Posts Tagged ‘anaerobic bacteria’

Tongues Out Tuesday

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

391467_2009This is more than Miley Cyrus showing off her tonsils at the VMAs. Dozens of international celebrities have joined the ranks for Tongues Out Tuesday, posting pictures on social media of themselves sticking out their tongues. Actress Drew Barrymore snapped one with co-star Adam Sandler, Ke$ha surprised no one by licking her friend’s face and American-German model Heidi Klum wagged her tongue beside her two big dogs.

Oh, and yes, Miley did upload a selfie with a friend. Luckily, this time she didn’t have a coated tongue, which is a telltale sign of bad breath. The tongue’s surface turns that white or yellow color when it becomes colonized by bacteria or fungi, and dead cells get trapped between the tiny raised bumps called nodules.

So, if you want to partake in the new midweek ritual, pull out your smartphone, but make sure you don’t have halitosis!

Keep selfies from going sour
What are the best ways to check if you have oral odor? The traditional technique of breathing into your hand and smelling it is only effective if you want to smell your hand, experts say. Otherwise, here’s a better option: Lick your wrist, let it dry for five seconds and then smell the spot. If it stinks, chances are you need a breath freshener.

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How Cranberries Protect Your Teeth from Cavity-causing Bacteria

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

1339875_95150591When you’re devouring Thanksgiving foods, the bacteria in your mouth are feasting too.

Our mouths are full of bacteria. Hundreds of different kinds live on our gums, teeth, tongue and cheeks. While some bacteria are helpful, others can cause harm, such as those that play a role in tooth decay.

To say sugar is the main cause of cavities isn’t quite the whole story. While it can do nasty damage to teeth, the leading cause of dental caries is called Streptococcus mutans, or S. mutans, which is a type of bacteria that lives in your mouth. In fact, it falls under the category of anaerobic bacteria, meaning that it can live without oxygen – think of anaerobic workouts, such as weight lifting, which doesn’t consume a lot of oxygen, and aerobic workouts, such as long-distance running, which are known to lead to huffing and puffing.

Let’s take a look at the science behind S. mutans. This troublesome bacterium splits sugars in foods and uses them to build its own little capsule, which sticks tightly to the teeth. The bacteria produce a strong acid that attacks enamel and starts to erode the tooth. If the acids are not removed, it can end up creating tiny holes in the tooth - what we all know as cavities.

So, how do cranberries help protect against dental caries?
When you’re scooping delicious stuffing, turkey and gravy onto your plate at dinner time, don’t forget about cranberries! These red berries have been proven to contain a boatload of antioxidants and can help fight off dental plaque. A team from the University of California at Los Angeles and Oceanspray Cranberry showed that the flavonoids quercetin and myricetin in cranberries prevent S. mutans bacteria from sticking to teeth, thereby reducing the amount of cavities.

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Diets, Bad Breath and Jerry Seinfeld

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

1421738_56683347Jerry Seinfeld might’ve been the star of the award-winning sitcom “Seinfeld,” but he may also know a thing or two about bad breath. When asked which character on the show had the worst oral odor, Jerry responded that some of women he had “dated” on the show had breath that could rival the stench of “the beast.” During intimate scenes when he would get up close to them, the comedian claimed he could notice which actresses had not eaten that day. He explained that this is because when someone has bad breath, often he or she has skipped a meal. Of the actresses who played his girlfriends, most were concerned about their weight, and during the day they wouldn’t eat. Come show time, their mouths produced quite the stink.

True, when people miss meals or are hungry, they tend to come down with halitosis, or bad breath. A major reason is that saliva production decreases in the mouth during this time. When we are chewing foods, saliva acts as a cleanser that rinses out stray bits of food and anaerobic bacteria that contain stinky sulfur compounds. However, as the muscles in the mouth relax while we are not eating, bacteria accumulates, triggering foul breath.  (more…)

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New Oral Care Appliance Helps Fight Gum Disease

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

ACCS-MSC-128On the whole, people care about their teeth – what they look like, how they feel and how white they can get. However, our pearlies are only half the equation of a healthy smile, as our gums play a larger role than we might think.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 50 percent of American adults have gum disease. This consists of both gingivitis – the inflammation of the gums (early stage), and periodontal disease (advanced stage).

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that keep your teeth in place. More often than not, it is triggered by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow plaque and anaerobic bacteria to stick onto the teeth. The main area of infection is where the teeth meet the gums, or the gum pockets. The bigger the pockets, the larger amount of space bacteria has to take shelter. If left untreated, the gingivitis can turn into advanced-stage gum disease. Gradually, a patient’s gums erode; the teeth loosen, and may even fall out.  Today, more people lose their teeth due to gum disease than tooth decay.

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Coffee: The Good and the Bad

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

1242486_53460870A recent study published online in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, found that those who drink an excessive amount of coffee could have an increased mortality rate. While coffee has been hailed for its health benefits, this new study shows that an extreme amount of coffee could have adverse effects. Coffee has been known to cause bad breath, so maybe it’s best that you stick to three cups or less anyway!

Researchers said that while they do not believe that coffee is the direct cause of increased mortality rate, it may have some association with it. Women between the ages of 20 and 54 who drank more than 28 cups of coffee each week, or more than four cups each day, were more likely to die from any cause more than those who drank moderate amounts of coffee. Men had a 1.5 times increased risk of death compared with their moderate coffee drinker counterparts.

“People who drink more coffee may be prone to higher mortality; however, this may not be cause-and-effect, as there may be something else about the person who drinks 10 cups per day such as an addicting personality or is easily stressed out,” co-author of the study Carl J. Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at Ochsner Medical Center, told MedPage Today.

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