Five Signs You Need to See a Dentist About Your Mouth

mouth care

You feel the perspiration running down your forehead. It’s time for the moment you’ve dreaded since you were a kid… it’s time to see the dentist. Hopefully, you see your dentist at least once a year, but there are some cases where it’s especially important to see your dentist.

Mouth pain

Pain is not normal and if you experience any pain in your mouth it’s always a good idea to get it checked out. There are many possible causes of pain in your mouth such as abscess, cavities, broken teeth, grinding, or damaged fillings. Dentin, the inner layer of your tooth, can become exposed from cavities, cracked teeth, receding gums, or worn fillings. When Dentin is exposed, it makes your teeth feel more sensitive when they are exposed to cold temperatures or certain foods, which is also a cause of mouth pain.

Sores in your mouth

Mouth sores can be relatively normal, but if you have a sore that stays for longer than a couple of weeks, it’s important to see a dentist. Mouth sores can be a sign of cancer and they are easier to treat earlier on. Mouth cancer is easily identifiable for a dentist and they can diagnose the issue in a couple of extra minutes during teeth cleaning. Besides cancer, sores can also be signs of other serious problems such as thrush, gum disease, or tooth decay.

Bleeding from the Mouth

Though dentists are stereotyped to say, “You’re bleeding because you don’t floss,” flossing isn’t always the cause. Bleeding after brushing or flossing is important to bring up to a dentist as you may not understand the true cause of the pain. Your dentist will be able to tell if you are simply brushing or flossing too hard or if it is something else. For example, blood can be a sign of gum disease. Let your dentist know of any bleeding in your mouth. They may be able to save you from an expensive surgery.

Shifting teeth

Shifting teeth is very important to look out for especially as an adult. Adult teeth should last the rest of your life. If they are moving around it could be a sign of an infection or even bone loss. Moving teeth can be a mesial drift or normal shifting to the front of your mouth as you age.

Bad Breath

Bad breath is a common problem after eating certain foods and can happen to anyone. If you constantly have bad breath it’s important that you see a dentist. Your dentist can find a way to fix the issue at hand. Persistent bad breath can be a sign of failure in your kidneys, liver, or even diabetes.

There are many reasons to visit the dentist early, but remember to see your dentist at least once a year. If your heart is still racing with dread at the thought of visiting the dentist, some dental agencies such as Family Dental Health Center have options such as sedation dentistry to calm you during your appointment. Remember you only get two sets of teeth, so make sure the second one lasts.

5 Common Ways to get Athletes Foot

athelets foot

Athlete’s foot is a common infection caused by a fungus called Trichophyton. About 70 percent of people, maybe even you, have been infected by it. Athlete’s foot may be common, but here are five things you can avoid in order to deter the spread of this fungus.

Barefoot in Public Areas

The first suggestion to deter athletes’ foot is to avoid walking barefoot in public areas. Walking on a floor that has been infected with the athlete’s foot fungus can infect you with athletes’ foot.  Athlete’s foot is a contagious fungus that affects your skin and any contact with the fungus, including from the floor, can result in an infection.

An area where people commonly contract athlete’s foot that might surprise you is in nail salons. Nail salons have pedicure baths that are perfect for growing athlete foot fungus and difficult for cleaning. Unfortunately, the same pedicure baths are used for multiple clients, resulting in an outbreak of the fungus. In order to avoid problems with infected surfaces in public areas, make sure that you use sandals or flip flops and try to avoid touching surfaces that will be used by multiple people. 

Sweaty Feet

Sweaty feet are another thing to avoid having if you don’t want athlete’s foot. If your foot has been exposed to the fungus, keeping your feet wet for a long period of time can encourage the bacteria to infect your feet. It’s important to note that some people can be exposed to the fungus and not contract it because the conditions are not right. 

Touching Infected Clothing

When trying to keep athlete’s foot at bay, be sure not to touch any infected clothing. Athlete’s foot is brought on by a fungus and can occur from direct and indirect contact. If an infected person uses a towel and another person uses the same towel, it will spread to the uninfected person. Athlete’s foot can be especially hard to avoid when sharing articles of clothing as some people do not exhibit signs.

