Posts Tagged ‘Uncategorized’

Brushing — it’s not just for humans anymore

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

October 5, 2007

It’s not like they have to floss, but keeping a pet’s teeth clean is essential to their good health and happiness.

Recent reports by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the American Veterinary Dental Society suggest that many pet parents don’t understand what is required to maintain an animal’s teeth and gums.

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According to the AVDS, oral disease is one of the most frequently diagnosed pet health problems. If left untreated, it can lead to more severe woes, yet much of it can be prevented, said the nonprofit.

One of the most commonly ignored symptoms of oral disease is constant bad breath, said veterinarian Stephanie Hazen of The Pet Clinic in Salem.

True, pets lick themselves and eat objects humans wouldn’t even pick up, let alone chew, but those scenarios are cause and effect, said Hazen.

“If a dog or cat has bad breath that won’t go away after brushing, then that pet needs to be seen and assessed by a vet,” Hazen said.

Chronic bad breath, in some cases, she said, can be indicative of fairly serious problems such as liver or renal disease.

Hazen said pet parents brush their own teeth daily, but often leave their animals’ teeth unwashed for years or only brush them on occasion.

She recommends brushing a pet’s teeth every other day because plaque mineralizes to calculus in about two days.

Calculus is the bacterial toxin that can enter the bloodstream and infect vital organs, including the heart lining and its valves.

Another symptom of gum disease is a pink or red line along the gums. That usually indicates more advanced gum disease, but “it’s still treatable,” said Mechelle Gilbert, a certified veterinary technician at The Pet Clinic, who is licensed to anesthetize and clean pets’ teeth.

Other symptoms include animals who go to eat and then back away from their food because of mouth pain and yellow or brown crust near the gum line.

Sitting in front of a table with a drain built into it and observing X-rays taken of a dog’s teeth, Gilbert works to remove mineralized calculus from the mouth of a dog named Sam.

After inserting a catheter in the dog to carry intravenous drugs to the animal, Gilbert uses an ultrasonic cleaner to chisel away at the deposits. She uses a polishing tool to smooth any marks left by the first tool.

She then measures the gum line. If an infection is detected, Gilbert and Hazen will determine its depth, then opt to treat with oral antibiotics or inject an antibiotic gel directly into the gums.

If they find any broken teeth after completing the cleaning, they will advise the owner and discuss extractions.

The X-rays, extractions and antibiotic treatments add to the cost of cleaning, said Hazen. A routine cleaning starts at about $200 depending on whether it’s a cat or dog and its size. But it can rise to $1,000 or more if additional work is required.

That is why Hazen’s office takes an aggressive approach to animal dental care.

She makes it part of the annual checkup, and depending on the breed, reminds pet parents that they need to make regular teeth cleaning a part of animal’s routine.

There are some long-faced breeds such as German shepherds whose short coats don’t accumulate food around the face “who can go forever without having their teeth cleaned by a vet provided their pet parents brush regularly at home and their gums don’t become inflamed,” said Hazen. “With other dogs and cats, if owners start cleaning when they’re puppies and kittens, they can reduce the buildup, but not always prevent it.”

Veterinarian Michael Stewart of Silver Creek Animal Clinic in Silverton said his clients look to him for good advice in pet rearing, so he too advocates brushing a pet’s teeth.

“Dogs and cats have good enamel, and cavities are rare,” Stewart said. “So we mainly fight dirty teeth and gum recession. If we can get our clients to brush their pets’ teeth, then that preventative dental care will have a great effect on their pet’s health.”

Stewart said his approach is one of balanced practicality. He encourages pet owners to brush their pet’s teeth so they can avoid more serious problems such as heart disease. He also warns against raising an obese pet.

“We would like pets not to become unaffordable to the masses. We know that items like dental radiographs every year are not practical for every family, so it’s important to offer information and options, too.”

Hazen also advocates a new tool in the fight against canine plaque — a vaccine.

Having learned about the Porphyromonas vaccine at an AVDS national convention last year, Hazen started offering the shot in November.

She said it has been very successful in her patients, and it has few side effects.

