Posts Tagged ‘oral hygiene’

Am I being rude if choose to brush and floss my teeth in the office bathroom?

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Peter Post of The Boston Globe addresses a reader question about ethics and oral hygiene in the workplace. Is it offensive to brush and floss in a common office bathroom? Let’s see what he has to say.

Q: I like to brush and floss my teeth after lunch. I do this in the office bathroom without any flourish. I stand to the side and don’t engage in conversation or use the sink too loudly. However, I still wonder if I’m being rude, even if I brush and floss following the rules of discretion.

S. J., Newton

A: I applaud your behavior. Not only are you appropriately addressing a personal grooming issue that we should all work on – keeping your breath fresh and your teeth clean – you’re also doing your brushing in the right place. Instead of thinking of yourself as rude, think of yourself as a role model others in your office would do well to emulate.

Bad breath can be a real relationship killer, both in your personal and your professional life. As soon as someone notices bad breath in another person, the focus goes to that person’s bad breath rather than on what he or she has to say. By brushing your teeth after lunch, you’re giving yourself a leg up on all your colleagues who don’t do anything to keep their breath fresh. Rest assured: You are doing the right thing and setting an excellent example.

For fresh breath all throughout your work day, I recommend the Therabreath travel kit. Great for carrying around.

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Your Toothpaste May be Giving you Canker Sores (and bad breath)

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Canker sores, also known as “mouth ulcers” plague the lives of millions of people all over the world. These small oral ulcers can make life unbearable when eating, drinking, speaking, or swallowing. Frustration sets in when your dentist or doctor doesn’t know how to respond to your questions about these annoying and recurring ulcerations.

Unfortunately, the public ends up creating their own “canker sore” problem, by using commercial toothpastes, which contain an ingredient that has been proven to be linked to canker sores. It’s called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), and is placed into toothpaste (and some mouthwashes) in order to create foaming. (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is also the main ingredient in your shampoo).

The harshness of this chemical has been proven to create microscopic damage to the oral tissue which lines the inside of your mouth, which then leads to Canker Sores.

The Science of Canker Sores:
For discussions sake, several terms are interchangeable. Canker Sores are also known as: Mouth Ulcers, Aphthous Ulcers, Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis, or Oral ulcers.

Some people (and doctors) confuse canker sores with “cold sores” (fever blisters). We know both are painful, annoying, and recurring. Here are the major differences:

Canker Sores
-only occur inside the mouth
-not contagious
-not viral (not caused by a virus
-Caused by damage to oral tissue, often by Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, a common foaming agent ingredient in almost all toothpaste.
Cold Sores
– Mostly on outside of mouth – sometimes on the inside of the mouth, but only on “hard” surfaces (palate).
-Contagious
-not viral
-The first sign is appearance of small blisters (vesicles)

What Causes Canker Sores ( Mouth Ulcers)?
The latest research shows that certain chemical compounds trigger the production of canker sores. Among those items is something that may shock unsuspecting people. It’s SOAP. Yes, but it’s soap, inside your mouth. For many years the major pharmaceutical companies have used Soap (chemically known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) in order to create a foaming agent when one brushes their teeth. The reason? The foam does not provide any benefits to the toothpaste, but does “fool” the user (YOU) into thinking that a foaming action is related to a “cleansing” action. After speaking to many of these pharmaceutical companies, the following excuse is used: “We use Sodium Lauryl Sulfate as a surfactant, in order to blend all of our ingredients together and make them work more effectively.” (A surfactant is a chemical agent, which allows other chemical molecules to get closer to each other. However, there are many surfactants out there that are not soapy or do not cause allergic reactions, resulting in canker sore production.”

One of the most exciting advances has been the establishment of the link between canker sores and an ingredient common to almost all toothpastes. The additive SLS or sodium lauryl sulfate may be a culprit in canker sore formation.

SLS ( sodium lauryl sulfate ) acts just like a detergent. It is used in the laboratory as a membrane destabilizer and solubilizer of proteins and lipids. SLS is used in toothpaste to emulsify (mix) oil and water based ingredients together. In your toothpaste it creates the foam you get when brushing. Since it is classified as a soap, you will easily understand, why this ingredient can cause drying inside the mouth for many individuals. The dryness is one of several factors that will lead to bad breath. To avoid this, you must stop using toothpaste that contains SLS. Also, to avoid dryness and bad breath, I recommend toothpaste that oxidizes the mouth, and mouthwash that does not contain alcohol (a drying agent).

