The Dentist in Silver Spring Talks About Smoking and Your Oral Health

There really is very little doubt about the fact that smoking, or any form of tobacco use, is terrible for your health. Dentists in Silver Spring and other health organizations are constantly warning the public against the dangers of this habit. The problem about advertisements against smoking is that it tends to highlight the long-term ramifications of tobacco-use, such as lung cancer and heart disease. As a result, the warning signs tend to be ignored, especially by young smokers who feel as though they have their whole lives to quit…

“I’ll quit smoking before I get old enough to fall sick from it.”
“I’ve only been smoking for a few years. Not enough to kill me yet!”
“I don’t plan on being a lifelong smoker, so I’ll be safe.”
Aside from the fact that these sentiments are completely illogical, smoking has a variety of undesirable effects on the body that manifest themselves in the short term. And in no other area are these effects more visible than in the health of your teeth and gums.

The Effects of Smoking on Your Oral Health

Smoking, by its very nature, is a counter-intuitive addiction for us to develop. It tastes awful, it makes you stink like an ashtray and it dictates your day-to-day behaviors to quite a large extent. Our bodies were not designed to be able to inhale smoke; otherwise we would have evolved with some kind of inbuilt filter! Instead, we suffer through the addiction, hating ourselves when we do smoke and feeling miserable when we don’t.

The psychological effects of smoking aside, this addiction takes a terrible toll on the health of your teeth and gums:

*”Dry Mouth”: Smoking causes xerostomia or “dry mouth,” a condition marked by the slowed production of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is an important natural defense against bacteria, so those who suffer from dry mouth are more susceptible to cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.

*Soft Tissue Inflammation: Smoking burns and irritates the soft tissues in the mouth, causing the gums, tongue, palate and buccal lining (inner cheeks) to become inflamed and sensitive.

*Tooth Discoloration: The nicotine and other chemicals in cigarette smoke seep into the tiny pores in your dental enamel, causing the teeth to become stained and discolored. In the long run, this can have a devastating effect on one’s smile aesthetics.
*Slowed Healing: Tobacco-use causes a squeezing of the blood vessel of the gums which restricts the amount of oxygen rich blood getting to the right place at the right time. This causes damage because this area won’t get enough blood and not having the right blood supply retards the natural healing processes in the mouth. This not only increases a person’s risk of developing oral infection or disease, it also
compromises their ability to fight it off and heal properly. Patients requiring dental surgery – especially dental implants – are warned to cease smoking in the weeks beforehand as it can substantially lower the chance of success.

*Gum Disease and Oral Cancer: Tobacco-use is one of the greatest causes of gum disease and oral cancer. Both are serious conditions that, unless diagnosed early and treated, are potentially fatal.

A Final Note from Dentists in Silver Spring Maryland

It’s not an easy undertaking for anyone, but quitting is the only way you can improve your chances of living a long, healthy and happy life. Find out what it is you need to kick the habit today and DO IT.

Resveratrol and Cancer – The Latest Resveratrol Studies Are Promising

There have been hundreds of studies concerning resveratrol and cancer prevention, as well as treatment. Some researchers believe that it may eventually be developed into a new treatment. Others disagree. The debate is likely to drag on for years, if it is ever resolved. It is not unlike the vitamin C debate.

In the late 1980s, Linus Pauling and Abram Hoffer developed a micronutrient regimen, which included high doses of vitamin C, as complement to conventional treatment. Although it was proven to be successful, the regimen was never adopted by the mainstream medical community. Research concerning the beneficial role that high doses of intravenous vitamin C play in the treatment and outcome of surviving the disease is still ongoing, nearly 20 years later.

Extremists say that research concerning natural cures and preventative measures has been covered up by the pharmaceutical companies and even doctors. One controversial naturalist states that doctors have no interest in making us well. It would hurt their business.

Regardless of where you stand on this issue, it is safe to say that the research concerning resveratrol and cancer prevention, if not treatment, is promising. Researchers say that it interferes with all stages of the disease, from initiation to progression. Other research has focused on the benefit to the heart. The supplement has been shown to prolong the life of heart cells.

In various studies, it has been shown to extend the lifespan of short-lived worms, fruit flies and fish. In animals fed a high fat diet, it has been shown to reduce the damaging effects that the fat has on the heart and other cells of the body, reducing the risk of heart disease to that of animals eating a normal, low-fat diet.

