Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Like a breath of fresh air, even after the onion

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Marian Scott of The Gazette writes about her interview with Dr. Harold Katz as he continues his crusade against bad breath in Montreal.

Halitosis doctor. Easiest way to fight jungle mouth: drink more water.

Published: Tuesday, October 16

Harold Katz bit into a raw onion and watched the numbers shoot up on his Halimeter.

The box, which looks like a large clock radio, measures bad breath. “It went up to 2,000,” Katz observed.

Bad breath doesn’t get any worse than this.

A reading of zero to 100 means your mouth smells okay, explained the Los Angeles dentist, in town to promote his line of breath-freshening products.Anything over 200 can be grounds for marriage breakdown, job loss or even suicide.


That’s right.

Since he gave up his regular practice 12 years ago to wage full-time war on halitosis, Katz has seen its ravages.

He has treated patients who tried to slit their wrists, couples who sleep with a pillow between them, employees forced to work from home and lovelorn Romeos who can’t get a date – all because of jungle mouth.

One patient had her sweat glands removed and several had teeth pulled in unsuccessful attempts to tame the problem.

Katz has developed a mouthwash, toothpaste and breath spray, available in drugstores, under the brand name TheraBreath. He even sells clean-breath products for dogs and cats.

One person in three has bad breath, and most adults wake up with it in the morning.

And most of the things we use to fight it – mouthwash, toothpaste, breath mints and gum – don’t work, said Katz.

That’s because most contain ingredients like alcohol that cause a dry mouth – the No. 1 cause of halitosis, Katz explained. “If your tongue is pink and glistening, your breath is probably okay.”

A white coating on your tongue is a sign your mouth is overproducing anaerobic sulfur-producing bacteria that cause bad breath.

Sugar in gums and mints feed those bacteria.

Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day is the best way to cure bad breath. Foods that freshen breath include celery, carrots, apples and watermelon.

Katz also recommends taking vitamin C, D and zinc.

Spending five minutes a day in the sun is an even better way to get your vitamin D, he added.

Coffee causes dehydration and sours your breath, said Katz, who downs six to eight cups of java every day. “I always have a chaser of water.”

It’s a myth that bad breath comes from food digesting in your stomach. However, halitosis does plague lactose-intolerant people who eat dairy products. The odour-causing bacteria that break down proteins are working overtime in their mouths and throats.

It’s no surprise that cigarettes and liquor make your breath stink. The reason is that dry the mouth.

The anaerobic bacteria that cause bad bread feast on post-nasal drip. Snoring and bad breath often go hand-in-hand.

Babies’ breath smells sweet because they have plenty of saliva. After age 25, our mouths get progressively drier.

Many medications cause dry mouth, including antihistamines, antidepressants and blood-pressure medications.

Katz started researching halitosis when his 13-year-old daughter came home in tears because friends were complaining about her breath.

“She said, ‘All my friends keep offering me mints and gum.’ ”

She had good oral hygiene and still has no cavities at age 28. The culprit was a rough tongue and large tonsils, combined with a dry mouth from doing sports. “That combination became a breeding ground for bacteria.”

Katz won’t divulge the names of celebrities he has treated for halitosis, but he does say that singers often have the problem because their mouths get dry.

One patient found out about her bad breath the hard way.

“She was belting out a song and the people in the front row got up and left,” he said.

“It’s well known that Clark Gable had terrible breath.” The silver-screen heartthrob wore dentures.Katz swished with his patented mouthwash to erase the onion fumes. Seconds later, his breath reading was down to a kissable 114.

His fresh-breath crusade has earned him far more kudos than his regular dental practice ever did, Katz said. “You could do the best root canal in the world, no one’s going to thank you.

“But if you cure their bad breath, you’ve got a friend for life.”

No Comments Yet »

“Let the Truth Sting” – Bad breath and Grey’s Anatomy – What’s the connection?

Monday, October 15th, 2007

A character in Grey’s Anatomy in danger of losing her speech tells her friend that she has bad breath, among other things. Food for thought: What would you say to your friends and family if you knew you could probably never speak again? Would you talk of halitosis? Pop a breath mint before you do.

The following is an excerpt from Episode 4.3 (Let the Truth Sting) recap from

The Chief (James Pickens) has a patient named Connie who has come in to get a tumor removed from her tongue. Unfortunately, the cancer has spread to over 60 percent of her tongue, so Richard and McSteamy () are going to have to do something drastic. Her best bet is for McSteamy to do a micro-vascular free flap, but that would leave her without the ability to talk after the surgery. This is a problem because Connie is very chatty. She has two friends with her who are equally chatty. So, Richard thinks it might be better to do a nerve graft, connecting the nerves from her leg with the nerves on her tongue. It’s an extremely rare and risky procedure and neither the Chief nor McSteamy has ever done it. But they both want to prove that they are not too old to learn new tricks, so they go ahead with it. There’s a chance that Connie still might not be able to speak after the procedure, so George encourages her to tell her friends everything she’s been wanting to tell them but hasn’t had the guts to before she goes under. So, Connie tells one friend that her pants are too tight, and the other that she has bad breath and needs to update her ‘do, and a whole lot of other mean stuff that she’s been holding in.