Injury on Foot

Injuries on your foot can encourage athlete’s foot to grow by allowing the fungus to enter the broken skin. Your skin is a natural barrier that protects your body. If it is broken it is a lot easier for fungus, bacteria, or yeasts to enter your skin and cause conditions such as athletes’ foot. 

Humid, Wet and Dark

The athlete’s foot fungus will only infect your foot in certain conditions.  It needs a moist and warm area to thrive in. We suggest avoiding humid, wet, and dark areas to lessen the spread of athlete’s foot. Communal showers are one prime example of where athlete’s foot thrives as it is constantly wet, humid, and dark. People serving in the army will refer to athlete’s foot as jungle rot due to the tropical climate conditions.

Avoid exposing your feet in public areas. You should also avoid having sweaty feet for long periods of time. Be cautious of indirectly touching surfaces that are infected. We haven’t talked about treatment for athlete’s foot but if you’re looking for treatment direction, we would suggest checking out Eastern Idaho’s Foot Clinic site as they have a detailed guide on how you can treat athlete’s foot along with other common ailments.

5 Tips for Working Out in College

college workouts

As a freshman in college, you probably heard horror stories of the dreaded “freshman 15.” People often criticize new college students and their ability to gain weight due to stress, unhealthy food choices, and a lack of time spent exercising. For some, the pressure of gaining weight is another added stress to the already difficult credit load. Fortunately, you’ll find that exercising in college isn’t as difficult as people make it seem. 

 

Utilize Resources

 

Many universities offer a free gym with free fitness classes to students. These gyms are usually large with a variety of different machines to use. You might as well make the most out of your tuition and use the free resources at the gym to take a study break and work out. You can also try fitness classes like yoga, cycling, Zumba or kickboxing. Fitness classes can help you make friends, discover a new hobby, and feel energized. 

If you don’t feel like hitting the university gym, your dorm or apartment complex may have a workout room. Complexes like Northpoint in Rexburg have state of the art exercise equipment for residents to use. Working out at your dorm or complex gym can lessen the effort of going to the gym and make it easier to motivate yourself.

Find Motivation

For most students, the hardest part of working out is finding motivation. If you know you have a hard time pumping yourself up to go sweat, find a buddy to go with. Exercising with a friend keeps you accountable for showing up to your work out, plus it gives you time to socialize! You can also try a workout app to give you exercise ideas and tips. Wearing (appropriate) gym clothes to class might also be a motivator to hit the gym once your lecture is over.

Join a Sports Team

I’m not saying you should try to walk on to your college’s soccer team, but most schools do offer an intramural sports program that can help you exercise and feel involved. Many students were a part of sports teams in high school, and college allows you to keep progressing in those hobbies. Some colleges will even offer programs your high school might not have had, like ultimate frisbee or kickball. Joining an intramural team can add a fun and team element to your workout.

Take a Break

Let’s face it, you’ve been in class all day, you have a mountain of homework to do, not to mention studying for that final coming up, and you haven’t slept more than five hours all week. It can be tough to find time to work out, but it might just be the break you need. 

Taking a physical break helps you study. If you can’t focus on the words in your textbook, go for a quick run around your building or do some stretches in your room. Exercising helps you maintain focus, so a quick break may be all your body needs. Working out also helps get your blood pumping and counteracts the feelings of sluggishness that always seem to occur during a long study session.

Make It Enjoyable

Working out in college is important and shouldn’t be something you dread. Don’t force yourself to go to the gym for an hour and lift weights if you hate it. Find a type of exercise you enjoy and do that. At the bare minimum, you should be working out for 15-30 minutes, three times a week; if you skip one of those days, it’s not a big deal. Remember, working out is for you. Focus on your studies and your health, not the freshman 15. 

6 Tips for Working Out at Home

stretching

Working out can be enjoyable, dreaded, expensive, or cheap. It all depends on the person. Some people love to go to the gym and get their sweat on. Meanwhile, people like me, find working out in public a form of torture. I’m not much of a fitness guru, so I don’t love the idea of people watching me struggle through my pilates movements or break a sweat with my superlightweight dumbbells. These are 6 tips for people who work out at home like me.

