Warning Signs & Symptoms of Heat-Related Illnesses

August is here! This means it’s time for the kids to prepare to go back to school and it is also the last call for any summer vacations! This summer has been one for the books with record-breaking heat temperatures. Whenever this season comes back around, we all must make sure that we stay safe because extreme heat can cause an array of health problems. Let’s dive into the possibilities that could happen if we are not careful with the warm weather we’re having.

  • Heat exhaustion: Heat exhaustion happens when your body starts to overheat and can’t cool itself down. Heat exhaustion is more common than we think. It can be more common during any physical activity, like exercise. During physical activity, our bodies start to lose fluids when we sweat and if we don’t replace those fluids, dehydration could happen. Some examples of heat exhaustion symptoms are dizziness, fever, excessive sweating, and fatigue. 
  • Heatstroke: Heatstroke is a condition that is caused by the body overheating, kind of like heat exhaustion. Long exposure to the sun can cause a heat stroke, and it can also be life-threatening if a person stays outside for too long. Usually, we can cool ourselves down by sweating, but in extreme heat, our cooling systems could fail, and heat will start to build up. Some examples of heatstroke symptoms are headaches, dizziness, disorientation, and even seizures. 
  • Dehydration: Dehydration happens when we lose more fluids than what we take in. If our bodies don’t have enough water or any other fluids, it can stop functioning. When a person becomes sick with a fever, starts to vomit, or has diarrhea, that could cause dehydration. It can also occur if the person has been outside in the sun and they’re not drinking enough water. Everyone is different and everyone may experience symptoms differently. Some symptoms of dehydration might include fatigue, light-headedness, dizziness, and confusion. 

While we are looking out for ourselves this summer with the heat, we also must look out for our pets too! Pets can experience heat stroke just like we can. Pets can usually cool themselves off by panting, but they only have a few sweat glands and can’t cool themselves off by sweating like we do, so they can overheat more easily. Heatstroke can also be very common for pets if they’re left outside during hot days, but other factors can cause pets to have heatstroke as well. Some of the factors include high humidity, no access to water, and if pets are stuck in a house or car with no ventilation or air conditioning. 

Since we’ve talked about the dangers of extreme heat and how the consequences of that can affect us in different ways, now let’s talk about how we can avoid dehydration and any other heat-related illnesses. It’s very simple really. 

  • Drinking water: The best way to avoid dehydration and other heat-related illnesses is to drink plenty of fluids. Drinking enough water every day is very important for our health. Our bodies are made up of 60% water and making sure to stay hydrated is very beneficial. When we’re out in the hot sun or exercising, it is very important to drink enough water to keep up with what our bodies are getting rid of. Water helps our bodies keep a normal temperature, lubricates our joints, and gets rid of wastes through urination, bowel movements, and sweating. 

Sometimes we find ourselves forgetting to drink enough water throughout the day. Here are some tips so we can remember to drink enough:

  • Always carry a water bottle with us and remember to refill it periodically.
  • Start choosing water instead of sugary drinks, especially when we’re eating meals.
  • Add some flavor to our water. We can add a wedge of lemon or limes to our water to help improve the taste and it can help us drink more water than we usually do.

Believe it or not, drinking water is good for our teeth as well, especially if it’s with fluoride! Drinking water with fluoride is one of the easiest ways to prevent cavities. Here are some other ways that drinking water is beneficial to our teeth: 

  • It keeps our mouths clean: When we’re eating meals, it is very easy for us to want to pick up a soda to wash down whatever we were eating, but that can also leave unwanted sugar in our teeth. The bacteria in our mouths would love to eat the sugar and produce acid that can break down our enamel. Water washes away any left-over food in our mouths, which means the bacteria can’t find any sugar to break down. Drinking water throughout the day can keep our mouths cavity-free, and always brushing our teeth two times a day. 
  • It fights dry mouth: Our mouths are filled with saliva. Saliva is our mouth’s defense against tooth decay. It washes away leftover food just like water and it keeps our teeth strong by washing them with calcium, fluoride, and phosphate. 

Who knew that drinking water can be very beneficial to our health and even help save our teeth in the process? This summer has been a hot one and it’ll keep getting hotter. While we are all outside in the sun having the most fun as we can, it is very important to drink enough water as we can throughout the day. Have fun and stay safe out there! 

