It’s estimated that approximately 30%-50% of the population is affected by chronic halitosis or oral malodor, the technical terms for ongoing bad breath. In most instances, the cause originates in the oral cavity. Improving dental hygiene is sometimes enough to remedy the situation. In practice, this means brushing at least twice-daily and flossing prior to retiring at night. However, if proper oral care is already in place, then odiferous foods and substances (alcoholic beverages, cruciferous vegetables, garlic and onions, tobacco, etc.) and/or other factors, including diabetes, gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD), medication side-effects and metabolic disorders may be involved. When in doubt, it’s best to identify the cause with the assistance of a health care professional as any underlying medical condition should be addressed and not masked.
Tags: Cinnamon, Green Tea, Probiotics
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Dental Health, Food and Drink | 2 Comments
Today I’d like to tell a tale of two oranges. Citrus sinensis, the more popular of the two, is known as “sweet orange”. The lesser known Citrus aurantium is referred to as bergamot or “bitter orange”. Although bitterness and sweetness are typically thought of as polar opposites, both of these citrus fruits have found common ground in the field of natural medicine. Over the past several years, C. aurantium and C. sinensis have been analyzed as potentially beneficial aromatherapeutic agents. In particular, scientists are investigating whether the inhalation of bitter and sweet orange oil aroma may curb anxious feelings.
Tags: Anxiety, Aromatherapy, Surgery
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Dental Health, Mental Health | 1 Comment
When investigating natural healing techniques, one must frequently consult with two disparate camps: scientists and traditional healers. Generally speaking, scientists attempt to debunk or explain how a practice works (or doesn’t) via established mechanisms and objective data. Traditional healers tend to offer an alternative view about how the body functions and historical accounts of success. When these two groups come together, quite often some degree of common ground can be found. A case in point is the ancient Indian practice known as oil pulling.
Tags: Cavities, Gingivitis, Halitosis
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Dental Health, Food and Drink | 3 Comments
Oral lichen planus (OLP) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that, as it’s name implies, affects tissue in and around the oral cavity – the esophagus, gums, palate and tongue. In most cases, it is a chronic condition that manifests itself in patches, rashes or sores that may or may not be accompanied by burning, pain and/or sensitivity. While uncomfortable, it is not contagious. In terms of long term complications, OLP may increase the risk of a specific form of cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) and, if present in the esophagus, could cause difficulty swallowing. As with many other autoimmune diseases, OLP is often managed with the judicious use of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive medications. However, a growing body of research also points to several natural and safer alternatives.
Tags: Curcumin, Green Tea, Lycopene
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Dental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 6 Comments
Among the trends spotted at this year’s Natural Products Expo West, was an attempt to make dairy or dairy-alternatives accessible to virtually everyone. To that end, some manufacturers catered to consumers who prefer organic over conventional milk. Other products offered vegan versions of cheese, milk and even yogurt. There was cream on top or unhomogenized dairy and nonfat options galore. The one common denominator was an undeniable sense that health conscience consumers want more variety in the dairy aisle.
Tags: Diabetes, Fatigue, IBS
Posted in Dental Health, Food and Drink, Nutrition | No Comments;
Television commercials advertising chewing gum tend to focus on superficial reasons to use their products. Often times, flavor is the central selling point. Fresher breath is frequently cited as part of the sales pitch as well. Lately, other novel marketing strategies such as multiple flavors per pack and unexpected flavors such as apple pie, mint-chip and piña colada have re-energized this rapidly growing segment of the candy marketplace. However, what is rarely mentioned in discussions about chewing gum is its potential to promote improved dental and mental health. That is, if you select natural, sugar-free gums that contain therapeutic ingredients.
Tags: Chewing Gum, Depression, Memory
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Dental Health, Mental Health | 4 Comments
Diseased gums and decaying teeth spell trouble far beyond the quality of a smile. Within the oral cavity lies the potential to influence everything from cardiovascular disease and diabetes to the risk of potentially life threatening infections. Good to remember if you ever wonder whether it’s truly necessary to brush and floss twice daily. Read more »
Tags: Gingivitis, Viral Infections
Posted in Dental Health, Diabetes, Heart Health | 5 Comments
There are many different writing styles. Some health reporters seek out a specific niche and stick to it. Others mine a more diverse topic base from which to select material. I tend to fall between the two camps. While researching, I allow the material that I come across in my daily life to dictate what I cover. At times this gives me the luxury of presenting a broad cross-section of information. But occasionally, what I discover prompts me to revisit select topics on a regular basis. Such is the case with research involving Vitamin D. Currently, there is a tremendous amount of scientific attention being paid to this humble “sunshine” hormone/nutrient. Some of the more dramatic data makes the evening news. Much of it does not. The latter category is the subject of my column today.
