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Ask Dr. Gott 9/19

Dentist offers painful advice

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    DEAR DR. GOTT: I have had a great difficulty with mouth ulcers for the past three years. I've seen a dentist, oral surgeons, ENT specialists and general practitioners. I finally went to a local medical clinic when my mouth became so sore I couldn't talk, only to be told by the doctor on call that he didn't have any idea what the problem was. His recommendation was I should brush the inside of my cheeks, tongue and all areas that had sores with an electric toothbrush and rinse with full-strength peroxide, followed by a water rinse. He said it would burn like fire but would help. I did this twice and the sores disappeared. I'd already had negative testing for herpes, thrush and oral diseases, so I decided to give it a try. After following his direction, I no longer suffer for days waiting for the lesions to clear up. They're gone in fewer than 24 hours. Perhaps this will help some of your readers.
    DEAR READER: I'm not sure I would recommend treating mouth ulcers with an electric toothbrush. That must be like having a lesion on your arm and rubbing it raw with sandpaper. When the pain and bleeding stop, the arm lesion is gone!
    Many people are sensitive to sodium laurel sulfate, a common ingredient contained in many brands of toothpaste. Some have found success using Tom's of Maine or other brands that contain only minimal amounts or are without SLS altogether. In fact, Tom's boasts of a new toothpaste free of the offending ingredient. It comes in three varieties, including a dry-mouth soother, whitening and sensitive teeth.
    I urge readers with similar problems to read the ingredients on their toothpaste tubes after other conditions have been ruled out. If SLS is listed, switch to another brand.
    Thank you for writing.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am a 47-year-old female with a peculiar problem. When my blood-sugar levels are low, I yawn. This can be very embarrassing when I'm in the middle of a business meeting or trying to carry on a conversation with a colleague. What's going on?
    DEAR READER: The symptoms of low blood sugar are anxiety, agitation, a feeling of hunger, dizziness, palpitations and more. Some people with the condition become glassy-eyed and stare off into space without realizing what they are doing. Low blood sugar tends to cause other people to become fatigued. As you have discovered, that fatigue causes you to yawn, even at inappropriate times.
    I can give you some guidelines, but I recommend you meet with your physician to be sure my suggestions are appropriate for you.
    First, eliminate sugar, white flour, alcohol and caffeine from your diet. Substitute more healthful foods, such as fresh vegetables and fruits. Remember that the riper fruit becomes, the higher the sugar content. Plan to eat six small meals a day. Never skip breakfast. Keep appropriate snacks available in a desk drawer, pocketbook or the glove box of your car. Indulge in a snack prior to meetings or when you sense fatigue. With a little training, you can overcome yawning at embarrassing times.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Hypoglycemia."

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