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Q: Drinking coffee and cola helps get me through the workday. If I brush my teeth in the morning and at night, will I be OK?
A: Sipping on drinks all day can cost you a lot more than just the price of the pop or the expensive designer coffee! Every time we eat or drink something that contains sugars or starches, the bacteria in the plaque on our teeth uses the sugar to produce acid. The artificial sweeteners in diet drinks are also used by the bacteria to pile on acid attacks. The repeated cycle of acid attacks eats away at the tooth’s enamel until there’s a hole or a cavity. Our saliva helps neutralize the acids and helps enamel repair itself by replacing minerals lost during acid attacks.
Here are five anti-cavity tips that Dr. Craig Goldin, Dr. Marcy Goldin, and Dr. David P. Whalen live by:
• If you want to drink cola or eat a sugary treat, it’s best to do that as part of a meal. The action of chewing stimulates the production of more saliva to neutralize the acids and re-mineralize the tooth enamel.
• Want a better smile? Say cheese! After eating a sweet dessert or snack, follow it up with a slice of an anti-cavity cheese like aged cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Swiss.
• Between meals, reach for chewing gum containing the sweetener Xylitol, which is a very effective cavity-fighter.
• Don’t eat or drink anything with sugar after bedtime tooth-brushing. Saliva flow decreases during sleep and, without enough saliva, teeth are less able to repair themselves after an acid attack.
• Sip on fluoridated water right from the tap. Fluoride helps prevent mineral loss and replaces lost minerals to keep your teeth and bones strong!
Cosmetic Dentistry Institute
Q: How can I maintain my cosmetic surgery results for years to come?
A: With the confidence you gain from an improved appearance, it may be easier than you think to keep up your new look. Consider these healthy habits and lifestyle tips:
• Eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet; stay well-hydrated; and make exercise a part of your daily routine. If you’ve had body-contouring procedures, a good diet and exercise can help keep your weight within a stable range to protect your new figure. Start with walking or other nonstrenuous activity during your recovery.
• For optimal healing and to promote fading of your incisions, follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions — which may include restricted activity. Protect your scars from the sun, keep the area clean, and use topical scar care creams or ointments approved by your physician. Embrace®, a unique scar therapy system, uses state-of-the-art technology to actively prevent scar formation. As you heal, ask your surgeon to prescribe the best medical-grade skin care products to maintain and enhance your cosmetic surgery results, especially if you’ve had facial procedures.
• Review your use of medications, vitamins, and supplements with your surgeon. If you smoke, quit — both before and after surgery. Smoking increases the risk of complications and promotes signs of aging. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption and reduce stress to help ensure the most optimal long-term surgery outcomes.
Dr. Ellen Janetzke offers a full range of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery options, including face and skin treatments. Call today for a personalized consultation.
Dr. Ellen Janetzke, M.D.
Q: Is there a minimally invasive procedure to correct receding gums?
A: With the Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Technique, receding gums are typically treated with no cutting, no stitches, and virtually no pain. Periodontist Dr. Joseph Nemeth was the first gum specialist in Michigan to be certified in the use of this minimally invasive technique by its originator and developer, Dr. John Chao.
“When gums recede, your teeth look much longer and your smile looks older. This condition also can lead to tooth sensitivity, decay, and bone loss,” Dr. Nemeth explains. “Using the Pinhole Technique, we make a small pinhole in the gum above the teeth to be treated. With special instruments, we loosen up the gum tissue and bring it down over the receded areas where it should be. This improves the smile tremendously and prevents further gum and bone recession and loss.”
Dr. Nemeth places Platelet Rich Fibrin (PRF) through the pinhole. A membrane derived from the patient’s own blood, PRF increases the blood supply in the gums, speeds healing, and enhances the result.
The Pinhole Technique offers many advantages over traditional gum grafting, including no incisions or sutures, less discomfort, and a faster recovery, Dr. Nemeth says. “It’s a great technique. Patients do well and are extremely happy to have a healthier, more attractive smile.”
Joseph R. Nemeth, D.D.S. & Associates
Q: How does the health of my mouth affect the rest of my body?
A: Without good oral hygiene, harmful bacteria can multiply, causing infection and inflammation in the gums. These bacteria are free to travel through the bloodstream and body, where they continue growing — triggering an inflammatory response far from the mouth. The damage from neglecting your teeth multiplies quickly. It is now believed that this inflammation is responsible for triggering an increased likelihood of cardiovascular disease, stroke, low birth weight babies, diabetes, pancreatic cancer, erectile dysfunction, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Consider these tools and healthy habits to prevent the buildup of disease-causing bacteria:
• Brush your teeth and your tongue at least twice a day. Try an electric toothbrush for more thorough cleaning and to help power away plaque. Sonic and ultrasonic electric toothbrushes offer even more vibrational speed and cleaning movements.
• Floss at least once daily, especially at bedtime. Use stringed floss, flossing picks, or try a water flosser to more effectively remove bacteria between the teeth and below the gum line.
• Don’t rely on mouthwash to clean your mouth.
• Maintain a healthy, well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet that’s low in sugar and simple carbohydrates. To lower inflammation, drink green tea and eat foods containing cinnamon, turmeric, fennel, and cardamom.
• If you’re a smoker, quit. Smoking increases your risk of periodontal disease.
• Schedule dental checkups and cleanings twice a year, or more if needed.
Periodontal disease screening and oral bacteria screening can be done painlessly and easily. Call today to schedule an assessment with Dr. Mindy Salzberg-Siegel.
Mindy Salzberg-Siegel, D.D.S.