No Comments Yet »

Bad Breath in Dogs

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Shiela Wolf writes about Dog Breath in The expression “dog breath” was coined for a reason — because most dogs have bad breath! The good news is Dr. Katz has a solution for this problem – Dr. Katz Oral Solution for Dogs.

Fido may be your best friend, but when he slobbers your face with his kisses, do you notice his horrible doggie breath and pull away? It might be a sign of something much more serious than just malodor. It might even be life-threatening.



Veterinarians have been much more aware of the connection between periodontal diseases (chronic gum infections) and heart problems than most medical doctors, and seem to have been talking about it far longer. It has just been since the Surgeon General published his report, “Oral Health in America” in May 2000, that the medical profession began to take notice. Infections in your pet’s mouth can travel into their circulatory system, just like in humans, and set up infections in other organs of their bodies. That can cause serious whole-body problems. Having a gum infection can mean your pet is at higher risk for heart attacks, stroke, diabetic complications, respiratory problems, and many other life-threatening illnesses. It is no different from the threat chronic infections pose for us humans. For more info on gum disease, its transmission, and its relationship to general health visit

You should regularly check your pet for:
• Bad, Stale Breath
• Missing, loose, or broken teeth
• Bleeding or swollen gums – (check especially along the gum line)
• Persistent yellowish or brown teeth which may be accumulations of plaque and tartar
• Any unusual growths
• Receding gums
• Any signs of pus or drainage
If your pet is avoiding his toys or bones, not eating well, or won’t drink water that is too cold, you can suspect a problem in his mouth.

Here are ways to examine your pet for mouth problems:
• Take an intimate moment with your beloved animal. Make sure you won’t be disturbed by noise or distractions. Be gentle and take your time.
• To look at the left side molars: Place index finger of left hand on top of muzzle and place left thumb below bottom jaw to prevent your pet from opening their jaw.
• Lift their lips open with right index finger and thumb.
• Visually examine the gum area around the back molars for plaque, tartar, inflammation, and receding gums.
• To check for loose teeth, gently press each tooth (if your pet allows it) If he has bad breath, his gums may be red and inflamed. Be very gentle.
• To check the front teeth, separate upper and lower lips with thumbs & index finger, looking for redness (inflammation or infections) at the gum area at the base of the teeth.
• Repeat same steps on the other side.
• Report areas of tenderness to his Vet.

Don’t let your dog (or kitty) suffer unnecessarily. Although bad breath may not be the same social stigma that it is for us, they still could fall prey to the risks of overall health problems and live a shorter life. Mouth bacteria are transmissible from person to person, and even from Fido to you. Be sure you and your pet are both healthy so you don’t pass your germs to each other.

Click on this link for helpful products.

No Comments Yet »

Brushing — it’s not just for humans anymore

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

October 5, 2007

It’s not like they have to floss, but keeping a pet’s teeth clean is essential to their good health and happiness.

Recent reports by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the American Veterinary Dental Society suggest that many pet parents don’t understand what is required to maintain an animal’s teeth and gums.


According to the AVDS, oral disease is one of the most frequently diagnosed pet health problems. If left untreated, it can lead to more severe woes, yet much of it can be prevented, said the nonprofit.

One of the most commonly ignored symptoms of oral disease is constant bad breath, said veterinarian Stephanie Hazen of The Pet Clinic in Salem.

True, pets lick themselves and eat objects humans wouldn’t even pick up, let alone chew, but those scenarios are cause and effect, said Hazen.

“If a dog or cat has bad breath that won’t go away after brushing, then that pet needs to be seen and assessed by a vet,” Hazen said.

Chronic bad breath, in some cases, she said, can be indicative of fairly serious problems such as liver or renal disease.

Hazen said pet parents brush their own teeth daily, but often leave their animals’ teeth unwashed for years or only brush them on occasion.

She recommends brushing a pet’s teeth every other day because plaque mineralizes to calculus in about two days.

Calculus is the bacterial toxin that can enter the bloodstream and infect vital organs, including the heart lining and its valves.

Another symptom of gum disease is a pink or red line along the gums. That usually indicates more advanced gum disease, but “it’s still treatable,” said Mechelle Gilbert, a certified veterinary technician at The Pet Clinic, who is licensed to anesthetize and clean pets’ teeth.

Other symptoms include animals who go to eat and then back away from their food because of mouth pain and yellow or brown crust near the gum line.

Sitting in front of a table with a drain built into it and observing X-rays taken of a dog’s teeth, Gilbert works to remove mineralized calculus from the mouth of a dog named Sam.