The thought is that SLS may, in susceptible individuals, cause microscopic trauma or membrane disruption to the skin cells in the mouth. This along with trauma or actions of the immune system may lead to canker sore formation.

Recent studies have shown a link between the use of toothpastes containing SLS and the occurrence of RAS (canker sores).

The following is a synopsis of 3 European Scientific Studies:
In a study at the University of Oslo in Oslo, Norway, Drs. Barvoll and Brokstad revealed a 60-70% reduction in the number of canker sores in patients who used SLS free toothpaste during the 3 month test period. Additional studies have since shown equally promising results.

In the clinical studies, patients using SLS toothpaste displayed a greater amount of desquamation (loss of a layer of skin lining the inside of the mouth). This has led to the theory that SLS may contribute to RAS (canker sores) by causing injury to the oral epithelial cells (skin cells lining the inside of the mouth).

SLS, by denaturing protective mucus proteins, may also disrupt the protective layer of mucus which lines the inside of the mouth (a denatured protein is a protein which has lost its three dimensional shape thereby becoming nonfunctional and useless). The denaturing of mucus proteins makes the cells lining the mouth more susceptible to injury and canker sore formation.

References
1. Herlofson, Bente and Pal Barkvoll Sodium lauryl sulfate and recurrent aphthous ulcers: A preliminary study Acta Odontol Scand 1994; 52:257-259

2. Herlofson, Bente and Pal Barkvoll The effect of two toothpaste detergents on the frequency of recurrent aphthous ulcers Acta Odontol Scand 1996; 54(3): 150-153

3. Barkvoll, Pal and G. Rolla Possible effects of sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) on the oral mucosa [abstract] J Dent Res 1989; 68:991

What has been especially exciting is the fact that many of my patients have experienced tremendous improvements as a result of using SLS free toothpaste. Additionally, many of the visitors to this website have also found canker sore relief by using an SLS free toothpaste.

Research is being conducted to determine what makes a person susceptible to canker sores in the first place as well as what actions and mechanisms trigger canker sore outbreaks. Among those things that may trigger an attack or make a person more susceptible are:

A. SLS found in Toothpaste and some mouthwashes
B. Allergies to Food Products and Certain Preservatives
C. Trauma from Brushing your Teeth too vigorously
D. Lip Biting
E. Stress
F. Trauma from Eating Hard, Rough Foods (Potato Chips, Pretzels)
G. Deficiencies in Vitamin B12, iron, and folic acid.

Current theories on the causes of canker sores have focused on the immune system. This research suggests that canker sores may be caused by the body’s own immune system attacking the cells lining the inside of the mouth.

The first canker sores usually occur between the ages of 10 and 20. During life, episodes usually, but not always, become less frequent and less severe. Interestingly, women often report increased susceptibility to canker sore formation during certain times of their menstrual cycle. Some women report complete relief from canker sores during pregnancy.

Interestingly, canker sores ( mouth ulcers ) affect people to varying degrees of severity. Some people may get an occasional outbreak of canker sores once or twice a year while others may suffer near continuous overlapping episodes of canker sores ( mouth ulcers ).

On the Subject of Preventing Canker Sores (Mouth Ulcers)
The most important piece of advice we can give you is to stay away from toothpaste which contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Examine your toothpaste’s ingredient section and see if it contains SLS. You will be saving yourself a lot of pain in the long run. I recommend Therabreath, created in the California Breath Clinics, a clinic that has treated over 13,000 people with bad breath. It doesn’t contain SLS (you’ll notice that it doesn’t create as much bubbles) but does a better job of cleaning your mouth. Avoiding SLS is avoiding canker sores, which no one wants to have.

Secondly, trauma to the inside of the mouth may trigger the production of canker sores. This trauma includes overzealous tooth brushing, biting your cheek or tongue, and scraping the inside of your mouth with hard or sharp foods (like hard pretzels).

