Thursday, March 21, 2013

Is Dry Mouth More Than Just A Nuisance?

Is Dry Mouth More Than Just A Nuisance?

For those with chronic dry mouth (that feeling that there is not enough saliva in the mouth), they know it's more than a nuisance. The salivary glands are not working properly. Not only does it affect chewing, swallowing, enjoying certain foods, digestion and even speech, it also affects teeth.

Dry mouth (xerostomia) can cause cavities. Most people may experience dry mouth from time to time if they are nervous or under stress. However, dry mouth that is persistent is not normal, it is not part of aging and it is not good. The saliva in the mouth washes away food particles and acts as a neutralizer for the acids in the mouth that cause decay of tooth enamel. 

Without the necessary saliva, the propensity for teeth to get cavities is greater. Without saliva, the mouth is more prone to bacterial and fungal infections. Saliva also is important for re-mineralization of enamel and contains digestive enzymes.

Symptoms of xerostomia include a sticky, dry or burning feeling in the mouth. The throat may also feel dry and one has a feeling of being thirsty. Lips may crack and the tongue may feel dry and rough. Sometimes the person may have trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting or even speaking. There may be an infection in the mouth or mouth sores. And bad breath is prevalent.

Causes of xerostomia are most often from breathing through your mouth while sleeping or side effects of some medication. Other possibilities for these salivary glands not working properly are from diseases such as HIV/AIDS or diabetes, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or nerve damage. Smoking, chewing tobacco and consuming alcohol can also cause dry mouth.

There are a variety of treatments for xerostomia depending on the cause. If one sleeps on their back there are devices to help keep the mouth closed. They include a chin strap and an oral vestibular shield that prevents the mouth from opening. However, consciously flipping on the stomach or side may be all that is needed. A nightshirt with a tennis ball in a sock pinned on the back can even help.

If a person is on one of the 400 medications that can have dry mouth as a side effect, they should see a physician for possibly changing or adjusting the dosage of the meds. Some examples of commonly prescribed drugs that can cause dry mouth are those for high blood pressure, depression, allergies, acne, diarrhea, obesity and asthma.

A person with dry mouth can also improve their saliva flow by frequently sipping on water, sucking on sugar-free candy containing xylitol, using a room humidifier - especially in the bedroom, and purchasing over-the-counter artificial saliva products. A dentist can prescribe an oral rinse that often helps. In some cases, there are medications that are used to get salivary glands working properly again.

Since tooth decay is exacerbated with dry mouth, it is imperative to keep the teeth clean. Home dental cleaning at least twice a day is necessary. Avoiding sugar or high carbohydrates helps. Professional cleanings every three months are recommended. So, dry mouth is more than just a nuisance. It can be a pain in the tooth.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Relationship Between Sinus Infection And Food

Relationship Between Sinus Infection And Food

Diet of a person plays a very vital role in the functioning of his body. The diet he consumes decides how his body will function. The more beneficial nutrients he receives the better chance his body has to fight the various infections. Different types of food contain various chemicals that can be useful for the human body. Food has a better effect on the long term health of a person as medicines can at times only address the symptoms of the infection but having a healthy diet will take care of the source of the infection.

Sinusitis, or sinus infection, is caused mainly by the inflammation of the sinus glands that are located in the front of the human face. This inflammation can take place due to various reasons; such as infection in the body, allergic reactions or chronic illness. Food can play a vital role in sinus infections in both, beneficial and harmful, ways.

There are various foods which are beneficial for our body when consumed during sinus. Chicken soup is a very useful food for treating sinus infection. The amino acid, cysteine, present in chicken helps in clearing of nasal passages and the heat of the soup also provides relief to the body. Not only soup, but hot drinks are also very helpful during sinusitis. 

