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Toothpaste 101

Toothpaste is not always paste. It can be a gel, powder, or paste that you brush onto your teeth and gums to help get rid of accumulating plaque and improve your oral health. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), toothpaste is important to oral health because it helps to remove plaque and its bacterial buildup on teeth and fights off periodontal (gum) disease. Most toothpaste also contains fluoride, which bolsters tooth enamel and fights tooth decay.

 

What’s in Toothpaste?

 

The exact composition of different toothpaste may vary slightly depending on the benefits being touted by the particular brand (such as whitening teeth or reducing gum inflammation). In general, toothpastes include the following ingredients:

 

  • Gentle abrasives, such as magnesium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, calcium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxides, and phosphate salts.
  • Glycerol, sorbitol, or other so-called “humectants,” substances that keep the toothpaste from drying out.
  • Thickeners like seaweed or mineral colloids, synthetic cellulose, or natural gum to give the toothpaste a homogeneous appearance and texture.
  • Fluoride to help make tooth enamel stronger and more resistant to decay.
  • Flavoring agents that do not cause tooth decay, such as saccharin.
  • Detergents, such as sodium lauryl sarcosinate, to make the toothpaste foamy.

How to Pick the Right Toothpaste for Your Teeth

 

With the dizzying array of toothpaste choices in a typical drugstore aisle, it can be daunting to try and find one that’s right for you. “One almost needs a PhD degree to weather the dental ‘aisle of confusion’,” says Richard H. Price, DMD, spokesperson for the ADA, and a former clinical instructor at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.

When choosing a toothpaste, the first order of business is to make sure that the product is safe and will do what it claims. Toothpastes containing fluoride are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since they make disease-fighting claims. These products will display a standard “drug facts” panel on the packaging listing active ingredients, warnings, and other relevant information. Toothpastes without fluoride are considered cosmetics and, therefore, do not fall under FDA supervision. However, these products should still provide a list of ingredients. To avoid counterfeit and unregulated products, steer away from any toothpaste that doesn’t clearly state ingredient information or is not properly labeled.

Confused toothpaste shoppers can find additional guidance by looking for the ADA seal of approval. This symbol indicates that the manufacturer has participated in a voluntary testing program conducted by the ADA to gauge a product’s safety and effectiveness. Any toothpaste containing sugar, for example, will not get the ADA seal of approval.

“With the ADA seal on it, you know that it will do what it says,” notes Dr. Price, who is retired from a 35-year private group dental practice in Newton, Mass.

 

The Benefits of Fluoride in Toothpaste

 

A key ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride. Fluoride has broad benefits for people, both young and old. “Fluoride toothpaste is not just for kids — it is beneficial for us our whole lives,” says Price. “The fluoride in the toothpaste heals and remineralizes microscopic cavities as they form, it hardens the tooth surface, making it more resistant to the acid attack of bacteria, and slows down the action of these acid-producing bacteria.”

 

Fluoride Safety

 

Although the FDA requires fluoride toothpaste to carry a warning label urging parents to contact a poison control center if their child accidentally consumes a large quantity of toothpaste, the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs takes the position that the FDA warning overstates the risks of ingested fluoride to children. According to the ADA statement, children cannot swallow enough fluoride from toothpaste during normal brushing to cause any serious problems. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, Price recommends limiting children under age 5 to a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and supervising their brushing since most young children haven’t learned to rinse rather than swallow at the end of brushing.

 

Toothpaste for Particular Tooth and Gum Conditions

 

No matter what your personal oral health needs are, there’s likely a toothpaste for you.

If you have sensitive teeth, look for products with ingredients such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. To fight gingivitis or tartar buildup, choose a toothpaste that contains pyrophosphates, triclosan, and zinc citrate. In addition, you can find products designed to combat bad breath or formulated with special abrasives to help whiten stained teeth.

“If you have special needs, such as teeth that are sensitive to cold or heat, or problems with tartar buildup, look for toothpaste that address these issues that carry the ADA seal, or speak with your dentist for a recommendation,” Price advises.

 

Article Source: Everday Health

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11 Not-So-Healthy ‘Health’ Foods

Fruit juice and a bran muffin for breakfast; a Caesar salad for lunch; a protein bar snack; and a turkey burger with all the fixings for dinner. Sounds like a reasonably healthy day, right? Not so fast. All of these foods have a healthy reputation, but they all have something else in common, too: They’re hiding the types of sugar, fat, and calories that can bust your diet or even lead to weight gain.

 

Get the inside scoop on these and other popular diet darlings to find out what to avoid and what to eat instead.

