Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Fissured tongue, dry mouth lead to bad, bad breath

Nearly every part of your mouth - from your gums and teeth to your palate and tonsils - can cause bad breath, and the tongue is no exception. For most people, the tongue is a prime breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria, but among people with lingua plicata, this problem can combine with dry mouth to create truly exceptional halitosis.

Unusual pleats

Also known as "fissured tongue," lingua plicata is a condition in which the surface of the tongue has many deep grooves in it. (Plicata comes from the Latin for "pleated.") It's not to be confused with geographic tongue, a similar condition that causes map-like cracks and discolorations on the tongue - though the two can occur together.

Fissured tongue is actually more common than you might think. According to Medscape Reference, between 2 and 5 percent of Americans have lingua plicata. Besides occurring in normally developed people, fissured tongue is especially prominent in individuals with Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome and those with Down syndrome.

It can also happen spontaneously due to medical treatment. For instance, a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal describes the case of a 30-year-old woman who developed lingua plicata and dry mouth after chemotherapy.

Fissured tongue does not cause any pain, fortunately, but it may entail other issues, including bad breath. The reason is plain: These grooves in the tongue give microbes shelter from many mouth-cleansing products.

Fissures ferment funk

As is the case with even a normal tongue, any little cracks or divots that microorganisms can squeeze into give them a place to set up shop. This is why dry mouth often leaves a scum on your tongue - the white film is a bacterial buildup that is best removed with a specialty tongue scraper.

For people with fissured tongue, these scrapers are more important than ever. Most oral health experts recommend that people with lingua plicata expand and flatten the tongue while using a scraper, for optimal gunk removal.

But the specialty regimen shouldn't end there. With even the most vigilant scraping routine, some microbes will remain deep in the pleats of a "plicated" tongue. Another method of attack is in order - namely, a specialty oxygenating mouthwash.

Such products make life hell for oral bacteria. Oxygenation is to the tongue as salt is to soil: It makes it difficult for anything to grow there. Then there's the fact that specialty mouthwashes avoid alcohol and sodium lauryl sulfate, two common irritants that do nothing more than cause dry mouth and canker sores. Instead, all-natural ingredients do all the dirty work, busting bacteria without causing redness or allergic reactions.

Does fissured tongue require treatment?

It doesn't. Most dentists say that lingua plicata is a harmless condition, since it isn't painful or degenerative. However, breath experts have a different take on this issue. After all, anything that allows bacterial growth and causes halitosis isn't harmless, even if it seems so.

Microbes are the cause of most instances of bad breath, assisted in many cases by a dry mouth. In patients with lingua plicata, both of these problems are more common.

In this context, then, a fissured tongue does need management (if not "treatment" in the curative sense). This means:

- Regularly brushing the tongue and teeth with an oxygenating toothpaste

- Using a specialty breath freshening tongue scraper

- Gargling with an alcohol-free mouthwash twice a day, and

- Using an oral care probiotics kit to discourage the growth of odor-causing microbes.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

For bad breath, removing tonsil stones works better than removing teeth

Imagine going to sleep in the dentist's chair and waking up without any teeth. This nightmare really happened for one Polish man! 

Teeth are one of the primary causes of bad breath. Between plaque buildup, tartar, tooth decay and infections of the dental root (e.g. periodontal disease), the pearly whites are prime breeding grounds for bacteria and bad breath. Even so, that's no reason to pull them. Removing tonsil stones may ease oral odor, but removing teeth doesn't do anything - except scare people out of their wits.

Is there any reason to yank out all of someone's teeth?

Being dumped for someone else, apparently - that's the motive that an Austrian dentist recently cited after she pulled out all her ex-boyfriends chompers. Every single one.

An odontophobe's worst nightmare

According to the Austrian Times, 34-year-old Anna Mackowiak, a practicing dentist in Wroclaw, Poland, is facing malpractice charges. What possessed her to yank her ex's pearly whites out? The one-time boyfriend, 45-year-old Marek Olszewski, had left her for another woman - and then, just weeks later, came into Mackowiak's office with a toothache.

Evidently, the temptation was just too great for the spurned dentist.

"I tried to be professional and detach myself from my emotions," she told the news organization. "But when I saw him lying there, I just thought, 'What a bastard' and decided to take all his teeth out."