Cut down on eating foods like potato chips, hard pretzels, cut apples, and hard candies which might nick, abrade, or otherwise traumatize the oral tissue.

As far as overzealous brushing, most people can not consciously stop brushing so hard, because tooth brushing is such an ingrained habit. Find a soft nylon toothbrush and brush your teeth gently. One is available here.

We know that many bite the insides of their cheeks while sleeping or out of nervousness and stress. We suggest that a mouth guard be worn during sleep. This is often very effective at preventing further oral trauma. Contact your dentist for more information.

Reactions to certain food products may be responsible for many cases of canker sores. Among the foods that may cause canker sores in certain people are: nuts, peanut butter, sea food, wheat products, chocolate, and milk.

Treatment of Canker Sores (Mouth Ulcers)

Usually canker sores clear within 7-14 days without treatment. During this time, however, the canker sores can be painful especially when people eat or drink. Treatment helps ease the pain and may help reduce the amount of time it takes for the ulcers to go away.

Other Viable Treatments:

1. Anti-Microbial Mouthwashes
Surprisingly the use of anti-microbial mouthwashes has provided effective relief for many. Canker Sores are not caused by a bacteria or virus so the mechanisms by which these anti-microbial mouthwashes work remains unclear. Commonly used are anti-microbial Oxygenating mouthwashes.

2. Analgesic (Pain Relieving) and Protective Ointments and Gels:
Your local drug stores stocks some pain relieving medications, including Zilactin or Oragel. After application, they create a protective cover over the sensitive areas.

3. Corticosteroid Rinses and Gels:
These are prescription medications that must be authorized by your dentist or physician and should only be used for severe or painful cases. The application of these types of gels and rinses may be painful at first. The most common is a topical steroid gel (non-alcoholic) of lidex applied very gently to the ulcer 2-4 times per day.

Systemic Conditions Associated with Canker Sores (Mouth Ulcers)
In a very small number of cases, canker sores may be indicative of a bodily (systemic) disorder. A medical condition known as Behcet’s Disease, for instance, has amongst its symptoms: canker sores, genital lesions, eye lesions, and dermal afflictions.

Those infected with HIV may also develop “canker sore like” ulcers.

Some digestive conditions display canker sores as part of their disorder. These include: Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and gluten hypersensitivity (wheat allergy).

Consult your physician if any of the above sound like they may be part of your “canker sore” problem.

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Why Your Oral Products (Mouthwash, Toothpaste, Chewing Gum, Spray, etc) May be GIVING you Bad Breath!

Monday, September 10th, 2007

In order to stop bad breath, you must stop the production of the volatile sulfur compounds. The only safe and clinically-proven way to do so is to “oxidize” away the sulfur compounds and the bacteria that create this problem.

For several decades the large pharmaceutical companies have made commercial products that do not oxidize away the Odorous and Lousy-Tasting Sulfur compounds created by anaerobic bacteria. Many attempt to “help” the public, but merely rely on “masking agents” which essentially cover-up the malodor and sour, bitter tastes produced by the sulfur compounds with other stronger tastes (some medicinal and minty) and fragrances.

Alcohol:

The end result was a “masking chemical” + high levels of alcohol. Alcohol makes your breath worse. Alcohol, in chemical terms, is classified as a DESICCANT, or DRYING AGENT. As you know from information in this website and possibly your own personal problem, the dryer your mouth gets – the worse your breath gets.

Here’s how much alcohol (in Percentage and Proof) is contained in the leading products below:

Product

% Alcohol

As Proof

Other “BAD” Ingredients

You may also ask yourself, “If those common products kill the germs that cause bad breath (like they say they do), then why do I still have bad breath?”

Ingredients in Oral Products

Here are some other “strange” ingredients added to mouthwash and other oral products!

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: Stop Your Washing Your Mouth With Soap!