 

Protein Bars and Shakes: Unsatisfying Snacks

If you’re short on time or you work out a lot, meal replacements loaded with protein may sound like a great idea, but these so-called health food options can quickly turn into diet traps. “They are marketed with trendy nutrition names like ‘gluten free,’ ‘organic,’ ‘dairy free,’ ‘low fat,’ and ‘natural,’ but they are a scapegoat for healthy eating,” says Manuel Villacorta, RD, author of Eating Free: The Carb-Friendly Way to Lose Inches, Embrace Your Hunger, and Keep the Weight Off for Good. Besides their often-high sugar and fat content, you might end up eating far more protein and calories than you need. “Some can have up to 300 to 400 calories, and people eat two at a time,” he notes. And, because “they are also not so satisfying,” he says, he recommends whole foods instead. For great snacks that are better than a bar and clock in at less than 200 calories, he suggests 5 ounces of nonfat Greek yogurt with a cup of berries, apple slices with 2 tablespoons of nut butter, or a hard-boiled egg and whole-wheat crackers.

 

Granola: Sugar Overload

More than any other food, granola has tricked the diet industry into thinking it’s healthy, when really those organic, all-natural whole grain and nut mixes are packed with calories, fat, and sugar. Just a quarter-cup serving of granola can easily have upwards of 130 calories, not to mention at least 4 grams of sugar and 5 grams of fat. To get the crunch you crave, make your own healthy mix to skip out on added sugars. Measure your portions carefully, and sprinkle granola on top of yogurt instead of eating it alone.

 

Dried Fruit: Sugary Saboteur

Dried fruits are great sources of concentrated vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but — and it’s a big but to avoid — you have to limit your intake because you’re also getting very concentrated calories and sugar. Consider prunes, which are dried plums: Just one cup of prunes contains more than 400 calories and 45 grams of sugar while one cup of fresh plum has just 76 calories and 16 sugar grams. Plus, when you eat fresh fruit you get the added water content that can help you feel full.

 

Sushi Rolls: Beware of Sodium

In theory, sushi rolls are almost perfect — protein in the form of seafood (often from healthy fatty acid sources such as salmon and tuna) combined with seaweed, veggies, and a small amount of rice. If you ate sushi in the traditional small quantities along with some miso soup, you’d actually be doing well for both nutrition and diet. But modern sushi rolls are a little more dangerous: Many varieties, such as tempura rolls, come fried or topped with mayo and cream cheese. Plus, soy sauce contains excess sodium, and all the white rice can cause blood sugar spikes in people with diabetes. When eating sushi, it’s best to stick to brown rice rolls, fresh veggies, and no sauce.

 

Caesar Salad Calorie-Bomb

Romaine lettuce, the foundation of Caesar salad, is richer in vitamins and minerals than iceberg lettuce, so that’s a good start. But look past the leaves, and you’ll see plenty of diet trips, such as high-fat dressing, calorie-rich cheese, and fatty croutons. Just because you ask for dressing on the side when you order your salad doesn’t mean you’re spared all the excess calories, says Villacorta, adding that a fully-loaded Caesar can top 800 calories. Instead, top your greens with grilled chicken strips and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

 

High-Calorie Fish Sandwiches

Fish is often touted as a low-calorie superfood (in fact, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week), but once you fry that fish, slather it in high-calorie tartar sauce, and slap it between two slabs of white bread or a buttered roll, you’ve more than negated any health benefit you might see. Opt for grilled fish or chicken on an open-face sandwich or a fish taco loaded with salsa and vegetables — hold the sour cream and cheese!

 

Margarine: Hidden Trans Fat

Margarine can be a better choice than butter, particularly for people who are concerned about their heart health. But not all margarines are created equal: Many stick forms contain hidden trans fat, which can be even worse for your heart than the saturated fat in butter. When choosing a stick, go for the brand with the lowest levels of fat and cholesterol. If you’re at risk for heart disease, choose a brand that has been fortified with plant stanols and sterols, which can help reduce bad cholesterol levels.

 

Sugary Fruit Juice

A drink that’s 100 percent fruit juice sounds like a healthy way to check off your daily fruit needs. The problem is, even if you’re drinking unadulterated juice (not a juice drink, a diet trap with tons of added sugar and sometimes barely 10 percent real juice), you’re missing out on the fiber and the nutrients available only in the whole food, especially fruits with edible peels. In general, experts advise that only a third of the 2.5 cups of fruit you need each day should come from juice. And moderation matters for this health food. Serving sizes for store-bought juice in bottles and at juice bars and cafes are out of control, says Villacorta, and if you’re not careful, you can add hundreds of calories to your daily diet through juice. He suggests scaling down your fruit juice servings to one 4-ounce glass a day, or skip fruit juice entirely and just eat the real thing.

 

Fat-Filled Bran Muffins

Store-bought and café muffins may seem like a healthy food choice, but too often their whole grains are lost in a sea of oversized portions, sugar, sodium, and fat — a resounding diet trap. To add insult to injury, some store-bought muffins skip out on the whole-grain ingredients and many don’t contain enough to counteract the sugar and fat in your diet anyway. You can keep your muffins from becoming a diet trap by making them yourself and boosting the fiber fill-up with oat bran and ground flaxseed — just refrain from using supersized muffin tins to maintain diet portions.

