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Top Health Tips on Improving Oral & Dental Health

Did You Know These 5 Body Parts Contains The Maximum Amount Of Bacteria?

MBBS, MD - Aerospace Medicine, Eular Certification in Rheumatology
General Physician, Pune
Did You Know These 5 Body Parts Contains The Maximum Amount Of Bacteria?
While it may not strike us immediately, the human body plays host to billions and billions of bacteria all the time. Even the ones who claim to be extra clean, have these. While some are considered normal flora, if not controlled, they could lead to problems like infection, odour, etc.

Read on to know 5 of the most infected areas of the human body.

Mouth: No amount of brushing or rinsing can help in keeping the mouth clean. Our mouth is a host to more than 600 types of bacteria and these are required for maintaining the pH in the mouth. It is only when there is an imbalance that infection occurs along with bad breath. The tongue is another part which can allow bacteria to breed both on it and under it. The color of the tongue is a good indication of bacterial growth. Tongue cleaning or brushing is definitely recommended.
Belly button: Again, no amount of time you spend in the shower can help you clean the belly button completely. It has about 2000 plus varieties of bacteria and given its hidden and warm nature (compared to the rest of the body temperature), they are ideal for bacterial growth. People with piercings and obesity definitely carry more bacteria than others. Immediately after the bath, try using a cotton ear bud in your navel and see how much dirt is accumulated.
Armpits: Those who shave their armpits are better off than those who flaunt their hair here. It has more than 80,000 bacteria and not many are even identified. It definitely requires more cleaning than the rest of the body. Shaving the armpits regularly improves the hygiene of the armpits to a large extent.
Nasal cavity: Air enters the body for respiration through the nose, and this air carries a lot of bacteria. The fine hairs in the nostrils which filter out the air of all these bacteria make the nasal cavity another dirty place. When fingering the nose or itching the nose, these get carried to the fingers and all other areas that get subsequently touched!
Nails: Both the finger and toe nails are built such that they are perfect homes for bacteria, especially the skin under the finger nails. Those who do not clean their nails regularly are highly prone to nail and/or skin infections. Added to this, there are people who walk barefoot and the chances are further increased. Hard to believe, but the feet are one of the most ignored body parts in terms of cleaning.
While most of us consider the genitals and the anus to be the dirtiest, which is not totally false, there are more visible parts which need more care and cleaning.
10415 people found this helpful

Root Canal and Its Benefits

BDS, CDE Endo-Prostho, CDE - Cast Partial & Complete Dentures
Dentist, Pune
Root Canal and Its Benefits
When bacteria destroys the outer layer of your tooth (the enamel), cavities become inevitable. Cavities are usually treated with a simple filling procedure. But if the cavities manage to enter the interior of your tooth, they can cause extensive damage to the nerve tissues, which are encased by the pulp. This damage to the nerve tissues is termed as pulpitis an extremely painful condition.

The only way to prevent pulpitis is a root canal, which is a treatment to save and repair the badly infected tooth. During the procedure of a root canal, the pulp and nerve are removed and the interior of the tooth is sealed after it is cleaned thoroughly. Then to protect the hollowed space, a crown (a rigid cover which is stronger than the enamel) is implanted. Basically, root canal aims to preserve the tooth and not save it, since it is extremely infected and already dying. If the infection is not treated promptly, it can spread to the tissues around the tooth, causing you pain all over your head.

Root canal is minimally invasive and not at all painful. The pros of root canal include:
i. Tooth extraction is not needed
ii. The tooth can remain intact
iii. There is no bone loss around the tooth

How about you think twice?
A root canal takes up a lot of your time, and expenses. Sometimes, you may wonder if you should get a second opinion before undergoing such a transformative surgery.

Before your doctor can diagnose, he/she will perform an X-ray of your mouth. If abscesses (these show up in X-rays as dark spots) are found, you may need a root canal procedure. Usually, people refrain from a root canal, and go for a second opinion, especially when the tooth is not really bothering them and if there is hardly any pain. It all depends on how far the infection has spread.

If the infection is shallow, a simple amalgam filling can treat your problem. But if the infection has penetrated deep into your tooth and damaged your nerves, you have no choice but to get a root canal done.
9672 people found this helpful

Water Deficiency - 6 Signs Your Body Is Suffering From It!