Unfortunately, the public is unaware of the ingredients in products they use on a daily basis. For instance, nearly every toothpaste contains an ingredient that has been proven to dry out your mouth, and is now scientifically linked to canker sores. It’s called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), and is placed into toothpaste (and some mouthwashes) in order to create foaming! (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is also the main ingredient in your shampoo – go check it out.) The harshness of this chemical has been proven to create microscopic damage to the oral tissue which lines the inside of your mouth, which then leads to Canker Sore production. The microscopic damage and “shedding” of vital oral tissues” provides a protein food source to the bacteria that create the volatile sulfur compounds of Halitosis and taste disorders. That’s why TheraBreath Oral Products have never contained Sodium Lauryl Sulfate!

SLS ( sodium lauryl sulfate ) acts just like a detergent. It is used in the laboratory as a membrane destabilizer and solubilizer of proteins and lipids. SLS is used in toothpaste to emulsify (mix) oil and water based ingredients together. In your toothpaste it creates the foam you get when brushing. Since it is classified as a soap, you will easily understand, why this ingredient can cause drying inside the mouth for many individuals. The dryness is one of several factors that will lead to bad breath.

Saccharin:

Would you give Saccharin to your children? Well, you are – when you provide them with Children’s toothpaste from some of the major companies – take a look at their ingredients.

The only toothpaste, formulated to fight bad breath by oxidation AND which does not contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Saccharin is TheraBreath.

Sodium Chlorate:

This is a chemical that is NOT an oxygenating compound. It sounds like a chemical used in oxygenating products, but in order for it to even start to produce oxygenation, the pH of the solution would need to have a pH of -1 (that’s right -1!). Historically, scientific papers refer to many cases of accidental Sodium Chlorate Poisoning. Consequently, oral products containing chlorates were taken off the market in the UK over 60 years ago! (A bibliography of scientific papers on Sodium Chlorate).

Benzalkonium Chloride:

Benzalkonium Chloride had been used for many years as a preservative in eye drops and also in nasal sprays and drops. Recently, researchers in Europe discovered that this preservative was causing a great deal of allergic reaction among users. It is now estimated that fully 10% of the population is allergic to Benzalkonium Chloride.

Other studies have shown a direct relationship between BKC and contact dermatitis, another allergic reaction.

Based on these facts, pharmaceutical companies have started to produce eye and nasal drops WITHOUT BKC in order to provide better products to the public.

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Zinc in TheraBreath PLUS Mouthwash

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Zinc in TheraBreath PLUS Mouthwash

The scientific studies which follow will help explain why TheraBreath PLUS Oral Rinse, in addition to a higher concentration of OXYD-8, also contains Zinc Gluconate. Briefly, science has shown that adding zinc gluconate helps to eliminate sour/bitter/metallic tastes and also aids in reducing tartar buildup. The stabilized chlorine dioxide component (OXYD-8) in TheraBreath PLUS Oral Rinse is utilized to eliminate oral malodor, while Tea Tree Oil assists as a natural anti-microbial.


Biofactors 2000;12(1-4):65-70

Zinc deficiency and taste dysfunction; contribution of carbonic anhydrase, a zinc-metalloenzyme, to normal taste sensation.

by Komai M, Goto T, Suzuki H, Takeda T, Furukawa Y.

Division of Life Science, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan. mkomai@biochem.tohoku.ac.jp

The present study was designed to clarify the effect of zinc deficiency on sodium chloride preference, the lingual trigeminal and taste nerves transduction, and carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity of the tongue surface and salivary gland. Male SD rats, 4 weeks old, were divided into four groups, and fed zinc-deficient (Zn-Def), low-zinc (Low-Zn), and zinc-sufficient diets with free access (Zn-Suf) and pair-feeding (Pair-fed). After taking part in the preference tests for 42 days, the rats were provided for the chorda tympani and lingual trigeminal nerves recordings, then finally sacrificed and the tongue and submandibular gland excised to measure CA activity. Sodium chloride preference increased only after 4 days of the feeding of zinc-deficient and low-zinc diets, which means that the taste abnormality appears abruptly in zinc deficieny and even though in marginal zinc deficiency. Reduced CA activities of the taste-related tissues in zinc-deficient group paralleled well with the decreased taste and lingual trigeminal nerves sensitivities.


Effect of Different Mouthrinses on Morning Breath.

by van Steenberghe D, Avontroodt P, Peeters W, Pauwels M, Coucke W, Lijnen A, Quirynen M.

