Good health starts with teeth

BRUSHING YOUR TEETH and flossing on a regular basis is about so much more than just white teeth and fresh breath. Recent
research suggests that poor oral health can significantly affect one’s overall health, which may cause systemic problems such as heart disease, respiratory infections and even strokes. It’s imperative to be aware of any changes happening within your oral cavity, as minor transformations can be a sign of major bodily challenges.

Inflamed gums can be indicative of inflammation in the blood vessels, making it difficult for blood to  flow properly. The restriction of blood  flow increases plaque buildup in arteries and can cause a host of problems in the body. Discolored gums can be a sign of HIV infection, diabetes, vitamin deficiency or even cancer. Individuals with preexisting health conditions should also be aware of the importance of oral health, as they are more prone to gum disease.

The good news is that it is now easier than ever to regain and maintain oral health. There are numerous products on the market that are ideal for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. These items range from powered toothbrushes and  flossing aids to antibacterial rinses and tongue scrapers.

The most effective way to achieve optimal oral health is to schedule regular visits with your dentist. Regular dental visits include more than cleanings;
they offer a comprehensive exam of periodontal health and the condition of one’s teeth, and even an oral cancer screening. Dentistry is constantly evolving, and new techniques are making visits more comfortable than ever.

A healthy smile will not only preserve your overall health, it can also make a huge impact on your self-confidence. It’s always rewarding to see my patients glow when they talk about the positive effects that come with maintaining their oral hygiene. Your mouth is the gateway to a healthier you. Now that you know how important oral hygiene is to overall health—don’t delay, take that  rst step.

By Dr. Joseph Banker CostcoCnnection

Elderly Caregivers and Stress

Have you ever noticed how your body reacts to stress? New research shows that the body’s immune system is seriously weakened by stressful events.

William’s caregiving responsibilities aren’t stressful today — but that wasn’t always the case. For seventeen years, William took care of his wife, who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease.

“Just all the things of daily living, dressing, she couldn’t do finally. Just taking care of those things.”

Doctors say everyday stresses such as caregiving can take a heavy toll on your immune system. In fact, research shows that elderly caregivers are not as likely to reap the same benefits of flu shots as elderly non-caregivers.

“Not just for the elderly, but stress in general definitely had an impact on the response to the vaccine. So the agents that these vaccines are designed to protect against, basically you might not have the full protection that you would need.”

Although William didn’t get any serious illnesses while caregiving, respiratory infections like pneumonia and flu are major causes of death among the elderly.

“It should raise the consciousness of the public about these issues so at least they’re knowledgeable about things they might pursue to make themselves less at risk for an infection or even worse.”

While you can’t always avoid stressful situations, you can avoid being stressed-out. One important factor in fighting stress is having people to turn to for support. Doctors also recommend simple lifestyle changes such as getting proper nutrition and sleep.