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healthbriefs


Causes of Halitosis and Bad Breath


by Dr. Bernice Teplitsky F


or most people, bad breath is caused by the accumulation of bacteria around the gums. Whenever we eat and food is not eliminated from the mouth, bacteria start digesting the leftover meal. If that debris isn’t eliminated within 24 to 48 hours, it starts decomposing, simi-


lar to the garbage pail in our house that is full of food and hasn’t been taken out in a few days. A proper brushing and flossing regimen can help decrease the foul odor. Smelly bacteria can also accumulate on the tongue. Use a tongue scraper or brush the tongue with a toothbrush to eliminate more bad-smelling bugs, especially if we can see that our tongue is anything other than a healthy pink color (especially if it contains a white, green, or yellow coating). Lastly, we can use a mouth rinse to help kill the bacteria. For a natural mouth rinse, try a capful of hydrogen peroxide mixed with a cup of water, a few drops of medical-grade peppermint essential oil in water or a product called tooth and gum tonic. It is very important to see as dentist at regularly scheduled intervals to ensure a healthy, bacteria-free, mouth.


For more information about bad breath, visit BerniceTeplitskyDDS.com. See ad in the Community Resource Guide.


Turmeric Acts Against Cancer T


E


COFFEE AND VISION LOSS LINKED


asing up on java consumption or switching to decaf may be a wise


move for coffee lovers, according to a scientific paper published in Investiga- tive Ophthalmology & Visual Science. The study links heavy consumption of the caffeinated beverage to an in- creased risk of developing exfoliation glaucoma, a condition in which fluid builds up inside the eye and puts pres- sure on the optic nerve. This leads to some vision loss and in serious cases, total blindness. Researchers obtained data from


hroughout history, the spice turmeric has been a favored seasoning for curries


and other Indian dishes. Its pungent flavor is also known to offer medicinal qualities— turmeric has been used for centuries to treat osteoarthritis and other illnesses because its active ingredient, curcumin, can inhibit inflammation. A new study led by a research team


at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, in Munich, Germany, has shown that tur- meric can also restrict the formation of metastases and help keep prostate cancer in check. The researchers discovered that curcumin decreases the expression of two pro-inflammatory proteins associated with tumor cells and noted that both pros-


tate and breast cancer are linked to inflammation. The study further noted that curcumin is, in principle, suitable for both prophylactic use (primary prevention) and for the suppression of metastases in cases where an established tumor is already present (secondary prevention).


24 Chicago North & North Shore www.NAChicagoNorth.com


78,977 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 41,202 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study that focused on caffeinated coffee, tea and cola servings. They found that drinking three or more cups of caffein- ated coffee daily was linked with an increased risk of developing the eye condition, especially for women with a family history of glaucoma. However, the researchers did not find associa- tions with consumption of decaffein- ated tea, chocolate or coffee. “Because this is the first [such]


study, confirmation of the U.S. results in other populations would be needed to lend more credence to the possibil- ity that caffeinated coffee might be a modifiable risk factor for glaucoma,” says Doctor of Science Jae Hee Kang, of the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, Massachusetts. “It may also lead to research into other dietary or lifestyle risk factors.”


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