MBBS, MD - Aerospace Medicine, Eular Certification in Rheumatology
General Physician, Pune
Water Deficiency - 6 Signs Your Body Is Suffering From It!
Water is the most critical component for all organisms, and since 2/3rd of the human body is made of water, a person can hardly survive for about 72 hours without it. For understanding the impact of water in the body, it is essential to comprehend what it does. Right from helping in digestion to controlling calorie intake to regulating and maintaining body temperature to lubricating the eyes and joints, the functions of water are endless.

Dehydration can cast a negative impact on the body function since it causes electrolyte dysfunction. And the bad news is that most people can go unaware of this condition. Therefore, it is crucial to know about all the warning signs of dehydration so that you can take quick action and prevent yourself from further complications.

Poor concentration along with confusion: Since the human brain is 90 percent water, water deficiency can have a negative impact on a person s thinking abilities and decision-making skills. Lack of water in the body manifests itself through forgetfulness, amnesia, difficulty in thinking and communicating. It has been found that dehydration can also pave the way for mood swings.
Dizziness and headaches: These are some of the most common outcomes of dehydration since it leads to reduced amount of fluids around the brain. This fluid is essential since it functions as a buffer that shields the brain from mild shocks. It can cause migraines and irritation headaches since it reduces the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain.
Dry mouth and foul breath: When you are dehydrated, your body is not able to produce enough amount of saliva which has antibacterial properties. This causes foul breath since there is bacteria attack in the oral cavity. Dry mouth is another important symptom of dehydration since water functions as a lubricant that keeps the mucous membranes in the throat, hydrated which prevents dry mouth.
Sudden cravings for food: People tend to mistake thirst with hunger, and they end up overeating. When you are not taking enough water, your body will send false signals to the brain that you are hungry while a glass of water is all you need.
Constipation and other digestive problem: The work of water is to hydrate all the tissues in the body, and the digestive system is no exception to this. Water can keep the gastrointestinal tract clean and supple which helps in regulating the bowel movement and prevent constipation.
Reduced urge of urination: If you feel that you don t need to urinate after every few hours, your body may be in need of more water. Dehydration also contributes to change in urine color and in case you have dark amber colored urine, it means you should drink up more water.
So, whenever you notice such signs, understand that you have to consume more water regularly.
9565 people found this helpful

Vitamin C - 8 Reasons Why Your Body Needs It!

Certified Diabetes Educator, Diploma In Sports Nutrition, Diploma in Yoga, IDEEL
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Vitamin C - 8 Reasons Why Your Body Needs It!
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, which is essential for various functions and it is not produced or stored by the body, so it is important that the food contains adequate amount of it. It plays a vital role in heart, eyes, skin, and prenatal health and immunity. Long-term non-availability of vitamin C can lead to various symptoms, which though are not immediately threatening, can turn dangerous in the long run.

Bruised skin: Easy bruising is one of the early symptoms of vitamin C deficiency. There could be capillaries which appear superficial and have an increased tendency to bruise and bleed. There could also be unexplained reddish purple marks on the skin in people who have low levels of vitamin C.
Bleeding gums: Another major indicator of vitamin C deficiency is swollen gums that tend to bleed easily. This again is related to their role in collagen formation and if not identified and treated in the early phases, it can lead to severe gum inflammation, periodontal disease, and even loss of teeth.
Slow wound healing: Vitamin C has an important role to play in connective tissue formation, and if there is less of vitamin C in the body, collagen formation is delayed. This can lead to prolonged and delayed healing of wounds, even simple ones like cuts and bruises. The added role of vitamin C as an immune booster also leads to reduced healing when there is vitamin C deficiency.
Nosebleeds: Frequent unexplained nosebleeds is another sign of vitamin C deficiency. Reduced amounts of vitamin C make the capillaries fragile causing them to bleed easily.
Dry skin: While weather does determine if the skin is dry or normal, vitamin C also does. The decreased levels of collagen can lead to an unhealthy skin which can turn red and can be dry and can also lead to keratosis pilaris, which is an accumulation of melanin pigments in the skin. Good amounts of vitamin D helps as a good anti-ageing agent and reduces wrinkles and retains moisture. It also has sun protective effects and antioxidant properties.
Unexplained weight gain: Vitamin C plays a vital role in fat metabolism and therefore deficiency leads to weight accumulation, especially around the waist. It helps oxidise fat and so helps in weight regulation.
Lowered immunity: Vitamin C deficiency affects the body s susceptibility to infections, making it prone to more severe and frequent infections. People catching a common cold very frequently could be suffering from vitamin C deficiency.
Emotional health: Vitamin C is also a mood regulator, so inadequate amount can lead to depression. Try eating a juicy orange and see yourself feeling better!
8865 people found this helpful

