Martins Dental Partners Blog

Posts for category: Wellness

It can be difficult to know exactly how healthy we are. We often receive healthy reports from our doctors & physicians, yet regularly experience upset stomachs, headaches and other issues that suggest something may be going wrong and our bodies are not in complete harmony.  Hidden allergies and Autoimmune disease can often be challenging to identify but can have a severe impact on ones day-to-day life.

Your mouth is a gateway to your body

One way to support your overall wellness is to take great care of your smile.  As you know, the body is an intricate, interconnected system. Poor oral health has been linked to inflammation, diabetes, Alzheimer's and even cancer.  Studies show the risk of fatal heart attacks is 8 to 10 times higher in patients with advanced gum disease.  It’s also believed that a high percentage of chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease and arthritis may actually originate from oral diseases. 

The main part of teeth is called "dentin" and while it appears solid, it is actually made up of tiny "tubules" that, in healthy patients, transport fluids which nourish the tooth. However, tiny organisms hiding in the tubules can move into the interior of the tooth and multiply. Microorganisms shrink to fit small areas and they can survive on small amounts of food.  These organisms can become pathogenic and are able to produce serious disease due to their adaptation capabilities.

Risks of Poor Dental Health

Poor oral health’s connection to several body diseases has recently become clear. Germs and harmful bacteria from infections such as decaying teeth, roots, inflamed gum tissues, and tonsils, can metastasize to the heart, eyes, kidneys, lungs, or other organs and tissues. Low-birth weight in babies has also been also linked to gum disease.

One study compared brain samples from ten patients without dementia to ten patients with dementia. The research revealed that there was a link between dementia and chronic periodontal (gum) disease as well as Alzheimer's. 
All cancer patients are asked to have their dead teeth removed because there is compelling evidence of the link between dead teeth and cancer, due to the harmful toxins they release.

A Healthy Smile is an important factor in achieving Full-Body Wellness

Bacterial growth and infections in the mouth affect the entire body, traveling throughout it and causing serious health problems such diabetes, bacterial pneumonia and heart disease.  Poor dental health can even result in endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of your heart, when harmful bacteria from your mouth spread throughout your tubules, lymph nodes and bloodstream then attach themselves to damaged areas of your heart. 

The mouth is not an isolated system, but an integral part of the immune system. The mouth is closely connected to many parts of the body and a bacterial imbalance or gum disease in the mouth can create immune problems and inflammation in other parts of the body.

The lesson? Taking great care of your smile is an important factor in achieving Full-Body Wellness.

Martins Dental Partners' mission is to perfect the Dental experience.  We believe a relaxing & enjoyable dental visit is possible and strive to exceed any expectations you have regarding a visit to the Dentist.

Martins Dental Partners is a multi-specialty General & Cosmetic Dental Practice located at 130 Cabot Street in beautiful Beverly, MA.  For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Valerie Martins or Dr. Sukhpreet Heer, please call (978) 288-1946 or request an appointment using our website.

5 Creative Ways to Stay Active This Winter
By: Jason Lewis, Founder strongwell.org

Freezing weather is no reason to let your fitness goals fall by the wayside. Sure, it’s easier to get outside for a run when it’s sunny and 70 than when you haven’t seen the sun for weeks, but there are plenty of ways to exercise without freezing your fingers off. Instead of resigning yourself to a winter paunch, try these tips for staying active all winter long.

1. Join a Fitness Class

We tell ourselves that signing up for a gym membership will motivate us to go, but the numbers say otherwise. According to data from Statistic Brain, 67 percent of gym memberships never get used. That’s an average of $58 down the drain every single month. Why the lack of follow-through? With monthly and annual memberships, it’s too easy to indefinitely put off going to the gym. But when you sign up for a fitness class that’s only a couple weeks long, procrastinating means missing your chance altogether. For a workout you’ll be excited to attend, sign up for a boxing, spin, pole dancing, or aerobarre class with a group of friends.

2. Build a Home Gym

When the roads are too icy to drive, a home gym is your saving grace. Whether you’re an experienced athlete or a reforming couch potato, you can meet nearly all your fitness needs within a small area of your home. You can build a simple home gym with a yoga mat, dumbbells, resistance bands, and a Bosu balance trainer for under $300—less than half the price of an annual gym membership.

3. Embrace Winter Sports

One of the best things about winter recreation is that, outside of busy ski areas, it feels like you have the whole world to yourself. While everyone else is hiding from the cold, why not embrace it and learn how to snowshoe or cross-country ski? You’ll see your favorite hiking trails in a whole new light while enjoying a heart-pumping workout that’s sure to keep your body temperature up. Just be sure to dress appropriately for the weather, paying special attention to keeping your feet, hands, and head dry and warm. If you’re new to winter sports, read the National Ski Patrol’s advice on dressing for warmth and comfort.

