Archive for the ‘Medications’ Category

Medications and Dry Mouth

Monday, January 10th, 2011

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics more than half of all Americans take some type of prescription drug. Many drugs list dry mouth and taste disorders as side effects. A little halitosis or a slight change in the ability to taste may not be a big deal compared to ailment or disorder the medication treats, but it may be off-putting to those around you and is treatable.

Here are a few medications that are known to cause bad breath:

Triamterene – a diuretic that is often used to treat high blood pressure and edema. Another interesting side effect is that it may cause your urine to turn bright blue.

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Dr. Katz’ Top 5 Bad Breath Prevention Tips

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

bad breath prevention

Note from Dr. Katz’ desk:

As a dentist specializing in the treatment of halitosis, I have treated over ten thousand patients through the California Breath Clinics. I typically start each first consultation with a brief overview I thought would be helpful to share with you. It goes a little something like this…

Everyone has the germs responsible for bad breath living on their tongue and in the back of their throat. Under the right circumstances, those germs will cause bad breath. The trick to always having fresh breath is stopping those bad breath germs from gobbling up protein, digesting it, and excreting sulfur all over your mouth… Sorry about painting that picture, but it’s a very accurate description of what takes place in your mouth every day.

Luckily, it’s not complicated to keep bad breath bacteria in check. Here are five simple and common sense tips you can use every day to minimize opportunities for halitosis to strike:

1. Drink plenty of water

It’s good for you. It keeps you strong, thin, healthy, and young looking. It also keeps your breath fresh. A well hydrated mouth is one rich with saliva. Saliva is your body’s own and most effective germ fighter. Drink more water, have more saliva, control mouth germs, have fresher breath. Simple, right?

2. Check your prescriptions

Medication that may improve your overall health may also improve the environment for bad breath germs. Many prescriptions have dry mouth as a side effect. Dry mouth means a lack of saliva and rampant bacterial growth. If you experience Dry Mouth from prescriptions, using a regimen such a TheraBreath Toothpaste and Oral Rinse will help restore a healthy amount of moisture and encourage saliva production. A healthy level of saliva is necessary to maintain fresh breath.

3. Rinse after every meal (even if it’s only with water)

Most people brush only once a day. As a dentist, it’s disappointing to say the least. That means that food you have at breakfast after your morning brushing has a chance to feed bacteria in your mouth for 23 or so hours. That’s more than enough time to not only feed bad breath bacteria but to encourage plaque and decay. If I can’t get you to brush after every meal, at least rinse with drinking water. Swish it around vigorously to remove traces of sugars and proteins and dislodge any food that may stick in between teeth and gums. Then spit or swallow, as the occasion dictates.

Remember however that water will simply remove pollutants that will feed bacteria that cause bad breath. To effectively control this bacteria you will need to use a toothpaste and mouthwash with an active ingredient such as TheraBreath. And don’t be like most people… remember to brush every morning AND every night. Your dentist will thank you.

4. Protein supplements feed germs too

Many nutritional supplements like whey and creatine are a germs perfect snack. It makes sense. Those supplements are designed to rapidly and efficiently feed your body. On the way to your stomach they feed hungry germs in your oral cavity as well. If you are taking protein supplements make sure you carefully and thoroughly brush and rinse after every dose. Don’t give bad breath germs a free meal.

5. A white or yellow tongue means germs are having a party

The colored coating on your tongue is actually a layer of bacteria waste. There, I said it. If your tongue has a thick coating that is white or yellow, it typically means bacteria are running wild. You will usually see such a coating if you forgot to brush the night before, after drinking alcohol which both feeds bacteria and dries your mouth, or if you are having a minor sore throat or other bacterial infection.

To help the problem, clean your tongue as well as the inside of your cheeks with either a tongue scraper or toothbrush covered with TheraBreath Toothpaste. This will quickly remove the coating and begin to control the bacteria producing it. Left unchecked, this bacteria can lead to much worse oral care problems than simple halitosis.