Department of Periodontology, Oral Pathology and Maxillo-Facial Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

BACKGROUND: Morning breath odor is an often-encountered complaint. This double-blind, crossover, randomized study aimed to examine the bad breath-inhibiting effect of 3 commercially available mouthrinses on morning halitosis during an experimental period of 12 days without mechanical plaque control.

METHODS: Twelve medical students with a healthy periodontium refrained from all means of mechanical plaque control during 3 experimental periods of 12 days (with intervening washout periods of at least 3 weeks). A professional oral cleaning preceded each period. During each experimental period, as the only oral hygiene measure allowed, the students rinsed twice a day with one of the following formulations in a randomized order: CHX-Alc (a 0.2% chlorhexidine [CHX] solution); CHX-NaF (CHX 0.12% plus sodium fluoride 0.05%); or CHX-CPC-Zn (CHX 0.05% plus cetylpyridinium chloride 0.05% plus zinc lactate 0.14%).

After 12 days, morning breath was scored via volatile sulfur compound (VSC) level measurements of the mouth air and organoleptic ratings of the mouth air, the expired air, and a scraping of the tongue coating. At the 12-day visit, a questionnaire (subjective ratings) was completed and samples taken from both the tongue coating and the saliva for anaerobic and aerobic culturing and vitality staining. The de novo supragingival plaque formation was also recorded. All parameters were correlated with the baseline registrations.

RESULTS: Although oral hygiene during the 3 experimental periods was limited to oral rinses, bad breath parameters systematically improved, with the exception of a slight increase in VSC levels while using CHX-Alc, a finding which was associated with the direct influence of the CHX on the sulfide monitor. The oral microbial load after the use of CHX-NaF remained unchanged, while for the CHX-Alc and CHX-CPC-Zn, significant reductions in both aerobic and anaerobic colony forming units (CFU)/ml were noticed in comparison with baseline data for both tongue coating and saliva samples. The composition of microflora, on the other hand, did not reveal significant changes. The supragingival plaque formation was inhibited, in descending order, by CHX-Alc, CHX-CPC-Zn, and CHX-NaF. The subjective scores for the rinses indicated a higher appreciation for CHX-CPC-Alc and CHX-NaF because of a better taste and fewer side effects. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study demonstrate that morning halitosis can be successfully reduced via daily use of mouthrinses. CHX-Alc and CHX-CPC-Zn mouthrinses result in a significant reduction of the microbial load of tongue and saliva.

Publication Types:
· Clinical Trial
· Randomized Controlled Trial


PMID: 11577950 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

J Clin Periodontol 1996 May;23(5):465-70

The effect of mouth rinses containing zinc and triclosan on plaque accumulation, development of gingivitis and formation of calculus in a 28-week clinical test.

by Schaeken MJ, Van der Hoeven JS, Saxton CA, Cummins D.

Department of Periodontology and Preventive Dentistry, University of Nijmegan, The Netherlands.

Experimental mouthrinses containing 0.4% zinc sulphate and 0.15% triclosan, which differed in base formulations were compared to a commercially available non-active control mouthrinse. Following baseline clinical examinations for plaque, gingival bleeding and calculus, the volunteers were provided with a dental prophylaxis and given oral hygiene instruction, stratified into 3 groups and given 1 of 3 mouthrinses.

Further clinical assessments were performed after 4, 16 and 28 weeks. Salivary mutans streptococci were also monitored during the study. At 4 weeks, plaque and calculus scores in all groups were low compared to baseline. During the remainder of the study, these improvements were not maintained and both plaque and calculus levels increased in all groups. Plaque was significantly lower (P < 0.05) than in the control at all time points. Calculus was significantly lower (P < 0.05) than in the control at all time points. Calculus was significantly lower at week 28 for experimental mouthrinse group 2. Gingival bleeding also decreased in the initial 4 weeks but increased thereafter in the control group. In contrast, gingival bleeding was significantly (P < 0.05) lower in the two experimental groups than in the control group. No significant changes in mutans streptococci were observed.


Ann Pharmacother 1996 Feb;30(2):186-7
Zinc Deficiency and Taste Disorders.

by Heyneman CA.

