6 Facts You Didn’t Know About Gum Disease

chatter teeth and gums

The real nickname for gum disease should be the silent killer because, in the early stages of this disease, most people don’t know they have it: there are no signs or symptoms associated with it.

If you weren’t aware of this, don’t be too hard on yourself. Most people aren’t aware of many things that are associated with gum disease, which is something you can change. Knowing more about how it develops means you can also prevent it.

If you want to make sure your teeth and mouth have a healthy and long life free of this disease, it might be a good idea to brush up on it, literally and figuratively.

Here are six important facts most people don’t know about gum disease. These are a good place to start learning all you can about it.

You are not exempt 

Most people aren’t aware that gum disease is actually contagious. If you have it, you can pass it along to someone else when you do things like share food or utensils with them.

Taking care of your teeth and regularly visiting the dentist or periodontist can not only save you from gum disease but those you are closing to as well.

Brushing your teeth is not a cure

Although daily brushing is super important for keeping your mouth healthy and clean, if you already have gum disease, it most definitely won’t cure the disease. In fact, in some cases, brushing can aggravate it and make it worse.

If brushing your teeth is painful or produces blood, even in tiny amounts, your mouth may already be affected by gum disease and it’s time to seek some professional help.

If you’ve got it, it can still get worse

Even though the beginning stages of gum disease are bad, you shouldn’t wait to get treated. When gum disease gets worse, it turns into something more severe: a severe case of gum disease known as periodontitis.

When this occurs, you will fare best by seeking treatment from a periodontic specialist, like those at Washington Periodontics.

You should stay vigilant because a case of gum disease that receives early intervention can be cured.

And the best way to keep your mouth and gums healthy is taking care of the disease before it leads to excessive pain and expense.

Blood is not normal when it comes to teeth

If you ever discovered your gums bleeding after brushing or flossing your teeth, you might be surprised that this is one of the signs of impending gum disease, and you could already have it.

Healthy mouths don’t bleed when you brush and floss them regularly.  If you’re noticing blood after you do these activities, its important to visit your dentist.

It affects more than your mouth

Its not only bad for your mouth, but it’s bad for your whole body.

It’s been linked to heart problems, pregnancy problems, and certain types of cancers when left untreated.

All ages are affected

Many people think that it is only something they have to worry about when they get older. Interestingly, gum disease can affect people of all ages.

This is why it’s important to take care of your oral hygiene at a young age. Be sure to schedule regular check-ups.

How Having a Pet Can Keep You Sane

young lady with her pet dog

Most people equate those who have cats to a crazy cat lady, particularly if they love their cat more than people. But have you ever thought that having a pet might be keeping that person from completely losing their marbles?

Pets are known to help people with their mental health problems. It’s why a doctor can sign a pet off as a comfort/therapy animal, because they really do have therapeutic benefits – whether you realize it or not.

Stress Relief 

Petting your fur baby feels good. When you’re cuddled up with your pet on the couch, petting them, it can be hard to leave because it makes you happy. This action helps lower blood pressure and helps your body release serotonin, a relaxation hormone. Plus, it also cuts down on stress hormones like cortisol.

An added benefit is that this also soothes your pet. So keep calm and pet on.

Socialize

Pets, dogs, in particular, can help people who have a hard time socializing connect with others. It’s easier to start a conversation with someone about yours or their dog then if they didn’t have one. A dog is almost a forced social experience because dogs do need to be socialized and walked, so when their owners take them for walks or to the dog park, there are many opportunities for socializing with other people as well.

Not to mention taking your pet for a checkup to a professional like Sunnyside Veterinary Clinic. Vet visits are social interactions too.

 

Sense of Purpose

Being a pet owner generally makes people happier. This is often because it creates a sense of purpose, a reason to get up each day. As humans, we need something that motivates our sense of responsibility, and having a pet can do just that. They need to be taken care of, but more than that, you want to take care of them because they are another member of your family.

Ease Depression

A pet loves you unconditionally and is there when you need them. If you need to talk, they are there to listen, even if they can’t actively participate in the conversation. And as mentioned, petting your animal will help calm you and boost your mood. Animals take you away from yourself and put your focus towards helping them and being productive. Its a great opportunity to help your mental health.