Like the resveratrol and cancer studies, this is all referred to as “preliminary” research. The effect that a nutrient or other compound has on a cell or even an animal model cannot always be duplicated in humans. Some research indicates that supplementation would not be beneficial, because the nutrient does not enter the bloodstream. But, to include it in a totally balanced vitamin, mineral and micro-nutrient supplement definitely couldn’t hurt.

Many nutrients are changed significantly by stomach acid. If they can get past the stomach and into the upper intestine, they can pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream. The best supplements have an enteric coating, which protects these nutrients from being changed and degraded by stomach acid.

Besides the studies concerning resveratrol and cancer, there have been many other interesting ones, of late. Curcumin, green tea, grape seed and other extracts show promise.

Nearly thirty years ago, Linus Pauling told us that we could live longer and feel better, if only we would increase our daily nutritional intake. His ideas concerning supplementation were controversial, but he was a Nobel Prize winning chemist and, over the course of his life, the winner of dozens of science awards and honors.

Now that you know a little more about where research stands concerning resveratrol and cancer, you might want to learn how to choose an excellent nutritional supplement. It might be the best thing that you ever do for your health.

Prostate Health and Oyster Extract

Prostate problems affect a large percentage of the male population over 50 years of age. These problems manifest as hyperplasia or swelling of the prostate, impotence issues, urinary issues and worst of all, cancer issues. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men and 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Factors such as age, lifestyle and family history are all significant in the onset of prostate problems. However men should be familiar with one very important aspect to prostate health over which they have complete control and this is the area of zinc nutrition.

Research conducted at the Linus Pauling institute in Oregon State University has shown that prostate swelling usually precedes prostate cancer. This swelling or hyperplasia as it is known has also been shown to be associated with zinc deficiency. While they did not conclude that this swelling was a precursor to prostate cancer, it is almost always seen prior to the onset of the disease. They also showed in the course of these investigations (in vitro) that this prostate swelling could be reduced by adequate zinc intake. In fact the prostate cells that were beginning to swell underwent programmed cell death or apoptosis when zinc deficiency was corrected.

The prostate gland contains the highest concentration of zinc of any organ in the human body. Science is unsure of the reason for this but cancerous prostate glands have been shown to have less zinc than healthy ones. Going back to the research in Oregon, it was also noted that the role of zinc might be more of a preventative one as supplementation had little effect on already cancerous prostate cells. That said, zinc has many other important functions in the body especially around immunity so anyone diagnosed with prostate cancer should not ignore zinc nutrition.

So maintaining an adequate supply of good quality zinc would appear to be a good policy in helping to prevent the onset of prostate problems. However deciding on the right zinc supplement is not as easy as you may think. They are many synthetic ones on the market and research has shown that taking zinc on its own may upset the delicate balance it maintains with other trace elements in the body. For example, copper absorption may be affected by taking too much zinc. As copper and zinc are needed together in a large number of enzyme processes in the body, we must be careful to respect the balance.

Oyster extract is a very good source of organic zinc. However it not only contains zinc, but all of the 59 trace elements the body needs. These are balanced by nature, as nature intended. In fact oysters contain 10 times more zinc than the next highest source which is red meat. A good quality oyster extract will contain at least 3mg of zinc for every 1g of powder. Some however can be as low as 0.1mg for every 1g of powder and these brands are obviously less effective. These low potency brands also tend to come from places like New Zealand, Japan and China where oysters are not harvested with this zinc potency in mind.

Ask your supplier if the oyster extract they sell is high in zinc potency before making a purchase. It is a clear contender to be the supplement of choice for those seeking a good preventative therapeutic for prostate problems. It is considered by many to be the caviar of zinc supplements.

How Omega 3 Helps Douse Inflammation

What do arthritis, heart attacks, cancer, asthma, and depression have in common? Inflammation! Yes, the same process that occurs when you stub your toe — swelling, pain, redness, and heat — is at the root of many of today’s chronic health problems.

Your body’s inner 911 is known as the inflammation response. Without it, a little injury such as a cut on your foot could be life threatening. Your body’s arsenal, from tiny cells to special chemicals, responds in a number of ways — such as forming blood clots to prevent blood loss or raising the temperature of your body–in an effort to destroy bacteria that may have entered your wound. This type of inflammatory response is essential for healing, but another kind of chronic low-grade inflammation promotes disease. Consequently, the healing blood clots that prevent bleeding to death can trigger a heart attack or stroke.
How Your Body’s Inner First-Aid Kit Became a Slow Weapon of Death