Dedicate Time

The hardest part about working out from home is it can become tempting to not work out. At home, there are many distractions like the dishes that need to be washed, the laundry that needs to be folded, that season of The Good Place that still must be watched. The best way to avoid this plethora of distractions is to set a time dedicated to working out. Mark it out on your calendar. If you want to work out every night at 7 pm, mark it out on your calendar every single day. Maybe you just want to work out every Saturday at 9 am, mark it out. Mark it and hold yourself accountable to it. Establishing a habit of following your workout time can be tricky at first, but it pays off.

Online Workouts

I like to use online exercise videos to guide my workout. I don’t know a lot of workouts by memory, so having the video helps me know moves to do, how to do them, and how long to do them for. Using videos can also help you stay focused on your workout for the right amount of time. If you are looking to do a 30-minute workout, pull up a 30-minute video and studiously follow along. 

Find Your Favorite Exercise

Working out from home can limit what exercise you can do based on the space and equipment you have available. You might not have a cycling machine or set of weights, but you can still find ways to work out. You could try pilates, Zumba, weight lifting, or yoga. One of the simplest workouts from home is to just run. Running around the neighborhood is free and a great workout. Try all different types of exercise until you find one, or several, that you enjoy doing.

Take Care of Your Body

Be careful when you workout to pay attention to your body. Stay hydrated, use good form while you exercise, and do warm-up stretches to try to prevent injuries. If you start running and notice that your heel aches every time you wake up in the morning, you might have plantar fasciitis. 

Tetonfootandankle.com says this can be treated with foot support inserts and anti-inflammatories, but that sometimes it may require surgery to treat. If you find yourself with an injury from working out, treat it. The goal of working out is to help your body feel healthier. Keep this in mind while you work out and remember it if you become frustrated with any injuries you have to spend time treating.

Have Goals

I mentioned before that the main goal of working out is to help you feel healthier. To achieve this goal, you’ll want to set smaller goals like 1) workout for 30 minutes every day this week, 2) run 2 miles, etc. These smaller goals will help you feel a sense of accomplishment as you begin to complete them.

Working out from home can be tricky, but it also can be an inexpensive, private, and enjoyable option to staying fit. Have patience with yourself, but hold yourself accountable to your workout schedule goals. Hopefully, you’ll be feeling healthier and happier with your at-home workouts.

What You Should Know About Hospice Care

care for the elderly

If you have a loved one who needs more attention than you can give, it may be time for hospice. Hospice is all about the care and comfort patients receive as they face a life-limiting disease or illness. Physicians, directors, nurses, social workers, aides, spiritual coordinators, and volunteers all work together to ensure that the best care is provided for patients. 

Patients

Though hospice is typically thought to only help the elderly, it provides care for anyone facing a life-altering condition with a life expectancy of fewer than six months. Hospice care is provided for any qualifying patients with cancer, heart, lung, kidney or liver disease, Alzheimer’s, or Dementia. However, to qualify for hospice, two physicians must certify the patient’s life expectancy.

Expected Care

With large hospice care teams, patients can expect to be treated like royalty. Hospice arranges for 24-hour nursing care, seven days a week, where the patient is equipped with a hospital bed, a bedside commode, and medications, all from the comfort of their home. 

The attending physician, either yours or one provided by the system, helps direct the plan of care with the medical director. A registered nurse helps manage the pain of the patient while looking for symptoms. The hospice aide directly cares for the patient and reports any needs to the nurse. A social worker and spiritual coordinator assist with emotions, finances, and funeral arrangements. The care also includes grief and counseling services to family members and the patient.

A team of people helps patients feel loved, cared for, and comfortablewhich is what people can expect from hospice care. 

Finances

Hospice helps patients by providing constant care and attention, but it comes at a cost. Fortunately, Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurances cover hospice care and the expenses associated with it. However, it is important to check with your insurance provider and confirm the patient’s eligibility before continuingyou don’t want to rack up extra costs on your dime. 

Choosing a Hospice Service

While hospice is an incredible tool for providing top care for patients, unfortunately, some hospice services have mistreated their responsibility. So, it is important to identify a quality service before signing up. Some factors to consider when shopping for a hospice service are accreditation, state or federal surveys, certifications, and size. Also, be sure to check out the reviews and getting a referral from someone you trust. Luckily, hospice care is eased with the knowledge that the patient will be at home and will already have a foundational level of comfort. 

