The Auto Blogger

Gingivitis: Disease Shared by at Least 80 Percent of the U.S. Population

Gingivitis is essentially one of the many forms of periodontal diseases involving serious bacterial infections. When left untreated, gingivitis, or any type of periodontal disease in general, can lead to tooth loss.

Millions of people have some of form of periodontal disease, and most are totally unaware of their condition. In fact, at least 80 percent of the U.S. adult population has periodontal disease. Symptoms of gingivitis ranges from simple gum inflammation to loose or shifting teeth. But some cases of periodontal diseases didn’t even manifest the common signs of periodontal disease. In fact, gum disease will only affect certain teeth like the molars.

Only a periodontist or a dentist who specializes in periodontal disease can assess the progression of gum disease. It is, therefore, vital that you see a periodontist in your area if you see any of the following warning signs of gum disease:

  • Red, tender, and often swollen gums
  • Shooting pain in the mouth
  • Receding gum, or a condition that makes the teeth look longer than before
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Lingering bad taste in the mouth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Change in how your teeth fit together upon biting down

Gum disease doesn’t end with tooth loss. Periodontal disease is often linked to other life-threatening diseases like heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and stroke among others. The CDC says that certain types of bacteria and microorganisms in the mouth can make its way into the bloodstream, which can cause havoc elsewhere in the body. Gum disease does not only increase a person’s risk of diabetes but can also make diabetes worse.

A healthy gum is not only a prerequisite to a great smile but for one’s wellbeing. Gum disease can be prevented and even be reversed. The key to healthy gums is dental hygiene, particularly proper plaque control. And this routine goes beyond your normal brushing habit. Proper plaque control has three foundations: Regular professional cleanings, flossing, and, of course, daily brushing. Flossing removes plaque and food particles under the gum line and in between teeth while what brushing delivers is essentially surface cleaning. What about mouthwash? The American Dental Association says antibacterial mouth rinse is definitely a practical investment in preventing gum disease and plaque.

Complement your healthy dental habits with lifestyle and health changes that will and can decrease your risk of gum disease.

  • Reduce stress. A healthy immune system is vital in fighting off infection caused by microorganisms and bacteria that thrives in your mouth.
  • Smile. And avoid grinding and clenching your teeth. Compared to smiling, clenching and grinding your teeth exerts unnecessary and even damaging force on the supporting tissues of the teeth, increasing the rate at which the tissues are destroyed.     

In spite of healthy oral habits and your efforts to make healthy lifestyle choices, the American Dental Association reports that at least 30 percent of the U.S. population is genetically predisposed to developing gum disease. And those who have it “in them” are six times more likely to develop some form of periodontal disease at some point of their lives.

Clearing up Facts about Eye Allergies: Why Plain Eye Drops Won’t Work Anymore

Many people suffer from eye allergies or allergic conjunctivitis. In fact, there are at least 50 million Americans suffering from at least one subtype of allergic conjunctivitis. Though all you really need is a cold compress, long-term relief requires more than just dabbing an ice pack. To really keep eye allergies at bay, first, you need to pin down what exactly triggers your condition and, then, take necessary actions to treat the symptoms.

Eye allergies can have a gamut of symptoms, but the major signs include

  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Itchy eyes
  • Eyelid swelling
  • Burning sensation
  • Sensitivity to light

Eye allergies can essentially occur alone or more often than not with nasal allergies or eczema. Eye allergies can be a non-conclusive symptom of other allergic conditions like atopic eczema, allergic asthma, and hay fever. Though it is for just about anyone to diagnose your condition as another eye allergy, only a doctor can rule out other possibilities and identify your condition.

But what exactly can trigger eye allergies? One of the most common offenders is pollen. If you suffer from seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, springtime, when the trees, grass, and flowers are in full bloom, may bad news for you. When the pollen counts are high, which is like this season, you may want to stay indoors. Turn the air conditioner air and, of course, shut the windows tight. If you need to go some place else, you may want to make sure that you have your sunglasses with you. But don’t just wear any sunglass, shop for ones that have fitting side shields for extra protection.