Smith Valley Smiles

2311 Highway 208
Smith, NV 89430
Phone: 775-465-2388

Top 9 Health Risks Men Face

June is here, the first month of summer! We have Men’s Health Awareness Week coming up this month so let’s talk about it. Men’s Health Week was created in 1994 by congress to help raise awareness of preventable health problems, as well as early detection and treatment of diseases commonly found among men and boys. This event is about celebrating men and encouraging them to care for their bodies and become aware of preventable diseases. The week occurs this year from June 14th through the 20th, which also happens to fall on Father’s Day. This week is used to raise awareness, spread education, and create knowledge on how to improve the state of men’s health. People acknowledge this event by using a blue ribbon as its’ symbol.

Yes, EVERYONE needs to pay special care and attention to our health. However, sometimes there is a stigma that men are not likely to face certain diseases or illnesses simply due to the fact they are male. For Men’s Health Awareness Week, here are the top 9 health risks for men according to Healthline:

  1. Heart Health: Gum disease (periodontitis) is often linked with an increased chance of developing heart disease. Also, poor dental hygiene runs a higher bacterial infection risk in the bloodstream affecting heart valves. [Salinas, DDS. November 2020, Mayo Clinic]
  2. Respiratory Disease: Like how gum disease affects the heart, bacteria and germs from poor dental hygiene can also get inhaled into the lungs. This can exacerbate existing medical conditions and lead to other lung problems [American Thoracic Society].
  3. Alcohol and/or Substance Abuse. Different alcohols and drugs adversely affect the body differently, here are the highlights [Oral Health Foundation]:

Wine, Beer, Ciders – these tend to be highly acidic drinks that can lead to erosion of tooth enamel. The first sign of this tends to be tooth sensitivity or pain.

Hard Liquor (Spirits) – the high alcohol content leads to dry mouth. This can cause dehydration and excessive plaque buildup.

Mixers and Alcohol Pops – these tend to be loaded with sugar. We all know that can be a tasty way to welcome tooth decay!

Drugs – many cause sugar cravings. Sugar mixes with the saliva and bacteria in our mouth to create plaque. Plaque left sitting on our teeth for a long time can then dissolve the enamel leading to cavities.

Heroin and Meth – these cause dry mouth by reducing saliva flow. Chronic dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Cocaine and Ecstasy – the jaw-clenching these drugs cause often leads to headaches, jaw pain, and cracked teeth.

  1. Depression: Depression is a mental health disorder that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act. Did you know canker sores can be triggered by stress and dietary deficiencies? When depression and anxiety strike, it’s easy to forget to brush our teeth regularly and eat frequent healthy meals.
  2. Unintentional Injuries/Accidents
  3. Liver Disease: Any condition that damages the liver and prevents it from functioning well. Common risk factors of liver disease include heavy alcohol use, obesity, type 2 diabetes, sharing needles, exposure to other people’s bodily fluids, and family history of the disease. [Mayo Clinic]
  4. Diabetes: Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not process food for use as energy. It is a disease in which your blood glucose or blood sugar levels are too high. Did you know that diabetic patients with gum disease have an easier time controlling their blood sugar levels? [Mouth Healthy ADA]
  1. Influenza and Pneumonia: This is lung inflammation caused by a bacterial infection, which fills the air sacs in the lungs with puss and may become solid over time. Those bacteria could very well come from poor dental hygiene.
  2. Skin Cancer: Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells. It develops in areas that are mostly exposed to the sun. It’s summer, but everyone can benefit from wearing sunscreen 365 days a year!

Did you notice much of the list is preventable? A healthy body and a healthy mind work in conjunction with one another. You’re worth the effort it takes to create new, healthy habits to live a long life. Today is the perfect time to start!

Smith Valley Smiles

2311 Highway 208
Smith, NV 89430
Phone: 775-465-2388

The Truth About Bad Posture and Tooth Fractures

It’s officially March 2021, and one of the lesser-known impacts brought on by the pandemic is the rise of tooth fractures. Our dental practice would normally see a small number of fractures from ice chewing or biting into a rogue popcorn kernel; however, that is no longer the case. As more people than ever before working from their sofas and hastily thrown together home offices, ergonomics has gone out the window. A large part of ergonomics in the workplace revolves around posture, which plays heavily into stress induced tooth fractures and other jaw-related issues such as TMJ.

While broken bones can heal, it is important to note that a tooth fracture never will. The cure, rather treatment, will depend on the severity of the crack and location. This is why an early diagnosis can be essential to saving your tooth. Treatment can be as simple as a crown or require a root canal if the fracture is below the gum line. As with all dental issues, avoiding treatment as things progressively worsen and can lead to tooth loss.