 

Needless Nutrition Waters

Although it seems intuitive to combine two components of healthy nutrition — water and vitamins — into one package, brand-name vitamin or nutrition waters might not be the best choice for your body or your budget. Dietitians generally recommend a varied diet as the best way to get good nutrition, in part because your body may not be able to absorb vitamins as effectively without other dietary elements such as small amounts of fat and the fiber. That’s why a big mixed salad with a touch of homemade dressing is the health food choice to get your vitamins and minerals — and just plain water from the tap will do for hydration. Know that some nutrition waters may not even contain all the vitamins you need for the day, and be doubly aware to avoid any that contain sugar (and calories) — a diet trap to steer clear of.

 

Diet-Busting Turkey Burgers

Turkey is generally thought of as a fit and trim alternative to red meat, but depending on the cut and preparation, a burger can easily have more fat than a lean cut of beef, not to mention the calories from the bun you save when you just eat a cut of meat. Look for the leanest ground turkey available at the store, or go completely meatless and try veggie burgers. Regardless of your patty preference, go light on the condiments, layering vegetables onto a whole-grain bun or lettuce wrap instead of cheese and mayo.

 

Article Source: Everyday Health

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Beyond Teeth: What’s Inside Your Mouth

Your mouth is made up of more than just teeth, so good oral health goes beyond simply brushing and flossing. In addition to your teeth, your mouth is made up of gums, oral mucosa, the upper and lower jaw, the tongue, salivary glands, the uvula, and the frenulum. All of these structures play an important role when it comes to good dental health and are routinely examined when you receive dental care.

 

The Oral Mucosa

 

When you open your mouth and look in the mirror, everything that isn’t a tooth is covered by a protective lining called the oral mucosa, which is a mucous membrane similar to the mucous membranes that line your nostrils and inner ears.

 

The oral mucosa plays an essential role in maintaining your oral health, as well as your overall health, by defending your body from germs and other irritants that enter your mouth. A tough substance called keratin, also found in your fingernails and hair, helps make the oral mucosa resistant to injury.

 

The Gums

 

Your gums are the pinkish tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth. Also covered by oral mucosa, gums play a critical role in your oral health. Healthy gums are firm, cover the entire root of the tooth, and do not bleed when brushed, poked, or prodded. Gum disease can ultimately lead to tooth loss, so taking care of your gums by flossing daily is just as essential to dental care as brushing your teeth.

 

The Upper and Lower Jaw

 

Your jaws give your face its shape and your mouth the structure it needs for chewing and speech. Human jaws are made up of several bones: The upper jaw contains two bones that are fused to each other and to the rest of your skull, while the lower jawbone is separate from the rest of the skull, enabling it to move up and down when you speak and chew.

 

The Tongue

 

The tongue is a powerful muscle covered in specialized mucosal tissue that includes your taste buds. The tongue is not just important to your oral health — it’s also considered an integral part of the body’s digestive system — it’s responsible for moving food to your teeth, and when chewed food is ready to be swallowed, the tongue moves it to the back of the throat so it can proceed into the esophagus. In babies, the tongue and the jaw work together to enable the infant to breastfeed.Additionally, the tongue plays an essential role in the ability to speak by shaping the sounds that come out of your mouth.

 

The Salivary Glands

 

You have three sets of salivary glands in your mouth and neck: the parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands. These glands produce saliva, which contains special enzymes that help break down food, making it easier for you to swallow. Saliva is critical to good oral health, because it protects your teeth and gums by rinsing away food particles and bacteria and by helping to counteract acidic foods that can wear down the protective enamel on your teeth.

 

The Uvula

 

The uvula is the small flap of tissue which hangs down at the back of your throat. The uvula is composed of muscle fibers as well as connective and glandular tissues. Like other soft tissue structures in the mouth, the uvula is covered by oral mucosa. The uvula has long been a source of curiosity for scientists as all of its functions are not yet fully understood. However, it seems to play some role in speech and in keeping the mouth and throat moist.

 

The Frenulum Linguae

 

The frenulum is a flap of oral mucosa t

hat connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. This tissue allows the tongue to move about as it does its job. If an infant is born with a frenulum that is too short, or not elastic enough, he or she can have trouble breastfeeding. A short frenulum can also affect speech.

 

The next time you’re brushing your teeth, spend a minute looking at the parts of the mouth that lie farther inside the oral cavity. Knowing what these structures do and what they look like can help you to maintain optimal oral health.

 

 

 

Article Source: Everyday Health

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Diseases and Conditions: Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. You may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly, and you feel tired even after a full night’s sleep.

 

The main types of sleep apnea are:

 

  • Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax.
  • Central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome, also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
    If you think you might have any form of sleep apnea, see your doctor. Treatment can ease your symptoms and may help prevent heart problems and other complications.