Care and Comfort

Coping with the care of a loved one can be difficult, especially when they are struggling with pain and illness. Providing care at the level you know they deserve can be seemingly impossible; which is why hospice care is designed to help patients feel comfortable with a plan tailored to them. 

 

Shining a Spotlight on Laser Dentistry

dental procedure

When I was a kid I hated going to the dentist, so in at least one aspect I was a normal kid. Even as adults many of us dread and put off the trip to the dentist. It’s just not a fun experience. 

If you had told me as a kid that I could have the dentist use a laser instead of a drill, that might have made it worse. That is simply because I couldn’t have possibly understood the beneficial use of lasers in dentistry. 

Fast forward to my teenage years when an operation required a laser to be used. I did not feel a thing, and I am a big advocate of laser dentistry.

What is it?

Laser dentistry uses lasers in lieu of classic dental equipment, such as drills and scalpels. The lasers are highly focused beams used to perform most dental procedures. They can be used on softer tissue, like your gums and cheeks, and hard tissue, which would be your teeth.

Laser dentistry is a cleaner, more efficient way to perform these operations. Its effectiveness is second to none, and the benefits listed a little later will show just how enticing it is. 

What can be done with laser dentistry?

Many standard procedures can be performed with the use of lasers. The lasers are precise and when used correctly, bring incredibly efficient results. Here are a few examples of the many applications of laser dentistry. 

Frenectomy

Alligatordentist.com defines this as “a procedure releasing muscle attachment to the tongue or lip. This procedure helps babies who cannot breastfeed and children who are tongue-tied, and in many cases can help to reduce speech impediments.”

Bacteria Removal

Lasers can be used to kill bacteria leading to a cleaner mouth and reduced risk of infection. 

Removal of Sores or Tumors

Lasers can be used to cut out and remove canker sores or tumors in the mouth. 

Gums

Lasers can be used to treat gum disease, ease inflammation, and even trim down gums if they encroach too high on your teeth.

What are the benefits?

The biggest benefit to most people is minimal pain. Some people aren’t even given anesthesia because the lasers aren’t painful. We all love the sound of that.

Laser dentistry is incredibly efficient, with the laser doing the work. It is so precise, and in the hands of an experienced dentist, it is a wonderful tool.

The laser helps blood clots to form so there is less bleeding, and there is less damage done to the tissue being worked on and the surrounding tissue. You also heal a lot faster. 

It is cost-effective for your dentist, and when they save money they can pass that savings on to you. 

Conclusion

Laser dentistry is an amazing use of technology to advance the medical field. What used to be a hard and scary trip to the dentist, may still be a hard and scary trip to the dentist…but it will be less painful and less traumatic. This will lead to better views on dentists for children (yay!) and more efficient procedures are a benefit to us all. Ask your dentist about laser dentistry if you have an operation coming up, you will love the results.

4 Operations Performed by a Dentist

dental procedure

Going to the dentist is no one’s favorite thing. I remember one time having some pain in a tooth that was really bothersome, and even when the day of the appointment rolled around I still displayed the typical exasperated “Well I guess I’d better go to the dentist” attitude.

Understanding the basics of some common operations a dentist can perform might help relieve some anxiety over the matter. At the very least, you will hopefully understand why the procedure is going on.

Filling

A filling is used to help reshape and fill in your tooth. It happens when there is an infection or cavity in your teeth. The dentist goes and drills out the infected part and then puts in a filling to prevent further infection and to make sure your tooth is shaped and sized properly.

Fillings can be made from resin, ceramic, or even metals like gold. The resin filling matches your tooth color, so many people choose it for its incognito presence.

Root Canal

Root canals are spoken of only in fearful whispers. Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but they are no fun. Root canals are used when the interior nerves and blood vessels of the tooth, also known as pulp, are infected. A root canal involves going in and removing the infected parts and cleaning the inside of the tooth.

A filling and most likely a crown, a cover for your tooth, are placed on the teeth to seal it up and prevent further infection or complication. Better to just brush those teeth really well and avoid this one. Sometimes a cracked tooth can also require a root canal, so try to avoid using your teeth as tools.