My patients have always found these tips helpful, and I hope you will too.

Yours in good health,

Dr. Harold Katz

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Bad Breath

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

bad breath

Bad breath, especially morning breath, can be a problem for everyone. Sometimes mouthwash is not enough, and the problem is chronic. Dry mouth can be a main cause of bad breath, since saliva is the the body’s natural defense against oral bacteria. Many things can cause dry mouth, including alcohol, medicines, stress, medical conditions, nasal infections, foods high in protein, smoking and poor oral hygiene. Since bad breath can be so embarrassing, it is no surprise that it can cause social problems and mental problems. Some people may be afraid to talk to others or refuse to go out. Seclusion can cause depression and if the sufferers take up comfort eating, weight gain can also occur.

Which remedies for bad breath actually work? Baking soda has been involved in many home remedies, and in some situations, it does not work. However, with bad breath it tends to work. If you brush your teeth and tongue with a tiny bit of baking soda, it can make the mouth have a less hospitable environment for the bad breath-causing bacteria to grow.

Also, homemade tea tree mouthwashes have become more popular in the fight against bad breath. Tea tree is supposed to be a powerful disinfectant, so if you add just a few drops of tea tree oil to your mouthwash, you’re already on your way to fresher breath. Also, there are other ingredients that you can add to your mouthwash in order to make your breath fresher, such as peppermint. Rinse your mouth out at least two times a day and you will very likely have an improvement in the way your breath smells!

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Antidepressants = Dry Mouth + Bad Breath

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Reuters published an article about a study that found antidepressant use has more than doubled in the US, going from 13 million to 27 million Americans, between the years 1996 and 2005.  One of the reasons may be that more Americans are accepting the diagnosis of depression than ever before.  An increase in use, however, has not been seen among blacks.   

The researchers noticed that not only are more Americans using antidepressants, but they are also receiving more antidepressant descriptions.  According to IMS Health, more than 164 million prescriptions were written last year for antidepressants, costing people $9.6 billion in the United States.   

As with most medications, there are many negative symptoms.  These include the obvious dry mouth and bad breath, which are symptoms in most prescription drugs.  For that, patients should try out TheraBreath and ZOX Breath Mints

These drugs affect the brain chemical serotonin, and studies found that those undergoing treatment with antipsychotic medications were less likely to undergo psychotherapy.  However, the decrease in visits to therapists may be attributed to the out-of-pocket costs for visits and lower insurance coverage. 

The FDA added its strongest warning on the use of all antidepressants in children and teens, called the “black box.”   Unfortunately, clinical trials have showed the increase in suicidal thoughts/behaviors in people using antidepressants, especially children and teens.

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Fight Off Tooth Decay and Bad Breath with Magnolia Bark Extract

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

The magnolia is one of the oldest flowering tree types in the world.  Magnolia bark contains polyphenols, which have been used for centuries by Chinese and Japanese medicine.  Now, the magnolia bark chemicals have been proven to get rid of bad breath.  Research printed in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that breath mints containing magnolia bark extract kill the majority of bacteria that cause tooth decay and bad breath within a half hour.  Magnolia bark extract significantly improves oral health around the world, and may be beneficial if used in chewing gum.

The mouth is an ideal environment for the bacteria that causes bad breath–especially four species of bacteria: Veilonella alcalescens, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Bacteroides melaninogenicus and Klebsiella pneumoniae.  These bacteria feed on food remains, dead cells, and other chemicals in the mouth, and in the process of their feeding, they release foul-smelling gases.  This putrefaction can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Regular chewing gum tends to only guard against these bacteria for a short period of time, and anti-bacterial products tend to have negative effects like tooth staining.  A team conducted a research project where they tested the power of a mint with and without the magnolia bark extract.  Without the extract, the mint destroyed just 3.6%  of the bacteria, and with the extract, 61% of the bacteria was killed. 

Furthermore, the extract has also been found to be useful for guarding against cavity-causing bacteria. 

Source: Softpedia

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