Your body’s inner first-aid kit depends on a wide array of tools that include a powerful class of chemicals called eicosanoids (pronounced eye-CO-suh-noids). These potentially healing compounds are made from fat. Eicosanoids made from omega-6 fats promote infl ammation. Omega-3-based eicosanoids have the opposite effect: dousing inflammation. It is a complicated contradiction — but in a way, no different from the opposing tools used for repairing a house. You might need a demolition ball to tear out a rotten wall and then a crane to deliver wood for building a new wall. Or you might need a scraper to remove paint and a thin, wispy brush to apply paint in delicate corners. Similarly, the infl ammation process uses eicosanoids that constrict or dilate blood vessels, prevent blood clots or trigger blood clots, and so forth. These seemingly opposite actions are necessary for maintaining your health.

Imagine, however, that while repairing your house, you received mainly tools for demolition. In a simplified manner, that is the dilemma that takes place in our bodies. Today, via the inflammation response from the food we eat, we have a preponderance of the tools that are destruction-oriented toward our bodies. If you eat too many omega-6 fats, your body makes too many pro-inflammation tools. This problem is amplified when you don’t eat enough of the counterbalancing omega-3 fats.

The proportion of omega-6 and omega-3 fats eaten will determine the type of fats holstered in your cells, which in turn determines the type of eicosanoids created and ultimately your inflammation status. Nearly 15 years ago, one researcher concluded that the typical American diet sets the biological stage for a near maximal inflammation response from eating a chronic excess of omega-6 fats and too few of the omega-3 fats.

Today inflammatory responses from excess omega-6 eicosanoids are at the root of many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, asthma, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. People are popping a record number of anti-inflammatory medications to block the problems caused by eating too many omega-6 fats.

The bottomline: Have more fish. Fish oil works like many of the medications used to fight pain and inflammation, without the side effects. Moreover, fish oil offers health benefits. Medications (and fish oil) that inhibit the COX and LOX enzymes halt the inflammation process.

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Medicines – do they too at times cause vaginal yeast infections?

Antibiotics are incapable of identifying helpful bacteria from the harmful ones. If you are down with a bacterial infection, antibiotics will sweep your system clean of all infections but in the process might clean out helpful bacteria too. This disruption of internal ecosystem in most cases lead to yeast infections.

But why blame antibiotics only? Steroids, more so when they are ingested for longer durations, can also trigger yeast infections.

Patients often face, as they say, the dilemma of choosing between a rock and a hard place. Medicines are imperative to cure an ailment but prolonged usage of medication causes another disease to sneak in.

Cancer patients, on the edge as they already are, have to undergo chemotherapy to get rid of cancerous cells. But the therapy steamrolls healthy cells too and as a bonus of sorts “gifts” yeast infection to the patient who is already struggling with other serious side effects of the dreaded therapy as hair loss and vomiting.

Same is the case with vaginal yeast infections. Yeast cells are normal cleansers of vaginal canal but if their numbers increase beyond acceptable limit they become an embarrassing nuisance.

You must be eager now to know what happens if yeast infection is not controlled. Generally it starts interfering with digestive system and also impairs your body’s capability of absorbing medication and in more serious instances causes swelling of the affected area which, if not promptly attended to, may lead to a lot of suffering.

The medicines you take to kill yeast infections have their side effects also. They kill yeast cells indiscriminately and body loses even the optimum amount yeast cells necessary to function properly. So you need further medicines to restore the flora and fauna of the body, specially the digestive system. Removal of remains of dead yeast cells becomes a big issue also. It seems to be a perpetual vicious cycle where you throw out the baby with the bath water and scamper to retrieve the child only to find that a bath has again become necessary.

Medicines are, however, not the only source of vaginal yeast infection. These cells thrive under warm moist conditions and if you perspire more or work for long periods under hot humid conditions, excessive growth of yeast cells is quite possible. Moreover, as in case with any other form of infection, if your natural immunity system is not robust you are susceptible to yeast infections more than other persons.

If you are wary about taking any more medicines you may try out yogurt with active cultures especially acidophilus. People have got reprieve from mild to medium yeast infections by consuming such specially treated yogurt.

All said and done, normally vaginal yeast infections are not something to panic about and it is only in extremely rare cases have these infections blown up into something really serious.

Lula In Distress

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva was diagnosed last year with laryngeal cancer. As a response, the popular politician has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments to address this health issue.

This health development is a major concern for supporters of this very popular public figure. The Brazilian populace affectionately calls him Lula and many view his return to office after the expiration of the term of the incumbent president Dilma Rouseff by 2015.