4. Take the Stairs

Exercise doesn’t only come in the form of sweaty workout sessions. Find creative ways to get your blood pumping throughout your busy day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park at the far end of the parking lot, stretch during your lunch break, and squeeze in mini-workouts during TV commercial breaks.

5. Grab Your Shovel

Shoveling snow might not be your idea of fun, but do it right, and you’ll get a surprisingly effective full-body workout. As you clear snow from the driveway, focus on pushing, not throwing the snow, and be sure to lift from your legs to prevent back injuries. If your driveway is too short to get proper workout, why not be a good neighbor and clear a few other driveways while you’re at it? Since shoveling poses a heart attack risk for adults over the age of 55, you’ll be doing a big favor for older neighbors.

Consistency is key to building a strong and healthy body, and that means not taking a break from physical activity just because it’s cold outside. Whether you’re a snow bunny or prefer to spend your winters in the comfort of a heated home, you can find ways to stay active even in the dead of winter. What are your favorite ways to work out in the winter months?

Image via Unsplash

September 19, 2017
Category: Wellness
Tags: MDP Tips  

Here are 5 simple tips to keep your mouth healthy, fresh and clean:

1) Brush & Floss Regularly:  The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and flossing your teeth at least once a day.  Together, these two activities help remove the sticky film you sometimes feel on your teeth called plaque. Plaque contains bacteria (the cause of bad breath) and releases acid which eats away at the enamel of your teeth and causes cavities.  If plaque is not removed it will eventually harden into a hard substance called tartar which can lead to gum disease.  Also, remember to replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months.

2) Don’t Forget Your Tongue:  Don’t forget your tongue when you brush.  Your tongue also collects food and bacteria so it’s important to brush it as well.  Better yet, use a Tongue Scrapper – a specialized tool designed to remove food and bacteria from the tongue’s surface.

3) Rinse After Meals:  In addition to regular brushing and flossing, it also helps to rinse after meals.  When possible, rinse with an antiseptic mouth wash which will kill bacteria responsible for bad breath.  If you don’t have mouthwash readily available, simply rinsing with water can help remove food particles and plaque between brushing.

4) Chew Sugarless Gum:  Another “between brushing” habit that benefits your teeth and promotes fresh breath is chewing sugarless gum.  In addition to the fresh taste of the gum itself, chewing gum stimulates the release of saliva which is mother natures’ natural defense against the plaque acids responsible for bad breath and tooth decay.

5) See Your Dentist Regularly:  While individuals have varying needs in terms of dentistry, the average person should visit their dentist every 6 months to receive regular check-ups and cleanings. Regular visits not only help keep your teeth and gums healthy and free of plaque & bacteria, they also provide an opportunity for your dentist to identify potential problems early which can save you a lot of pain, time and money.

Martins Dental Partners is a multi-specialty General & Cosmetic Dental Practice located in Beverly, MA. Our mission is to perfect the Dental experience.  We believe a relaxing & enjoyable dental visit is possible and strive to exceed any expectations you have regarding a visit to the Dentist.  For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Valerie Martins, Dr. Sukhpreet Heer or Dr. Suzanne Fisher please, call (978) 288-1946 or request an appointment using our website.

In this special guest feature, Paige Johnson, a personal trainer and regular contributor at learnfit.org, shares tips to get fit without a gym.

If the thought of spending an hour at the gym using complicated equipment makes you run for the hills, consider getting fit in more fun ways. You don’t have to hit the elliptical machine to get in a workout. Many opportunities surround you, if you just look at them differently. Any activity that raises your heart rate and pushes your body outside its comfort zone can be exercise, including hula hooping or walking a dog.

1. Biking
Biking is great because it can be tailored to your personal fitness level. Conquering hills and reaching higher speeds can challenge you to push harder. If you need to take it slow, even a relaxing bike ride can burn around 281 calories per hour, according to Men's Fitness. Although you can use a stationary bike at the gym or in your home, getting on the real thing and enjoying the great outdoors is more fun! You can bike the road or sidewalk, or you can bike a trail.

2. Hula Hooping
With a little practice, you can utilize a hula hoop for a fun full-body workout.  Udemy notes that hula hooping uses as many as 30 of your muscles, including your back, abs, thighs, and calves. A hula hoop workout that integrates your arms and legs can burn up to 600 calories in an hour. As your brain works with your muscles to keep the hoop going, you’re building coordination and motor skills. Try out some exercise DVDs that incorporate hula hoops into the workout routine.

3. Dog Walking
Through its companionship, a dog can lower its owner’s stress levels. A dog can also help its owner stay in shape. Since walking a dog is an inherent part of dog ownership, you can let your dog do his business while you get exercise. A University of Missouri study found that overweight participants who walked their dogs for 20 minutes five days a week lost an average of 14 pounds. If you don’t own a dog, volunteer to walk your neighbor’s dog. You can even earn cash for walking dogs!

