Posts Tagged ‘wellness’

Bad Breath in Kids

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009
Bad Breath in Children Can Mean a More Serious Health Issue

Bad breath in children can get worse throughout the day because as they breathe, their mouth becomes dryer, allowing bacteria to grow. Children need to see a pediatrician especially if they have to breathe out of their mouths due to colds, sinus infections, allergies, or bigger-than-average tonsils and adenoids blocking their nasal passages. Thumb sucking can also dry out the mouth.

For children, here is a list of uncommon bad breath odors that may be a sign of a much more serious health complication:

  • Acetone – diabetes or acetone, alcohol, phenol, or salicylate ingestion
  • Ammonia – possibly a urinary tract infections or kidney failure
  • Asparagus – eating asparagus (yes, it may happen)
  • Bitter almonds – cyanide poisoning
  • Cat’s urine – odor of cats syndrome (beta-methyl-crotonyl-CoA-carboxylase deficiency)
  • Celery – Oasthouse urine disease
  • Dead fish – stale fish syndrome (trimethylamine oxidase deficiency)
  • Fresh-baked bread – typhoid fever
  • Foul – tonsillitis, sinusitis, gingivitis, lung abscess, or dental cavities
  • Garlic – arsenic, phosphorus, organic phosphate insecticides, or thallium poisoning
  • Horse-like (also described as mouse-like or musty) – phenylketonuria
  • Rancid butter – rancid butter syndrome (hypermethionemia and hypertyrosinemia)
  • Raw liver – liver failure
  • Sweaty socks – odor of sweaty feet syndrome (Isovalryl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency) or sweaty feet syndrome II (Green acyldehydrogenase deficiency)
  • Violets – turpentine poisoning

Also, don’t forget that little kids often stuff things in their mouth or noses, so always pay close attention, especially if there’s discolored nasal discharge.

Source: Alan Greene MD FAAP

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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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Tooth loss may predict later-life dementia: study

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Megan Rauscher explains why the loss of your teeth may predict the loss of your sanity later in life. Lack of proper gum care causes or aggravates unhealthy gums, weakening of teeth, and eventual loss of teeth. Dr. Harold Katz, of course, has a solution. Periotherapy keeps gums healthy and teeth intact.

TheraBreath

Don’t lose your teeth, and your mind

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – To keep dementia at bay, take care of your teeth. That seems to be the message of a new study in which researchers found a possible link between tooth loss or having very few teeth — one to nine, to be exact — and the development of dementia later in life.

The research team analyzed dental records and brain function test results accumulated over 12 years for 144 people enrolled in the Nun Study – a long-term study of aging and Alzheimer’s disease among Catholic sisters of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The participants ranged in age from 75 to 98 years.

Among subjects free of dementia at the first cognitive exam, those with no teeth or fewer than nine teeth had a greater than 2-fold increased risk of becoming demented later in life compared with those who had 10 or more teeth, the researchers found.

Roughly one third of subjects with fewer than nine teeth, or no teeth, had dementia at the first cognitive exam.

Dr. Pamela Sparks Stein of the College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, and associates report their findings in The Journal of the American Dental Association.

A number of prior studies have shown that people who suffer from dementia are more likely than their cognitively intact counterparts to have poor oral health, largely due to neglect of oral hygiene.

The current study is one of only a few that asked: Does poor health contribute to the development of dementia? These results suggest it may, although the Kentucky team cautions that it is not clear from the study whether the association is “causal or casual.”

“Common underlying conditions may simultaneously contribute to both tooth loss and dementia,” Stein noted in comments to Reuters Health. In addition to gum disease, early-life nutritional deficiencies, infections or chronic diseases that may result simultaneously in tooth loss and damage to the brain, she explained.

SOURCE: Journal of the American Dental Association, October 2007.

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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.

StNickParkSmallDog.jpg

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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