The Importance of Dental Hygiene To Your Overall Health and Well-being

Everyone knows they should brush their teeth and floss regularly to keep their mouth healthy. But did you know that your oral hygiene can affect your overall health as well? Your mouth is teeming with bacteria, most are harmless, some are even beneficial.

But dangerous bacteria can enter your mouth as well, causing all kinds of health problems. The body’s natural defense mechanisms will usually guard against bad bacteria, being helped by brushing, flossing, and mouthwash.

But poor oral hygiene can lead to overpopulation of the bad bacteria, which leads to more health problems than just gum disease and tooth decay. Today, medical professionals are taking a more holistic approach to dentistry. More research is being done to uncover how dental hygiene affects your entire body.

What Does Bad Bacteria do in Your Mouth?

Harmful bacteria creates dental plaque. Dental plaque is a colorless film that sticks to your teeth. A buildup of dental plaque will form tartar, which is yellow or brown.

Dental plaque and tartar can get into your bloodstream and cause a variety of medical problems. Infections and inflammation in the mouth can lead to trouble in other parts of the body.

Poor dental health has been linked to the following conditions:

* Heart disease

Inflammation in the mouth causes inflammation in blood vessels. In turn, inflammation in blood vessels raises blood pressure, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood.

High blood pressure can lead to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Additionally, fatty plaque in the blood vessels can break off and travel to the heart or brain causing a stroke or heart attack.

* Diabetes

Inflammation in the mouth weakens the body’s ability to regulate sugar in the blood. Diabetes can occur when your blood sugar level in the blood is too high.

This starts a bad cycle, as high blood sugar can also create an environment in which harmful bacteria thrive, increasing the chance of gum disease and tooth decay.

* Pregnancy complications

Poor dental health has been linked to issues in pregnancies. Infection and inflammation has been found to interfere with fetus development.

Furthermore, hormonal changes during pregnancy can make women more susceptible to gum disease. Practicing good oral hygiene and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings, are important to a healthy pregnancy.

Keep Your Mouth Healthy

Good oral health will prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. To keep your mouth healthy you should practice the following: brush and floss daily, use a mouthwash, get regular dental checks, eat a nutritious diet, and most importantly, do not smoke. Smoking is the number one contributor to gum disease and tooth decay.

Visit Your Dentist

An important key to keeping your mouth healthy is regular dental visits. Henderson’s Columbia Dental serves the Henderson and Las Vegas, NV area with stress-free, comprehensive dental services.

Dr. Vi and her staff treat each patient with care and concern. Henderson’s Columbia Dental offers a combination of the latest in technology with a caring and competent staff. Keep your mouth (and your body) healthy, visit them today for your dental needs.

High Protein Diet – The Potential Dangers

We’ve all had our fair share of trying on a diet fad that we hope (and pray) is the answer to our never-ending quest of losing unwanted weight. One of the most popular would be the different types of high protein diets that have and are still popular among weight watchers.

If you are planning to go on a high protein diet, I’d recommend reading on to know the potential dangers that you might encounter.

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Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath is one side effect of a high protein diet with limited intake of carbohydrates. The high protein diet with cause the body to undergo metabolic changes that affect the normal chemicals that your body produces.

No amount of flossing, brushing or gargling with a mouthwash can get rid of the bad smell. If you persist on your high protein diet, your best option to combat halitosis would be increase water intake and chew breath mints or gums to reduce the bad smell.

Gaining Weight

Yes, you would initially lose weight when you go on a high protein diet but take note that this is only temporary. The excess protein in your body due to the high protein diet will be converted into fats that causes weight gain.

High Risk for Kidney Damage

Proteins are made up of amino acids that contain nitrogen. People who eat too much protein are more at risk of getting their kidneys damaged since the kidneys will need to work extra hard to remove the excess protein metabolism waste products and nitrogen.

High Risk for Cancer

Studies have proven that high meat-based protein consumption is associated with prostate, colon, and breast cancers due to carcinogenic compounds, fats, and hormones that are found in meat.

