NOVEMBER 2016 ;e Costco Connection 87
BY DR. LAURA SHARBASH
DID YOU know that
having strong, healthy
teeth and gums not only
helps your teeth last longer, it also promotes
Bad breath, or halitosis, is most commonly
due to poor oral hygiene.
Other factors, such as dry mouth, tobacco
products, oral/dental infections and different
types of foods (such as garlic and onions),
also lead to unpleasant mouth odor. In addition, some health problems can cause bad
breath, such as postnasal drip, sinus infections, sore throat, tonsil infections or stones,
and stomach problems.
Unhealthy choices—poor oral hygiene,
poor nutrition, heavy consumption of alcohol
and smoking—may lead to halitosis and peri-odontitis, a disease of the bone and gums.
People who are on long-term medications, which often cause dry mouth, or xero-stomia, may also develop bad breath, because
natural saliva will not be available to wash
away oral bacteria.
The good news is you do not need a
miracle to achieve fresh breath and healthy
teeth and gums. The trick is to go back to
basics; daily tooth brushing, use of mouthwash and flossing help eliminate bad breath.
That fuzzy texture you feel when you rub
your tongue on the front of your teeth after a
meal is bacteria. When bacteria are not prop-
erly removed from your teeth, they will con-
tinue to feed on sugars that are found in
foods and beverages and continue to multi-
ply, forming plaque that builds up on tooth
surfaces. As bacteria begin to break down the
food particles, they produce a compound
called sulfur, which causes bad breath.
The most effective way to remove the
odor-causing plaque from tooth surfaces is
thorough brushing and proper flossing.
Alcohol-free mouthwash does help in
eliminating bad breath. Using mouthwash in
conjunction with proper tooth brushing—
twice a day, for two minutes each time—and
flossing daily will greatly help in eliminating
Gum and mints may temporarily mask
the odor of bacteria. However, if the source of
the bacteria and toxins is not correctly
removed, the bad breath will not go away.
Make sure to schedule biannual visits to
your dentist and hygienist for cleaning and
checkups. If you notice bad breath, make sure
you tell them, as they will help you develop
good oral hygiene habits. Be sure to learn
proper tooth and tongue brushing techniques, as well as flossing, to help keep your
teeth and gums healthy for years to come and
help you smile confidently. C
Dr. Laura Sharbash is a general dentist at
Seidner Dentistry & Associates (randolphnj
ACCORDING TO a National Institutes of
Health guide about healthy sleeping, people
with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) experience repeated incidents of complete or partial
blockage of the throat for short periods during sleep, possibly occurring as often as 30
times or more an hour.
Sleep quality is affected by these events,
which could lead to daytime sleepiness. The
blood oxygen level is also affected, potentially
contributing to high blood pressure and heart
disease if it is left untreated.
OSA signs and symptoms
Most people who have OSA don’t realize
it without the observations of a family member or bed partner. Watch for:
• Loud ongoing snoring; may have pauses,
followed by gasping or choking.
• Morning headaches, dry mouth and/or
• Daytime sleepiness.
• Memory or learning problems; trouble
• Feeling irritable or depressed; mood or
• Frequent waking to urinate.
Who is at risk?
• Nearly half of the people with this sleep
condition are overweight and/or have high
• People with small air ways (nose, mouth,
throat) are at increased risk; also children
with enlarged tonsils.
• Research shows men are more likely to
have OSA than women.
• A family history of OSA increases risk.
How is OSA diagnosed?
There is no simple test for OSA. Your
doctor can diagnose the condition based on a
physical exam, a review of your medical and
family history and the results of a sleep study.
You may be asked to keep a sleep diary
for a few weeks, describing your sleep routine
in precise detail.
Talk with your doctor about your sleep
concerns. OSA treatment is dependent on the
cause, and may include lifestyle changes, use
of special breathing devices or surgery.
• National Institutes of Health,
(search for Your Guide to Healthy Sleep).
• American Sleep Apnea Association,
equals fresh breath
FOR YOUR HEALTH
THE COSTCO CONNECTION
Costco carries a variety of manual and
electric toothbrushes, toothpaste,
mouthwash, floss, dental picks and more
in the warehouse and on Costco.com.