Therefore, drinking hot drinks, like coffee, tea and soup, will help in removal of the mucus, as it makes the cilia present in the nose movie faster, increasing its efficiency. Hot and spicy foods provide relief from mucus build up, as the substances in the chilies help in thinning of mucus which enables its easy flow. Water is also needed by the body when suffering from sinus. This is because dehydration can lead to the formation of thicker mucus which is liable to cause blockage in the nose. Therefore, it is necessary that the body is kept hydrated to enable easy passage of mucus.

While seeing the benefits of food, care must also be taken to avoid the foods that are harmful for a person suffering from sinusitis. Cold drinks should be avoided, as they do not have any nutritional benefit for the body. 

Drinking cold drinks affects the immune system of the body causing the person to be more susceptible to diseases or infections. Even alcohol, dairy products and any food which leaves you feeling congested and uncomfortable should be avoided. When it comes to sinus treatment, prevention is the only cure. By taking care of our surroundings and by having a proper diet, sinus problems will not be an issue anymore.

For the best sinus treatment and for some sinus home remedy contact us at Kill Sinus today

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Genetics and Hearing Loss - Did You Know There Is a Connection?

Genetics and Hearing Loss - Did You Know There Is a Connection?

Although genetics and otolaryngology don't often come to mind as related in any way, genetics plays a role in almost every type of human health condition in one form or another. Most patients don't realize it, but even conditions as mundane as hearing loss have a genetic basis - by some estimates, up to half of all patients suffering from hearing loss owe their conditions to genetics rather than to environmental factors. Even more surprising to the average patient, genetic testing is now used to diagnose the causes of hearing loss.

Genetic disease can present itself in three different forms -chromosomal, monogenic, and complex. If large segments of one or more chromosomes occur in only one copy, or in more than the expected two copies, the condition is called a chromosomal disorder. The most well-known example of this is Down syndrome. Single-gene (monogenic) disorders are those that are caused by a mutation in a single gene, and most cases of hearing loss fall into this category. Complex genetic disorders (such as cleft palate), are caused by the interaction of several genes, the environment, and random factors.

It's common for an otolaryngologist to encounter all three types of disorder during the course of his or her practice. Chromosomal disorders are the most severe, and patients usually have both hearing loss as well as head and neck problems The majority of people who go to see an otolaryngologist for treatment are likely to have conditions that are caused by complex disorders, however, meaning a mix of genetic and environmental influences are at play.

Genetic testing for hearing disorders is relatively straightforward, although it does present possible ethical questions (such as whether the patient or his family members wish to receive information about their likely susceptibility to various diseases and illnesses). DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) have two properties that make testing easy. One is that DNA makes copies of itself easily, and the other is that copies stick to each other. For instance, if you start with a double strand of DNA and heat it up, the two strands will come apart into a mixture of single-stranded nucleic acid strands. You can then cool the mixture down and the complementary strands will stick back together again. This allows a type of process called polymearase chain reaction (PCR) to work - it's a method used to amplify targeted sequences of DNA. Although it involves more steps than those described here, the DNA polymearase chain is heated and cooled many times until the DNA fragment has been duplicated enough to use in testing - it's the manufactured DNA that is actually used in testing. Almost every modern genetic test in use today begins with the process of PCR.

To put this technology to work in a clinical setting, an otolaryngologist usually begins by testing the patient's DNA for known mutations. Screening for mutations that are already recognized to occur is usually faster and less expensive than testing to see whether a given patient has some brand-new or never-before-seen mutation. However, if nothing shows up after testing for previously identified mutations in humans, further testing for unknown mutations is also possible. Some mutations are so rare they have only been documented in one family or one patient! At this time, genetic technologies are used almost exclusively as a diagnostic tool - and most of the time the focus remains on disorders caused by major genes. If a patient is discovered to have a mutation responsible for causing hearing loss, head or neck deformities, etc., then there is no further need for clinical testing to determine the cause. In the case of hearing loss, this can save time as well as money.

An understanding of the human genome has opened a vast frontier of new knowledge to scientists, patients, and physicians alike. Without a doubt, new treatments and tests will continue to become available in the future and will continue to influence both otolaryngology as well as other medical specialties.

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