Fitness Boost

Pets can definitely help you achieve a more active lifestyle which has its own list of benefits. Dogs need to get outside and play and release energy, and the pet owner is responsible for that. Even a playful kitten can help you become more active as you let it chase you around the house or play tug-of-war with a string.

Pets also make at-home exercise more fun and interesting. Have you ever tried doing yoga with your dog?

More Independence

Service animals can help people with disabilities to be more independent. It’s difficult to need to rely on other people all the time, but having a pet can help with that. Service dogs can help the blind find their way around easier, they can provide support to people with Parkinson’s disease, and a comfort animal can prevent the need for regular therapy sessions with a counselor.

Pets provide so many benefits to us that we don’t even realize. What does your pet help you with?

5 Habits That Can Drastically Help Your Life

connecting with others habit

Everyone is striving every day to be a little better; to be the person that they have always wanted to be. That usually starts with creating certain habits that will help you to achieve that goal.

Sometimes in creating good habits, you have to work extra hard to leave the bad ones behind, but even if takes extra work, in the end, it’s worth it.

But for most of us, it can be hard to even know where to start and what habits are really going to actually be those good ones that shape us into the person we wish we were.

Luckily the answer to that question can be found here, and with habits that can put you on the path to reaching your goals, whatever they may be.

Here are five habits that can really help your life and help to drive you to the success that you deserve.

Be grateful

Gratitude is a great skill to have and it can really lead to an improved life because it allows you to take the time to be grateful for the things you have rather than constantly thinking about all the things you don’t.

Try to take time each day to think about or write down the things you are grateful for. You can even create something like a gratitude journal to keep the things you write down every day, that way if you are having an off or bad day you can have something to look at to help you remember as well.

Make the most of your mornings

It may seem small or impossible for some but waking up early and creating good morning habits really does set the tone for the rest of your day.

Wake up and create a little morning routine with all the things that will have you starting off on the right foot, whether that’s meditation, a nice big breakfast, a yoga session, riding your bike, or dancing to your favorite songs.

Take the time each morning to do whatever you choose and make it your morning ritual.

Always be learning

There is always something more we can learn, and always adding new skills to your repertoire can only benefit and help you in some way in the long run.

Have your friend teach you something they are good at, or teach yourself a new skill, or take a class from your local community college.

There are also places such as dwinc.org which offer life-skill classes and there are also many websites such as those that can help you sign up for classes that will help you with day-to-day learning such as how to budget or how to have a good job interview.

Make time for you

Making time for you and giving yourself time for self-care is a practice that is really important and really beneficial.

Take yourself out on a date and do all the things you love to do. Get to know yourself and reflect on how you are doing mind, body, and soul.

Having and creating a deep relationship with yourself will only benefit all your other relationships with other people, and it will give you the time to address any issues or needs that you have that you can only sort out yourself or can come to understand when you have to seek other outside help from friends, family, or a professional.

Connect with others

Whether it’s talking with a co-worker at lunch or calling an old friend and meeting them for ice cream, find ways to get out and talk with people face to face.

Not only will it be fun, but it will help you to get out and step away from things like work and social media which can sometimes drag you down.

A connection is what drives us as human beings and allows us to create friendships that can help us to be better people.

The Truth About Appearances

woman with resting appearance

It’s a topic you’ve been hearing about your whole life, and yet it’s still alive and kicking like we haven’t talked it to death. People put a lot of stock in appearances and how they define a person. But, there has been a huge push against this with the growth of our feminist and LGBT movements.

Everyone has an opinion on this topic. This is because they each have at least one story about how appearances and judgments have hurt or helped them.  Or its affected someone they know in the regular ebb and flow of life. As much as we try to avoid it or ignore it, how you present yourself (and how you see others present themselves) has an impact on our communities.

Judging What You See

It’s easy to pass judgment on someone due to their disheveled hair or dirty nails, but we put more stock in those observations when we don’t know someone. What we see with a stranger is literally all we have to go off of, until we take a chance to speak to them. But our first impressions may prevent us from doing just that.

Whether it’s due to social constraints or personal safety, these cautious choices are still judgments of appearance.

We see it with political campaigns and celebrities, too. Because of the way someone is dressed or perceived, you may be more likely to interact with them, believing that they have admirable qualities because of that appearance. Often our interpretation of subliminal signs is correct, but this doesn’t justify our accepting them without further exploration.

