Posts Tagged ‘pneumonia’

Is Bad Breath a Warning Sign of Major Illnesses?

Monday, February 15th, 2010

bad breath

Bad breath (halitosis), especially if its chronic, can sometimes be a symptom of a much more major dilemma. It is very important that people do not overlook this problem, because it can be a sign of a terminal illness. Dental experts have linked halitosis to everything from pneumonia, bronchitis, chronic sinus infections to liver problems, kidney problems, and diabetes. People who have gastritis can have halitosis because of their stomach’s high acidic levels.

Unfortunately, most people do not regard bad breath as a serious problem, and just try to disguise it with peppermint or mouthwash. Halitosis has also been linked to chronic acid reflux and constipation. If one is practicing good oral hygiene, and avoiding foods that cause strong odors like petai, onions, etc., then it is possible that one has a problem that is more than just bad breath.

Many people will find that chewing gum only hides the bad breath and bad tastes temporarily. According to dental experts, 80% of bad breath sufferers have a mouth-related illness causing the problem; however, few people actually make regular visits to the dentist as needed. Tooth decay, cavities, gingivitis, dry mouth (xerostamia, caused by the lack of saliva), and oral cancer all cause halitosis. If a person has gum disease and does not treat it, it can lead to serious damage to the gums and jawbone. Some sources say that mouthwashes containing alcohol have been linked to oral cancer!  TheraBreath is an example of a mouthwash that does NOT have alcohol as an ingredient.

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Poor Oral Hygiene Can Increase Brain Surgery Side Effects

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Hopefully you won’t need brain surgery anytime soon, but if you know someone who does, it would be a good idea for him or her to go to the dentist beforehand to prevent issues like pneumonia.

After a major operation (especially brain surgery), the elderly generation runs a 20% risk of getting pneumonia.  This is because brain surgery weaknes the gag and coughing reflexes, thus making it easier for patients to breath in bacteria from their mouth and nose.

A research study done among 23 people has found that proper oral hygiene before a surgery makes a difference.  There were five people who developed pneumonia within 48 hours of their operation, and each of them had poor oral health, like gingivitis, prior to the surgery.  It is estimated that the risk of infection after surgery in those with poor oral health is increased by at least threefold. 

Source: New Scientist

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