Dragon Breath

More than 200 television stations nationwide are currently running a public service announcement (PSA) from the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) Foundation.Entitled "Dragon Breath", The PSA focuses on a lesser known symptom of periodontal disease - halitosis (bad breath). Halitosis is more than just socially embarrassing. In fact, it often serves as a warning sign of periodontal disease, worn fillings, sinus infections or even a disorder of the digestive system.

The PSA opens with a party scene in which one of the guests is an outgoing woman with a terrible case of "dragon breath". She is oblivious to her problem, but the other guests are not. At the end of the thirty-second spot, the woman finally realizes her breath might be the reason the other guests are avoiding her.

The scene concludes when an announcer says, "If you have bad breath, You could have gum disease. Ask your dentist to check it out. For a free brochure call 1-800-floss em".

According to AAP Foundation President Richard E. Bradley, DDS, "Halitosis, like many other warning signs of periodontal disease is physically painless and, unfortunately, often undetected by the sufferer. Because of this, periodontal disease can go undetected until it is to late. The excellent response we have received from this PSA shows that the public needs more information about periodontal disease. We will continue these public education efforts in hope of improving periodontal health overall."

I would like to again remind you of some other warning signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:

*Gums that bleed during tooth brushing.

*Red, swollen or tender gums.

*gums that have pulled away from your teeth.

*Pus between the teeth and gums.

*Loose or separating teeth.

*A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.

*A change in the fit of partial dentures.

If you notice any of these warning signs, please contact your dentist.

Dr. Stephen Petras

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