Three Simple Ways to Keep Your Mouth Healthy–Other than Brushing and Flossing

Dental health is often overlooked or thought of once a year in our annual cleaning in the dentist’s office. But practicing good oral care can save you expensive dental repair procedures down the road! Three simple steps can help you keep your mouth healthy.

First things first, saliva is the most important barrier against germs. Saliva is rich in antibacterial properties that kill germs and heal wounds.  Keeping your mouth healthy means keeping your saliva levels healthy. If you suffer from dry mouth, you may be opening the door wide for gum-disease! Some medications may cause dry-mouth, so combat these with sugar free gum to help get the saliva flowing.

Regularly rinsing out your mouth with water will help wash away any lingering food particles that attract bacteria. Bacteria can cause plaque, cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Swishing water around your mouth after and between meals can actually make a big difference in dental health!

Stress is an unexpected culprit of dental problems, but nevertheless is linked to almost all types of oral problems. Chronic tension and stress weakens the body’s immune system, which makes fighting infections (including oral infections) more difficult. Stress also can trigger increased acid levels in your mouth, which makes cavities more likely.

Take a moment to change the way you think about oral hygiene, and show those pearly whites proudly!

Source: Women’s Health Magazine

Alcohol related risk may be more deadly for women

The increased risk of death associated with alcohol intake is not the same for men and women. A study that compared the amount of alcohol consumed and death from all causes among nearly 2.5 million women and men showed that the differences between the sexes became greater as alcohol intake increased, as described in an article in Journal of Women’s Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Women’s Health website.

In the article “Effect of Drinking on All-Cause Mortality in Women Compared with Men: A Meta-Analysis,” Chao Wang and coauthors, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical Sciences (Beijing, China), modeled the relationship between the dose of alcohol consumed and the risk of death, comparing the results for drinkers versus non-drinkers and among male and female drinkers. Females had an increased rate of all-cause mortality conferred by drinking compared with males, especially in heavy drinkers.

“While alcoholism is more common in men than women, female drinkers face greater risks to their health compared with male drinkers,” says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women’s Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women’s Health.

New Rochelle, NY, April 9, 2014

Calcium and vitamin D may help with Cholesterol

Drinking milk is not just for kids but also for post-menopausal women, new research shows. A new study from the Women’s Health Initiative just published by the North American Menopause Society, reveals that calcium and vitamin D after menopause can improve women’s cholesterol profiles.

Over 600 women took either a supplement containing 1,000 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D3, or a placebo, daily. Women who took the supplement, unsurprisingly, were two times more likely to have sufficient vitamin D levels (at least 30 ng/mL), in comparison to the women were taking placebo. Women who were taking supplements also had LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) numbers that were 4 to 5 points lower than the women taking placebo. The women on supplement also had higher levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol) and lower levels of triglycerides.

Researchers agree that more work needs to be done to see whether or not supplementing one’s diet with calcium and vitamin D can lower cholesterol levels and ultimately improve rates of cardiovascular disease in women after menopause. These results, however, show that there may potentially be extra benefits for those with calcium and vitamin D deficiencies to start supplements. Supplementing may be key for strengthening both the heart and bones after menopause. To learn more about healthy choices you can make after menopause, visit Northwestern’s menopause website here.

“Calcium/vitamin D supplementation, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and cholesterol profiles in the Women’s Health Initiative calcium/vitamin D randomized trial,” will be published in the August 2014 print edition of Menopause.

 

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