 

Symptoms

 

The signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas overlap, sometimes making the type of sleep apnea more difficult to determine. The most common signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas include:

 

  • Loud snoring, which is usually more prominent in obstructive sleep apnea
  • Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep witnessed by another person
  • Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath, which more likely indicates central sleep apnea
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Morning headache
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
  • Attention problems
  • Irritability

 

When to see a doctor

 

Consult a medical professional if you experience, or if your partner notices, the following:

 

  • Snoring loud enough to disturb the sleep of others or yourself
  • Shortness of breath, gasping for air or choking that awakens you from sleep
  • Intermittent pauses in your breathing during sleep
  • Excessive daytime drowsiness, which may cause you to fall asleep while you’re working, watching television or even driving

 

Many people don’t think of snoring as a sign of something potentially serious, and not everyone who has sleep apnea snores. But be sure to talk to your doctor if you experience loud snoring, especially snoring that’s punctuated by periods of silence.

 

Ask your doctor about any sleep problem that leaves you chronically fatigued, sleepy and irritable. Excessive daytime drowsiness (hypersomnia) may be due to sleep apnea or to other disorders, such as narcolepsy.

 

Causes

 

Causes of obstructive sleep apnea

 

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax. These muscles support the soft palate, the triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate (uvula), the tonsils, the side walls of the throat and the tongue.

 

When the muscles relax, your airway narrows or closes as you breathe in, and you can’t get an adequate breath in. This may lower the level of oxygen in your blood.

 

Your brain senses this inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep so that you can reopen your airway. This awakening is usually so brief that you don’t remember it.

 

You may make a snorting, choking or gasping sound. This pattern can repeat itself five to 30 times or more each hour, all night long. These disruptions impair your ability to reach the desired deep, restful phases of sleep, and you’ll probably feel sleepy during your waking hours.

 

People with obstructive sleep apnea may not be aware that their sleep was interrupted. In fact, some people with this type of sleep apnea think they sleep well all night.
Causes of central sleep apnea

 

Central sleep apnea is a less common form of sleep apnea that occurs when your brain fails to transmit signals to your breathing muscles. This means you make no effort to breathe for a short period of time. You may awaken with shortness of breath or have a difficult time getting to sleep or staying asleep.

 

Risk factors

 

Sleep apnea can affect anyone, even children. But certain factors increase your risk of sleep apnea:

 

Obstructive sleep apnea

 

  • Excess weight. People who are obese have four times the risk of sleep apnea that people who are a normal weight people do. Fat deposits around your upper airway may obstruct your breathing. But not everyone who has sleep apnea is overweight.
  • Neck circumference. People with thicker necks may have narrower airways. For men, the risk increases if neck circumference is 17 inches (43 centimeters) and larger. In women, the risk increases if neck circumference is 15 inches (38 centimeters) or more.
  • A narrowed airway. You may have inherited a naturally narrow throat. Or, tonsils or adenoids may become enlarged and block the airway, particularly in children with sleep apnea.
  • Being male. Men are twice as likely to have sleep apnea. However, women increase their risk if they’re overweight, and their risk also appears to rise after menopause.
    Being older. Sleep apnea occurs significantly more often in older adults.
  • Family history. If you have family members with sleep apnea, you may be at increased risk.
  • Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers. These substances relax the muscles in your throat.
  • Smoking. Smokers are three times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than are people who’ve never smoked. Smoking may increase the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway. This risk likely drops after you quit smoking.
  • Nasal congestion. If you have difficulty breathing through your nose — whether it’s from an anatomical problem or allergies — you’re more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea.

 

Central sleep apnea

 

Being older. Middle-aged and older people have a higher risk of central sleep apnea.
Heart disorders. People with congestive heart failure are more at risk of central sleep apnea.
Using narcotic pain medications. Opioid medications, especially long-acting ones such as methadone, increase the risk of central sleep apnea.
Stroke. People who’ve had a stroke are more at risk of central sleep apnea or treatment-emergent central sleep apnea.

 

Complications,/strong>

 

Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition. Complications may include:

 

Daytime fatigue. The repeated awakenings associated with sleep apnea make normal, restorative sleep impossible. People with sleep apnea often experience severe daytime drowsiness, fatigue and irritability.

 

You may have difficulty concentrating and find yourself falling asleep at work, while watching TV or even when driving. People with sleep apnea have an increased risk of motor vehicle and workplace accidents.

 

You may also feel quick tempered, moody or depressed. Children and adolescents with sleep apnea may do poorly in school or have behavior problems.

 

High blood pressure or heart problems. Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) is greater than if you don’t.

 

Obstructive sleep apnea may increase the risk of recurrent heart attack, and abnormal heartbeats, such as atrial fibrillation. Obstructive sleep apnea also increases the risk of stroke. If there’s underlying heart disease, these multiple episodes of low blood oxygen (hypoxia or hypoxemia) can lead to sudden death from an irregular heartbeat.

 

Type 2 diabetes. People with sleep apnea are more likely to develop insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes compared with people without the sleep disorder.
Metabolic syndrome. This disorder is a collection of other risk factors linked to a higher risk of heart disease. The conditions that make up metabolic syndrome include high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, high blood sugar and an increased waist circumference.