Tags: Diet and Weight Loss, Heart Health, Vitamin D
Posted in Dental Health, Diabetes, Nutritional Supplements | 3 Comments
Every now and then a story appears on the news about the house that’s the neighborhood eyesore. The lawn is dying and overrun with weeds. A rusted, broken down car is parked in the driveway. Paint is peeling from the walls and windows are boarded up. In such instances, the lack of care of that residence impacts the entire “health” of the neighborhood. The same is true of the human body. If one part of the anatomy isn’t properly cared for, it frequently affects many of the neighboring organs and systems. Read more »
Tags: Carotenoids, Heart Health, Insulin
Posted in Dental Health, Exercise, Food and Drink | 7 Comments
Garlic is one of the most commonly enjoyed seasonings in modern cuisine. There’s little doubt that many a dish benefits from it. Likewise, the health promoting attributes of garlic have been revered and utilized by civilizations for thousands of years. All that said, the after effects of Allium sativum consumption sometimes leave much to be desired. The reality is that garlic doesn’t just affect breath via the oral cavity. Recent scientific inquiries into this malodorous topic attest to the fact that certain sulfur compounds in garlic such as allyl methyl sulfide (AMS), hydrogen sulfide and methanethiol can also emanate from the gut. But you don’t necessarily need to give up garlic altogether in order to keep your colleagues, friends and mates happy. Before resorting to such extreme measures, you might consider trying out the following natural breath fresheners.
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Tags: Garlic, Green Tea, Milk
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Dental Health, Food and Drink | 5 Comments
The human body is infinitely more complex than any machine created by mankind. But it is sometimes useful to think about it in similar terms. Two of the most frequently used machines in modern life are automobiles and personal computers. In order for either of them to function efficiently, they need proper fuel (electricity and gasoline) and periodic maintenance. Fueling up a car and plugging in a lap top has become second nature in the 21st century. Unfortunately, so too has the unhealthy manner by which many people re-fuel themselves – drive-thrus, frozen dinners, etc. The trouble is that the human body doesn’t provide as immediate a response to improper nourishment as most machines do. Rather, the human organism is exceedingly resilient and can put up with years of improper care before demonstrating overt evidence of damage.
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Tags: Diet Soda, Fish Oil, Gums, Kidney Health
Posted in Dental Health, Exercise, Food and Drink | 2 Comments
It’s no secret that health status plays a major role in the overall quality of one’s life. But it doesn’t necessarily require a serious medical condition to significantly impact day-to-day life. Something as benign as chronic halitosis (bad breath) can cause stress during the most basic activities such as interacting with colleagues, family and friends. Likewise, working hard to prevent a disease like type 2 diabetes can also feel like a burden. However, both of these hurdles pale in comparison to the stress experienced by those living with a life-threatening illness such as cancer.
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Tags: Blueberries, Cancer, Xylitol
Posted in Dental Health, Diabetes | 2 Comments
There are many different writing styles. Some health reporters seek out a specific niche and stick to it. Others mine a more diverse topic base from which to select material. I tend to fall between the two camps. While researching, I allow the material that I come across in my daily life to dictate what I cover. At times this gives me the luxury of presenting a broad cross-section of information. But occasionally, what I discover prompts me to revisit select topics on a regular basis. Such is the case with research involving Vitamin D. Currently, there is a tremendous amount of scientific attention being paid to this humble “sunshine” nutrient. Some of the more dramatic data makes the evening news. Much of it does not. The latter category is the subject of my column today.
Read more »
Tags: Breast Cancer, Diet and Weight Loss
Posted in Dental Health, Diabetes, Nutritional Supplements | 8 Comments
There was a time when stress was largely considered a nuisance and little more than that. You just coped with it by blowing off some steam in one way or another. That could mean having a “drink” or five at the end of a hard day. Or maybe your crutch was cigarettes. Judging by the current obesity epidemic, it now seems that junk food has claimed top spot in the comfort providing department. But what’s changed in recent times is the awareness of how stress hormones affect our physiology. It’s not just “all in your head” any longer.
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Tags: Heart Health, Osteoporosis, Stress
Posted in Dental Health, Diabetes, Mental Health | 11 Comments
You don’t need to deprive yourself of pleasure or, worse yet, endure pain in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Why do you suppose that so many people find this hard to believe? Part of the reason is often because of disappointing experiences we’ve all had. I believe that many of these failures were likely prompted by poor advice provided by celebrated figures or so called authorities in the health care field. Then there’s the messages that we frequently see in advertisements for nutritional supplements, prescription medications, specialized exercise programs and even surgical procedures. The underlying theme is two-fold: 1) you need to buy something they’re selling in order to lose weight or otherwise regain your health; 2) you can try to do it on your own, but it’ll be very difficult and you’ll probably fail. To that, I say “nonsense”! Read more »
Tags: Dental Health, Surgery, Xylitol
Posted in Dental Health, Diabetes, Diet and Weight Loss | 12 Comments
One of the hardest “sells” in natural medicine is demonstrating that there can be substantive differences between products that seem similar. Many years ago a skeptical customer was discussing a supplement with an employee at a health food store. At that time, I was a consultant who assisted the owner of that establishment to choose which lines and products to stock. I overheard the conversation and decided to try to help out. The position of the customer was that all echinacea products should be comparably priced. His view was that they all came from the same plant, the same soil, the same planet and therefore should reflect that in their price point. My first approach was to provide details about the specific differences between the brands he was considering – variable concentrations of active ingredients, flower vs. root extracts, the scientific research conducted on certain products, etc. I was unable to sway him with that data. So I tried a different tactic. I asked, “Is it reasonable to pay the same amount for a brand new BMW as you would a used Honda Civic?” “Of course not”, he scoffed. I continued, “Why not? They’re both made with similar materials. They both have four tires and a steering wheel. You can use both cars to get to where you want to go.” Read more »
Tags: Eczema, Flu, Probiotics
Posted in Children's Health, Dental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 9 Comments