You Can Never Have Bad Breath If You Have These Natural Mouth Fresheners

CCP, MBA, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Karnal
You Can Never Have Bad  Breath If You Have These Natural Mouth Fresheners
Natural and effective mouth fresheners

Bad breath is a condition in which a stale odor comes out of the mouth. Bad breath can be chronic and serious and a minor issue as well. It usually develops due to germ build-up inside the mouth. When a person eats or drinks anything except water, germ build-up initiates. These germs cause decay of food substances in the mouth, causing the odor. To tackle this problem, mouth fresheners must be used. There are numerous natural mouth fresheners that can be effectively used on daily basis.

1. Fennel seeds-
Chewing fennel seeds helps in eliminating bad breath after meals. You can also chew them whenever you feel that the germ build up has begun and an odor is coming out.
2. Mint leaves-
A spoonful of mint leaf juice can work wonder on neutralizing bad breath. It halts germ build-up immediately. You can also choose the easier option and simply munch onto some mint leaves.
3. Citric fruits-
Have a good portion of orange or sweet lime pulp whenever you experience bad breath. Citric acid in these fruits acts against the germs and the fruit dominates the odor forcing it to disappear.
4. Guava-
Not many people know that guava is an excellent mouth freshener. Don’t just eat the pulpy part of the fruit; consume it with the outer layer. The skin of this fruits effectively fights germs in the mouth, decreasing the bad odor.
5. Pomegranate-
The seeds of pomegranate must be regularly chewed to effectively tackle chronic mouth odor issues. It also works immediately on germ build-up and neutralizes it.
6. Clove-
Clove is an ideal cure not only to your bad breath but also to all your dental and oral problems. Rather than chewing it, it’s better to keep it on your cheek side and sucking it in every few seconds. It doesn’t let any germs to build-up in your mouth, at the same time it ensures better dental and oral health.
If you would like to consult with me privately, please click on 'Consult'.

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8550 people found this helpful

Olive Oil - Which One Are You Using?

Master in Food & Nutrition, B.Sc. - Home Science
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Faridabad
Olive Oil - Which One Are You Using?
Today, olive oil is known as one of the healthiest oils for cooking food because of its low level of saturated fats. Olive oil is also said to be able to aid in weight loss, reduce cholesterol, lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, slow down the ageing process and protect against certain types of cancer. However, not all types of olive oil are the same. Olive oil is extracted by crushing olives and is categorised on the basis of the type of pressing, acidity levels and extent of processing undergone.

Some of the common types of olive oil available are:

Extra virgin olive oil: This refers to oil produced by the first pressing of olives. This oil is extracted using only mechanical or other physical means and does not involve the use of heat or chemicals. The only processing is subjected to is washing, decanting, centrifuging and filtering. The maximum acidity level of this oil is 0.8%. Extra virgin olive oil has no added flavours or aroma and is said to have a superior taste.
Virgin olive oil: This is the second grade of olive oil. It has slightly higher level of acidity than extra virgin olive oil. It may seem to have a slight flavour imperfection as compared to the earlier oil. This is most commonly used type of olive oil.
Refined olive oil: Oil that is produced by subsequent pressings of the remaining olive flesh is known as refined olive oil. It has a lighter colour and is less viscous as compared to virgin olive oil. Unlike virgin olive oil, refined olive oil is bleached and deodorised. It may also be mixed with a little virgin olive oil. This type of oil has the same levels of monosaturated fat, but has very little antioxidants.
Olive pomace oil: The crushed flesh and pits left over from the extraction of olive oil is known as pomace. This may further be used to extract oil known as pomace oil. Pomace oil is an inferior oil that may be mixed with olive oil to improve its taste and texture.
Unfiltered olive oil: As the name suggests, the unfiltered olive oil contains bits of olive flesh. While this may enhance the flavour of the oil, it also causes a sediment to be formed at the bottom of the bottle. This sediment may become rancid over time and lower the shelf life of the oil. Unfiltered olive oil should ideally be used within 6 months of being bottled.
Apart from the above, there are a number of other types of olive oil such as early or late harvest olive oil, hand picked olive oil, single estate olive oil and flavoured oil.
8309 people found this helpful

Tongue - Can It Help Identify Health Problems?

