Oral Health Goes Modern

Oral Health Goes Modern

Dentistry has come a long way since the olden times, when people in many cultures believed that cavities were holes bored by tooth worms. This is the age of digital dentistry. Usage of x-rays, dental drills and manual removal of decayed tooth is going to be history soon. The field of dentistry is constantly evolving, changing, and advancing and is becoming more efficient and natural-looking for the patient’s as possible.

Let us take you through some cool developments in dentistry, which surely would be of use to you…..

Smart Toothbrush:

This is the age of Artificial Intelligence and why should ‘Brushing’ be left behind : image

This is the age of Artificial Intelligence and why should ‘Brushing’ be left behind. Products are already available in the market that are designed to help users improve their oral health, by providing feedback about brushing techniques collected by integrated artificial intelligence (AI). This would be a great hit with parents as they would be able to track their kids brushing habits.

  1. Oral-B SmartSeries electric toothbrush : http://connectedtoothbrush.com/
  2. Ara from Kolibree: https://www.kolibree.com/en/ara/

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Improve oral health and Rediscover your Smile

We are amidst a global oral disease epidemic. Nearly 100 percent of adults have had cavities

Oral health is an important contributor to overall health and well-being. Oral health touches every aspect of our lives.  Oral health means more than just healthy teeth- it includes the health of the gums, oral soft tissues, chewing muscles, the palate, tongue, lips and salivary glands. Good oral health enables an individual to speak, eat and socialize without active disease, discomfort or embarrassment. It is integral to general health and well-being.

We are amidst a global oral disease epidemic, and the statistics are startling: nearly 100 percent of adults have had cavities.

Oral disease is one of the most common public health issues worldwide with significant socio-economic impacts. Oral health is affected on a daily basis by various forms of oral diseases, mainly dental caries and periodontal disease, and occasionally by oral cancer, lesions in HIV/AIDS, mucosal and salivary gland diseases, and orofacial pain and clefts. These oral disorders are collectively the commonest chronic diseases in mankind with great impacts on vita functions, self-esteem, quality of life.

It is currently recognized that oral diseases are worldwide epidemic and a major public health problem.

The facts on Oral health are disturbing : based on WHO 

  • Worldwide, 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities
  • Globally, about 30% of people aged 65–74 have no natural teeth
  • 16-40% of children in the age range 6 to12 years old are affected by dental trauma due to unsafe playgrounds, unsafe schools, road accidents, or violence
  • In young children, there is a relationship between dental caries and childhood obesity
  • Dental caries, also known as tooth decay or cavities, is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in humans
  • Dental cavities and periodontal disease are major causes of tooth loss
  • Birth defects such as cleft lip and palate occur in about one per 500–700 of all births.
  • Severe periodontal (gum) disease, which may result in tooth loss, is found in 15–20% of middle-aged (35-44 years) adults
  • Oral cancer is the eighth most common cancer globally
  • Oral disease in children and adults is higher among poor and disadvantaged population groups
  • Almost half (40–50%) of people who are HIV-positive have oral fungal, bacterial or viral infections
  • Because of the high prevalence and recurrent cumulative nature of caries and periodontal disease, the mouth is among the most expensive parts of the body to treat in some countries such as Japan, Australia and Germany
  • Several oral diseases are linked to non-communicable chronic diseases or conditions that share common risk factors, such as diabetes, obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease
  • With the growing consumption of sugar in the developing world as a result of westernization, the levels of dental decay are likely to rise

Impact of lifestyle on Oral Health:

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Why do women crave chocolate so much

Women tend to desire chocolate much more than men

Women desire chocolate much more than men. Women crave chocolate, and approximately half of the cravers crave it specifically around the onset of menstruation. Chocolate cravings appear to exist in 40% of females and 15% of males, three fourths of whom claim that no other substance will appease their desire.

Chocolate affect the brain, leading to an increase in neurotransmitters and dopamine and a feeling of happiness sets in. Chocolate increases serotonin in the brain, a neurotransmitter responsible for better mood, sleep, and reduction of anxiety.  Women have a natural decrease in serotonin in the brain in the week before menstruation, so this may partially explain the specific craving for chocolate during this time.

Chocolate affects the brain of women in a different way. The brain of some men and women were scanned using MRI and it was found that chocolate affected the activity of the amygdala more in the brain of women. The Amygdala is a part of the brain that can affect emotions and sexual desire.

Scientists have speculated that chocolate consumption may be even motivated by magnesium deficiency, especially because magnesium deficiency is associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Chocolate and cocoa powder both contain exceptionally high concentrations of this nutrient.

What make women chocolate addict

What make women chocolate addict

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Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition

Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition

Childhood obesity is not only associated with a higher risk of getting disease and premature death, but is also accompanied by many other medical conditions during childhood.