Why Fit a Mold?

We are continually urged to “be ourselves”, yet any slight differences from the mainstream can have vast consequences. In the United States, where dental care is so important, anyone with slightly crooked teeth might suffer in social or career situations because of their smile.

So instead, they may seek to conquer the system. They’ll suffer through braces for the sake of fitting in–but it’s also an opportunity to beat the system. By conforming completely, they can master the system and use it to their advantage.

These characteristics honed over time, mainstream or not, can affect your success and your self-confidence. When its over–you’ve got the charisma, the suit, and the job–are you being the person you want to be?

Being Yourself

It can be difficult to be true to yourself while pursuing leadership roles if you don’t have that ideal leadership persona. The key is to learn the necessary leadership skills without rewriting who you are as a person. Your unique self is an important piece of how you move forward and interact with the world.

Let those new qualities function as tools that your personality wields rather than hiding who you are. Think of it this way: you may be held to a certain dress standard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your own spin on it.

Rewriting the Narrative

For now, it’s about that balance between satisfying the world’s expectations in small ways while exposing them to the wonderful, unique people who don’t conform. We can’t do our part in persuading the world to accept if we don’t practice the same acceptance for others.

In reality, humanity won’t stop making judgments on appearance; they influence what we eat, the media we consume, and how we protect ourselves in precarious situations. But we can seek to make non-invasive judgments that recognize and accept the differences in others rather than condemning them

4 Essential Oils You Can Use Every Day

benefits of essential oils

We are always looking for new ways to improve our health. This can include changing up workout routines or replacing activities to promote better joint health and longevity. You should also try new ways to prepare and cook food. You can even test out different products for cleaning your home and protecting your yard from pests.

With so much emphasis on what people can do without relying heavily on manufactured goods, essential oils have become a popular alternative.

A Bit About Essential Oils

Essential oils are derived from plants. This has been a better option for people that like the idea of homeopathic options. These remedies are preferred because they seem less harmful. They are extracted by distillation or pressing the leaves, peels, or resin.

There are several varieties of resins, from the synthetic kind found in everyday clothes to BioLogiQ’s sustainable plastic resins and natural resins that are manufactured to work with the environment. Resins can be powdered or liquefied to use as incense, such as Frankincense.

Essential oils come from many natural items that have been used for centuries to address health and other issues, so it’s no surprise that, when used correctly, there are some quick and easy ways to incorporate essential oils into your everyday life to give you a boost.

Peppermint

Peppermint is something we find in so many products we use every day, including toothpaste, gum, ice cream, and tea, and it’s no coincidence. Besides giving us a fresh, clean, cool feeling, it can help reduce the symptoms of some pretty annoying things.

Peppermint oil can be used in any of its forms. You can rub a couple drops into your temples to help relieve a headache, diffuse it to address respiratory problems or allergies, or put a drop or two in a glass of water to freshen your breath and alleviate digestive issues. Topically, it can also be added to water or your normal soaps for things like dandruff or bug repellent.

Lemon

Who doesn’t love a nice slice of lemon in their glass of water? Lemon is something else we find everywhere from sweet lemonade and cakes to tart pies and savory chicken. It always tastes refreshing, but that may be secondary to some of its other benefits.

Using lemon in oil form, it can work as an antimicrobial when added to your all-natural cleaning products, detox and calm your body when added to water. It’s easy to use to boost your immune system and fight illnesses like colds or nausea. Diffuse it or add a few drops of it and you can have an added in your home and body.

Tea Tree

Tea tree or melaleuca originates in Australia and is widely popular because of its disinfecting properties. Its leaves were used to make a tea that had healing properties.  It was used quite a bit until the invention of penicillin.

It’s great to use as part of your skincare regimen against acne and works as an antifungal, fighting infections ranging from MRSA to athlete’s foot as well. With a wide range of conditions to fight from head lice to skin irritations like scabies or dry scalp, this is definitely one essential oil to keep around.

Lavender

If you’ve ever walked past a lavender tree, you already understand the calming effects of this essential oil. Because of this relaxing effect on both body and mind, it’s a good natural sleep aid.