After inserting a catheter in the dog to carry intravenous drugs to the animal, Gilbert uses an ultrasonic cleaner to chisel away at the deposits. She uses a polishing tool to smooth any marks left by the first tool.

She then measures the gum line. If an infection is detected, Gilbert and Hazen will determine its depth, then opt to treat with oral antibiotics or inject an antibiotic gel directly into the gums.

If they find any broken teeth after completing the cleaning, they will advise the owner and discuss extractions.

The X-rays, extractions and antibiotic treatments add to the cost of cleaning, said Hazen. A routine cleaning starts at about $200 depending on whether it’s a cat or dog and its size. But it can rise to $1,000 or more if additional work is required.

That is why Hazen’s office takes an aggressive approach to animal dental care.

She makes it part of the annual checkup, and depending on the breed, reminds pet parents that they need to make regular teeth cleaning a part of animal’s routine.

There are some long-faced breeds such as German shepherds whose short coats don’t accumulate food around the face “who can go forever without having their teeth cleaned by a vet provided their pet parents brush regularly at home and their gums don’t become inflamed,” said Hazen. “With other dogs and cats, if owners start cleaning when they’re puppies and kittens, they can reduce the buildup, but not always prevent it.”

Veterinarian Michael Stewart of Silver Creek Animal Clinic in Silverton said his clients look to him for good advice in pet rearing, so he too advocates brushing a pet’s teeth.

“Dogs and cats have good enamel, and cavities are rare,” Stewart said. “So we mainly fight dirty teeth and gum recession. If we can get our clients to brush their pets’ teeth, then that preventative dental care will have a great effect on their pet’s health.”

Stewart said his approach is one of balanced practicality. He encourages pet owners to brush their pet’s teeth so they can avoid more serious problems such as heart disease. He also warns against raising an obese pet.

“We would like pets not to become unaffordable to the masses. We know that items like dental radiographs every year are not practical for every family, so it’s important to offer information and options, too.”

Hazen also advocates a new tool in the fight against canine plaque — a vaccine.

Having learned about the Porphyromonas vaccine at an AVDS national convention last year, Hazen started offering the shot in November.

She said it has been very successful in her patients, and it has few side effects.

Most of the initial problems were pain at the injection site, so she started offering an anti-inflammatory medication called Rimadyl along with the shot to counter the discomfort.

“It’s been amazing,” she said. “I’ve seen much improvement in the animals I’m seeing back in six months.”

The vaccine has a conditional license while awaiting permanent drug administration approval. But Hazen said if it continues to succeed in animals, it may progress to a vaccine for humans.

She reports results regularly to the vaccine’s manufacturer Pfizer Animal Health.

Hazen said the vaccine is one of the many tools available to pet owners to help their pets lead long and healthy lives.

“We just want to teach them that a pet’s teeth are an important part of their overall health and shouldn’t be ignored. We can’t say it enough,” Hazen said.

No Comments Yet »

Blanchett, Dench talk of bad breath during Elizabethan England

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

by David Germain

Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench have a royal conversation about Elizabethan bad breath on the set of “Notes on a Scandal.” In the Elizabethan Era, basic hygiene was practically unknown.
10/10/2007 | 11:18 PM

LOS ANGELES – When Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench co-starred in last year’s drama “Notes on a Scandal,” their off-camera conversations naturally turned to Queen Elizabeth I, a role each has played.

They didn’t chat about the grand legacy of the long-reigning monarch, though. According to Blanchett, they spoke of stench and halitosis.

“I think we talked sort of generally about how smelly Elizabethan England would have been,” Blanchett told The Associated Press in an interview. “We did talk about the smell and how bad everyone’s breath would have been.”

Blanchett, 38, shot to stardom in 1998’s “Elizabeth.” She reprises the role in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” which opens Friday and centers on the queen’s dalliance with the dashing Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen) amid a holy war Catholic Spain wages on Protestant England in the late 16th century.

The 1998 film earned a best-actress Academy Award nomination for Blanchett, who later won the supporting-actress prize for “The Aviator.” Dench won the supporting-actress Oscar for playing the queen in “Shakespeare in Love,” released the same year “Elizabeth” came out.

Blanchett recalled that while she initially had been reluctant to revisit the character, “Elizabeth” director Shekhar Kapur always seemed to have a second film in mind.

“He literally started talking about it the minute we wrapped. I honestly thought he was joking,” Blanchett said. “So I didn’t really pay it much mind. Then over the years, he just kept returning to the idea, and I thought, he’s not simply being provocative. He actually believes there’s something more that we could say.”

The story of Elizabeth may not be over for Blanchett and Kapur. At a recent question-and-answer session with an audience after an advance screening of “The Golden Age,” Blanchett again expressed reluctance about a third chapter.

But the crowd clapped heartily when Kapur raised the idea.

“I keep saying that, because the more people applaud, the more she will be persuaded,” Kapur said. – AP

No Comments Yet »