Posts Tagged ‘oral hygiene’

‘Bad Breath and Sinus’ Frequently Asked Questions

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Whenever I have post nasal drip, my breath gets worse. Does this mean bad breath comes from the sinuses?

No. That’s because the anaerobic sulfur-producing bacteria that create bad breath live and breed within the back of the tongue and in the throat. They have the ability to digest mucus (because of high protein content) & then break it down into sulfide molecules, which cause the bad breath & bitter, sour taste. The correct way to fight bad breath due to post nasal drip is to use a combination of nasal/sinus drops and oxygenation tablets, creating an oxygenating solution to cleanse the throat and tonsil area.

Can I still use my regular toothpaste and mouthwash if I use TheraBreath? 

No. Almost all commercial toothpaste’s contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SOAP), placed in toothpaste in order to create a foaming action, so that you think that something is actually happening. It has no beneficial effects at all. Unfortunately it will also inhibit the potency of the active ingredients. That is why those who use Oxyfresh toothpaste should read the ingredients in their toothpaste: It contains sodium lauryl sulfate! This will negate the benefits of the oxidation process.

Once in a while I get these small white round dots that appear on my tonsils, and sometimes I even cough them up. They have an extremely strong odor. What are they and is this related to my breath and taste disorder?  

Those little round globules are known as tonsilloliths and they are most definitely related to halitosis and sour taste. They are created by sulfur gases produced by these bacteria (which are located across from the tonsils in the throat area). The sulfur gas mixes with the mucus and thick saliva in the back of your throat and after a period of time, condense into these concentrated, odorous globs. They are only present when one has tonsils, but not in all cases.

I have had many patients who have actually had their tonsils removed due to misinformation from physicians about this problem. Of course, these patients still had bad breath after having the tonsillectomy, because bad breath does not start in the tonsils, only on the back of the tongue! However, it can branch off into the tonsils.

Important: To reduce halitosis (if you have tonsilloliths) here’s what my patients tell me they have done to solve this problem:

Swallow 1-2 capfuls of the solution created with the AktivOxigen tablets, before bedtime.  Generally, you will feel that the odor and lousy taste are neutralized as the rinse solution passes the tonsil area.

I scrape my tongue all day, but yet I still have bad breath. My dentist gave me this huge tongue scraper and told me to use it daily because it might scrape off the bacteria. I gag just by looking at it. Is there any truth to this or is it just one of those fads? 

Now, that’s a good question! In my opinion, and based on helping tens of thousands of people who have suffered with bad breath, tongue scraping by itself is NOT the answer. In fact, I have seen dozens of cases in my clinics where people have just scraped too hard and for too long, resulting in damage..painful tongue, dry tongue, and burning tongue!

We prefer to use the tongue cleaner as an application device with a very gentle cleansing motion on the tongue from the back to the front. This helps to apply the TheraBreath gel below the tongue’s surface to where the bacteria actually live. The bacteria cannot live ON the tongue surface because they are anaerobes, meaning they can’t survive on the surface.

I don’t have bad breath or any taste problems, but I want to use the best toothpaste and mouthwash you have. Which products should I use? 

I would recommend the PerioTherapy of Oral Rinse and Toothpaste. It’s similar to the TheraBreath PLUS line, but focuses more on gum health, which is still the number one oral disease in the world – more of a problem than cavities by far! And because chronic gum disease can lead to other health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia, and birth problems for pregnant women, we highly recommend PerioTherapy products.

My boyfriend sometimes has bad breath. Is it possible for him to give it to me when we French kiss? 

Simply put: you can’t give bad breath to someone else. The bacteria that create this problem are actually good bacteria and are part of the normal oral flora (the mix of bacteria that you need to function properly). It’s possible that the bacteria in your boyfriend’s mouth (tongue, throat, tonsils) are reacting to his dry mouth, which could have been created by smoking, medication, or alcohol.

I can smell the bad breath coming from my nose when I exhale. What can I do about this? Am I imaging things? 

You are not imagining anything. There are odors that can be detected in some cases as they emanate from the nostrils. This type of odor is due to mucus in the nasal passage and its reaction to bacteria in the nostrils (not in the sinus). It may also be a by-product of the reaction between mucous, post nasal drip, or allergies in the area beyond the sinus (in the naso-pharyngeal area and the throat/tonsil area). The solution is quite simple – TheraBreath Nasal Sinus Drops are the only oxygenating/zinc formula to attack this type of problem.