It can also calm topical conditions such as insect bites or bee stings, minor cuts or burns including sunburns, and cold sores. This is one where a few drops diffused or diluted and rubbed into the skin can do wonders.

What to Look for When Choosing a Therapist

seeking a therapist

If you need help with your life, turning to a therapist is a good solution. Sometimes, you can’t solve your problems by yourself, and someone who is qualified and knows how you tick can be the one to help. However, picking a therapist can be difficult. There may be so many options, and you wonder what the best therapist for the job will be.

There is no right answer. Different problems may require different therapists. However, you can be able to find the therapist that is right for you by searching around. Here are a few tips to help you out.

 

Ask About Therapists!

The best way to find a therapist is through recommendation. Asking your friends or family members about what therapists you use can help you make a choice. If your peers have not gone to a therapist, ask around local forums. If a certain name keeps popping up, investigate them and see if they’re right for you.

 

Talk to Them

A good therapist will be one who lets you talk to them before the session begins. This can break the ice before your first session, and help you determine if the therapist is right for you. Schedule a call or a visit. If the therapist makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t go with them. If you feel like there is some potential, schedule a session with them.

 

Know the Therapist’s Specialties

 You wouldn’t go to a therapist who specializes in couples counseling in order for you to learn how you can get a promotion at your job. When researching and talking to these therapists, do not be afraid to ask what they can help you with.

 

How Tough Do You Want it?

 Some people want a therapist who is going to be honest to them and tell them what they need to do to change their life. Other people will want a therapist who is gentler and helps ease them to solutions. Know your limits, and pick a therapist who can conform to said limits.

 

What is This Therapist’s Experience?

When choosing a therapist, one common sense rule you should follow is choosing one with a portfolio. A therapist who has had plenty of satisfied clients in the past should be able to help you with any of your problems. But there is more to it than just that. Sometimes, you should choose a therapist that is also educated. Therapists can be ordinary people, and that can be good at times. Sometimes, your therapist needs to be a person you can share a drink with. However, your therapist sometimes needs to be someone with qualifications. What is their educational background? How good is the school they wen to? Consider that when choosing a therapist.

 

Search Online for Therapists

 Sometimes, doing some online browsing can help you. You can see pictures of therapists and get a good first impression. The Internet has also made you able to pick a therapist from anywhere. You don’t need to necessarily seek someone local. You can do online therapy through chat, Skype, or any other option that allows for communication. To get started, click here.

Choosing a therapist can be difficult, and sometimes, it’s trial and error. A therapist may seem fine at first, but after a few sessions, you may realize they aren’t for you. On the other hand, the therapist may grow on you and you may have the best therapy session possible.

The point is that you shouldn’t settle for a therapist or rush the choosing process. Only go with a therapist who makes you comfortable and who can help you.

No Gym? No Problem 5 Easy Ways to Become More Active This Spring

bicycle

Going to the gym is a great form of exercise, but unfortunately, not all of us have access to one. Gym memberships can be expensive and not everyone has the means to afford one. Just because you’re not hitting the gym, doesn’t mean you can’t stay in great shape. The springtime is the perfect season to get outside and get moving. Here are five ways to become more active in the spring.

Run in a local park

The trees are blossoming with buds and bulbs are sprouting up from the ground. It’s the springtime, people! Find a park near your house and get running. It’s time for you to come out of hibernation and into civilization. If you’re into being social, you can take a running buddy with you! Having someone to go with is motivating and helps you get out. After you take your run, you can treat yourself to a smoothie or something refreshing as a reward for your hard work.

Walk home from work

If you live in a city or somewhere where you don’t have to drive everywhere, walking home from your job is a great way to get exercise and be productive. We’re suggesting walking home as opposed to walking to work because it’s more of a relaxing exercise. If you walk to work, you might be worried about being on time and everything you have to do for the day. Walking home from work, you can take your time.

Break out your bike

Remember your bicycle? It might be collecting dust after sitting there over the winter. It’s the springtime now, and it’s the perfect season to take a bike ride. Whether you live in a city, the suburbs, the mountains or a rural environment, you can use that bike. Enjoy the passing scenery, which could be skyscrapers, evergreen trees, the peak of the mountains or rolling green hills. You can take a break on the side of the road, sip some water or an energy drink and look at the world around you.