Tooth Extraction

Ever heard someone say something that was minorly inconvenient was
“like pulling teeth?” I bet it wasn’t. Getting a tooth pulled usually only happens if the issue present is extreme, but sometimes it is done for lesser purposes.

There are a lot of problems that getting a tooth extraction can solve. Some of them included crowding, when teeth are preventing permanent teeth from coming in, issues after fixing a cavity or infection, and periodontal disease.

Other Surgical Procedures

There are many minor and some major operations a dentist can perform. Most dentists can perform any of these basic operations. Some are simple like using a laser to cut back gums that have grown too high. Others are more serious like removing a tumor or cyst from the mouth or gums.

While this can be scary, know that your dentist has been thoroughly trained in performing these operations and will do a fine job.

Conclusion

Dental appointments and operations can be scary. Hopefully understanding the “why” behind these operations can help you see that the operation will help you in the long run.

In order to avoid things like this in the future, make sure you are brushing, flossing, and gargling with mouthwash twice a day. Visit your dentist every six months so they can help prevent problems, but also catch the issues early in the process if they do occur.

What to Do When You Get Shin Splints

Shin splints are a common injury in runners and dancers. The medical term for this is medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS). It simply means that a person is experiencing pain in their shin.

Causes

Shin splints are caused by repetitive and excessive force on the shin. People with more athletic lifestyles are more likely to suffer from shin splints. Dancers, tennis players, soccer players, and basketball players are likely to get shin splints. The stop-start, rough playing style of these sports puts extra stress on the shins.

The repetitive force and working out of the muscles along the shin causes those muscles to become swollen. These swollen muscles push on the tibia, or shin bone, and this causes pain.

Highly athletic people can also develop micro fractures in their bones. Shin splints can be a stress reaction from a small bone fracture. Over time, if a person experiences pain like shin splints but does not rest, these small bone fractures can become complete fractures. 

Symptoms

The main symptom of shin splints is pain on the inner side of the shin. Your shin might be tender and sore while you perform athletic activities. Your lower leg might become swollen. The pain will likely first appear as temporary pain that occurs while you exercise, but eventually, the pain could become continuous.

Treatment

According to bhdorthopedics.com, the best treatment for shin splints is to rest. If you start to experience shin splint pains every time you do a certain activity, try to refrain from that activity for two weeks to allow your shins and muscles time to heal.

Use ice packs to reduce pain and swelling. Place an ice pack on your shin and leave it there for around 15 minutes. You can do this several times a day until the pain goes away. Ibuprofen can also be used to help reduce swelling and pain.

Most shin splint issues can be treated at home using ice, rest, and anti-inflammatories. If these methods aren’t working for you, your doctor can help you find different remedies that can ease your pain. An X-ray may need to be taken of your shin to see if the lasting pain is the result of a stress fracture.

Prevention

Shin splints are a painful and frustrating experience, so it is good to take precautions against them. New runners are at a higher risk for shin splints because they are working out new muscles. New runners should slowly begin running and allow their muscles to have time to develop and strengthen, this will help new runners avoid shin splints. It is important to keep these muscles conditioned, but work up to more difficult exercises slowly.

Participating in lower impact sports is a good way to avoid shin splints. Walking and biking are good exercises that are low impact. Try to do exercises on softer ground. The softer ground will cushion your feet and help lessen the impact when the foot makes contact with the ground.

Wearing supportive footwear can help give your feet and legs extra support and prevent shin splints. Wear arch supports and replace shoes every 300-500 miles you walk in them.

When You Should Visit a Spine Specialist

There is never any reason that you should simply endure back pain. In fact, pain is one of the only indicators that there could be something seriously wrong with your back. Scheduling an appointment with a trusted spine specialist is easy, safe, and will help you get on track to be pain-free once again.

When to See a Spine Specialist

It can be pretty normal to experience mild back pain from time-to-time. Perhaps you slept in a weird position  or tweaked your back while dancing. This kind of pain usually resolves itself within a few days, and there’s usually no need to see a doctor for it. However, here are some signs that you may need to schedule a visit:

  • If back pain is moderate to severe.
  • If back pain has lasted several days and hasn’t resolved.
  • If there are any other symptoms with the pain, such as muscle weakness, tingling, or numbness of the arms or legs.