Idaho Drug Information Center, Idaho State University, Pocatello 83209, USA.

Elemental zinc supplementation in daily dosages of 25-100 mg po appears to be an efficacious treatment for taste dysfunction secondary to zinc depletion. Insufficient evidence is available to determine the efficacy of zinc supplementation for the treatment of hypogeusia or dysgeusia secondary to drug therapy or medical conditions that do not involve low serum zinc concentrations.


Ther Umsch 1995 Nov;52(11):732-7

[Article in German] Huttenbrink KB.

Klinik und Poliklinik fur Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde der Medizinischen Fakultat Carl Gustav Carus, Technischen Universitat Dresden.

Disorders of olfaction and taste are infrequent, but a complete loss of smell or taste reduces the quality of life significantly. The sensitivity of human olfaction is remarkable, even for specific stimuli: Just a few molecules are enough to induce the correct identification of sterilised and ultraheated milk.

Olfaction and taste are called ‘chemical senses’ because in both cases the adequate stimulus consists of molecules that bind to receptors of the sensory cells. The perceptions of smell and taste are often combined. Taste differentiates only four qualities: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. The typical flavor of food or drink is detected by olfaction. Disturbances of olfaction can be due to respiratory disorders such as nasal polyps, a deviation of the nasal septum or chronic sinusitis. Such conditions can reduce airflow through the olfactory cleft at the roof of the nasal cavity. They can be corrected by modern endoscopic surgery of the nose.

Epithelial disorders involving the sensory cells are most often caused by viral infections (influenza-anosmia) or toxic destruction of the sensory epithelium (solvents or gases). Epithelial disorders can be cured only rarely by any treatment. Corticosteroids, zinc, and vitamin A are tried frequently. Neural disorders occur after frontobasal trauma and during neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. Disorders of olfaction can be an early sign of such neurological diseases and sophisticated examination of this sense can contribute to their early diagnosis. However, no specific treatments have yet been identified. Disorders of taste can be due to toxic, chemical or inflammatory damage to the sensory cells of the tongue.


Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1993 Oct;37(4):318-22

Zinc Taste Test in Pregnant Women and its Correlation with Serum Zinc Level.

by Garg HK, Singal KC, Arshad Z.

Department of Pharmacology, J. N. Medical College, A.M.U., Aligarh.

Pregnant women in different trimesters of pregnancy were divided into control (n = 58) and study (n = 104) groups. Study group subjects were given 45 mg zinc/p.o./day as 200 mg ‘zinc sulphate tablets from the day of reporting till term. Body zinc status was clinically assessed by ‘zinc taste test’. Blood samples were drawn at the same time and serum zinc levels measured. Zinc taste test scores decreased with advancement of pregnancy (P < 0.05) and increased significantly following zinc administration (P < 0.05).

Serum zinc level declined significantly with advancement of pregnancy (P < 0.001). Following zinc administration, serum zinc level increased significantly (P < 0.001). Accuracy of zinc taste test in individual cases ranged between 70 and 100 percent. On the whole, zinc taste test was well correlated with serum zinc level, and provides a fair idea of zinc deficiency.


Nutrition 1993 May-Jun;9(3):218-24

Zinc deficiency in elderly patients.

by AS, Fitzgerald JT, Hess JW, Kaplan J, Pelen F, Dardenne M. – Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI.

Zinc is needed for growth and development, DNA synthesis, neurosensory functions, and cell-mediated immunity. Although zinc intake is reduced in elderly people, its deficiency and effects on cell-mediated immunity of the elderly have not been established. Subjects enrolled in “A Model Health Promotion and Intervention Program for Urban Middle Aged and Elderly Americans” were assessed for nutrition and zinc status. One hundred eighty healthy subjects were randomly selected for the study. Their mean dietary zinc intake was 9.06 mg/day, whereas the recommended dietary allowance is 15 mg/day. Plasma zinc was normal, but zinc in granulocytes and lymphocytes were decreased compared with younger control subjects. Of 118 elderly subjects in whom zinc levels in both granulocytes and lymphocytes were available, 36 had deficient levels.