Is there any way I can whiten my teeth and get rid of bad breath at the same time? I don’t have the time to use dozens of different products several times a day. 

Actually, our TheraBrite toothpaste is BOTH a whitening toothpaste AND a breath toothpaste. Just use it in conjunction with any of our oxygenating rinses – TheraBreath, AktivOxigen, TheraBreath PLUS, and PerioTherapy – All of our products are designed to work together.

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The Importance of Being Thorough in Your Oral Routine

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Daily Oral Routine For Fresh Breath and A Healthy Mouth!

These instructions are to be followed 2-3 TIMES/DAY, definitely after breakfast and before bedtime, and ideally after lunch. For patients who can not follow this routine after lunch, we recommend choosing one of either TheraBreath FreshStrips, Chewing Gum, ZOX Breath Lozenges, or my TheraBreath PLUS Extinguisher Spray to maintain fresh breath throughout the day.

    * It is important that you remember not to use any water with these products as they need to remain undiluted.

    *Also, keep the bottle of oral rinse and the toothgel tube tightly closed and away from the sun when not in use. Never store the mouth rinse in a clear plastic bottle.

      Instructions:
         1. Floss your teeth thoroughly so that the dental floss passes through all places where your teeth contacts your gums. Pay special attention to the teeth toward the rear of your mouth. You may need to use more than one piece of dental floss for entire mouth.

         2. After you are done flossing, gently scrape your tongue with the rounded edge of the Tongue Scraper 4-5 strokes, moving the tongue cleaner forward each time. This will help in removing the mucous layer which has been protecting the bacteria living on your tongue. (Do not scrape vigorously to the point of bleeding; just firm enough to remove the mucous layer.)

         3. Rinse off the Tongue Scraper, then apply a small amount of TheraBreath/ PerioTherapy/ TheraBreath PLUS Toothpaste to the rounded edge of the Tongue Scraper and gently scrape another 4-5 strokes. This step applies the powerful oxygenating toothgel to the newly exposed surface of your tongue, thus allowing the oxygenating action to begin. Reach as far back as possible without gagging. DO NOT RINSE. You can then wash off the tongue scraper after this step. Ideally, you want to allow the toothgel to stay on the surface of your tongue while you brush normally.

         4. Place a normal amount of TheraBreath Toothgel on a dry toothbrush and brush for 2-3 minutes, making sure to brush the inside and outside of the gumline. Besides your teeth, also make sure to include the roof of your mouth and the inside of your cheeks with this brushing. (The bacteria are extemely sticky and end up almost everywhere in your mouth.) Notice that I keep stressing the word gently – you do not have to brush hard, but make sure that you are thorough. When brushing your teeth, remember to angle the brush towards your gumline, feeling the bristles gently sliding under the gumline. Do not rinse with water after this step. You may, however, spit out any excess saliva and toothgel.

         5. In order to rinse out your mouth properly and in order to attack the bacteria, pour 2 capfuls of TheraBreath Oral Rinse into a clean glass. Rinse the toothgel from your mouth with this rinse. While doing so, “swish” the rinse all over your mouth for 60-90 seconds in order to cover all the oral surfaces with the concentrated oxygen. Although I don’t recommend it – you can drink directly from the bottle, just try not to backwash into the bottle as this could contaminate the rinse.

         6. Take 2 additional fresh capfuls of the rinse, and gargle for 90 seconds, attempting to get the rinse as far back as possible, without gagging. After gargling, spit out the rinse. (Do not eat or drink anything for 20 minutes following this procedure). If some of the rinse is swallowed, do not be alarmed. It is completely safe if digested.

         7. (Optional for people with bad breath from the sinuses): Blow your nose to clear out any excess mucous from your nasal passages. Put 1-2 drops of the TheraBreath Nasal-Sinus Drops or 1-2 ‘spritzes’ of TheraBreath Nasal-Sinus Spray in each nostril . Tilt your head back and allow the drops/spray to run through your sinus passages and down the back of your throat.

Dr. Katz’s Summary: Are you a 17-second brusher?

Taking a few minutes each day to be thorough with your oral care will guarantee fresh breath and cleaner teeth.  Use my detailed “Daily Oral Routine Guide” to get started.  Let me ask you a quick question…Suppose you had been out in the garden all day long doing yardwork. You’ve been weeding, digging in the dirt, taking care of your rosebushes, etc. You’ve put in a hard day’s work and your hands (and arms) are filthy, up to your elbows!

When it comes time to clean up, which of these two options is most appropriate?
 