High Risk for Heart Disease

The cholesterol and saturated fat content in foods required for high-protein diet can increase the risk for heart disease. Studies have shown that women eating high amounts of full fat dairy and red meat are more at risk for coronary heart diseases.

If you are still looking forward to trying a high-protein diet, I would highly recommend that you first consult your doctor for proper guidance. Personally, nothing beats eating healthy and exercising daily.

Carob – Is It Healthier Than Chocolate?

Historically, carob has always been recognized for its health benefits (even during the time of ancient Greeks) and has also been known to be a great substitute for chocolate.

Nutrient Content

The pods are dark brown in color that are edible and rich in sucrose and protein. Research showed that the percentage of sucrose and protein were about 40% and 8%, respectively.

The other nutrient contents include vitamin A, vitamins B2, B3, and B6, copper, calcium, manganese, potassium, magnesium, zinc, fiber, and pectin.

Commercial Availability

Carob can be commercially bought as dietary pills, carob syrup, carob powder, carob chips, and carob extract. The carob pods can be eaten either dried or fresh from the tree.

Carob vs. Chocolate

Carob is known to have a taste that is quite similar to chocolate, which is why it is normally used as a cocoa/chocolate substitute. But if you are wondering which is better, here’s a brief comparison.


High in sodium and fat content.

Some people get migraines from ingesting even the smallest amount of cocoa/chocolate.

Calcium absorption by the body is hindered due to the presence of oxalic acid.

Some people are allergic to chocolate.


Low in sodium and fat content.

Caffeine and fat free.

No compounds that can trigger migraines.

Contains double the amount of calcium found in cocoa.

Allergy to carob is quite rare.

Health Benefits

Carob’s health benefits include lowering blood cholesterol levels, reducing heart disease risk, and helps ease any digestive issues you may have.

It is also the “go to” chocolate substitute by people who are trying to lose weight due to the low fat and sugar content. Skin and eye health are also improved due to the rich vitamins content.

From the information discusses here, you should definitely consider using carob as a chocolate/cocoa alternative if you haven’t done so. Check out your nearest health food or specialty shops for availability.

5 Staying Healthy Tips During Menopause

Menopause is just one more cycle that women have to face sooner or later in life and generally lasts for a couple of years. There is no specific age that menopause occurs but there are ways to keep healthy once this does happen.

Keep Track of Your Menstrual Period

Keeping track of your menstrual period using a menstrual calendar is one way to determine if what you are experiencing is quite normal or it is something more. Immediately consult a gynecologist if you notice something abnormal in your menstrual pattern.

Prevent Osteoporosis

Once menopause hits, women are more at risk to osteoporosis due to weakening of the bones. An increased intake of vitamin D and calcium is recommended.

Some of the best natural sources of these nutrients include yogurt, cheese, milk, green leafy vegetables, sardines, beans, tofu, eggs, vitamin D-fortified foods, and cod liver oil.

Establish a Sleep Routine

Menopause can cause sleep disturbance which is why it is quite important that you establish a daily sleep routine. You can begin by eating light meals in the evening and avoiding nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine.

Some women find that a relaxing shower or bath before bedtime, adjusting their bedroom light level, aromatherapy, and even a soft background music helps them to get into “sleep mode” faster.

Keep A Healthy Weight

Gaining weight during menopause is a common occurrence that can be due to the combination of genetics, lifestyle, aging, and hormonal changes.

Keeping your body weight healthy by exercising regularly can help reduce the symptoms of menopause and risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases.

Avoid Triggers

Hot flashes, mood swings, and night sweats during menopause can be triggered by certain types of foods and drinks. If you notice a particular food or drink triggers any of these symptoms, it is best if you avoid them altogether.

Some trigger foods include foods rich in either spice or sugar while trigger drinks include alcohol and caffeine.

The takeaway here is that you need to be more conscious of keeping your body fit and healthy during menopause since this is the basic key to help alleviate and prevent menopause symptoms.