Plasma copper was increased, and interleukin 1 (IL-1) production was significantly decreased. Reduced response to the skin-test antigen panel and decreased taste acuity were observed. Thirteen elderly zinc-deficient subjects were supplemented with zinc, and various variables were assessed before and after zinc supplementation. Zinc supplementation corrected zinc deficiency and normalized plasma copper levels. Serum thymulin activity, IL-1 production, and lymphocyte ecto-5′-nucleotidase increased significantly after supplementation. Improvement in response to skin-test antigens and taste acuity was observed after zinc supplementation. A mild zinc deficiency appears to be a significant clinical problem in free-living elderly people.


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1991 May;117(5):519-28

Smell and taste disorders, a study of 750 patients from the University of Pennsylvania Smell and Taste Center.

Deems DA, Doty RL, Settle RG, Moore-Gillon V, Shaman P, Mester AF, Kimmelman CP, Brightman VJ, Snow JB Jr. – Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Human Communication, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Smell and taste disorders are common in the general population, yet little is known about their nature or cause. This article describes a study of 750 patients with complaints of abnormal smell or taste perception from the University of Pennsylvania Smell and Taste Center, Philadelphia. Major findings suggest that: chemosensory dysfunction influences quality of life; complaints of taste loss usually reflect loss of smell function; upper respiratory infection, head trauma, and chronic nasal and paranasal sinus disease are the most common causes of the diminution of the sense of smell, with head trauma having the greatest loss; depression frequently accompanies chemosensory distortion; low body weight accompanies burning mouth syndrome; estrogens protect against loss of the sense of smell in postmenopausal women; zinc therapy may provide no benefit to patients with chemosensory dysfunction; and thyroid hormone function is associated with oral sensory distortion. The findings are discussed in relation to management of patients with chemosensory disturbances.


J Periodontol 1990 Jun;61(6):352-8

Clinical efficacy of a dentifrice and oral rinse containing sanguinaria extract and zinc chloride during 6 months of use.

Harper DS, Mueller LJ, Fine JB, Gordon J, Laster LL. – Fairleigh-Dickinson University, Oral Health Research Center, Hackensack, NJ.

The efficacy of combined use of toothpaste and oral rinse containing sanguinaria extract and zinc chloride was compared to placebo products in a 6-month clinical trial. Sixty subjects with moderate levels of plaque and gingivitis were randomly assigned to active and placebo groups. Noninvasive measures of plaque and gingivitis were assessed at baseline and at 2, 6, 8, 14, 20, and 28 weeks. Bleeding on probing was measured at baseline and 6, 14, and 28 weeks. Active group scores were significantly lower (P less than .0001) than placebo scores at each post-baseline time point for all indices, with the exception of plaque at 2 weeks. The 28 week active group scores were 21% lower than the placebo group for plaque, 25% lower for gingivitis, and 43% lower for bleeding on probing. No dental staining or taste alteration was reported in the active group. Three of 30 active group subjects exhibited minor soft tissue irritations that resolved spontaneously without discontinuation of product use. Results indicate that the test products showed good levels of safety and efficacy when administered in a combined use regimen for 6 months.


Clin Prev Dent 1990 Apr-May;12(1):13-7

Clinical evaluation of anticalculus dentifrices.

Kazmierczak M, Mather M, Ciancio S, Fischman S, Cancro L.

One hundred and eighty-seven patients participated in a six-month study to evaluate the calculus-inhibiting effect of a zinc citrate dentifrice compared to Crest Tartar Control and a placebo, Crest Regular. The findings demonstrate a statistically significant calculus prevention benefit over Crest Regular for both Crest Tartar Control and a 2% zinc citrate/silica product. Compared to the control, the zinc citrate product reduced calculus formation by 32.3%, and Crest Tartar Control reduced it by 21.4%. These findings also demonstrate no statistically significant difference in stain or soft tissue status among the three dentifrices. All products were found to be safe to oral tissues and acceptable for taste.

J La State Med Soc 1989 Sep;141(9):9-11

Disorders of taste.

Rareshide E, Amedee RG.