The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. The high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt, energy-dense, and micronutrient-poor foods, that are lower in nutrient quality are to be blamed for this scenario. Sometimes a child may be eating the right type and amount of food but lack physical activity, because of which they put on weight. The problem is global. Based on 2015 WHO reports, the number of overweight children under the age of five, was estimated to be over 42 million. Also almost half of all overweight children under 5 live in Asia and one quarter in Africa. If WHO is to be believed, If current trends continue the number of overweight or obese infants and young children globally will increase to 70 million by 2025.

Global obese population aged 0-5 years in million

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Leading ‘Direct to Consumer’ genetic testing companies

Direct to Consumer Genetic testing

From allergy to alzheimers, cancer to coeliac disease,  we can blame everything on our ‘Genes’.  These genes spread across our 23 pair of chromosomes and remains more or less the same throughout our life (leaving aside environment induced changes).

So it would mean if we are able to understand our problematic Genes well before, we would be able to combat our disease better or even prevent it from expressing by making lifestyle changes or even going under the knife (preventive double mastectomy done by Angelina Jolie)

We never heard of it in earlier days

2003 was a landmark year for geneticists. The very first human genome was completed in 2003 as part of the Human Genome Project, which was formally started in 1990. This costed a whopping $2.7 billion. This gave scientist new hope and with time and coming in of newer technologies the whole procedure became simpler. Now it’s possible to sequence entire human genome in a couple of days with less than $10,000. This does not mean everybody has to shell out so much. It’s possible to analyze a small stretch of genes (already mapped to diseases through research studies) to predict the possibility of developing disease like cancer or cardiovascular problems.

 Define Genetic Testing

Genetic testing is a type of medical test that identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. There are mainly seven types of genetic test and over 2000 tests are available.

Can a simple medical test tell whether my child or myself will develop chronic illness?

Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe

Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe ran a swab across the inside of her baby boy’s cheek, and tested her daughter’s amniotic cells. She did this to get a glimpse of her children’s genes and determine whether they contain certain kinks that increase the risk of developing anything from gallstones to multiple sclerosis. “As a parent,” says Wojcicki, “the most responsible thing I can do is get as much information about my children as possible so I can then think through how I can make them as healthy as possible.”

Should I go to my Physician

Sequencing, or “reading,” a person’s genome has grown into an industry by itself.  Now one can even order these tests online from the comfort of their home, without any prescription from healthcare professional. This new age companies are called ‘Direct-to-Consumer’ genetic testing companies. They just need blood sample, cheek swab or saliva (based on the test selected) to perform the tests. The results are then send across through email or uploaded to personal account. The tests either confirm or rule out a person’s chance of developing a disease, or indicate a person as a carrier for a particular disease. The result often include dietary advice to prevent the onset of the disease, which is very valuable.

Define Direct-to-Consumer genetic testing companies

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing refers to genetic tests that are marketed directly to consumers via television, print advertisements, or the Internet.

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing refers to genetic tests that are marketed directly to consumers via television, print advertisements, or the Internet. This form of testing, which is also known as at-home genetic testing, provides access to a person’s genetic information without necessarily involving a doctor or insurance company in the process.

In total there are around 250 plus companies which offer genetic testing services. Click here for complete list

Trusted direct to consumer genetic testing companies

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Predictive Genetic Testing : Angelina Jolie, Anne Wojcicki, Anu Acharya

Predictive Genetic Testing

 

Angelina Jolie hit the news headlines in early 2013 by announcing her decision to go for elective double mastectomy after testing positive for mutated BRCA1. People from around the world suddenly came to know about ‘ Predictive Genetic  Testing’. The impact was really big. A retrospective study performed at a Toronto hospital in 2014, for example, reported that the number of women referred for genetic counseling skyrocketed by 90 percent in the six months after Jolie’s announcement. The number of women at the hospital identified as BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers during that period jumped by 110 percent.

Why Predictive Genetic Testing is important

 “Error” in our genes (called “mutations”) can cause disease and predictive genetic tests help to confirm the disease probability in advance.

“Error” in our genes (called “mutations”) can cause disease and predictive genetic tests help to confirm the disease probability in advance. image
  • Determine whether you would get Cancer or other chronic illness in future
  • Determine whether your unborn child is prone to genetic disorders like Downs’Syndrome
  • Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can prevent a couple from having a sick child
  • For couples who worry about passing along hereditary illnesses 
  • For children with diseases like autism, genetic testing can inform their pediatrician of specific contributing genetic factors influencing the severity of their illness. 
  • From infants to teens, parents can use genetic testing to confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis
  • Help in avoiding unnecessary clinical investigations
  • Help in taking preventive measures to reduce the risk and severity of the disease in the future

Finally, Preventative care is the best solution for successfully treating or avoiding future illness

Angelina jolie effect

Predictive Genetic Testing ?