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
Tongue - Can It Help Identify Health Problems?
Have you ever wondered why in most cases, when you visit your doctor, he/she asks you to stick out your tongue? While it is true that doctor has a better view of the throat when your tongue is stuck out there is also an other fundamental reason for it. The doctor would also like to know the soundness of your tongue. You might have heard this old adage that a lot can be said about you by looking at your tongue. This holds certainly true in modern times and if your tongue looks unhealthy, it is time to get yourself evaluated by a physician. Let us look at some common symptoms and what you can infer from them:

If your tongue has a white coating or white spots: A white tongue or a tongue with white spots can be an indication of a yeast infection that develops inside your mouth. It is common among infants and can also say that you have a weak immune system. In some cases, these white coating can appear after you have taken antibiotics.
If your tongue is red: A red tongue could be a sign of vitamin deficiency. Folic acid and vitamin B-12 deficiencies may cause your tongue to give out a reddish appearance.
Geographic tongue: The condition is caused when the redness causes map like patterns on the surface of your tongue. These patches can have a white surrounding and resemble like a country on a map.
If your tongue is black and hairy: Much like hair, the papillae on your tongue grows throughout the lifetime. They become excessively long in some people and they can harbour bacteria. They look like dark patches and can resemble a mole on your skin. The condition may be common for people suffering from diabetes and for people who take antibiotics regularly.
If your tongue is sore or bumpy: If your tongue is always sore, it can be due to a result of an accident or an injury. You might have accidently bit your tongue and the place is prone to infections and redness. The place may not be able to secrete enough saliva on its own and can cause these rashes or a sore tongue. They are also caused by smoking and in some cases, people with mouth ulcers can get them. Mouth ulcers in the tongue can be painful and can be especially messy.

Doctors advise that you have check your tongue on a daily basis and any changes should not be ignored and should be treated with the seriousness it deserves. Seek medical help immediately if these changes do not away even after a week or two.
8167 people found this helpful

Mouthwash: All You Need to Know About it

BDS
Dentist, Gurgaon
Mouthwash: All You Need to Know About it
Mouthwash has become an essential ingredient of one's oral hygiene kit. Though not a substitute for flossing or brushing, it offers additional oral protection. Due to a host of ingredients, such as alcohol,
Chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride, menthol, methyl salicylate, fluoride, antibacterial enzymes, hydrogen peroxide, essential oils, zinc chloride and other herbs and "natural" ingredients mouthwash has a number of benefits.

Alcohol is the basic ingredient in all of them. While fluoride protects against decay, chlorhexidine protects against gum diseases. Hydrogen peroxide produces a mild bleaching effect. Herbs and essential oils produce a freshening effect.

Benefits of using a mouthwash

1. Reduces formation of tartar and plaque.
2. Protects from oral problems like gingivitis and periodontal disease, especially if it contains cetylpyridinium or essential oils. Chlorhexidine is also effective in protecting plaque formation and gingivitis.
3. Kills bacteria in the mouth and prevents cavities or decay, especially if it contains fluoride.
4. Mouthwash, to some extent, covers up bad breath due to oral hygiene or oral disease and produces a fresher breath.
5. Certain mouthwashes containing cetylpyridinium chloride and zinc chloride produce a better breath freshening effect.
6. Helps manage dry mouth, especially if containing biotene.

Types of Mouthwash

1. Cosmetic
2. Therapeutic

The cosmetic one is usually for freshening up the breath and is not regulated by the FDA. The therapeutic ones contain active ingredients aimed at addressing one of the issues like plaque formation, bad breath, dry mouth, or decay. They kill bacteria, reduce plaque, fight gingivitis, and control decay. They are not a substitute for brushing or flossing but supplement these two very well. These are approved by FDA and are proven in terms of safety and efficacy. Rinses with zinc chloride are effective against bad breath, those with fluoride are useful in people who are cavity-prone, and chlorhexidine helps prevent gum disease.

Choosing a mouthwash: This depends on the oral health condition, and it is always advisable that the dentist prescribes the right rinse for you.

