Posts Tagged ‘chronic bad breath’

Dental Therapists: New Wave of US Oral Care to Combat Dentist Shortage

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

dental therapists chronic bad breath

Within the last few years, a new class of dentists has emerged called dental therapists. The position has spawned in states facing oral health care shortages, but the new professionals, also known as midlevel dental providers, are being met with strong resistance from dentists.

In 2009, Minnesota became the first state to allow licensing of dental therapists. Since then, Alaska followed and Maine signed a state bill regarding the measure into law last month, becoming the third state to do so. Meanwhile, legislative efforts in other states like Vermont, Kansas and New Mexico are underway.

Essentially, dental therapists are dentistry’s version of physician’s assistants. After two years of intensive training prior to entering the field, they operate under the direct supervision of dentists and are able to perform hygiene maintenance (regular cleanings), fill cavities, give restorations, provide sealants, utilize extractions and administer local anesthesia. They can do as many as 53 procedures in some states. Conversely, licensed dentists, who receive eight years of training, can perform more than 500 procedures.

At the heart of the problem is the severe shortage of dentists, which is fairly surprising considering the profession ranked No. 3 in U.S. News & World Report’s 100 Best Jobs of 2014.

“Maine is having an oral health crisis,” Mark Eves, Maine’s speaker of the House, told USA Today. “The rural part of the state is at a critical point where we need to do something.”

In Maine, 15 out of its 16 counties do not have enough dentists, with more than 62 percent of low-income children in the state going without access to dental care in 2011, according to DentistryIQ. The 600 practicing dentists among a population of 1.3 million constitutes the fewest dentists per capita in New England. To complicate matters, 40 percent of Maine’s dentists are nearing retirement.

A similar dilemma is taking place in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. Heather Luebben, an advanced dental therapist, pointed out that Minnesotans lack access to proper dental care, as licensed dentists are too few and far between. Luebben began her career as a hygienist before training to become a dental therapist, and she is one of 32 dental therapists who are now practicing since the state’s law was passed. (more…)

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Dr. Katz on ‘Bad Breath’ – Radio Interviews

Friday, February 12th, 2010

dr. harold katz

Do you wonder if you have chronic bad breath?  Do you want some guidance? Be prepared for Valentine’s Day and practice good oral hygiene!

You can listen Dr. Katz debunk some bad breath myths and talk about his halitosis research and experiences on KABC with Mark and Brian. Click here to listen.

CHNI-FM Radio interview
Eddie Tracy Show Radio interview

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Here’s What You Should Do If You Have Dragon Breath

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Dragon breath (bad breath / halitosis)  causes more than 80 million Americans grief.  This occurs when oral bacteria feed upon decaying food particles, consequently producing smelly sulfur compounds.  Also, the food that you eat can cause bad breath.  According to Paul Bussman, DMD, “Pungent foods like garlic and onions are absorbed by the stomach and then released from the lungs for up to 72 hours after you’ve eaten them.”

Also, if your gums are bleeding, red, or swollen, you may have gingivitis, a treatable form of gum disease. 

What should do in these situations? 
You can scrape your tongue every time you brush your teeth (2-3X/day) to rid yourself of the bacteria.  You should floss daily and get a professional dental cleaning at least twice a year.  A teeth-bleaching agent, carbamide peroxide, can be used in low concentrations to destroy odor-generating bacteria and sulfur compounds for up to a year. 

This treatment can cost up to $600, and is first administered by your dentist, and can be completed at home over a period of 10 days.  So, if you really feel like you’re breathing fire out of your mouth, you may find this more useful than the cash.

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Identify and Avoid Chronic Bad Breath

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Plugging nose because of bad breath

Chronic bad breath can negatively affect you in social and professional situations.  Unfortunately, we do not always know if we even have bad breath.  So, how do we tell?  Here are a few ways:

1.  If you usually have a white or yellow coating on your tongue, especially on the posterior part (back), this can indicate that you may have the bacteria that causes bad breath.  Try scraping that part of your tongue.

Also, you can lick your wrist, and wait five seconds for it to dry.  Smell the odor on your wrist, and that is what your breath smells like to others.

2.  Often if you have bad tastes inside your mouth, your breath is probably just as bad.

3.  Another way to tell is if people back away from you as you talk.

4.  People offer you mints, breath strips or chewing gum.

5.  Your significant other doesn’t want to kiss you.

What are some ways to stop bad breath from happening?

1.  Improve your oral hygiene, and definitely maintain it.  Also, don’t just brush your teeth, but also floss and use oral rinse for the best results.

2.  Drink plenty of fluids (especially water), but do not drink a lot of coffee and alcohol as these can leave residues that may create worse bad breath.

3.  Eat foods high in fiber as they are very good for your oral health and general wellbeing.

4.  Try to brush your teeth, tongue, and gums immediately after eating dairy foods, fish, and meat because these foods are very heavy on smell.

5. When brushing your teeth, make sure to brush your tongue (especially the posterior where the bacteria thrive).

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