Mackowiak proceeded to do just that. After putting her ex under with a heavy dose of anesthetic, she systematically extracted all of his teeth, then bandaged him up and sent him home. (Talk about removing the nose, er, teeth to spite the face.)

Toothless venom

It didn't take Olszewski long to figure out that something was up.

"I didn't have any reason to doubt her, I mean I thought she was a professional," he told the newspaper. "But when I got home I looked in the mirror and couldn't f---ing believe it."

Shortly afterward, his new girlfriend left him.

There are a few lessons to be learned here. (1) Removing tonsil stones eases sour breath; removing someone's teeth is sweet revenge (and very, very creepy). (2) People with odontophobia - a fear of dentists - have a new nightmare scenario to wrangle with. And (3) if you dump a dentist, it's probably best to go to any other dental practitioner you can find. Literally any other.

Just to be safe. Yeesh.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Quick and Natural Cure for Tonsil Stones

Tonsilloliths or tonsil stones occur when particles of food are mixed with mucus and are impacted in the throat area. When acted upon by bacteria, a sticky substance around the tonsils is produced and together with dead cells and the substance calcium, will form tonsil stones. The good news is that these stones can be easily prevented and cured with the use of organic and natural remedies and don’t require the use of surgery or any medicine like high-dose antibiotics.

When these tonsil stones get stuck in the tonsils, a series of inflammatory events occur which causes tonsillitis. This is a combination of swollen tonsils, sore throat, reddish tonsils, and fever and inflammation. Tonsils may result to systemic and other illnesses and also affects the quality of life. The good news is that there are some remedies available for the quick cure of tonsil stones.

1. Salt solution gargles provide a soothing and relieving effect to the inflamed tonsils. The warm saline solution when gargled at least twice daily can also lower the inflammation.

2. Apple cider vinegar mixed in water can also be used as a gargle and is an efficient solution to loosen up tonsil stones allowing easy removal by using a cotton swab.

3. Gargle made out of Hydrogen peroxide is prepared by diluting it with water to decrease its strength. This will soften the tonsil mucosa, loosen the tonsil stone, and make it easy to be removed with the use of cotton swab or water pik.

4. The use of Iodine as a component in gargles is also proven effective since Iodine is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

5. Extra virgin coconut oil can also be used for gargling. This is now considered one of the most popular home remedy used by many people. This natural remedy tones down the inflammatory response of the tonsils in the formation of the tonsil stones. This procedure is repeated thrice to five times daily to reduce the inflammation and avoid the need of taking any antibiotic. Surgery is not to be used in children who have undergone tonsil stones diagnosis.

6. Garlic clove is also great to use since this common kitchen ingredient also has anti-bacterial and antibiotic properties.

7. Tonsillitis tea reduces the inflammation and relieves the pain felt by the individual.
Tonsils stones may result to infection of the tonsils therefore it is best to get rid of them at once. The natural means of removing the stones are better since these are believed to be safe and can easily cure the inflammation that goes together with having these tonsilloliths.

Friday, 13 April 2012

On How Oral Hygiene Affects Tonsil Stones and other Health Problems

There is a need for us to be well aware of the different bodily activities that occur within and outside of us. In the end, it is your own body that we are talking about so you need to be responsible for anything that would happen.  This also means that you should be familiar with the many diseases that you might encounter.  There are sure a lot of them that you are not familiar with, and you need to be now.  You might not know, but you already have it.  By being informed, you can be a few steps ahead and resolve them before it worsens.  One of these diseases that you should be wary of are tonsil stones.

At first glance, you would not really be totally familiar as to what a tonsil stone.  Well, with the fact that you are not familiar with it gives you the right to be unaware of how to deal with it.  Tonsil stones or also known as tonsilloliths are concentrations that are formed in the tonsil area.  They are white in color and resemble stones, hence the name.  Once these stones grow in number and populate your tonsil area, it can cause a lot of problems.  They can cause inflammation, pain, and infection.  Worse than that is the fact that it can lead to other oral health problems like gum disease and periodontitis.

With that in mind, you may be wondering what exactly causes these tonsil stone formations.  An efficient way of explaining this is through a chronology.  On a general perspective, tonsil stones are formed due to bad bacteria that populate the tonsil area.  How are these bacteria formed then?  This happens when there are food particles that have not been thoroughly cleaned from the cavity.  Lastly, where do these food particles come from?  It can be from your recent luncheon or a wonderful date wherein you forgot to rinse your mouth afterwards.  Hence, tonsil stones start from the inherent negligence of cleaning your mouth regularly.

