BAD BREATH

by DR THOMAS RECTOR 27. March 2010 01:24

WILL YOUR FRIENDS TELL YOU?   (Or Ewwww.....That Smell)

One of the most common questions we get in our office is - What causes bad breath? Ironically, many times the question comes not from the offender, but from a long suffering spouse or family member. There are many causes of bad breath (which we call “halitosis”) - some can be quite serious, but most are not. While many people have decided to just hold their nose and live with it, the good news is diagnosing and treating bad breath is something that can be easily treated.

I have included a list, in no particular order, of the reasons people may be slowly backing up during conversations:

     FOODS CONTAINING PUNGENT OILS Yes - garlic and onions are very healthy, but they also contain oils which cause unhealthy reactions to those around you. These odors come from the lungs, last up to 72 hours, and are very tough to cover up. Mints, gum, and rinses work best - or make sure everyone around you has had the same yummy food as well!!

      ROUTINE ILLNESS Colds, sore throats, coughs and sinus infections all cause that yucky smelling mucus (or snot, depending on your age), to get trapped in our mouths, throats, and noses, which causes foul breath until the illness is gone. Of course, if you have one of these contagious infections you shouldn’t be that close to someone anyway! If a sinus infection, sore throat, cough or cold lasts for more than a few days to a week, you should obviously see your physician to make sure things aren’t of a more serous nature.

      DRY MOUTH A dry mouth lets dead cells accumulate on your gums, cheeks, and especially tongue. While morning breath is perfectly normal, it shouldn’t last all day. Those who snore, mouth-breathe, take certain medications, or even have lasted into middle age are prone to a dry mouth. 

     SMOKING Smoking dries out your mouth (see above) and also tobacco just plain stinks. If lung cancer and heart disease aren’t reason enough to quit smoking, maybe a constant foul mouth will help you make that life-saving decision.

     CHRONIC DISEASE Many serious diseases such as lung infections, kidney failure, diabetes, GERD, anorexia, bulimia and many others can cause very specific types of halitosis. The good news is that these are on the rare side, but if suspected, should be seen immediately by a physician.

     POOR DENTAL HYGIENE AND GUM DISEASE Ahhh.... this is our favorite! Not because we like people to have poor dental hygiene, but because this is the most common cause of bad breath and we can usually treat very easily. Gum disease, which usually starts with poor brushing and flossing habits, as well as a lack of routine dental visits, can do much more than make your mouth stinky. In just a short period of time, gum disease can advance and eat away at the gums and bone which hold your teeth in place. The result? Loose, unstable teeth which will eventually be lost if not treated. Catching gum disease early is imperative, since treatment can be very conservative. Wait too long and it gets much more difficult, extensive, and expensive. To add insult to injury, the latest research suggests that gum disease may be contagious. Does that mean bad breath may be contagious? The answer is YES!!!! 

Bad breath is not normal. Seeing your dentist and dental hygienist on a routine basis is your best bet for making sure your teeth and gums stay healthy, your smile stays bright, and your breath doesn’t cause others to run in the opposite direction. If you have any questions about this topic or any others concerning you or someone you care about, please feel free to call Dr. Thomas Rector or Dr. Lynn Marshall at 765-288-1307. Our entire dental team are here to help you.

Our website: www.drthomasrector.com  also contains information that you will certainly find useful.

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Blog | General Patient Information

CAVITIES ON THE RISE - DUE TO WHAT?

by DR THOMAS RECTOR 16. March 2010 04:49

CAVITIES ON THE RISE - DUE TO WHAT?

 A product that most people consider to be healthy is actually increasing the prevalence of dental decay among children and adults. For the first time in many years, cavity rates are up and many dentists are reporting that adult patients who didn’t appear to be cavity-prone are showing up with decay around existing fillings and crowns. Decay is increasing significantly in otherwise healthy teeth - something that for a while has seemed pretty rare in adults. The culprit? Many researchers believe it is bottled water. While most of us know that drinking sugar loaded soft drinks and their sneaky cousins, the “sports drink,” can lead to dental disaster, we often forget that unlike tap water, bottled water does not contain fluoride.