Many pundits view Rouseff as a placeholder president, who only took office after being mentored by the statesman into the presidency last year. Now, she has tough fight in her hands as six cabinet ministers have already resigned in her first year in office. This was viewed as fallout on her tougher stance on corruption, especially within the party’s support base. Her brow beating of course has lead to an internal reaction in the party, a skill she still needs to master being a political novice.

Despite her internal clashes with her supporters, many view Rouseff as a real president instead of a perceived one. Her current policies together with the illness of Lula may enable her to seek a second term in office.

Lula’s tumor, according to experts, is “not very big” and his full recovery is expected according to an oncologist working with the former president. Even the common Brazilian on the street has closely monitored the publicity regarding this illness. Unlike another president’s cancer issues, Hugo Chavez’s illness has been cloaked in mystery and propaganda machinations. Even the type of cancer of the Venezuelan strongman has not been confirmed.

Lula’s popularity stems from his formation of the Worker’s Party that catapulted him to the highest post in Brazil. He instituted many social programs such as the Bolsa Familia and the Fome Zero within Brazil and has been credited to creating the economic miracle that Brazil is nowadays. He also has played many a prominent role in international relations, such as the support of the nuclear disarmament of Iran and the push towards global warming negotiations and responsibilities between and amongst nations in the world.

Lula has been featured amongst 2010’s 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine and has been hailed as the most successful politician of his time. His current battle is with throat cancer as a result of being a smoker for nearly forty years. He and his medical team are positive as to the chance for recovery as the cancer was discovered in its very early stages.

New Information Revealed On Preventing Up To One Third Of All Cancer

A new study, published in the Lancet, suggests that specific lifestyle changes would impact more than a third of cancer deaths worldwide. Many cancers have preventable causes that could be managed and prevented through changes in lifestyle and environment.

These factors include

Alcohol use
Unsafe sex
Low fruit and vegetable intake
lack of exercise
contaminated injections
indoor smoke from fuels

While the impact of smoking is a well-known risk factor in health, many of these other factors come as a surprise to many. Modern nations tend to have low intakes of nutritious whole foods and instead consume greater amounts of highly processed foods, containing high levels of salt, fat and refined sugar. Lack of exercise is also a significant lifestyle factor for many people in industrialized countries who tend to sit in offices and engage in little physical activity.

Indoor smoke from fuels creates a risk challenge for those who burn kerosene for heat. The invisible fumes and traces of soot damage exposed tissues including the lining of the lungs as well as exposed skin and the surface of the eyes.

These factors add up to 2.43 million of the annual toll of seven million cancer deaths reported in 2001 worldwide, according to data from the World Health Organization’s Comparative Risk Assessment project, as well as other international sources. By reducing these cancer risks, one global benefit is to make available better funding for the medical treatment of the remaining millions affected by cancer. As cancer is very expensive to treat, reducing the impact of these risk factors provides economic benefit as well as the improvement of many lives through better health.

The research also indicates smoking is linked to deaths from the following cancers.

Bronchial and tracheal cancers
Oesophageal cancers and oral cancers.

Oesophageal cancer deaths and oral cancer deaths are also linked to the abuse of alcohol consumption and may increase the impact of the other risk factors as well. Figures are based on a review of published studies, government reports and international databases.

With one out of five cancer deaths worldwide attributed to smoking, according to 2001 research data, the importance of quitting smoking could not be more obvious.

The impact of second hand smoke was not covered in this report.

The true importance of this data is that it shows that we can do something about cancer. The risk factors listed are all issues that we have individual power over. While some forms of cancer may be caused by more elusive factors there are still many things we can do to protect ourselves and ensure an improved quality of life through better living and the self-control of clearly identified risk factors. Some of these factors may be challenging to some, but by asking yourself the right questions such as “how can I get more exercise” instead of “why can’t I find time to go the gym” you will find the answers you seek. The only step that remains is to take action.

Reasons Why You Should Visit Your Dentist Regularly

How many of us retain a childhood fear of the dentist? And how many of us take pains to avoid those chilly, sterile offices as a result? Don’t be ashamed if that’s the case. But there is a multiplicity of reasons why you should try to face your fears and check in with your dentist on a regular basis. Let’s explore just a few of them.

Dental professionals recommend that individuals get their teeth cleaned at least once every one to two years. The purpose of having this done is to have tartar removed–this is mineralized plaque which cannot be removed with even the best brushing and flossing, especially in areas of the mouth which are too difficult to reach for most people.

