Teeth Brushing and Heart Disease

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How important is it to brush your teeth? Well, more and more studies are showing that keeping your teeth and your mouth clean can actually be effective at preventing, of all things, heart disease. That’s right. We have found that people who have bacterial infections, periodontal disease, are more likely to have problems associated with heart disease. Now, whether it’s because of the teeth or it’s because of the fact that certain individuals may not take care of their teeth or their overall health, we’re not sure. But there is clearly that association.

 

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Oral Bacteria May Be Linked with Heart Risk

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Could mouth bacteria be linked with heart risk?  Studies are finding out this is the case. According to University of Buffalo, research comparing oral bacteria from 386 heart attack patients with oral bacteria from 840 without finds two species of bacteria are more common among heart attack patients.  Overall, heart patients tended to have higher levels of bacteria in their mouths, but of two types; Tannerella forsynthesis and Prevotella intermedia.  They were statistically linked to heart attack.  Researchers say more study is needed to determine if these bacteria actually contribute to the heart risk, but clearly, the studies are pointing in that direction and it’s something we should look at and understand. 

 

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Diagnosing Strep Throat

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Pharyngitis, or strep throat, or sore throat, are all terms that we use interchangeably, but actually, not every sore throat is a strep throat. Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by the Streptococcus bacteria. That bacteria actually needs to be treated with an antibiotic. Believe it or not, in most cases, you don’t need an antibiotic for treatment. In most cases, it’s a viral origin. Now, how do doctors tell that? The best way to tell is through a test to see if there is a bacterium. If there is a bacterial infection, then doctors go ahead and treat it with an antibiotic.

 

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Paper Cuts and Serious Infections

Paper Cuts and Serious Infections

We laugh about them, but some of the most important and most difficult injuries to deal with are paper cuts. We’re not talking just about the pain and the irritation, but people who work in environments where they can get infections often have the paper cut as the root of the infection. A paper cut can actually be access to bacteria to get into the skin. With so much concern about staph bacteria and various strains, it’s important that you keep a paper cut bandaged and taken care of.

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Be Aware of Grilling and Carcinogens

Be Aware of Grilling and Carcinogens

Labor Day is around the corner, and according to health officials, you need to be aware of certain risks when you’re grilling. The problem is the fine balance between cooking burgers long enough to protect against bacterial contamination, and not cooking them long enough to produce high amounts of HCAs, or heterocyclic amines. HCAs are human carcinogens. If you cookout this could be a risk, but there are ways to cut down on the harmful HCAs. One option, marinate the meat first in a sugar, oil, vinegar mixture. Another idea is a tart cherry. They reduce heterocyclic amines. But be aware of tomato based marinade which can increase the carcinogens. Once again if you cook out every now and then, you don’t have to be overly concerned.

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Bacterial vs. Viral Throat Infections

Bacterial vs. Viral Throat Infections

Throat infections occur quite a bit and they do occur commonly. When we look at someone with a throat infection, we try to find out if there some underlying etiology to be concerned about; for instance, strep is a bacteria which can cause a throat infection. If it’s a virus as a cause, physicians don’t get nearly quite concerned because we know that with gargling and with watching the temperature you can make a big difference. It’s when people actually are in a situation where they have serious throat infections with bacterial origins that can be a concern.

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Treating Pharyngitis (A Sore Throat)

Treating Pharyngitis (A Sore Throat)

Pharyngitis is often treated with antibiotics and, in those cases, it should because we’re dealing with strep or other bacteria that can cause long-term problems. But sometimes we have a viral cause of pharyngitis and in those cases, we don’t necessarily need to have an antibiotic; we actually need to counsel the patient. In other words, when you go see the doctor, you may not always get an antibiotic for your sore throat, or your child may not. We know that’s difficult to understand because we used to give it reflexively, but now we understand that we don’t want to overuse those antibiotics and in some cases, we don’t have to.

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