The CDC reports that bottled water has become so prevalent in the diets of American children and adults that many are not getting the recommended amounts of fluoride. According to the International Bottle Water Association, bottled water consumption has recently doubled and the average American now drinks thirty gallons per year. Believing that is healthier, many patients are not only having their children drink bottled water, they are preparing baby formula with it too. So the million dollar question is - what should we do? Simple, we suggest you drink tap water whenever possible. Not only will you save money, you will be doing your teeth a big favor! Of course make sure you brush with a fluoride toothpaste and floss every day. If you have water that is not fluoridated (such as well water) or for some other reason are not getting the fluoride you need, please stop in for a quick visit. Many times we recommend special rinses or prescription fluoride so you can keep your teeth cavity free! Please discuss any concerns you may have with Dr. Rector or Dr. Marshall. Our fantastic hygienists ; Mary, Jill, Cindy, and Tammy are also great sources for your questions and concerns.

At Thomas C. Rector DDS and Associates, we are here for you! Please make sure you are getting the most up-to-date information on your health and other great stuff as well by becoming a Facebook fan and following us on Twitter. Our website is packed with information about your dental health and is very easy to navigate. www.drthomasrector.com

WWW.TWITTER.COM/THOMASRECTORDDS

 www.facebook.com/pages/Muncie-In/DR-THOMAS-C-RECTOR-MUNCIE-IN-FAMILY-DENTIST/189440744662

Please call us at 765-288-1307 with any comments or suggestions or to schedule an appointment.

BURNING MOUTH SYNDROME (BMS)

by Drthomasrector 18. January 2010 02:53

BURNING MOUTH SYNDROME (BMS)
by Thomas C Rector DDS Muncie In Family Dentist

 Many of my patients ask me about the burning they have in their mouth.  It is sometimes an extremely painful and chronic condition for which no medical or dental cause can be found.  We frequently go through the process of excluding all other possibilities of the pain source before arriving at a diagnosis.  Often these patients experience anxiety, depression, and frustration, which is completely understandable.

BMS is commonly asociated with xerostomia,(dry mouth). Statistics show BMS to be approximately 33 times more common in women than in men and usually appear during or after menopause.  The most common cause of BMS is local irritation, such as, cigarette smoke or certain foods that are high in citric content.  The second-most common cause is candidiasis. Many side effects of the physician prescribed medications are a common source of BMS. Often, the early onset of the common cold or other associated viral infections may lead to BMS.  Another, sometimes overlooked, cause is vitamin B12 deficiency.  New research has found a chain of events leading to BMS can be initiated at menopause by a drastic drop in the levels of certain steroids. This leads to neurodegenerative alterations of small nerve fibers of the oral mucosa and/or some brain areas involved in oral somatic sensations. The changes then become irreversible and cause the symptoms of BMS. This would explain why women are more susceptible to this condition. Wonderful, who ever coined the phrase "The Golden Years" was probably only 25.

Whatever the cause, once we have arrived at the diagnosis of BMS, the first step in managing it is to eliminate all potential local and systemic factors that may have led to the disorder. This includes smoking and medication, if feasible. It is of paramount importance to reassure my patients that his or her search for a cause and a cure is over.

"I frequently tell my patients, no, it's not all in your head, and no, you don't have cancer and you're not going to die." The next step involves treating the symptoms. Some evidence does indicates that both tricyclic amines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can control the pain associated with BMS. However, antidepressant use can prompt its own significant side effects, including sleepiness, dizziness, and cardiac concern.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has also been shown in both anecdotal and experimental reports to reduce symptoms of BMS, particularly when combined with medication.  Often patients can be referred to a psychologist for this form of therapy. The primary goal is to teach patients not to focus on their symptoms. Alpha-lipoic acid can also be effective for reducing BMS symptoms. It is used at a dosage of 300 mg twice a day for three weeks, followed by 300 mg once a day. Alpha lipoic acid is a fatty acid found naturally inside every cell in the body. It's needed by the body to produce the energy for our body's normal functions. Alpha lipoic acid converts glucose (blood sugar) into energy. Alpha lipoic acid is made by the body and can be found in very small amounts in foods such as spinach, broccoli, peas, Brewer's yeast, brussel sprouts, rice bran, and organ meats. You can buy alpha lipoic acid at any health food store.