Most of the initial problems were pain at the injection site, so she started offering an anti-inflammatory medication called Rimadyl along with the shot to counter the discomfort.

“It’s been amazing,” she said. “I’ve seen much improvement in the animals I’m seeing back in six months.”

The vaccine has a conditional license while awaiting permanent drug administration approval. But Hazen said if it continues to succeed in animals, it may progress to a vaccine for humans.

She reports results regularly to the vaccine’s manufacturer Pfizer Animal Health.

Hazen said the vaccine is one of the many tools available to pet owners to help their pets lead long and healthy lives.

“We just want to teach them that a pet’s teeth are an important part of their overall health and shouldn’t be ignored. We can’t say it enough,” Hazen said.

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Blanchett, Dench talk of bad breath during Elizabethan England

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

by David Germain

Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench have a royal conversation about Elizabethan bad breath on the set of “Notes on a Scandal.” In the Elizabethan Era, basic hygiene was practically unknown.
10/10/2007 | 11:18 PM

LOS ANGELES – When Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench co-starred in last year’s drama “Notes on a Scandal,” their off-camera conversations naturally turned to Queen Elizabeth I, a role each has played.

They didn’t chat about the grand legacy of the long-reigning monarch, though. According to Blanchett, they spoke of stench and halitosis.

“I think we talked sort of generally about how smelly Elizabethan England would have been,” Blanchett told The Associated Press in an interview. “We did talk about the smell and how bad everyone’s breath would have been.”

Blanchett, 38, shot to stardom in 1998′s “Elizabeth.” She reprises the role in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” which opens Friday and centers on the queen’s dalliance with the dashing Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen) amid a holy war Catholic Spain wages on Protestant England in the late 16th century.

The 1998 film earned a best-actress Academy Award nomination for Blanchett, who later won the supporting-actress prize for “The Aviator.” Dench won the supporting-actress Oscar for playing the queen in “Shakespeare in Love,” released the same year “Elizabeth” came out.

Blanchett recalled that while she initially had been reluctant to revisit the character, “Elizabeth” director Shekhar Kapur always seemed to have a second film in mind.

“He literally started talking about it the minute we wrapped. I honestly thought he was joking,” Blanchett said. “So I didn’t really pay it much mind. Then over the years, he just kept returning to the idea, and I thought, he’s not simply being provocative. He actually believes there’s something more that we could say.”

The story of Elizabeth may not be over for Blanchett and Kapur. At a recent question-and-answer session with an audience after an advance screening of “The Golden Age,” Blanchett again expressed reluctance about a third chapter.

But the crowd clapped heartily when Kapur raised the idea.

“I keep saying that, because the more people applaud, the more she will be persuaded,” Kapur said. – AP

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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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Tip of the week

Monday, October 8th, 2007

This week’s tip! Watch out for a fresh breath tip from Dr. Katz every week.

Don’t put off going to the dentist. Don’t wait until you feel pain before you go. It is good to have a check-up every six months.

 

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‘Fitness Phone’ helps users stay healthy, avoid bad breath

Monday, October 8th, 2007

More about the bad breath phone from MSNBC.com.

Updated: 6:11 a.m. PT Oct 3, 2007

TOKYO – Worried that you’re not getting enough exercise or that you’ve eaten way too much garlic? A Japanese firm has come up with a phone that can help.

Japan’s largest cell phone carrier NTT DoCoMo unveiled this week a “Fitness Phone,” designed to help the user stay healthy — and avoid bad breath.

The handheld phone, equipped with various devices that can measure your pulse or the amount of steps you’ve taken in a day, dispenses heath advice after you’ve punched in statistics such as gender, age and weight.

TechWatch: Phat fat phone
TechWatch: Phat fat phone

And you can also exhale into the phone and it will tell you whether its time to reach for the breath mints.

“Our primary target groups would be fat-fighting middle-aged businessmen and young women on diets,” said Kentaro Endo, a spokesman for NTT DoCoMo.

A recent government survey found that on average, Japanese men in their 40s were fatter than they were 12 years ago, mainly due to lack of exercise, while women in the same age group were slimmer because they were more health conscious.

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