Option #1:  Give your hands a quick rinse with water and a squirt of hand soap and be done with it…
 
— or —
 
Option #2:  Spend some time rinsing off all the loose dirt, work up a nice soapy lather, and scrub your hands and arms thoroughly under water to get off the accumulated dirt of the day.
 
Obviously, Option #2 is the right answer (I hope, anyway). I guess maybe if you live in a cave then your answer might vary, but for most people I’d say they would agree the answer Option #2.  So, if you wanted to clean your hands better, and the solution is to be more thorough, doesn’t it make sense that if you want fresher breath and cleaner teeth, the solution is to be more thorough also?  Think about it, every day you eat a variety of food and drink, and all kinds of food particles get mashed into the cracks of your teeth and the recesses of your gums.  Doesn’t it make sense that you may need to spend a little time getting that out?

Let me ask you two more questions:

Question #1:
How many times does the average person brush
their teeth
per day?

The answer is 1.1 times/day. Nationwide, the average person brushes their teeth slightly over once per day. As shocking as that is, it’s NOTHING compared to the answer to the next question…

Question #2:
How long does the average person spend on oral care per day?

The average person in the US spends only 17 seconds each time they brush their teeth! Just 17 seconds! Whew…that’s not long at all!

Now, I’m not telling you to spend hours in the bathroom brushing your teeth. I realize for most people that’s just not practical, but I will say this: If you spend 3 MINUTES BRUSHING YOUR TEETH (twice a day) and follow the thorough instructions of use (shown below) for 1 week, you will be absolutely amazed at how clean and fresh your mouth feels. And I guarantee your breath will be better, too.  So, do it for 1 week and see how you feel, and from then on, try to be this thorough at least 2-3 times/week. Your mouth (and those around you) will thank you for it!

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Dry Mouth Causes Bad Breath

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Saliva is a very important part of oral health. With regards to the topic at hand, saliva provides 3 important functions:

  1. Provides enzymes to help with digestion of food
  2. Provides a method to stabilize pH (keep the acid levels in check)
  3. Provides high levels of oxygen in order to keep oral tissues healthy and fresh.

If you suffer from dry mouth (Xerostomia) symptoms, you naturally have less saliva. In turn, less saliva means less oxygen. If there is less oxygen available in the oral environment you have an anaerobic environment, which is perfect for these sulfur-producing bacteria. In essence, the bacteria are now capable of making high levels of sulfur gases, which in turn make the breath and taste worse.

It is also true that some tongue formations are also more conducive to dry mouth than others. Generally, the rougher one’s tongue, the more likely they are to have a bad breath problem. This is connected to the belief by some that bad breath can be an inherited trait. Truthfully, one cannot inherit the bacteria of bad breath, but one can inherit a specific shape (geography) of tongue, just as one would inherit a parent’s eye color, hair color, height, and ear shape.

Tongue Image

In the graphic on this page, one sees a deep groove going down the middle of the tongue; this is known as a “fissured” tongue and it may lead to a great deal of the anaerobic bacteria breeding at the bottom of this fissure, because oxygen cannot get to the bottom of the fissure (another reason why tongue scraping without oxidizing products is a waste of time).

Some people may have a condition known as “hairy tongue,” which again describes the fibers that make up the tongue (papillae), being slightly longer than the norm. The longer the papillae, the more rough the appearance of the tongue and of course the better to trap the sulfur producing bacteria.

Once the tongue becomes very dry, or if the tongue becomes irritated by extra hard scraping or brushing, the outer layer becomes very sensitive. One prevalent condition among older people is “burning tongue syndrome”. It is common among both sexes, but slightly higher among women. That fact has caused some scientists to believe that there is a hormonal component to “burning tongue syndrome.” Many patients who are diabetic may notice a burning of the tongue once they become thirsty. It is important, when one has these types of symptoms, to stay away from oral rinses that may burn or make your mouth dry. The resulting pain is indescribably painful according to many of my patients.

The standard recommendation for burning tongue syndrome and dry mouth is the following:

(among patients we have treated)

  • Stop using oral products which make your mouth dry and/or contain sodium lauryl sulfate (see list of oral products at “Oral Products That Create Halitosis”).
  • Stop drinking citrus juices (tomato, orange, grapefruit, etc.).
  • Avoid coffee.
  • Do not smoke.
  • See your physician regarding possibility of diabetes or thyroid problems.

“One who tries the following in their daily oral hygiene can drastically improve their oral health and decrease the occurrence of bad breath.”