Do yoga outdoors

In the wintertime, you may have visited a yoga studio regularly. Your fellow students traded their coats, scarves, and sweaters in exchange for yoga gear in a cozy room with colorful mats. Now, it’s the springtime and you don’t want to be cooped up in a confined space. Take your tree pose outside into nature where it belongs. You can use mindfulness while you do some strength building poses.

Exercise using your kids

Do you have kids? Use them as a means to exercise! Play tag with them in the playground or lift your toddler in the air many times as he/she says “again!” This could be an informal way of weight training! People underestimate how much energy it takes to parent, so use that energy to stay in shape when the weather gets nicer.

Generally, the springtime is a wonderful season to get out and exercise, but for some of us, it’s not so easy to get motivated. If you find that you’re feeling down or having trouble getting out there, it’s okay to seek help. People with other mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder experience sleep disturbances or manic symptoms in the springtime. For any of these reasons and more, don’t be afraid to reach out to a counselor whether that’s in person or an online therapist. You deserve to be happy and getting out there enjoying the great weather!

Smartphones Affecting Psychological Well-being

Let’s face it, many people of the world can be described as being addicted to their iPhone or Android device and as unhealthy as it sounds, you’re probably reading this on your device as we speak. Smartphones have become our gateway to the world, but recent studies are indicating that it could be detrimental to your health, mentally.

About a year ago, the University of Illinois conducted a study that found high interaction with mobile technology is associated to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. In this study, more than 300 university students were surveyed. The goal was to seek out whether their engagement with their mobile devices affects their psychological wellness and turns out that students who identified as having addictive behaviors with their smartphones scored higher on the anxiety and depression spectrum, according to psychology professor Alejandro Llearas and honors student Tyana Panova.

There are many benefits to utilizing your mobile device. Many of us use it for connecting with others, placing orders, or passing time; however, too often users turn their device into something that barricades them from the rest of the world; which can hinder a healthy face-to-face interaction. With this being said, here are a few suggestions to help break the negative habit and strive for a healthier mental state of mind:

Take a Trip

Social media has made it easier than ever to share memories that last a lifetime and we often tend to like other’s post about an exotic trip or adventure. Instead of scrolling through your feed take advantage of the new year by saving for an affordable vacation. Consider asking a few friends to join in order to reconnect and even split the cost.

This is a great opportunity to break free from the cold and enjoy some warm weather somewhere else. It may even benefit you to consider taking a road trip instead of flying in order to spend more quality time with the people you care about. Again, if you decide to take a road trip, be sure to go unplugged. Countless people are hurt and even killed on the roadways due to distracted driving. Be sure to navigate your route before getting on the highway.

Go Unplugged

If your finances won’t allow you to take a trip, consider something more financially affordable. Consider turning your phone off for a few hours after work or if needed, leave your phone at home for the day and spend time with friends and family. Social interaction can be a healthy activity and gives you the opportunity to reconnect. Perhaps you could venture out into your own community and give back by volunteering or experience a new local attraction with your friends or family.

Reconnect with Yourself

Putting the phone down can also allow for the opportunity to connect with yourself. Over time we experience new things about ourselves that can elude to great discoveries. Perhaps you might find something that you really enjoy that sparks a new passion within you. Taking up a new hobby is a great way to reconnect with yourself. If you enjoy our alone time, this is a perfect opportunity to reconnect with activities that you’ve always been passionate about or discovering something you never knew you would like.

Mobile devices are great advances in technology and help us in so many ways, but we have to keep in mind that our mental and physical heath is a priority. Maintaining a healthy mental state of mind will allow you to be your best self.

7 Tips to Avoid Dangers While Walking this Winter

winter

Now that we’re in the dead of winter, ice on the ground is pretty common. Whether you have to shovel your driveway, walk the dog, walk from the parking lot into work, or go outside for any reason, slipping and falling on the ice is something that we all want to avoid this season.

Biddulph, Huntsman & Dalling Orthopedic Surgery in Idaho Falls put together this list of ways to help you avoid falling on the ice this winter.