Now, let us revisit posture. The average person tends to not consider their posture and how it deeply affects their bodies and overall long-term health. Having poor posture places stress on your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Practicing good posture is one of the simplest and easiest ways to keep the spine healthy and improve blood flow. Most people sit slumped, curve their spine, lean forward on the edge of their seat, or sit leaning more to the left or right. All these positions can affect our spine, neck, nerves, and shoulder muscles which can all translate into possible TMJ problems!

Ever wonder the kind of effect stress can have on the body and everyday life? It is another factor that negatively impacts our bodies. Chronic stress is also linked to the six leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide). Of course, stress is probably on the top of everyone’s lists, along with poor sleeping habits. These two things combined, cause us to clench our jaw and grind our teeth at night while sleeping. Clenching and grinding of the teeth and jaws contribute greatly to tooth fractures, chipped teeth, and wearing down the surfaces of your teeth (short teeth). All of which is an obvious reason to schedule a dental visit.

It is important to be mindful of these things, at least as much as we can. Let us all try to make sure that we check-in with ourselves by asking daily:

  • How have I been feeling?
  • Am I anxious about anything particular?
  • What am I stressing about?
  • Have I been sleeping well?

The first step is at least being aware. If we can catch ourselves when we are stressing, we can prevent those long-term issues that creep up on us down the road. For example, sometimes we notice our fists are clenched. Maybe not because we are angry, but because that is where our stress accumulates. Our stress can also accumulate while we are sleeping. You see, stress comes out in different ways and often unconsciously. After thinking about all these factors, realization hits and we start thinking about all the things that we can do to improve ourselves and our health. We do find ourselves in a constant state of stress, even if nothing major is going on, there is constantly something on our mind. Our health is finite and requires regular attention and maintenance. Be mindful of what your body is saying to you and take action.

Taking action is as easy as catching ourselves slumped in front of our computers rather than sitting upright with our feet on the floor. There are loads of options on Amazon designed to help reinforce healthy posture. For your workspace, be sure your computer monitors are at eye level, and your keyboard and mouse accessible while your arms are at a 90-degree angle. This should allow your elbows and forearms to rest on the arms of your chair.

Try and get relaxed before going to bed. Stop thinking about work. Stop thinking about what we did and did not get accomplished. Try taking a bath or hot shower. Unwind. Drink some chamomile tea. Anything to put you in a calm state-of-mind before dozing off. And, if you have trouble falling asleep, focus on clearing your mind and concentrate on breathing deeply.

If you are a teeth grinder or a jaw clencher, ask us about a mouthguard or sleep options to help prevent grinding and ease those achy jaws from clenching.

We know this will not solve a pandemic, but it will help to avoid a nasty dental visit, TMJ problems, or having to repair fractured or chipped teeth!

Smith Valley Smiles

2311 Highway 208
Smith, NV 89430
Phone: 775-465-2388

New Beginnings

Happy New Year everyone! We FINALLY made it out of 2020 and coming into 2021 full steam ahead!

Now, we all realize that just because we are starting a fresh new year, doesn’t mean all the COVID craziness will magically disappear (we all wish, right?). However, this is the perfect time to reminisce and start the new year off in a positive and optimistic direction.

As 2021 begins, we all feel like at least a bit compelled to start making changes in our lives. Whether it’s starting new things, letting go of old habits, or setting new goals to achieve. A new year feels like someone hit a reset button and we can all restart. So, take some time to reflect on all joy and struggle you experienced in 2020, and think about what you’ll do differently over the next few months ahead. Even with the uncertainty, we will all continue to do our part by limiting our bubble interactions, BUT that doesn’t mean we can’t achieve great things this year. If you’re still playing with the idea of creating new habits or (gasp!) even calling them resolutions, here are four simple ideas to commit to.

  • Drink more water. Try starting off small. Drink 2 cups of water every morning. Maybe even replace one of your many cups of coffee for water. If drinking water is just too bland, try add ins like fresh lemons, fruit, or cucumber or Propel flavored electrolyte water packets.

  • Cooking. Since it looks like we’re still staying indoors for who knows how long, try out a new weekly recipe. Pinterest offers a smorgasbord of inspiration for every picky eater imaginable!
  • Hobbies. Finding a new hobby can be greatly beneficial for your mental wellbeing. Hobbies give you something to look forward to. Find something that sounds fun and give it a go, because doing new things solo or with your immediate people is always an adventure!