 

Complications with medications and surgery. Obstructive sleep apnea is also a concern with certain medications and general anesthesia. People with sleep apnea may be more likely to experience complications following major surgery because they’re prone to breathing problems, especially when sedated and lying on their backs. Before you have surgery, tell your doctor that you have sleep apnea and how it’s treated.

 

Liver problems. People with sleep apnea are more likely to have abnormal results on liver function tests, and their livers are more likely to show signs of scarring. This is a
condition known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

 

Sleep-deprived partners. Loud snoring can keep those around you from getting good rest and eventually disrupt your relationships. It’s not uncommon for a partner to go to another room, or even on another floor of the house, to be able to sleep. Many bed partners of people who snore may be sleep-deprived as well.

 

Article Source: Mayo Cliinic

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9 Ways to Drink to Your Health

Sodas, sugary juices, and other calorie-packed drinks are often pinpointed as the leading cause of rising obesity rates in the United States. But research shows that if you choose the right beverages in your diet (soda isn’t one of them), they can have a positive impact on your health and even weight loss.

 

Green tea is often cited for its health benefits, but it turns out that coffee, black tea, red wine, and even beer can be good for you, too, in moderation. And the best beverage? Plain old water, of course. Find out more about the best beverage bets for your health.

Food Table Healthy Delicious Organic Meal Concept

 

Beer for Diabetes

 

Hops, or more specifically derivatives of hops called humulones, are known to give beer its crisp and delicious taste. But according to new research published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition, hops may soon pave the way for the pharmaceutical treatment of certain types of cancers, inflammation, and even weight loss.

 

Using X-ray crystallography, researchers at the University of Washington have now determined the exact structure of humulone molecules and bittering acids, created in the beer brewing process. Bittering acids found in beer have previously been praised for their health benefits. With this knowledge of the molecular configuration and how the molecules react to other substances, researchers hope to develop new pharmaceuticals to treat a number of conditions, including diabetes.

 

“[While] excessive beer consumption cannot be recommended to propagate good health, isolated humulones and their derivatives can be prescribed with documented health benefits,” said Werner Kaminsky, Ph.D., research associate professor of chemistry at the University of Washington, in a press release.

 

And Beer for Brain Health

 

When consumed in moderation — one or two a day, max — beer can protect bone health, heart health, kidney health, and brain health, and it can even reduce your cancer risk. But moderation is the key.

 

“There is increased mortality in those drinking three or more drinks per day, and any amount of alcohol can increase blood pressure, which is a negative risk factor for heart disease and may, in turn, cancel out the increase in HDL [cholesterol] that you get from the alcohol,” says Gregory L. Jantz, PhD, a psychologist and certified eating disorder specialist. “Not to mention the potential damage to the liver from the alcohol.” Also, remember that the calories in beer add up (hence the term “beer belly”).

 

Water for Hydration

 

If you drink nothing else, it’s critical to drink plenty of water. Your body is made up of mostly water — it protects your joints, bones, and organs, helps your body digest food and remove waste, and keeps you hydrated. “Water is by far the best way to get fluids in our diet,” says Janet Colson, PhD, RD, a nutrition professor at Middle Tennessee State University. “It’s practically free and contains no calories or artificial sweeteners or flavoring. Actually, if we all only drank water as our beverages, we would be much healthier. We don’t need any of the other beverage options.”

 

Many people are confused about how much water to drink, but Laura Catalusci, a certified health education specialist in New York, points out that water can come from places besides your tap. “The Institute of Medicine recommends having an adequate intake of about 9 to 13 cups of water a day,” Catalusci says. “It’s important to remember that many other fluids and watery foods count toward that recommendation, too.”

 

Milk for Bone Health

 

Cow’s milk remains controversial in some circles, but many, including the federal government, point to low-fat or fat-free milk for its important bone health benefits, especially in growing children. “It’s a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D,” Colson says. “It’s great for people who are not lactose-intolerant or allergic to the protein in milk.”

 

For vegans or people with lactose allergies, dairy-free milks, such as soy and almond, are also great choices. Many dairy-free milks are lower in calories than cow’s milk and supplemented with calcium and vitamin D, so in some cases, they contain more of these essential nutrients than dairy options.

 

Vegetable Juice for Vitamins

 

If you like drinking juice to start your day, tomato juice and other vegetable juices might be better than the traditional OJ. Besides a high water content, they are rich in a number of nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and lycopene. Plus, they don’t have the high sugar content that’s the downfall of a number of fruit juices, especially if weight loss is your goal.

 

“Vegetable and tomato juice are quick ways to get extra minerals and vitamins into your diet, especially if you do not eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables every day,” Catalusci says. “However, they often are high in sodium, so be sure to read the nutrition facts label.” Consider fresh juicing, or look for low-sodium varieties with fewer than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving.

 

Coffee for Antioxidants

 

This favorite a.m. hot beverage has been the subject of much scientific study over the years, some of it contradictory. But according to one recent federal study, daily consumption of three cups of coffee may help you live longer. Numerous other studies have linked coffee consumption to a lower risk of diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s, among other health conditions.