4. Tree Top Obstacle Course
A ropes course in the treetops is sure to get your adrenaline flowing. Treetop obstacle courses feature shaky bridges and platforms, slender planks, and tightropes that you must cross to get through the course. All of these challenges will work your whole body while building strength, coordination, and balance. You can go alone or with a group of friends.

5. Pilates
Pilates is defined as “a method of exercise that consists of low-impact flexibility and muscular strength and endurance movements” by Mayo Clinic. It enhances core strength, especially your abs, while putting very little pressure on your joints. It will also improve stability, muscle control, and endurance. Since Pilates requires a lot of concentration, you can clear your mind while you workout.

6. Swimming
Looking for a way to knock out cardio and strength training in one exercise? Give swimming a try. Fitness Magazines says, “In swimming, if you aren't moving constantly, you're sinking.” That’s some intense cardio. And since water is about 800 times denser than air, your muscles are under constant resistance, resulting in strength training. Being in water also means less wear and tear on your joints, and the arm motions of swimming will work muscles that are generally hard to exercise. While all exercises release endorphins that help lower stress levels, swimming releases its own special endorphins that are guaranteed to help you feel relaxed.

Don’t force yourself through boring exercises. Try these six fun exercise ideas, or come up with more ideas of your own. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have fun while you get fit.

About the Author
Paige Johnson is a self-described fitness “nerd.” She possesses a love for strength training. In addition to weight-lifting, she is a yoga enthusiast and avid cyclist. She enjoys writing about fitness and health for Learn Fit.

In this special guest feature, Paige Johnson, a personal trainer and regular contributor at learnfit.org, shares tips to turn your fitness goals into habits.

At this point it may seem like eternities ago, but at the beginning of the year, you set a resolution to improve your health, whether your end goal was to lose weight, fight off a chronic condition like fatigue, improve a mental health condition like addiction, or simply feel more confident. Now that the year is progressing, you may have found that your resolution has fallen by the wayside. In order to stick to your goals, you must have strategies in place for sticking to them.

Set Up a Plan
Regardless of how big or small your goals are, making a positive change in your life requires planning to ensure follow-through. Consider using the acronym SMART:

  • Specific – Your goal needs to be clear and easy to understand. Rather than set a common goal, such as “get healthy,” take it a step further by getting specific, such as “lose weight” or “start exercising.” Avoid vague goals.
  • Measureable – Goals are useless without a way to measure and track your progress to determine when you have reached your goal. Making your goal measurable involves adding a number, such as losing 10 pounds or exercising three times a week.
  • Attainable – Adding a number makes your goal measurable, but before you add a number, you need to decide how high or low you want to go. Your goal shouldn’t be too easy, but making it too extreme won’t help you, either. For example, a 5 to 10 percent weight loss is achievable for most overweight people, so set your goal at 7 percent.
  • Relevant – Make sure your goal is relevant to you and what you want to accomplish. Don’t set a goal just because others want you to or everyone else is doing it. If losing weight is not a concern for you at the moment, set a goal that is.
  • Time-bound – The final piece in setting a goal is to have an end-point in order to motivate you to get started and keep pushing forward.

Using the SMART method to set a goal is a great way to get started, but keep in mind that your plan can, and should, change. For example, if your plan was to hit the gym three times a week but you have found that you are dreading going or coming up with excuses to skip it, re-evaluate your plan. Consider alternatives such as exercising outdoors or trying out a new class, like Zumba or kickboxing.

Get a Support System
Crushing your goals on your own is fantastic, but sometimes it helps to have a support system in place to push you forward during those days or weeks when you just feel like you aren’t getting anywhere. Finding a workout partner could be the push you need, helping the time to pass, keeping you accountable, and cheering you on. When you work out alone, you may find yourself constantly looking at the clock, and that sense of dread can make it hard for you to summon up the energy to work out. Having a workout partner can help the time to pass by having someone to chat with or engage in friendly competition. You may also find that in having someone counting on you for an exercise session, you are less likely to back out or cancel, and may find yourself working harder. According to one study, those who work out with a partner they perceived to be better increased their workout and intensity by 200 percent, and were fueled by the motivation to not let their partner down. Find a partner that pushes you, but also respects your limits.

Having a buddy also touts the benefit of having someone to remind and draw attention to your progress. You may not notice the progress you are making, such as the weight you’ve lost or the endurance you’ve built up, but a workout buddy can view you objectively, remind you of your progress, and give you the validation you need to keep pushing forward. An added benefit is having someone to celebrate your success with, such as a night out or a day at the spa.

Resolutions are hard to keep at times, but with an action plan and support system in place, you can set yourself up for success. Be smart about your plan, and find the support you need to keep you moving forward as you strive to reach your goals.

About the Author
Paige Johnson is a self-described fitness “nerd.” She possesses a love for strength training. In addition to weight-lifting, she is a yoga enthusiast and avid cyclist. She enjoys writing about fitness and health for Learn Fit.