  • Exercise. Exercising or any physical activity improves your muscle strength and works to create long-term health benefits. Exercise is good for your health, body, and mood so try out new exercises or activities to get you in a good mindset for 2021! YouTube offers a plethora of workouts for anything that takes your fancy, AND don’t undercut yourself! Even a daily stroll to the mailbox or around the block counts.

Now, resolutions tend to be easier said than done. So, start by simply trying out something new. Set small milestones, and once you have that habit built up, set a bigger one to accomplish something challenging. Now is the time, after everything we’ve been through this past year, GO FOR IT! Happy New Year! Let us know how you’re doing. Take 2021 by the reins, you’re a boss!

Smith Valley Smiles

2311 Highway 208
Smith, NV 89430
Phone: 775-465-2388

7 FUN ACTIVITIES TO FIGHT THE HOLIDAY BLUES AT HOME!

Happy Holidays everyone!

As the year FINALLY draws to a close, we are looking hopefully to 2021. As COVID cases continue to rise, now is the perfect time to try and ENJOY the holidays. And even though we are in this crazy and uncertain world, it is something GOOD to look forward to. Don’t you love the feeling in the air when you can swap over your pumpkin spice candles, for fresh balsam? And hang up the lights outside. Along with all the other traditions that go along with it.

If you’re just not feeling festive, let’s start looking at the holiday season as an exciting challenge, and create new holiday traditions. There are so many fun things to do at home, here are a few of our favorites!

  • Setting up the Christmas tree! Here’s our secret to a well-balanced tree… start with the big stuff, you can also add holiday plushies to fill up some of those bigger gaps. Then lay out the rest of the ornaments and go to town! Be mindful if you have pets as many ornaments are easily breakable.

  • Light up the house with decorations! People usually wait the day after Thanksgiving to start decorating the outside of their homes. You can decorate the outside of your house with lights, candy canes, and snowflakes, snowmen, and of course, Santa! We like to go all out. It’s so great when it starts getting dark out and all the lights come on. The inside of the house is decorated as well, and those lights pop on around the same time. Decorate and enjoy that holiday feeling when they are all on, shining and casting that warm glow.
  • Decorating cookies. Whether you pick up sugar cookies from the store or rollout gingerbread men, frosting and decorating cookies is a great activity no matter how many people are in your home. Take a spin on the traditional decorations by creating funky designs or use fun cookie cutter shapes. Using colorful frosting and a multitude of fun sprinkles, you can even turn it into a lighthearted contest!

  • Painting ornaments is great family fun. Create drawings and use pictures to personalize ornaments and make them extra special. Pick up a simple painting kit at your local craft store and get to work! Decorating your tree with your loved ones creates those lasting memories. And that’s something we can all use especially during this year.

  • Giving gifts to loved ones is always one of our favorites! This year, of course, is a little different for everyone. But it’s the thought that counts! Relish the moments that you get when you watch your family open gifts even if it is over Zoom. Share the cookies and ship the handmade ornaments.

  • While pets are the big winners of 2020 for anyone now working from home! Even though they have no idea what’s going on, it’s fun to include them in the Christmas spirit as well. You can buy them gifts, make them stockings and ornaments as well.

  • Spread some cheer with homemade Christmas or Happy New Year cards. Send them out to loved ones, friends, and neighbors. Paper, glue, pens, and a little glitter… you can create just about anything! Getting a card in the mail from someone special is always a treat! It’s really these small gestures that have the biggest impact.

No matter how you decide to celebrate this holiday season, or who you choose to spend it with, safely enjoy. Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

Smith Valley Smiles

2311 Highway 208
Smith, NV 89430
Phone: 775-465-2388

Why, When, What Type, and How to Floss

Did you know that by simply brushing, you’re only getting 50% of the job done? That’s because when you brush the bristles can only reach 60% of your tooth’s surface. That means 20% between your teeth is a hot spot for bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease. When you don’t floss it gives the bacteria longer to build up and bind with your teeth creating a firm sticky substance known as plaque. Flossing, however, removes those food particles before they can harden into tartar, also known as calculus, which cannot be removed by regular flossing. After the tartar begins to build up it will take over the surface of the tooth under the gum line. Once there, tartar causes inflammation and irritation that leads to the development of gum disease.

When to Floss

Now that we know why we should floss; do you know why only 4 in 10 Americans floss every day? The largest percent says that it’s too time-consuming but once you get the hang of it, flossing takes just a couple minutes. Since we only floss once a day, it’s recommended to do it before you brush. When you floss after brushing all the loose plaque and bacteria floats around your mouth, giving it the chance to reattach to the tooth’s surface. So, at the very least, rinse your mouth.