 

“Coffee has many health benefits that are mainly from antioxidants,” Catalusci explains. “Antioxidants are important to maintaining good health and can help protect against certain diseases. The caffeine in coffee can also give an energy boost during the day.” Just keep consumption to around 1 to 3 cups a day to avoid overdoing the caffeine.

 

Black Tea for Disease Prevention

 

If you prefer the taste of tea, Jessica Janc, a certified sports nutritionist with the National Association of Sports Nutrition, says that black tea, whether hot or iced, offers many of the same health benefits as coffee. Black tea may provide a slight metabolic boost, and it is chockfull of antioxidants, she says. But she warns that more than a cup a day can dehydrate you, and you’ll need to drink more plain water to compensate.

 

Green Tea for Antioxidants

 

For a big-time antioxidant boost, green tea seems to have both coffee and black tea beat. “Green tea is a wonderful alternative,” Janc says. “It will help hydrate the body and is very high in antioxidants. It also helps to increase the metabolism.” Years of scientific study on green tea have found that it has far-reaching health benefits, with its antioxidants not only neutralizing agents that can cause aging, but also potentially lowering your risk for heart disease and certain cancers.

 

One caveat: Green tea also provides a slight metabolic boost, but contrary to popular belief, it does not boost your metabolism enough to produce real weight-loss results.

 

Wine for Heart Health

 

Other alcoholic beverages can have protective health properties similar to beer when consumed in moderation. In particular, the compound resveratrol, found in red wine, has been shown to boost heart health, lower skin cancer risk, and possibly even fight fat, according to one recent study. Women who drink moderately in midlife have been shown to have a lower incidence of problems such as diabetes or Alzheimer’s later in life as well. “No matter the form of alcohol, studies show that consuming one serving of alcohol daily has many health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke,” Catalusci says. But remember that “the most important health benefits of alcohol come from drinking in moderation — otherwise the risks outweigh the benefits.”

 

Article Source: Everyday Health

 

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Permanent Teeth Whitening Eclipses Bleaching Methods

As QODC 9more people pursue ideal beauty, including that perfect smile, teeth whitening kits are becoming increasingly popular. But over-the-counter products aren’t professionally designed to last on the teeth, making their results temporary at best.

 

That’s just part of the cosmetic tooth bleaching market, which is a $3.2 billion global industry and still growing. In fact, in-office bleaching procedures rose 29% from 2014 to 2015. The key driver? Sparkling white smiles can be found all over movies, television, and social media, and people tend to prefer how their teeth were bright when they were young.

 

Permanent teeth whitening, however, offers more long-lasting results and less risk. Requests for permanent teeth whitening are increasing, too. As more and more people have learned about the white, translucent crystal shells made to fit over their existing teeth, the more interest seems to be generated.

 

When people learn that their teeth are preserved and not “prepared,” they are much more receptive to a cosmetic treatment for their teeth. The idea is like that of veneers, except the process is much better for the patient. Thin (think contact lens) casings are placed over the fronts of the teeth and permanently bonded in place.

 

In my practice, we’re currently seeing about one or 2 patients a week for permanent teeth whitening. This is remarkable given that they are just as expensive as veneers. As much as anything, however, the increase is probably due to the fact that most candidates for veneers are excited to switch to permanent teeth whitening when they learn of its advantages.

 

Permanent teeth whitening is very new to the United States. The trademark was issued in March 2016. Basically, like other veneer systems, it is a proprietary combination of porcelain type and techniques that enables clinicians to create some of the strongest and thinnest veneers available.

 

Are There Any Risks?

 

Compared to all other veneering processes, permanent teeth whitening is the safest in terms of your patients’ ability to return their teeth to their original condition—or at least more closely than any other system can allow you to. The more original enamel you can save during the restoration process, the longer the life expectancy of those teeth and their subsequent restorations. Each time there is an evolution toward being able to save more enamel, the safer the procedure becomes.

 

The biggest risk with permanent teeth whitening is when you don’t discuss realistic outcomes concerning its use with your patient properly. Obviously, certain deep discolorations will challenge its ability to cover up the offending blemishes. In these instances, it is sometimes advisable to consider more conventional veneering processes. Just like regular in-office or take-home whitening procedures, permanent teeth whitening is best suited to healthy straight teeth that just need to be whitened fabulously well and permanently.

 

What Are the Advantages?

 

Not only is it an obvious financial benefit by adding another income stream to your practice, but it’s also rewarding in another way. I’ve seen a beautiful array of different life-changing and life-lifting experiences in patients’ lives after successful cosmetic dental work. It is the best reward you can get in and of itself. When you see happy tears, as I call them, that can change your life as well.

 

When we finally got permanent teeth whitening figured out, I decided I needed to make a video of the process because the before-and-after shots were unable to truly demonstrate the nature of the procedure. After this realization, my son chipped his front tooth in an accident. I thought that it was a perfect opportunity to record how we applied permanent teeth whitening.

