Nearly all bad breath originates from the mouth,
mostly from the surface of the tongue, below
the gum line, between the teeth and other hard to reach
areas. The mouth is normally inhabited by bacteria and
the balance between the different kinds of bacteria
determines the quality of your breath. The odor causing
bacteria are anaerobic which means they cannot live
in the presence of oxygen. These anaerobic bacteria
inhabit the surface of the tongue by residing between
the papillae of the tongue which is oxygen deficient
i.e. they live "within" the tongue. These bacteria cannot
be removed completely with a tongue scraper and will
recolonize the mouth following antibody therapy. These
naturally occurring bacteria feed on proteins (oral
debris) and produce volatile sulfur compounds (VSC)
as a by-product of metabolism causing the malodor of
bad breath. Read
Each year in the
US, approximately 30,000 people are diagnosed with
oral cancer. Worldwide the problem is far greater,
with new cases annually approaching 300,000. Mouth
cancer, tongue cancer, and throat cancer fall under
the category of Oral cancer. In the US alone, a
person dies from oral cancer every hour of every
day. When found early, oral cancers have an 80 to
90 % cure rate. Unfortunately, the majority are
found at late stage cancers, accounting for the
very high death rate. .Of those 30,000 newly diagnosed
individuals, only half will be alive in 5 years.
The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that
of cervical cancer, Hodgkins disease, cancer of
the brain, liver, testes, kidney, or skin cancer
(malignant melanoma). Read More...
A canker sore is an ulcer (open sore) in the mouth,
appearing as either a painful white (yellow) sore surrounded
by a reddish grey border could be a canker sore which
is quite different than a fever blister or herpes. The
medical term for canker sores are Apthous Stomatitis.
These apthous ulcers are usually small (1-5 mm), appearing
either solitary or as a cluster of small ulcers. They
can however sometimes be larger (5-10mm). Read More...
Many people are not aware
that Fever Blisters and Cold Sores both refer to the
same thing, an infection on the lips caused by the human
herpes simplex virus, usually type 1 (HSV-1).
The medical term is known as oral herpes. A cold sore
typically begins as an itch, tingle, or tenderness to
the touch (prodrome), and progresses on to become a
skin eruption. As the disease progresses, small fluid
filled vesicles may form and join together.
These eventually break
due to disease progression and form ulcers. The ulcers
may weep fluid when they are open. They are very contagious
at this time. The ulcers then scab over and heal spontaneously
without complications in 7-14 days. Read More...
Burning Mouth Syndrome is characterized by a burning pain
in the tongue, lips, or other oral sites, usually without any known
source. About 1.3 million American adults suffer from burning mouth
syndrome, most being pre-menopausal women. Symptoms that are also
experienced by affected patients are dry
mouth and taste alterations. Most patients will awaken without
pain or symptoms, but note increasing sensations throughout their
day. In addition to the symptoms experienced, chronic anxiety or
depression, nutritional deficiencies, type 2 diabetes, and changes
in salivary function are other conditions that have been reported.
However, according to the February 2002 article written by Grushka,
Epstein, and Gorsky of the American Academy of Family Physicians,
these conditions have not been consistently linked to the syndrome
and their treatment has had little impact on burning mouth symptoms.
Studies have pointed to the dysfunction of several cranial nerves
associated with taste sensation as a possible cause of burning mouth
syndrome. Some effective treatments for patients include low dosages
of benzodiazepines, tricyclic antidepressants, or anticonvulsants,
and topical capsaicin (American Family Physician 2002;65:615).
mouth refers to the perception of oral dryness,
usually due to the lack of normal salivary secretions.
Millions suffer from "Dry Mouth"! It is a common
problem and a growing problem. It not only impairs
general health, but may also dramatically affect
the quality of life. Xerostomia
or dry mouth comes from a reduced flow of saliva. We
have all experienced some degree of dry mouth. Normal
dry mouth commonly occurs in the morning when we
wake as our saliva flow decreases when we sleep.
Saliva is produced by 3 main salivary glands and
many minor salivary glands that are scattered throughout
the mouth. Dry mouth occurs when these glands do
not function properly. Read More...
than 37 million Americans suffer from at least one episode of
acute sinusitis each year. The prevalence of sinusitis has
soared in the last decade due to increased pollution, urban
sprawl, and increased resistance to antibiotics. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the membrane lining of any sinus,
especially one of the paranasal sinuses. Acute sinusitis is a short-term
condition that responds well to antibiotics and decongestants; chronic
sinusitis is characterized by at least four recurrences of acute
sinusitis. Either medication or surgery is a possible treatment.
Post nasal drip is an unscientific
term that refers to the sensation of thick phlegm in the throat,
which can become infected. It is annoying because normally the throat
is moistened by the nasal secretions and throat mucous glands. This
is part of the mucous - nasal cilia system that defends us from
disease. When the amount of liquid secreted by the nose and sinus
is reduced, and the cilia of the nose and sinus slow down, the fluid
thickens and you become aware of its presence. Since the thick phlegm
associated with post nasal drip is unpleasant and often infected
because it is "just laying there" and not moving, our bodies naturally
try to get rid of it, to the annoyance of our partners. Whether
post nasal drip is caused by pollution, chemical exposure, or severe
infection, the treatment requires that the cilia mucous system be
brought back to normal.