 

How to Floss

We’ve got the basics down, why it’s important to floss, and when we should floss. Can you guess what’s next? That’s right, the correct way to floss. If you are flossing every day and still see a lot of plaque buildup, chances are you’re missing some crevices. When you floss incorrectly it can cause bleeding and damage to your gums and any surrounding dental work. Now before we get into the proper ways to floss, we really need to go over the different types of floss and what they are used for.

 

Types of FlossBody (2).png

  • Floss can come waxed or unwaxed and everyone can use it! It’s great to get those food particles in tight spaces. Typically, it comes rolled up in a small plastic box. Which makes flossing on the go much easier!
  • Dental Tape: This is similar to regular floss where it comes in either waxed or unwaxed. However, dental tape is much wider than floss and can clean more surface. If you have bigger hands or more space between your teeth, it’s recommended to use this.
  • Floss Picks: Are small plastic flossing sticks that are somewhat shaped like a candy cane. Used in the same way regular floss is, floss picks make it easier for people with less dexterity and they are great for kids!
  • Floss Threader: This is a firm stick with a loop at the end. It is used to thread the floss through dental appliances, which can make some teeth hard to reach. Typically, floss threaders are used with braces or bridges.
  • Interdental Brush: This is a pick with wired or non-wired bristles at the tip. These can be used for regular flossing; however, they are also useful in cleaning dental implants and braces.
  • Superfloss: Has a floss threader at one end, regular floss in the middle, and a soft spongy floss at the other end. The thread is used to pull the floss between an appliance then the regular floss is used on the adjacent tooth. The spongy floss is then used to clean around an implant-supported bridge or under a normal bridge.
  • Wooden Plaque Remover: Looks a lot like a toothpick but it has a tapered end with a triangular shape. Set the tapered end in your mouth for a few seconds to soften it. Then place the softened side between your teeth with the flat side on your gums. This is to stimulate blood flow which helps fight gum disease. Gently move the pick in and out to break up any food particles and disturb any forming plaque. This can be used by anyone and is preferable for flossing on the go.
  • Body (1).pngWater Flosser: The water flosser is a different type of device known as an oral irrigator. Instead of manually scraping the plaque off, the water pressure does it for you! If you have braces it’s an easy way to make sure you are fully cleaning those pearly whites, however, anyone can use a water flosser.

How Really to Floss

  • Flossing: Pull 18-20 in of floss from the container, then loosely wrap it around both middle fingers. Make sure to leave at least 1-2 in of floss in the middle. Hold the floss taut with your thumb and index fingers and glide it gently up and down the side of your teeth. When you get to the gum line form a C-shape and slide the floss down. Finally, remove the floss and continue with the same method on the rest of your teeth.
  • Flossing with Braces: It’s recommended that you use waxed floss to avoid getting strands stuck in the brackets. Pull 18-24 in of waxed floss out of the container, thread it through the floss threader and carefully pull it through the wire; then continue to floss as normal. You can also use interdental brushes by pushing the bristles in an out 2-3 times for every tooth.
  • Flossing Dental Implants: Since implants can’t decay the plaque will still stick which can cause swelling and implant failure known as Peri-implantitis. This means it is still vital to floss around your implant. Use a non-wired interdental brush to avoid scratching the titanium or porcelain. Gently push it in and out 2-3 times, then continue to floss the rest of your teeth.
  • Flossing a Dental Bridge: Start by pushing the threader end of Superfloss through the space between the bridge and the real tooth. Use the regular floss on the real tooth, then gently slide the super floss under the bridge 2-3 times and repeat on the other side. After, floss the rest of your teeth normally.
  • Flossing Implant-Supported Bridges: Use Superfloss to thread the spongy floss under the bridge, and gently use the spongy side to clean around the titanium implants. You can also use a non-wired interdental brush to clean them.
  • Flossing and Cleaning Implant-Supported Overdentures: Remove the dentures from your mouth, brush the dentures with detergent and place them in water. Then take a one-tuff brush and gently clean around the part of the implant that sits above your gums, commonly known as an abutment.

 

Flossing is simple, yet so crucial for your dental health. Remember, the floss most dentists recommend is any type that you will use every day!

 

 

 

Smith Valley Smiles

2311 Highway 208
Smith, NV 89430
Phone: 775-465-2388