Daily Oral Regimen for Those who Have Burning Tongue Syndrome or Dry Mouth:

  • Coat tongue twice daily with toothgel and let sit on tongue for 90 seconds.
  • Rinse with 1-2 capfuls of oral rinse for 90 seconds.
  • Drink 8 glasses of water per day.
  • Take Vitamin C on a daily basis as recommended on label.
  • Mints and oxygenating tablets can also be helpful.

Tonsils and Tonsilloliths:

(Those white-yellow stones that get stuck in your throat).

These bacteria can breed very easily in the back of the throat, and especially the tonsils, if you still have them. One important fact to remember: the bacteria never start off in the throat or tonsils. They only get there because the bugs originate on the back of the tongue which contacts the throat & tonsils every time you swallow. When someone has post nasal drip or allergies, it is possible to form little “white globs” scientifically known as tonsilloliths. They are a combination of sulfur compounds (produced by the bacteria) and mucous (from post nasal drip). Their smell is very strong! Do not attempt to pick them out yourself; you’ll cause a lot of bleeding. Many dentists and physicians don’t know what they are. They are not food particles, and it is not the sign of infection. Do not have a tonsillectomy for this reason because you will still have bad breath due to the fact that the bacteria is still on the back of your tongue. If you no longer have your tonsils, a similar reaction takes place if you have had a history of sore throats your throat is much rougher.

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Gum Disease Linked to Heart Disease

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

In The Toronto Daily News, we read about how the health of your gums is directly related to the health of your heart. Gum disease is no less serious than other bodily diseases, and should be prevented with purposeful, conscientious oral hygiene. Dr. Katz has created Periotherapy and Hydrofloss for daily gum care.An increasing evidence shows a link between gum disease and heart disease.

PerioTherapyA French study, reported just last month at the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology, has shown that the more severe the periodontal (gum) disease, the more widespread the damage to the arteries.

It’s not yet known how gum disease might trigger heart disease, but there’s a suggestion that bacteria released from infected gums may enter the bloodstream where they activate the immune system causing inflammation and narrowing of the blood vessels.

Bacteria also cause tooth decay. They collect on and between the teeth as dental plaque, and react with sugars in our diet to destroy the tooth enamel. The result: is inflammation, cavities, root canal infection and gum disease.

The role of fluoride in preventing tooth decay is well established – whether that fluoride comes from fluoridated water or from pastes, mouthwashes or gels. Dental fluorosis, mottling or marks on the teeth from excessive fluoride intake, is rare but occasionally occurs in children at the time of the formation of tooth enamel if the children swallow too much fluoride from either pastes or supplementation.

So parents should clean their infants’ teeth with just a soft brush – no toothpaste; and for older children, up to the age of six years, the tooth pastes specially formulated for children (containing a low concentration of fluoride) should be used.

For adult tooth cleaning, I recommend Waterpik Sensonic Professional Toothbrush. It works on advanced, high-speed SONIC plaque removal. It’s softer and gentler than other electronic toothbrushes and buffs the tooth surface and hard-to-reach areas between teeth and the gumline. For more advanced gum problems, there’s Hydrofloss, which works on hydromagnetic techonology to blast away hard to reach plaque.

Gum disease is very common. Generally it can be managed by reasonable attention to oral hygiene; but recurrent or ongoing gum disease may be indicative of a serious underlying cause.

Gingivitis is the name given to inflammation of the gums. Periodontitis is a more severe form of gingivitis when the connective tissue around the teeth is progressively destroyed. Apart from lack of attention to tooth and gum care, other factors which might frequently cause or worsen these conditions are common mouth infections, such as oral thrush, more serious infections (such as HIV) where the immune system is compromised, poorly controlled diabetes, smoking and certain medicines, notably: phenytoin, cyclosporin and the calcium channel blocker blood pressure medicines. Periotherapy is available for those who need gum repair and need to take extra care of their gums on a daily basis.

Medicines are also a major, possibly the most common, cause of dry mouth known medically as xerostomia.

As we get older, all our body secretions are reduced in both quantity and quality. We get dry skin, dry eye and we’re more likely to have dry mouth. When taking a few medicines as well, then dry mouth becomes a strong probability.

Antidepressants are among those most commonly implicated, but the list of possible offenders also includes some non-prescription medicines such as antihistamines (particularly the older, more sedating antihistamines) and the so-called anticholinergic medicines used for stomach cramp. The high dose codeine-containing pain relievers might also be a problem for some people.