 

We had never really recorded a full live procedure from beginning to end, but we were able to troubleshoot the recording as we went along since it was my son. The footage came out so well, and early enough to be one of the first, it went viral around the world. It garnered more than 45 million hits on Facebook and more than a million on YouTube, making it one of the most watched dental videos of all time.

 

Article Source: Dentistry Today

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Household environment, not genetics, shapes salivary microbes

Researchers in the United Kingdom have discovered that the mix of microorganisms that inhabit a person’s saliva are largely determined by the human host’s household. The study, published this week in mBio®, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, shows that early environmental influences play a far larger role than human genetics in shaping the salivary microbiome — the group of organisms that play a crucial role in oral and overall health.

 

“It’s generally becoming known that there’s a link between our microbiomes and our health and that’s reason enough to find out what’s in there, how they arrived there, and what they are doing,” says Adam P. Roberts, senior lecturer in antimicrobial chemotherapy and resistance at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Roberts co-led the study, which was conducted during his previous post at the UCL Eastman Dental Institute. UCL GeQODC 8netics Institute graduate student Liam Shaw adds, “The oral cavity is naturally colonized by hundreds of bacterial species, which stop external pathogens from establishing a foothold, but they also can themselves cause oral disease.”

 

The research team wanted to know how the salivary microbiome gets established and which factors are most responsible for the mix of bacteria found there. Roberts’ colleague, UCL immunologist Andrew M. Smith, had access to a unique sample set — DNA and saliva from an extended, Ashkenazi Jewish family living in various households spread across four cities on three continents. That allowed the team ask how much of the variation seen in salivary microbiomes is due to host genetics and how much is due to environment.

 

Because the family members are ultra-orthodox Ashkenazi Jews, they share cultural diets and lifestyles that control for many confounding factors. Also, because the family members’ DNA had already been sequenced to the level of single changes in the DNA code, the research team had a unique and precise measurement of their genetic relatedness.

 

Next, Shaw and the team sequenced the bacterial DNA signatures present in saliva samples from 157 family members and 27 unrelated Ashkenazi Jewish controls. Across all samples, they found the core salivary microbiome made up of bacteria from the genera Streptococcus, Rothia, Neisseria, and Prevotella.

 

To get at what might be driving differences at the bacterial species level, Shaw and the team used statistical methods adopted from ecology to determine which factors are responsible for the most variation. When comparing factors such as shared household, city, age, and genetic relatedness, the factor that determined who shared the most similar saliva microbes was overwhelmingly household.

 

“What that tells us is that the contact and sharing of microbes that goes on at the very local environment is what determines the differences between individuals,” says Shaw.

 

Spouses and parents and children younger than 10 living in a household together had the most similar saliva microbiomes. “The contact doesn’t even have to be intimate, like kissing,” says Roberts. “Individuals’ hands are covered in saliva and they are touching everything in the house.” Children younger than 10 had more similar bacteria to their parents than older children, perhaps reflecting that older children are becoming “more independent individuals,” says Roberts.

 

The team also looked carefully at whether genetic relatedness drove the makeup of the saliva microbiome. When they used a measure of relatedness based on family tree relationships alone, they saw a small, but statistically significant effect. However, when they used the genetic sequence information, a more accurate measure of relatedness, the effect disappeared. In other words, a person’s genetics played virtually no role in shaping their saliva microbes.

 

“Pedigrees do not always precisely reflect actual genetic relatedness in terms of the amount of genome shared,” says Shaw. Roberts encourages other researchers undertaking large-scale microbiome studies to use detailed human genetic sequence information rather than relying on family trees.

 

This study shows that environments shared during upbringing play a major role in determining what community of bacteria gets established. And knowing that the shared environment drives the microbiome, Roberts says, may gives us the ability to one day modulate it.

 

He points to the example of periodontitis, or gum disease, an incredibly common and often debilitating infectious disease associated with an altered microbiome. “Once we understand the members of the microbiome that are responsible for health, our everyday behavior could change to shift our microbiome favorably.”

 

Article Source: Science Daily

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Health charity explores the facts and myths of charcoal toothpaste

Following research which has suggested claims about oral healthcare products containing activated charcoal to whiten your teeth have been exaggerated, a leading charity has looked at the facts and myths surrounding this current health trend.

 

The Oral Health Foundation is examining these products following the publication of research showing that there is insufficient clinical and laboratory data to substantiate the safety and efficacy claims of charcoal and charcoal-baseQODC 7d oral health products.

 

The charity is worried that consumers are using these products without fully knowing what they contain and as a result are not getting enough of the ingredients which actively protect their teeth.

 

Speaking on this subject Dr Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said: “Activated charcoal is undoubtedly the current fashionable health ingredient, appearing in everything from face masks, deodorant, lip balm and increasingly frequently, from our point of view, toothpaste.

 

“The number of charcoal toothpastes and powders on the market is growing rapidly and are being marketed at through instafamous celebrity endorsements, but we believe shoppers may be being misled.

