Answers to today's medical questions through blogs and articles

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The Structure of The Tooth

Healthy TeethYou may gaze into the mirror and simply see a set of pearly whites grinning back at you, but those teeth are a little more complex in their composition – more than you probably have ever thought about.

When you think of it, your teeth are challenged every day to withstand icy cold or steaming hot drinks, or to crunch down and pulverize every piece of food that you put into your mouth.  We’ve had our current teeth since we outgrew our baby teeth and got the permanent set, and, for some, old cavities or dental issues forced us to get crowns so that our old metal fillings were not so unsightly.

How to Keep The Tongue Healthy

Healthy Tongue
If you see a dentist or dental hygienist on a routine basis, they no doubt give you an oral cancer check.  This is commonplace now since over 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral and throat cancers yearly.  Sadly, the five-year survival rate of those diagnosed is only slightly more than 64 percent.  By being proactive, you and your dentist can detect cancer and treat it so that major health problems are alleviated later.  So thank your dentist next time when the oral cancer test is complete as he or she might just save your life!

Why Does My Breath Smell?

The scientific name for bad breath is halitosis and the biggest culprits for creating this malady are onions and garlic.  This is not only due to their strong aroma, but because they both contain sulfuric compounds that get absorbed into your bloodstream, enabling a secondary odiferous wave to reach your lungs, where it eventually escapes through your mouth. So, not only do you have a strong aftertaste where mouthwash or mints fail miserably to rid your mouth of the odor, but, in the case of garlic, once it is absorbed it continues to emit a bitter scent from your pores.  Many people simply use garlic to enhance their food and others take garlic pills for their antioxidant powers and to help thwart heart disease and cancer.

Bad breath can also be caused by aromatic spices, stinky sausages and ethnic foods that will leave you with dragon breath; even red wine can be problematic, leaving you with a pungent odor in your mouth.  But, bad breath from ingesting certain food or drink generally goes away in a day or two, whereas bad breath which is continual and cannot be masked by mints or mouthwash, is of special concern.  Your first stop as you play detective to uncover the source of the bad breath is to see a top dentist in Maplewood to determine if you have gum disease, or perhaps, a decaying tooth.  If that is not the reason, the next stop is an ear, nose and throat specialist (or ENT) to see if tonsillitis or a sinus condition might be the culprit.  A dentist in Maplewood NJ can do diagnostic tests to locate the cause of your bad breath. If there are no issues determined by either specialist,  then you must delve further to determine the cause of the problem which may be “stomach breath”.

Health Risks of Processed Foods

Risks of Processed FoodsEvery time you turn around the headlines are screaming about another food recall.  E-coli, listeria, e-coli and avian flu issues have us rethinking where we dine or what we put into our grocery carts and into our mouths.  The Chipotle e-coli issues leave us less likely to be craving Mexican food at that establishment, even though they are cleared of contamination issues and back in business again.  We may want to eat healthy by eating more produce, but then we worry about listeria-contaminated lettuce or consuming supposedly “pre-washed produce” like bagged coleslaw or lettuce, only to find a large manufacturer like Dole is sweeping them off the shelves in a massive recall.  Even a treat like ice cream was contaminated with listeria causing Blue Bell, a manufacturer established way back in 1907, to halt production of this frozen treat while they determined the source of contamination.  The avian flu has us scrambling to find organic eggs or just doing without eggs altogether.

Healthy Eating Habits for College Students

Healthy Eating for College StudentsCollege life is a dramatic change from the comfy convenience of living at home.  Even if you were involved in athletics or had a part-time job, chances are you had three nourishing meals, a clean bed and your laundry done on a regular basis.  You got your homework done before the weekend so you had free time.  Unless you continue to live at home while attending college, you are in for a rude awakening.

Big adjustments

The biggest adjustment might be living away from home for the first time, and, in general, dormitory life and sharing a room with strangers.  Even if you shared a room with a sibling, it’s just not the same.  Strangers coming and going all the time, and their friends as well, and so on.  Sometimes you need to get away from it all and the library may become your sanctuary – that’s a good place to go to catch up on your studies and chill out a bit.

Healthy Habits for Elementary School Kids

Healthy Habits for Elementary School KidsNothing saps your energy and keeps you from feeling your best like a head cold, no matter what the time of year.  Colds can come at any time, and flu season typically runs from October through May, peaking in February.  You must be proactive to help your kids understand how to develop healthy habits.

As soon as your child is old enough to understand that “germs are not our friend”, you should encourage your child to do the following:

How to Protect Skin from Sun Damage

With summer fast approaching, there are so many feelings of excitement in the air as everyone prepares for vacations, trips to the beach, and spending quality time with friends and family.  Indeed, with sunnier days comes an increase in outdoor activities as people are more inclined to venture outside and enjoy the warmer weather ahead of them.  This also means there is an increase in exposure to direct sunlight and in turn, more exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.  While natural sunlight is undoubtedly important for a healthy dose of Vitamin D, there are still risks involved with overexposure to the sun.  Beyond dry, peeling and even blistered skin due to sunburn, there is also the increased risk of developing skin cancer.  To avoid such health implications, protect your skin during the summer by following these simple daily health tips for a fun, yet safe summer season.

The Immune System and The Gut

Immune System and The GutIf you are in reasonably good health, you might attribute it to genes (no major health issues in your immediate family), you watch what you eat and you have good gut health.  What the heck is good gut health you ask?

Much scientific research has been done showing the association between a gut-healthy diet and increased immunity and overall health.  If you’re already blessed with good health, you must be doing something right, and, if you want to strive for good health, look below to see what you should be doing going forward.

How to Prevent Gas

It’s Friday at your workplace and the boss is out for the day.  Someone suggests doing Mexican food for lunch and soon all the employees are making a mad dash for the door.  You feast on all that tasty fare and head back to work, however, the rest of the day you swig water until you are sure you can hear that water sloshing around inside of you.  Blame it on the spicy salsa and a few too many warm tortilla chips.  But, not only that, you want to loosen your pants because you feel like a balloon about to burst – must’ve been the refried beans!  Mexican food sure is tasty, but everyone jokes about beans and their aftereffects.

What is Indigestion?

What Causes IndigestionDuring your high school and college years, pizza was your go-to food 24/7; you ate that hot and piping pizza pie when it was delivered, and ice cold the next morning.  Your stomach never rebelled one iota.  So …

Suddenly, that ooey-gooey crust or that tangy tomato sauce leaves you feeling like your innards are on fire.  After vowing to stop patronizing that pizza joint going forward, you might think “do they make pizza differently these days … or is it me?”  Well, if you really have to ask that question, perhaps it is time to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist in Flushing to have your GI tract checked out to ensure everything is okay.  Gastroenterologists deal with all types of stomach ailments and should be able to quickly determine if your pain is caused by simple indigestion or is a symptom of a serious stomach condition.

But first, let’s delve a little into the topic of indigestion.