As for the question on how to get rid of tonsil stones, the answer is pretty self explanatory.  As mentioned a while ago, forgetting your responsibilities towards your oral health causes this condition.  A simple brushing of teeth done regularly could actually be the solution that you are looking for.  Once you are well assured that you clean your mouth every after meals or at a regular rate, rest assured that any other infections would not come along.

Tonsil stones only become a real pain when you neglect it.  In general, all oral health problems stem from the idea that we do not maintain our oral cavity consistently.  When there is regular maintenance, you are assured that you have your mouth protected from any disease.  There are lots of medications available out there, but nothing beats the effectiveness of proper oral hygiene.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Removing tonsil stones doesn't have to be a surgical affair

So you've got tonsil stones. Do you need to go ahead and have a tonsillectomy? The answer is almost certainly no. 

If you occasionally discover that you've got tonsil stones in the back of your throat, it can be tempting to want to do something radical to make sure you never have them again. Occasionally, some oral health professionals suggest getting a tonsillectomy as a way to avoid suffering from these little, white, bad-breath-causing objects. But removing tonsil stones doesn't have to involve resorting to an operation.

In fact, all you really need is a good alcohol-free specialty mouth rinse and some patience. That way you can keep your tonsils, freshen your breath, eliminate tonsil stones and skip the surgery.

A recent issue of the Albany Times Union brought up the issue of when tonsillectomies are necessary. In an article written for the newspaper's High School section, senior Jennifer O'Connor described suffering from strep throat. She wrote that her tonsils have gotten quite large and folded, which perpetually gives her tonsil stones.

Having wrinkled, pocketed folds in the back of your throat is a condition called cryptic tonsils. "I read about it and I guess it’s a fairly common problem," O'Connor explained. "People that have this issue usually get their tonsils out, so I knew it was inevitable."

There's where she's wrong. It is quite true that cryptic tonsils can make it easier to develop small, white, sticky stones - also known as tonsilloliths - that can make breath smell awful. But people rarely get a tonsillectomy as a way of removing tonsil stones.

In fact, in general this operation has become less and less common. An article published in the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences explained that the tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy (T&A) was once extremely common: "Between 1915 and the 1960s, T&A was the most frequently performed surgical procedure in the United States."

However, evidence for the utility of these surgeries declined. Whereas doctors once thought that the tonsils were the place where bacteria entered the body - "portals of infection," they called them - today, we know that these organs are a vital part of the immune response to pathogens.

So, yes, seriously infected tonsils may warrant surgery. But if you simply have chronic bad breath and tonsil stones, your best bet may be to take care of your oral health with specialty toothpastes, mouthwashes and mouth-wetting lozenges.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Tonsil Stones Diagnosis

Diagnosis is usually made upon inspection. Differential diagnosis of tonsilloliths includes foreign body, calcified granuloma, malignancy, an enlarged styloid process or rarely, isolated bone which is usually derived from embryonic rests originating from the branchial arches.

Tonsilloliths are difficult to diagnose in the absence of clear manifestations, and often constitute casual findings of routine radiological studies.

Imaging diagnostic techniques can identify a radiopaque mass that may be mistaken for foreign bodies, displaced teeth or calcified blood vessels. Computed tomography (CT) may reveal nonspecific calcified images in the tonsillar zone. The differential diagnosis must be established with acute and chronic tonsillitis, tonsillar hypertrophy, peritonsillar abscesses, foreign bodies, phlebolites, ectopic bone or cartilage, lymph nodes, granulomatous lesions or calcification of the stylohyoid ligament in the context of Eagle syndrome (elongated styloid process).

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Tonsil Stones Pathophysiology

The mechanism by which these calculi form is subject to debate, though they appear to result from the accumulation of material retained within the crypts, along with the growth of bacteria and fungi – sometimes in association with persistent chronic purulent tonsillitis.
Recently, an association between biofilms and tonsilloliths was shown. Central to the biofilm concept is the assumption that bacteria form a three dimensional structure; dormant bacteria being in the center to serve as a constant nidus of infection. This impermeable structure renders the biofilm immune to antibiotic treatment. By use of confocal microscopy and microelectrodes, biofilms similar to dental biofilms were shown to be present in the tonsillolith, with oxygen respiration at the outer layer of tonsillolith, denitrification toward the middle, and acidification toward the bottom.