At least 2 million Americans suffer with chemosensory dysfunction or disorders of taste and smell. In addition to the obvious aesthetic deprivation, loss of taste may affect an individual’s health and psychosocial situation. Most taste disorders are associated with antecedent upper respiratory infection, trauma, or allergic rhinitis, or have an idiopathic etiology. They may reflect underlying neoplastic, neurologic, endocrine, infectious, or nutritional disturbances; only 1% of these patients have a functional disorder. Evaluation consists of a history and physical, followed by a screening test battery searching for any of the treatable etiologies. One third of patients will respond to exogenous zinc therapy after a treatment period of 2 to 4 months. The remainder must rely on supportive measures such as additives, flavor enhancers, and rinses.

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Acid in Your Mouthwash Can Be Eroding the Enamel on Your Teeth!

Monday, September 10th, 2007

 


Recent research has uncovered a startling new discovery about the mouthwash you are probably using. Did you know that over 90% of the mouthwash that is commercially available contains an acid level comparable to that of household vinegar?

Can you imagine rinsing and gargling with vinegar? I don’t even have to tell you what that would taste like, but think for a second what it can do to your teeth!

The enamel on your teeth is one of the hardest substances that your body can produce. But acid is one of the most corrosive substances in nature. The study below which was completed in April of 2001 discovered that rinsing your mouth with a mouthwash that contains a high concentration of acid causes a drastic increase in enamel loss.

And enamel loss has a direct correlation to sensitivity in teeth – people with less enamel complained of much greater sensitivity in their teeth to hot and cold.

As you can see from the chart below – almost all commercially available mouthwashes have a highly ‘acidic’ environment. But TheraBreath is actually an ‘antacid’ mouthwash.

Moral of the Story: Use a Non-Acidic Mouthwash.
Click Here to see the variety of TheraBreath Mouthwashes available.

bad breath and halitosis
All my Best, bad breath and halitosis
bad breath and halitosis
-Harold

Various Commercial Mouthwashes pH Acid Level
The ‘Natural’ Dentist 3.2

More Acidic
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Less Acidic

Peroxyl 3.7
Listerine 4.3  
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Scope 5.4  
TriOral – 2 phase 5.7  
Rembrandt 6.5  

The Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 2001 Apr;28(4):319-24
The erosive effects of some mouthrinses on enamel. A study in situ.by Pontefract H, Hughes J, Kemp K, Yates R, Newcombe RG, Addy M.
Division of Restorative Dentistry, Dental School, Bristol, UK.
BACKGROUND: There are both anecdotal clinical and laboratory experimental data suggesting that low pH mouthrinses cause dental erosion. This evidence is particularly relevant to acidified sodium chlorite (ASC) formulations since they have plaque inhibitory properties comparable to chlorhexidine but without the well known local side effects.AIM: Studies in situ and in vitro were planned to measure enamel erosion by low pH mouthrinses. The study in situ measured enamel erosion by ASC, essential oil and hexetidine mouthrinses over 15-day study periods. The study was a 5 treatment, single blind cross over design involving 15 healthy subjects using orange juice, as a drink, and water, as a rinse, as positive and negative controls respectively. 2 enamel specimens from unerupted human third molar teeth were placed in the palatal area of upper removable acrylic appliances which were worn from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday for 3 weeks. Rinses were used 2x daily and 250 ml volumes of orange juice were imbibed 4x daily. Enamel loss was determined by profilometry on days 5, 10 and 15. The study in vitro involved immersing specimens in the 4 test solutions together with a reduced acid ASC formulation for a period of 4 h under constant stirring; Enamel loss was measured by profilometry every hour.RESULTS: Enamel loss was in situ progressive over time with the 3 rinses and orange juice but negligible with water. ASC produced similar erosion to orange juice and significantly more than the two proprietary rinses and water. The essential oil and hexetidine rinses produced similar erosion and significantly more than water. Enamel loss in vitro was progressive over time, and the order from low to high erosion was reduced acid ASC, ASC, Essential oil, and hexetidine mouthrinses and orange juice.

CONCLUSION: Based on the study in situ, it is recommended that low pH mouthrinses should not be considered for long term or continuous use and never as pre-brushing rinses. In view of the plaque inhibitory efficacy of ASC, short- to medium-term applications similar to those of chlorhexidine would be envisaged.

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