February 26, 2013

Famous People Who started their careers as Dentists

There are some rather interesting famous people who started their careers as dentists.

Did you know that Edgar Buchanan the popular character actor started out as a successful dentist before moving to California in 1939.  He was probably best known for his memorable roles in 1960’s sitcoms like “Petticoat Junction,” “Green Acres,” and “The Beverly Hillbillies.”  Once the acting bug bit him, he left dentistry, but, interestingly enough, his wife actually took over his practice after he retired.

“Doc“ Holliday was known for his friendship with Wyatt Earp and their famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral.  Actually, Doc Holliday was a dentist who was trained in Pennsylvania and developed a booming little practice in Atlanta.  Unfortunately, he contracted tuberculosis and was forced to leave his practice and move out West, where the rest is history.

Mark Spitz was known for his record-breaking 7 gold medals won at the 1972 Olympics in swimming.  What you may not know is that he was actually accepted into dental school earlier, but he decided to pursue his Olympic swimming dreams instead. 

Follow us next week when I’ll continue with another group of people who were dentists before their fame.

For information about a wide variety of dental topics visit www.tavorminadentistry.com

February 19, 2013

Being Overweight Linked To Higher Risk Of Gum Disease

We all know that obesity is a major health concern for us Americans, but did you also know that obesity is now being linked to a higher likelihood of having gum disease!?  An increased risk for gum disease is added to the list of risk factors the obese have to face, such as developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain forms of cancer.

This new information was published in the January/February 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry.   The obese produce excessive cytokines, which are proteins with inflammatory properties.  These cytokines may directly injure the gums or reduce blood flow to the gum tissues, thus promoting the development of gum disease.

More than half of our population age 30 and older is affected by gum disease, which is a chronic inflammatory infection that affects the gums and bone that support teeth.  Continued research will explore the relationship between obesity and gum disease.  It’s interesting that there is a great percentage of the population that suffers with both gum disease and obesity.

The best way to reduce the risk of developing gum disease is to have effective daily personal dental homecare that includes brushing, flossing, rinsing, and appropriate professional cleanings.

For more information about gum disease and other dental topics visit www.DrTav.com

February 12, 2013

Is Winter Affecting Your Fitness?

In our blog we usually talk about issues relating to dental health.  We have previously pointed out that there is a link between oral health and your overall health and that link is very important.  It’s also important to keep your overall health in mind and make it a priority.

I don’t know about you, but unfortunately I am affected by the winter weather when it comes to outside activity.  I really have a hard time taking the cold and don’t like to walk on snowy or icy streets.  I find it difficult to be cold at the beginning of winter outdoors activities, and then get too warm as a sweat builds up from activity.  Wearing layers helps, of course, but then I have to carry all the layers that come off!  I certainly admire people who make winter outdoors activities work!

Research has shown that less sunlight also affects our mood and our health.  When there’s no sunshine and just the cold, it’s time for some of us to just stay indoors and keep as warm as possible.  What can be done to avoid becoming sedentary if the winter weather affects you this way?  Find indoor activities you enjoy!

My favorite go-to indoors exercises are yoga and dancing.  I start the morning with 20 minutes of yoga to loosen up the stiffness from inactivity during sleep.  Then there’s dance to liven things up and increase circulation and strengthen and tighten muscles.There are so many DVD’s to pick from.  I enjoy Zumba and would love to learn belly dancing.  It may look easy, but it’s really quite a workout!

This only scratches the surface.  So put your thinking caps on if you won’t venture out in the cold, and find other ways to exercise that don’t involve the outdoors.

Remember to visit us at DrTav.com for dental information! 

February 5, 2013

Risks Of Lip Cancer

Long-term use of commonly prescribed blood pressure medications may be associated with an increased risk of lip cancer in non-Hispanic whites, according to a study published in the September 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research in Oakland compared 712 patients with lip cancer with 22,904 control participants in a susceptible group of non-Hispanic whites.

They determined  participants’ use of photosensitizing and nonphotosensitizing blood pressure medications.  The investigators analyzed use of each drug exclusively and regardless of use of the others and focused on duration of use.  They also controlled for cigarette smoking.

The results showed that the risk of developing squamous cell lip cancer was higher among those who received long-term treatment with photosensitizing blood pressure medications.  Nonphotosensitizing atenolol, when used alone, was not associated with an increased risk, the authors wrote.

Lip cancer remains rare, and an increased risk of developing it is generally outweighed by the benefits of these blood pressure drugs and other photosensitizing medications.  Physicians prescribing photosensitizing drugs should ascertain whether patients are at high risk of developing lip cancer by virtue of fair skin and long-term sun exposure and discuss lip protection with them.

Although not yet confirmed by clinical trials, likely preventive measures are simple: a hat with a sufficiently wide brim to shade the lips and lip sunscreens.

For information about other dental topics visit www.DrTav.com