Wear the Right Shoes

Wearing the right shoes in the winter is so important! For one, you don’t want your feet to freeze, and for two, you don’t want to fall because you wore the wrong shoes. Wear shoes that have traction on icy surfaces – like snow boots or tennis shoes. If you have to wear dress shoes for work, wear your snow boots or tennis shoes for the commute and then change into your dress shoes when you get into the building.

Watch the Floor/Ground

Watch wear you walk. When walking outside, watch the ground ahead of you as you’re walking so you can brace yourself for an ice patch and avoid falling, or walk around it altogether. When walking inside, keep in mind that the ground outside is wet so it’s likely that some water was trailed inside. Watch for wet patches on the ground and take care to walk around them in order to avoid slipping and falling.

Exercise

You can exercise to improve your balance, flexibility, and strength. Improving your balance will obviously help you stay on your feet and avoid falling. Improving your flexibility and strength will be helpful to you if you do fall because you can minimize the injury.

Avoid Carrying Things

We need our hands and arms for balance, or to catch ourselves if we do start to fall. Try to avoid carrying things when you’re walking into work or walking outside. If you do need to carry something, take a backpack or a purse to hold it in so your hands and arms are still free to help keep you balanced.

Use Handrails

This is when your hands are helpful. If there are handrails walking up the stairs into your building (or even inside the building wear the floor could be wet), use them. It’s always better to be cautious than to take the risk of injuring yourself. If you’re concerned about hygiene and sanitation, take hand sanitizer with your or wash your hands afterward.

Salt the Ground

Use salt to clear icy driveways and walkways. If you have a sidewalk in front of your home where people are often walking, or if there is a lot of traffic on your walkway or driveway, this is definitely something you should do. Many businesses in climates with icy winters are required to ice their parking lots and walkways as well.

Stay Inside

If you don’t have anything pressing you to go outside, then don’t. The safest place you can be during bad weather is in your own home.

5 Signs That You’re Addicted To Your Smartphone

It should come as no surprise that, according to recent studies, that U.S. smartphone users spend an average five hours on their phone each day. While that amount of time may seem steep, consider your own smartphone usage.

 

From the quick checks in the middle of the night or while brushing your teeth in the morning, how much time do you think you’re spending on your phone, in total? Have friends and loved ones accused you of being “addicted” to your smartphone?

 

Rather than getting defensive, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at your smartphone usage and some of the signs that may point to a dependency on your phone.

Interferes With Productivity and Face to Face Relationships

 

Living in a tech-centric world, we often need to rely on our smartphone to “stay connected” at all times of the day and while on the go. While this might be crucial if you’re “on call” for work or are expecting a conference call, Facebook, Twitter, and other apps may be less important.

 

A common sign that may indicate that you are addicted to your smartphone is if the time you spend on your phone interferes with your work productivity or even strains your personal relationships. If you’re choosing your smartphone over work and people, you could soon be left without either.

You Have A Hard Time Putting It Down

 

Although smartphones are devices that are small and portable enough to stow away in a pocket or purse, how often do you put your phone down or let it out of your sight? Think about all the times you attend an event or go out to eat with friends. Do you put your phone away or do you leave it on the table so you can catch every notification that pops up?

 

If you can’t remember the last time you didn’t check your phone for a long period of time, it may indicate a dependency issue.

You’ve Had a Close Call or Received a Ticket While Driving

 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), thousands of accidents, resulting in fatalities and injuries, occur each year due to a distracted driver. Even though texting and driving is nearly banned in all states throughout the U.S., many drivers take the risk of getting in an accident just to send a quick message.

 

Have you caused an accident or almost rear-ended someone because you were looking at your phone? Have you received a ticket or warning for texting and driving? These are also clear indicators that you are dependent on your smartphone.

 

Don’t think that texting and driving is too distracting? Play “Cards of Distractibility,” a free online game that simulates texting and driving and tests your memory; it’s a lot harder than you might think.

You Feel Bored or Depressed When You’re Not Using Your Phone

 

Many smartphone addicts use their phones when they are bored or depressed, but if you feel bored or blue when you’re not using your phone, you may also be addicted to your device. The same goes for feelings of irritability and anxiety when you can’t use your phone.

You Hide Your Phone

 

Like many other types of addiction, an addict may hide what he or she is doing to avoid pressure or ridicule from others. If you hide your smartphone or go somewhere else to use it, you might need to reassess how much time you spend on your phone.