Though most people think that they are safe inside their homes, those with eye allergies aren’t — if they have pets, that is. Unfortunately, our homes aren’t exactly clean and safe as we expected it. Our homes trap allergens, particularly animal dander and molds, making it almost impossible for us to be allergy-free at all times. If you can’t resist having or playing with pets? Limit the amount of time you actually spend around them. Immediately wash your hands after you touch a pet, particularly when cleaning their areas.

Other tips:

  • Invest in pillowcases and bedding that don’t hold dust mites
  • Wash and clean sheets with hot water
  • Control the humidity indoors. You may want to make sure that you keep the levels between 30 and 50 percent
  • Don’t sweep when you’re cleaning, this will only stir up the allergens.
  • Clean floors with a damp mop

If your eye allergies are caused by indoor molds, you may want to make sure that you regularly clean the kitchen, bathroom, and basements. Save up for a dehumidifier, and make sure that you have at least an hour in a week to clean it. Another great investment that you may want to consider is a reliable HEPA filter.

When it comes to treating eye allergies, you can rely on oral medicines, eye allergy drops, and, of course, eye drops that have both antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers. Remember, eye allergy drops are made to target a particular symptom: Decongestant to shrink blood vessels and tear substitutes to clear out allergens. You may want to ask for your doctor about these types of eye drops, and what can be best for your condition. Your doctor may either prescribe, again, based on your symptoms, an anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drug eye drop or steroid-based ones.

The Basics of Diarrhea

Also called the trots, runs, and dysentery, diarrhea essentially describes bowel movements or stools that are loose and watery. Diarrhea is a very common condition. In fact, many people, if not most of us, will experience diarrhea at least twice a year. Diarrhea typically lasts for three days and can be easily treated with over-the-counter medicines.

Though people will easily dismiss diarrhea as something that is not serious, others will experience this condition as a symptom of chronic diseases of the large intestine or as a part of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a chronic digestive problem affecting at least 55 million Americans.

Types of Diarrhea

Diarrhea can be essentially classified into “exudative,” “secretory” or “osmotic”. Exudative diarrhea essentially refers to bowel movements with pus and blood and often occurs with several infections and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease. Secretory diarrhea, caused by drugs, infections, and other conditions, essentially occurs when the body is secreting excessive amount of water with and in the bowel. Lastly, osmotic diarrhea describes a condition when something in the stool is extracting water from the body and directly into the bowel.

Causes of Diarrhea

The most common agent that causes diarrhea is a virus that infects a gut. The infection, which usually lasts for three days, is essentially called “stomach flu” or “intestinal flu”. Diarrhea can also be caused by any or a combination of two of the following agents:

  • Infection by organisms
  • Infection by bacteria, which can also cause food poisoning
  • Allergies to certain foods
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Laxative abuse
  • Diabetes
  • Malabsorption, a condition when the body is unable to absorb nutrients from one’s diet
  • Radiation therapy
  • Digestive tract surgery
  • Certain medications
  • Foods that specifically upset the digestive system
  • Some cancers
  • Competitive running

Diarrhea usually follows constipation and other symptoms, especially for those who have IBS.

Symptoms of Diarrhea

While it may be difficult to distinguish the symptoms caused by, say, exudative diarrhea from osmotic diarrhea. But the signs and symptoms of diarrhea can essentially be categorized into non-serious (uncomplicated) diarrhea to, of course, complicated diarrhea. While people usually dismiss diarrhea as something that they shouldn’t be alarmed of, complicated diarrhea is a non-conclusive symptom of a more serious illness.

Complicated diarrhea usually involves the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloating
  • Watery stool
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sense of urgency to release stool
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fever
  • Mucus, blood, or pus in the stool

Treatment for Diarrhea

A mild case of diarrhea can be treated with an over-the-counter medicine. Some of the most common and popular brands include Imodium A-D, Pepto-Bismol, and Kaopectate. Simply follow the instructions printed on the label.

Aside from OTC meds, you may want to make sure that you hydrate well. Drink at least six 8-ounce glasses of healthy liquids per day. And when it comes to liquid, limit your choices with water, juices without pulp, soda (decaff), and broth. Sports drinks, tea with honey, and soups (without fat) are also good choices. Drink fluids frequently. If you’re having difficulty of keeping tabs of what you drink, have a pitcher of water beside you so you can grab a glass whenever you want to.