 

“Much of the time the celebrity has had professional tooth whitening and their white smiles are not a direct result of using the product.

 

“From a whitening perspective, there may be anecdotal evidence of their whitening potential but any effect they have will likely be superficial.

 

“Many toothpastes which claim to whiten our teeth are simply removing surface stains, and will not offer the long lasting bright white smiles which many users may be looking for, or being promised though advertising.”

 

New research1 has also suggested there is no robust evidence which currently supports the claims made by many of these increasingly popular products in terms of tooth whitening and, importantly, some products may be actually harmful as they do not contain the effective ingredients to help prevent tooth decay.

 

Toothpaste needs to contain 1350 to 1,500 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride to actively protect teeth from tooth decay, but many of the current toothpastes which contain activated charcoal fall well below this level and are putting users at an increased risk of tooth decay.

 

“I would advise consumers to ensure they do their homework before deciding to use a product with activated charcoal,” adds Dr Carter.

 

“There are many reasons why people want to have whiter teeth, and I advise them to speak with a dental professional to establish what the best option for them individually is.

 

“Some of the products may be over abrasive and if used too often can wear away the enamel on the teeth causing sensitivity. Be careful to check with a dental professional that the product you want to use is safe, but as long as the toothpaste has the correct amount of fluoride in it should be fine to use.

 

“But in the long term, it is important to understand that the only way to get the white teeth many people desire is through professional whitening services provided by a dental professional.”

 

Article Source: Oral Health Foundation QODC 7

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Asthma found to increase the likelihood of gum disease by a fifth

Asthma sufferers have been found to be at a much higher risk of developing gum disease, according to the findings of an innovative new piece of research.

 

The study, which looked at a selection of 21 papers published between 1979 and 20171, analyzed the relationship between asthma and oral health, with the most recent results from 2017 confirming that people with asthma were almost one fifth (18.8%) more likely to suffer from periodontitis2.

 

In response, leading charity, the Oral Health Foundation is encouraging asthma sufferers to ensure they pay close attention to their oral health in order reduce their risk of developing gum disease.

 

Speaking on this important new research, Dr. Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation said: “We have known for some time that there are close links between oral health and systemic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. This new study is hugely significant as it could help many millions of asthma sufferers from having to deal with further significant health problems.

 

“The good news is that avoiding gum disease can be as simple as brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, using interdental brushes daily and regular visits to the dentist. While gum disease can be treated very effectively, the best approach is certainly prevention and making sure we do not fall foul of it at all.

 

“When not caught and treated early enough gum disease can lead to tooth loss and further oral health complications.

 

“We are encouraging anybody who suffers from asthma to be especially alert to the early signs of gum disease; which include red inflamed gums, bleeding when brushing your teeth and persistent bad breath, and ensure that you visit your dentist as soon as possible to get checked out and avoid any further problems.

 

“We welcome more research on this topic, as a greater understanding could be a game-changer in stopping asthma suffers also developing gum disease.”

 

The findings, published in the journal of ‘Journal of Periodontology’, illustrate a close link between the two diseases and suggest that there is huge potential for millions more people to develop gum disease in the UK, gum disease is already one of the biggest non-communicable diseases (NCD) globally.

 

According to Asthma UK, 5.4 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma3. The UK has some of the highest rates of asthma across Europe.

 

Anybody wishing to find out more about their oral health, or suffering asthma and feel they may have symptoms of gum disease, can contact the Oral Health Foundation’s Dental Helpline.

 

The Dental Helpline is staff by fully-qualified dental professionals and gives free, impartial and expert advice on all matters pertaining to oral health.

 

Article Source: Oral Health Foundation

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Molecule in human saliva has potential for wound healing

QODC 2A study published online in The FASEB Journal delves into the mystifying fact that wounds in your mouth heal faster and more efficiently than wounds elsewhere. Until now, it was understood that saliva played a part in the wound healing process, though the extent of its role was unknown. The study examined the effects of salivary peptide histatin-1 on angiogenesis (blood vessel formation), which is critical to the efficiency of wound healing. Researchers found that histatin-1 promotes angiogenesis, as well as cell adhesion and migration.

 

“These findings open new alternatives to better understand the biology underlying the differences between oral and skin wound healing,” said Vicente A. Torres, Ph.D., associate professor at the Institute for Research in Dental Sciences within the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Chile in Santiago, Chile. “We believe that the study could help the design of better approaches to improve wound healing in tissues other than the mouth.”

 

The study involved experiments at three levels: (1) endothelial, or blood vessel-forming, cells in culture, (2) chicken embryos as animal models, and (3) saliva samples obtained from healthy donors. Using these three models, histatin-1 and saliva were found to increase blood vessel formation. Researchers are now taking the next step in this line of study — using these molecules to generate materials and implants to aid in wound healing.

 

“The clear results of the present study open a wide door to a therapeutic advance. They also bring to mind the possible meaning of animals, and often children, ‘licking their wounds,'”

 

Article Source: Science Daily

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