When and how to use mouthwash: When you are done with your brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth with a capful of the mouthwash liquid. Swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds and spit it out. Avoid brushing, drinking water, or rinsing your mouth after using a mouthwash for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will give sufficient time for the active ingredients in the mouthwash (especially if it is a therapeutic one) to act in the mouth. Brushing after mouthwash removes all the effect of the rinse.
7944 people found this helpful

When to Go for Root Canal

MDS, BDS
Dentist, Gurgaon
When to Go for Root Canal
Not every tooth infection requires a root canal and hence it is essential to know the indication of a root canal. But exactly a root canal procedure is and why is it required?

A root canal means that the pulp or soft tissue inside a tooth has been damaged by bacterial infection. A root canal involves removing the damaged pulp, cleaning the infection and filling in the emptied space.

So, how do you know that you need a root canal. Here are some telltale signs:

Gum tenderness: Swelling that indicates the need of root canal treatment can range from being slightly red and inflamed to pronounced lumps on the gums. In some extreme cases, this swelling may extend out of the gums into the face and neck region. Sometimes, a pus filled boil with a pimple like head may also form on the gums. If this head bursts, the patient may notice a foul taste in the mouth. This swelling can come and go as the tooth decay deteriorates and may or may not be accompanied by pain. Teeth may also feel like they have been pushed out of their sockets and are taller than usual.

Pain: Discomfort ranging from a dull ache to a sharp pain can be a sign that you need root canal treatment. This type of pain is usually characterized by throbbing and may change as you switch positions. It is usually triggered by chewing, applying pressure on the tooth or eating something cold or hot. In some cases, the patient may not be able to indicate the exact tooth that is hurting but can only identify the painful area.

Exposure of the dental nerves: At times during regular dental work, the nerves in the tooth may be exposed. This indicates an exposure of pulp tissue and can trigger pulp degeneration if left untreated. However, all of the above symptoms can be symptoms of other types of dental problems as well and do not necessarily individually indicate the need for a root canal. Only a dentist can properly diagnose a need for root canal treatment after a physical examination and testing.

Tooth discolouration: Discolouring of teeth can be a sign of internal tooth damage. This is especially noted if the teeth take on a dark yellow, grey or blackish tint. Tooth discolouration is fairly common in cases where the tooth has undergone trauma such as an accident etc.
7819 people found this helpful

New Year Party Hangover - 8 Tips To Help You Get Over it!

MD - Internal Medicine, MBBS
Internal Medicine Specialist, Mumbai
New Year Party Hangover - 8 Tips To Help You Get Over it!
Many of us will get up with a hangover after partying away on the eve of the New Year. But worry not, these are a few proven ways to get rid of a hangover and start the New Year fresh and bushy tailed:

Drink lots of water: Alcohol is extremely dehydrating. Water is thus, the world s best hangover cure. Alcohol messes up with the way the kidneys function and the body ends up losing around four times more water than usual. This leads to dehydration and causes symptoms like that thumping headache and dry mouth.
Drink some frizzy water with a dash of lemon: The water will rehydrate you and the lemon and lime juice content which is alkaline will help balance the acid in your gut, quelling feelings of nausea. Fizzy drinks also speed up the break down of alcohol in the gut shortening the duration of a hangover.
Take a mild painkiller: Painkillers that are paracetamol based are ideal for curing hangovers. They help with the headaches and muscle cramps. Just make sure that you don t pop aspirins as these can further irritate the stomach and can increase the feeling of nausea.
Eat something mellow: A starchy and wholesome breakfast with toast is highly recommended. So are mellow foods like bananas, apples and rice. These soothing foods will fill up your stomach without irritating it.
Quick headache cure: You can whip up a headache remedy by using off-the-shelf kitchen ingredients. All you have to do is mix one spoon of baking soda in water and drink it quickly to get rid of a headache. What also works is drinking the juice of a tomato mixed with lime. Even a serving of fresh tomato soup with basil can provide relief.
Take a bath by all means, but not with hot water: January is a cold month and hot water is inviting, but it s not the best for getting rid of a hangover. And that s because hot water will only make your condition worse because your body is already feeling the heat due to last night s alcohol consumption which increases pitta or fire element in the body according to Ayurveda. A cold water bath will help, but if you can t brave the cold, you could also go for a lukewarm shower.
Get moving: Get out in the open and indulge in a light workout or a brisk walk. This will break down the alcohol toxins into the sweat. A few yoga stretches and breathing exercises are good too.
Sleep it off: This is probably the best option for treating a hangover as most hangovers don't last longer than 24 hours. Catching up on sleep is so much better than moping at home with a headache.
7598 people found this helpful