An Overview of a Consultation

Whenever you go to the doctor’s office for an initial visit, you will be asked for a family medical history, and a list of medications you are currently taking. The doctor will then attempt to diagnose the pain, and help find the right treatment plan for you.

To diagnose the back problem, the doctor will perform a physical examination, usually at and around the source of the pain. After a physical examination, they will likely need some images of your back, in the form of an x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or a CT scan.

After the doctor has been able to diagnose the issue, they will recommend a treatment plan that is as little invasive, yet most effective, as possible. Non-invasive treatment plans usually include medication or physical therapy. If the non-invasive treatment plans do not fix the back problem, your doctor may discuss surgical options with you.

List of Possible Spine/Back Issues

  • Spinal arthritis. A condition that leaves weakness and pain in the arms and legs. Osteoarthritis of the spine is when the cartilage of the joints and spinal discs begin to breakdown. This will often put pressure on the nerves.
  • Sciatica refers to pain in the sciatic nerve, which is located in the lower back and moves down each leg. When the sciatic nerve is injured or under pressure, it can cause intense lower back and leg pain.
  • Herniated discs. A herniated disc is a disc of the spinal cord, in which a fragment of the disc’s nucleus has pushed out of the disc through a rupture or tear. The fragmented piece often puts pressure on a nerve, which can cause pain.
  • Fractured vertebrae. A fractured vertebra is often caused by a car accident, fall, gunshot, or sports injury. These fractures are very serious, as they can injure spinal nerves, which can sometimes do irreparable damage to the body.

Again, there are a lot of cases of back pain that will resolve on their own. However, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms that would require treatment from a spine specialist. When a back or spine gets injured, it can become very serious, very fast.

 

 

When You Should Visit a Spine Specialist

persons spine

There is never any reason that you should simply endure back pain. In fact, pain is one of the only indicators that there could be something seriously wrong with your back. Scheduling an appointment with a trusted spine specialist is easy, safe, and will help you get on track to be pain-free once again.

When to See a Spine Specialist

It can be pretty normal to experience mild back pain from time-to-time. Perhaps you slept in a weird position or tweaked your back while dancing. This kind of pain usually resolves itself within a few days, and there’s usually no need to see a doctor for it. However, here are some signs that you may need to schedule a visit:

  • When pain is moderate to severe.
  • If back pain has lasted several days and hasn’t resolved.
  • If there are any other symptoms with the pain, such as muscle weakness, tingling, or numbness of the arms or legs. 

An Overview of a Consultation

Whenever you go to the doctor’s office for an initial visit, you will be asked for a family medical history, and a list of medications you are currently taking. The doctor will then attempt to diagnose the pain, and help find the right treatment plan for you. 

To diagnose the back problem, the doctor will perform a physical examination, usually at and around the source of the pain. After a physical examination, they will likely need some images of your back, in the form of an x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or a CT scan. 

After the doctor has been able to diagnose the issue, they will recommend a treatment plan that is as little invasive, yet most effective, as possible. Non-invasive treatment plans usually include medication or physical therapy. If the non-invasive treatment plans do not fix the back problem, your doctor may discuss surgical options with you. 

List of Possible Spine/Back Issues

  • Spinal Arthritis. A condition that leaves weakness and pain in the arms and legs, osteoarthritis of the spine is when the cartilage of the joints and spinal discs begin to breakdown, often putting pressure on the nerves. 
  • Sciatica. Sciatica refers to pain in the sciatic nerve, which is located in the lower back and moves down each leg. When the sciatic nerve is injured or is under a lot of pressure, it can cause intense lower back and leg pain.
  • Herniated discs. A herniated disc is a disc of the spinal cord, in which a fragment of the disc’s nucleus has pushed out of the disc through a rupture or tear. The fragmented piece often puts pressure on a nerve, which can cause pain. 
  • Fractured vertebrae. A fractured vertebra is often caused by a car accident, fall, gunshot, or sports injury. These fractures are very serious, as they can injure spinal nerves, which can sometimes do irreparable damage to the body. 

Again, there are a lot of cases of back pain that will resolve on their own. However, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms that would require treatment from a spine specialist. When a back or spine gets injured, it can become very serious, very fast.