Q: Could my cell phone be the cause of my neck and back pain?
A: You only have to walk through the mall or watch someone get out of the car at the end of the day to see how technology is affecting us. Many young people now walk with the hunched bodies associated with old age, and chances are you — and the people around you — are standing almost Neanderthal-like rather than with a straight spine. “Electronics aren’t designed ergonomically and they’re negatively impacting our posture,” says Team Rehabilitation physical therapist Scott Delcomyn. “This, in turn, causes frequent headaches, muscle imbalances, neck pain, back spasms, numbness in the fingers, and pain in the wrists, hips, and legs — you name it.”
If you’re experiencing these ongoing symptoms, it’s the body’s way of telling you to stop and correct the problem. Physical therapy can alleviate symptoms and help prevent surgery. “Patients often tell us they don’t have time for physical therapy but, truthfully, doing it for a few hours a week for just a few weeks is a lot easier than trying to schedule many more hours after they’ve neglected the problem and need surgery,” Delcomyn says.
With locations in nearly every neighborhood, there’s a Team Rehab Clinic near you. See www.team-rehab.com for Team Rehab’s addresses and phone numbers.
Team Rehabilitation Physical Therapy
Q: I’m all stressed out. How can I manage my busy life?
A: Stress and depression levels have grown from bad to worse as many women are multitasking — juggling a career, marriage, children, older parents, and a home.
“They’re not allowing time for themselves in this rush to do everything else to perfection,” says bariatric/internal medicine physician Dr. Gina Randhawa. “Many women get so busy that they put off having a Pap smear, mammogram, and colonoscopy. Out of 365 days, you can make time for these important preventive tests.”
Dr. Randhawa points out that stress can lead to unhealthy eating habits, which can lead to weight gain and more stress and depression. She says she’s noticed that women — particularly younger women — are smoking more than men.
“Whether that’s because they believe it’s going to help with stress or keep their weight down, or they think it looks cool, women — especially of childbearing age — should quit for so many health reasons,” she says.
“I recommend meditation and relaxation to help calm nerves. Studies show that even 20 minutes of exercise is all you need to improve your mood,” Dr. Randhawa says. “Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, and don’t feel guilty about doing things you love to do, whether that’s reading, cooking, or some other hobby. Having some ‘me time’ every day is very important.”
Gina Randhawa, M.D.
Q: What makes laser therapy more effective than traditional pain-management methods?
A: While the advantages of laser therapy are as diverse as the conditions it’s used to treat, the most significant benefits are that it requires no drugs, no surgery, and no injections, and it has no side effects. Laser therapy is the only noninvasive, FDA-cleared pain management option available to people suffering from any type of pain.
Pain Free Life Centers (PFLC) is the only pain management center in the country focused exclusively on the use of high dose laser therapy (HDLT) for pain management. PFLC doesn’t use ineffective, low-level lasers that don’t have the power or correct wavelengths of light to create photobiomodulation — the scientific process that reduces inflammation and allows the body to heal at the cellular level.
Most of PFLC’s patients have already tried drugs, injections, and even surgery to help manage their pain, and they’ve experienced minimal to no success. Visit PainFreeLifeCenters.com and watch patients’ testimonial videos. They speak for themselves. Make the choice to live pain-free. Pain Free Life Centers of Michigan is so confident in what they do, your consultation and first treatment are free. Make PFLC your first choice, not your last resort.
Pain Free Life Centers of Michigan
Q: I eat healthy and exercise regularly, but I’m still tired all the time and I can’t lose weight. What’s going on?
A: After the age of 30, hormone levels gradually decline each year, resulting in hormone imbalance in both men and women. Hormone imbalance is directly responsible for many negative effects on quality of life and health, including decreased energy levels, decreased sex drive, weight gain, loss of muscle mass and tone, decreased concentration and memory, difficulty sleeping, hot flashes, night sweats, depressed moods, a loss of one’s general sense of well-being, and much more.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is the science of correcting hormone imbalances with the goal of restoring youthful, optimal hormone levels and relieving the symptoms of hormone imbalance and deficiency. The natural hormones prescribed by Genemedics Health Institute’s medical doctor are safe and effective because they’re identical to the hormones our bodies produce.
Patients who try BHRT are healthier, happier, and have a dramatically improved quality of life. Genemedics Health Institute’s comprehensive natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy programs, combined with proper nutrition and exercise, will return you to the optimal physical, sexual, and emotional health you experienced in your 20s and 30s. Contact Genemedics today and get started on the path to a younger, healthier you!
Genemedics Health Institute
Q: What are some movement habits I can adopt to maintain an active lifestyle as I age?
A: “It’s important to move every day,” says physical therapist and Pilates instructor Ron Jegadeesh, owner of Pilates Fitness & Physical Therapy Center.
Whether it’s walking, biking, gardening, or taking an exercise class, just 10 to 20 minutes of daily exercise makes a difference. “Patients I see who make exercise a part of their daily routine look and act younger,” Jegadeesh says. “Also, they’re more likely to stay injury-free and to recover much quicker from an injury than those who do not exercise.”
Jegadeesh recommends including these healthy movement habits in your daily routine:
• Change positions frequently. Don’t sit or stand for long periods of time. If you have a sedentary job, be sure to stand up and take a break every hour.
• Practice correct posture and alignment. Sit and stand tall with the spine neutral, shoulders relaxed, and your head on top of your spine.
• Add strength training to your exercise routine. “We lose muscle mass as we age,” explains Jegadeesh. “Therefore, adding resistance to a workout will help maintain muscle tone. Pilates is an excellent way to gain strength while maintaining proper alignment.”