A general cleaning is usually performed by a dental hygienist, so you should be sure to check in with your dentist. Doing so is extremely important for maintenance and upkeep on any previous dental work that you have had done.

If you have had fillings some years ago, they may have deteriorated enough to be replaced. Ensuring that your dentist has the opportunity to monitor these things can prevent dental emergencies in the future.

Sometimes excessive or harsh brushing, poor flossing habits, or other oral hygiene problems can lead to problems with your gums, which, if not caught early, can lead to periodontal disease at the very least–irritation, chronic halitosis, and swollen gums as the best case scenario.

Periodontal disease frequently leads to tooth loss, especially as we grow older. Up to twenty-five percent of adults over the age of sixty-five have lost ALL of their teeth, primarily due to tooth decay and advanced gum disease.

Gum disease does not only wreak havoc on your mouth–research suggests that certain types of gum disease may spread and hasten the hardening of arteries in the neck, which can ultimately lead to a stroke.

And what’s most important to realize above periodontal disease is that you may be developing it without knowing about it. That is why it is so important to see your dentist regularly, so that is can be caught in the early stages.

Cancer of the mouth is more common than you might think. In 2004, there were over 25,000 cases of oral, tongue, and pharyngeal cancer reported in the United States. Across the globe, mouth and throat cancer combined was the sixth most common malignancies, and it has a fairly high mortality rate. Preventing or catching it in the early stages could save your life.

The Hidden Cost of Baby Formula on Women's Health

Mothers who use baby formula incur more costs than breastfeeding Moms do. After all, they need to buy the formula, along with feeding bottles, artificial nipples, and sterilizing equipment. They also have to spend sterilize and store everything. However, there is a hidden cost of baby formula that many do not realize. This is the cost to women’s health in terms of increased risk to diseases and other conditions that women who do not breastfeed, or do so for limited periods, are exposed to.

When a woman uses baby formula, she ends up either not breastfeeding or doing so for a limited period. Because breastfeeding is part of the pregnancy and childbirth process, when a woman’s breastfeeding is disrupted by the use of baby formula, her health risks increase.

For women who do not breastfeed, or do so for a limited time, the risks for the following increases:

Breast Cancer

Non-breastfeeding women are at greater risk to develop breast cancer than women who breastfeed. The longer a woman breastfeeds, the greater is her protection against breast cancer. The scientific evidence for breastfeeding’s protective effect against cancer is so great that The World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research identified breastfeeding and being breastfed as one of 10 ways to prevent cancer.

Being Overweight

For every month a woman breastfeeds after birth, her weight is reduced by 0.44 kg, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Being overweight and obese increases the risk for a number of diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancers. Since breastfeeding helps women control their weight, then it also helps protect breastfeeding women against those diseases that are associated with weight gain.


For every year that a woman breastfeeds, a woman’s risk for developing diabetes is lessened by 15%. This was found by a study published by the American Medical Association. The longer a woman breastfeeds, the more she is protected against diabetes.

Endometrial and Ovarian Cancers

Other studies have found that women who never breastfeed have increased risks of developing endometrial cancer than their breastfeeding counterparts. Moreover, those who breastfeed longer and have more children have greater protection against ovarian cancer.


Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding makes for stronger bones. Higher bone density and fewer bone fractures were observed among women who had more children and breastfed for longer duration than women who never had any children or never breastfed.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

In a study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism, breastfeeding for at minimum of 1 year lessened women’s chances of having rheumatoid arthritis.

Stress and Anxiety

In a study in Biological Research for Nursing, mothers who use baby formula said they had fewer positive moods and positive events in their life, and more stress than breastfeeding mothers did. Formula-feeding Moms also had more experience of depression and anger than mothers who breastfeed. Breastfeeding causes oxytocin to rush into the mother’s brain. Oxytocin is a hormone that creates positive feelings and increases feelings of trust. No wonder it is also called the “feel good” and “love” hormone.

Closely Spaced Pregnancies

Breastfeeding, when it is done exclusively during the first six months after birth, has a natural contraceptive effect. According to a study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, none of the test women who were breastfeeding got pregnant within six months after birth. Women who use baby formula do not have this natural reduced fertility.

Using baby formula brings about more costs than what can be computed in dollars and cents. Baby formula increases a family’s – and society’s – medical expenses, reduces productivity, and could even contribute to death. If one wants to understand the real cost of baby formula, you should take all this into consideration. Parents, especially, should be aware of the hidden cost of baby formula so that they can make an informed choice on the feeding and care of their children.