.  She asked questions dealing with teeth and other aspects of keeping clean.

Teeth Survey Results

Experts say that ideally you should brush three times a day and floss at least once a day.  Two brushings a day is usually the bare minimum recommended for maintaining good oral hygieneBiofilm, also known as plaque, is one of the main reasons it is necessary to brush.  The least amount of damage it can do is cause cavities, and it can even cause periodontal disease (gum disease) and bone loss.

Biofilm has even more serious threats than tooth loss!  Scientists have also seen the same bacteria found in cavities in clogged blood vessels. Since biofilm can threaten the teeth and the ability to eat, it can even affect the immune system negatively. Gum disease, as we have read before in articles about pregnancy gingivitis, can affect pre-term babies in a negative manner as well. Bad breath is also an obvious consequence of biofilm.

People must acknowledge that poor oral hygiene and maintenance can have devastating long-term consequences, since the mouth and the rest of the body are all inter-related.

According to the survey results, only 12% of people said they brushed more than twice a day; 41% said twice a day, 42% only once a day, and 5% said they went a full day without brushing sometimes.  Roughly half of people brush as much as they should!

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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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