In conclusion, many of you may have experienced signs and symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome in your lifetime.  Thankfully, it usually is gone as quickly as it arrived.  But, for those unfortunate few, don't be discouraged, BMS is not a disease.  You cannot pass it on to your loved ones. It is condition that may be a direct result of our "modern medicine" itself.  More research is being done daily, I will keep everyone informed.

NEW ANTICAVITY MOUTHWASH

by DR THOMAS RECTOR 28. December 2009 00:29

An interesting article I just read on Dr. Bicuspid is the type of information I like to share with my patients. It is as follows: New mouthwash offers targeted caries protection. A research team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) has developed a new mouthwash formulation that may provide long-term protection against tooth decay. The team, led by Dong Wang, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmaceutical science in the UNMC College of Pharmacy, has developed a novel drug delivery system to carry antimicrobial agents directly to teeth. The formulation is designed to bind to the tooth surface and gradually release antimicrobials against cavity-forming bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans, Wang and his colleagues said. Their study was published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (November 2009, Vol. 53:11, pp. 4898-4902). "The beauty of this design is the simplicity," Wang said in a university press release. "All one may have to do is their routine oral hygiene procedure and then rinse with the formulation that we have developed. It could protect the teeth over a long period of time. The general research theme here is to manipulate the drug concentration at its intended action sites." Based upon the same principle, Wang's research group also explored the potential of using the drug delivery systems that they have developed to improve the treatment of arthritis, cancer, and other inflammatory diseases. 

I will follow this closely.  I have several patients that could potentially benefit from this new research.

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Whats new in dentistry | General Patient Information

PERIODONTAL DISEASE AND HEART DISEASE

by DR THOMAS RECTOR 28. December 2009 00:18

I CAME ACROSS THIS ARTICLE FROM DR BICUSPID.  I THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE SOME OF THE MORE IMPORTANT ASPECTS FROM THE ARTICLE.  THIS IS VERY INTERESTING. HOPE YOU ENJOY!

 
Periodontitis and Cardiovascular Disease:
A Consensus

In recent years, the link between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been investigated by several research groups. For example, one meta-analysis showed an increased prevalence of coronary artery disease in patients with periodontitis, and another revealed that periodontitis is a risk factor for cerebrovascular disease (an analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and its Epidemiologic Follow-up Study). In addition, subclinical atherosclerosis (an underlying cause of CVD), evidenced by increased carotid artery wall thickness, has often been reported in patients with periodontitis.

Although these studies suggest that patients with a history of periodontal disease have a higher risk for CVD, no clear evidence of a causative role between the two conditions has been demonstrated. Despite this, the relationship between periodontitis and CVD is important enough that an editors’ consensus report was published simultaneously in the Journal of Periodontology and the American Journal of Cardiology. Clinical recommendations to cardiologists and periodontists were reported that aim to reduce the potential risk of a cardiovascular event for patients with periodontitis, and to optimize periodontal care for patients with CVD. It recommends various interventions, ranging from referral to clinical evaluation to lifestyle change, and/or pharmacologic therapy.

Possible Mechanisms for the Association between Periodontitis and Cardiovascular Disease

Inflammation is believed to be an integrative factor related to both periodontitis and atherosclerotic CVD. Periodontitis is a bacterially induced chronic inflammatory disease; its progression depends on environmental, genetic, and acquired risk factors. Moderate to severe forms of periodontitis are associated with increased systemic inflammation. In CVD, inflammation is involved from the very early stages of atherosclerosis (development of atherosclerotic plaque), and continues to play a role in cardiovascular complications. It was previously shown that elevated levels of an inflammatory biomarker, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), is an independent predictor of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Consequently, the incidence of cardiovascular events is increased in the presence of chronic inflammatory conditions, including periodontitis. Moreover, bacterial infection may be another direct link between periodontal and cardiovascular diseases; the same species of gram-negative anaerobic bacteria are found in periodontal pockets and in atherosclerotic plaques. These include smoking, diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, major depression, physical inactivity, older age, male gender, and family history of disease.

Future Research

These recommendations signal an important turning point in bringing science to the public health before an ultimate causative study is conducted. However, the consensus panel agreed on future research avenues required to define the relationship between periodontitis and atherosclerotic CVD.1 Namely, the question of whether periodontitis is an independent risk factor for CVD needs further assessment.

The bottom line is to not only take care of your teeth, but to take care of your entire body; everything is connected!

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Blog | General Patient Information

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