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September 23, 1994 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-09-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Dentist in Canton
offers new program
for treatment of
halitosis.

RUTH LITTMANN

STAFF WRITER

fter the first kiss, he never called back.
Understandable? Sure, if you had gob-
bled up that baked garlic and curry en-
tree, topped with scallions and bleu
cheese.
But come on. You ordered salad,
"hold the onions," and nixed the
ranch dressing. And still no call.
Rule out the non-stop conversation.
Your get-up? Forget it. You looked
stunning. It must have been ...
Your breath.
Dr. Robert Goldenberg, a
dentist in Canton, treats peo-
ple who worry about halitosis. Real or
perceived, mouth odor often causes his
patients more angst than does the health
of their teeth and gums.
"Vanity is the number-one concern of
Americans. Take diet and weight loss.
Bad breath is in that category," he says.
"It's estimated that between 40 and 90
million people in America feel they have

a problem with halitosis, but there real-
ly has been no place to go for treatment."
Until now. Dr. Goldenberg is starting
Michigan's first Anti-Halitosis Clinic, an
enterprise with roots in St. Louis, Mo.
Tast year, a Missouri dentist, Dr. Mar-
vin Cohen, appeared on Cable News Net-
work. After explaining the causes of
halitosis and pitching "Oxyfresh" as a
line of dental products designed to oblit-
erate the problem, Dr. Cohen received
an avalanche of calls from people seek-
ing his personal counsel.
The demand for advice gave birth to
his idea for Anti-Halitosis Clinics. There
are nearly 50 sprouting up nationwide.
Dr. Goldenberg will direct the Michigan
office as an extension to his already es-
tablished dental practice on Ford Road.
"People spend billions of dollars a year
on mouth sprays and mouth rinses. Now
we're able to give them an understand-
ing of halitosis and treat it," Dr. Gold-
enberg says.
Bad breath is a social embar-
rassment with many causes: coffee,
smoking, garlic and onions. Those
are obvious, but less prominent cul-
prits exist. Sinus and salivary prob-
lems, lung infections, kidney failure,
inflamed tonsils and diabetes also
contribute to the problem.
That's why Dr. Goldenberg says
his "A-H Clinic" puts patients
through a three-step program. First,
his office obtains clinical medical
histories. Do patients have a back-
ground of systemic problems, like
diabetes? If so, he might need to re-
fer them to appropriate specialists.
As part of the examination, Dr.
Goldenberg uses a machine called
a halimeter to measure levels of
volatile sulfur compounds. VSCs are
the agents of bad breath, and they
increase as food and bacteria decay
in the mouth and throat, he says.
In normal mouths, the foul-
smelling compounds generally be-
come noticeable four to six hours
after a tooth-brushing. But some-
times, when health problems exist,
high levels of VSCs are evident af-
ter only 30 minutes.
Dr. Goldenberg tells his patients
to abstain from eating and drinking

Dr. Goldenberg administers a
halimeter test.

odoriferous foods and liquids for two
hours before their halimeter tests. In the
office, patients close their mouths around
a small tube attached to the machine,
which subsequently generates a number
on a digital screen.
Any reading up to 150 indicates no
particular sign of mouth odor. One hun-
dred and fifty to 190 flags a possible prob-
lem. If the halimeter tips 250, it is an
indication of severe halitosis, Dr. Gold-
enberg says.
He uses another machine, the Peri-
otemp, to spot temperature variations in
the gums. Heat differentials can indicate
periodontal pockets in which food gets
trapped and decays. That's another
source of VSCs.
If Dr. Goldenberg determines that a
patient's bad breath originates in the
mouth (and not from internal problems),
he will prescribe a regimen of Oxyfresh
products. The combination of toothpaste,
mouth rinse and mints contains chlorine

"There really has been no
place to go for
treatment."

— Dr. Robert Goldenberg

dioxide, C102, a powerful oxidizing agent
which breaks down VSCs.
"Oxyfresh is different from other types
of rinses that try to cover up the odor and
use alcohol as a base," he says.
After following special oral hygiene
programs at home, patients return to Dr.
Goldenberg who again uses the halime-
ter to gauge their improvement. The cost
of the A-H Clinic's services can range be-
tween $300 and $600. Insurance covers
necessary cleanings and X-rays.
Dr. Goldenberg is embarking on an
advertising campaign to make people
aware of A-H Clinics.
"A lot of people we will touch don't go
to the dentist, so (our services) are going
to act as a tool," he says. "We're going
to be able to treat people for a perceived
problem, and some of those people may
stay on and become patients.
"It's a way to impact a dental practice.
Like any other business, we're not doing
it for totally philanthropic reasons." ❑

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