There are a number of useful products for the treatment of dry mouth – mouth sprays, mouthwashes, gels and toothpastes. Pharmaceutical Society’s Self Care health information program has a fact card titled Dry Mouth which offers suggestions on how to avoid this condition. Therabreath oral rinse and toothgel oxidize the mouth and prevent dry mouth.

The Mouth Ulcers card is another useful fact card. It explains the likely causes and the possible `cures’. Local trauma is often the reason for a mouth ulcer – maybe from a hard bristle toothbrush, dentures or some other form of orthodontic appliance.

Periotherapy Oral Rinse is especially helpful for people who are experiencing the onset of periodontal disease. When combined with the Periotherapy toothpaste treatment and the Hydrofloss it is extremely effective at halting gum diseases. It attacks the initial production of the Volatile Sulfur Compounds before symptoms get worse, preventing serious gum problems.

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Gum disease a silent epidemic for seniors

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

“Savvy Senior” tells us about gum disease — the current statistics, the causes and effects, and the simple preventive measures we can take. Gum disease is more common — and more dangerous than you think. Periotherapy and good oral hygiene are the best weapons against gum disease.

Gum disease — silent but deadly.

October 16, 2007

Dear Savvy Senior: I recently read that gum disease can cause all different types of deadly health conditions. As a senior who brushes regularly and flosses occasionally, what can you tell me about this? — Hate to Floss

Dear Floss: By taking better care of your mouth (which includes daily flossing), you could actually add years to your life! Here’s what you should know.

Dental Services If you don’t have dental insurance or can’t afford professional dental care, some communities and clinics offer discounted or free services to seniors in need, and most dental schools offer low-cost checkups and cleanings. Contact your state dental association (see www.ada.org/ada/organizations ) or your Area Agency on Aging (call (800) 677-1116 to get your local number) to find out what may be available in your area. Also check out the Bureau of Primary Health Care ( www.ask.hrsa.gov/pc ; (888) 275-4772) and the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped ( www.nfdh.org — click on “Donated Dental Services” or call (888) 471-6334).

Gum disease

Bleeding GumsAlso known as periodontal disease, gum disease is a silent epidemic in this country. Currently, 80 percent of all adults in the United States have some form of gum disease – which ranges from simple gum inflammation (called gingivitis), to serious a disease (called periodontitis) that can infect the gums, bone and other tissue surrounding the teeth.

Consequences

If you have gum disease, you have greatly increased your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. How? Because the bacteria-rich plaque that builds up on your teeth (that’s what causes gum disease) releases toxins into your bloodstream that can inflame your arteries and cause small blood clots. But that’s not all. There are other health problems linked to gum disease such as pancreatic cancer, respiratory diseases, kidney disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, stomach ulcers and even pregnancy complications.

Are you at risk?

Most people develop gum disease because they simply don’t keep their mouths clean. But there are other factors that can increase your risk, including:
• Smoking: Need another reason to quit? Smoking is the number one risk factor for gum disease.
• Age: Older people have a greater risk of periodontal disease because they have more wear and tear on their gums.
• Genetics: If you have a family history of gum disease your risk goes up.
• Medications: Some medications (antihistamines, antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, some heart medicines and many others) can cause dry mouth, and the lack of saliva contributes to gum disease. If you have dry mouth, talk to your doctor or dentist.
• Deficient diet: A diet lacking proper amounts of calcium and vitamin C can contribute to gum disease too.
• Hormonal changes: Changes that occur during pregnancy, menopause or even menstruation can make gums more susceptible for women.
• Diabetes: People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing gum disease. It also makes blood glucose levels harder to control.

Savvy Tip: Check your risk for gum disease at www.perio.org — click on “Assess Your Gum Disease Risk.”

Simple solutions

It only takes about five minutes a day to keep your gums healthy. Here are some simple and familiar ways you can take the bite out of gum disease:
Floss guy• Brush: At least twice a day brush your teeth using fluoride toothpaste and learn how to brush properly. See www.webmd.com/oral-health for a refresher course on brushing and flossing. Also use a toothbrush that has soft bristles. Hard or stiff bristles are more likely to injure your gums. And be sure to replace your brush every three months or so. (Tip: Power toothbrushes with rotating or vibrating bristles have shown to be more effective at removing plaque than manual brushes. See www.oralb.com for oral care products.)
• Floss: Do it at least once a day either before or after you brush. The sequence doesn’t matter as long as you do a thorough job. Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line and is absolutely necessary.• Get checkups: See your dentist every six months for regular cleanings and oral exams.

Source: (http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com)

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