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How to Raise Healthy Children

The best time to start good dietary habits is during the early years

Complete food, Best growth formulation, Power food, The best health drink – these are tag lines used by various health drink or growth supplement brands. But in reality, there is nothing called complete food. Children need dozens of nutrients every day to maintain growth and development. Offering children the right balance of nutrients –carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals – that can maximize their growth potential and brain development, has become a great challenge for parents. Especially in an age where there are more junk or processed foods than healthier or homemade foods. House becomes a battle ground as children are all in favor of processed foods.
Start eating healthy at early years
The best time to start good dietary habits is during the early years. Researchers suggest that the best way to get children to achieve balance in their diet is to teach them very young and lead by example. This is very essential as nutrition in early life play a crucial role in deciding how health will turn out in later life. Diet, exercise and other aspects of children’s daily interaction with the environment have the potential to alter brain health, mental function and physical performance.
Rather than blindly following ‘balanced diet chart’, ‘best brain food’, ‘top food for growth’, it’s essential to understand where the bond with food begins and how food, nutrients and human body interact. A deeper understanding about food and human body would help parent to dish out right amount of nutrients for their children.

Food preference first develops in the womb

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Prodding little deep into our obsession with Fairness

Let’s understand the important point – No fairness cream can make the individual fairer than the skin with which the person was born.

There’s a creation story in Thailand. In the beginning god created man. At first, he cooked the people too much (dark skinned people). Then he cooked them too little (pasty westerners). Finally, he cooked them just right (light skinned Asians) .

Skin color is determined by the degree of pigmentation of the skin which depends on the melanin content of the keratinocytes. It is the body’s natural protection against solar ultraviolet (UV)  radiation. But all over Asia, the bias towards fair skin that has come from colonial hangover is still on. From Korea to Japan to Thailand to India, dark skinned people are obsessed with fairness cream . That being said, this issue is not just unique to South Asia. Whitening creams are sold by leading brands like Olay, Ponds and many other favorite brands in Africa, the Caribbean and even in the Middle East .

Fairness cream and Facts:

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Healthy living choices can prevent ‘Birth defects’

Most birth defects are present within the first three months of pregnancy

You are pregnant…great news. Are you worried whether your baby will be born with birth defects. Worldwide, at least 7.9 million people are born each year with a birth defect.  85% of the world’s birth defects occur in developing countries. There are more than 7,000 kinds of birth defects that are known to occur. Study finds 400,000 children born with new mutations each year worldwide. Congenital anomalies are responsible for the death of more than 300,000 infants worldwide.  These all news kind of scares an expectant mother. According to Parents Magazine, 78 percent of expectant mothers rated birth defects as their number one concern.

For many babies born with a birth defect, there is no family history of the condition. Some birth defects like cleft lip or spina bifida are easy to see. Others, like heart defects, are not. – National Birth Defects Prevention Network

Birth defects may affect appearance, organ function, or physical or mental development. They can be minor or severe. Most birth defects are present within the first three months of pregnancy, when the organs are still forming. Some birth defects are harmless, while others require long-term medical treatment. Birth defects have a serious physical and emotional impact, not only on those affected, but also on their families.

Birth defects: what causes it ?

Birth defects can be a result of genetics, lifestyle choices and behaviors, exposure to certain medicines and chemicals, infections during pregnancy, or a combination of these factors. For example spina bifida is a structural birth defect clinically obvious at birth and hemophilia is a functional birth defect that may present clinically only in infancy or childhood and some birth defects, like Fetal Alcohol Syndrome develop in babies because of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Some birth defects can be corrected before or shortly after birth. Severe birth defects, such as cerebral palsy or spina bifida, can cause long-term disability or death.

Children and Birth defects

In India birth defects prevalence varies from 61 to 69.9/1000 live births. Annual birth of Down syndrome babies is around 37,000 taking incidence of down syndrome as 1.4/1000 live birth. In India consanguineous (close relatives) marriages varies from as low as 1% to 4% in the northern region to as high as 40-50% in the southern region. Carrier frequencies for sickle cell hemoglobin ranges from 17% to 30% or more in Indian population.

Risks that increases having a baby with birth defect

  • The parents have another child with a genetic disorder
  • There is a family history of a genetic disorder
  • One parent has a chromosomal abnormality
  • Drug use, alcohol consumption, or smoking during pregnancy
  • Advanced maternal age of 35 years or older
  • Inadequate prenatal care
  •  Unplanned pregnancies
  • Poor maternal nutritional status
  • Consanguineous (close relatives) marriages
  • Untreated viral or bacterial infections, including sexually transmitted infections
  • Use of certain high-risk medications such as isotretinoin (acne/pimple treatment) and lithium

Preventing Birth defects: It’s possible to a great extent

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Science of Samosa

“Samosa” is from the Sanskrit word meaning “the solution (to your hunger) is contained within”, so named because all the needed vegetables and spices are contained inside the samosa.

The Indian samosa is one among the family of stuffed pastries or dumplings popular from Egypt and Zanzibar to Central Asia and West China. Arab cookery books of the 10th and 13th Centuries refer to the pastries as sanbusakc , sanbusaq or sanbusaj. From Egypt to Libya and from Central Asia to India, the stuffed triangle with different names has garnered immense popularity. Originally named samsa, after the pyramids in Central Asia.

 

Biggest secret to popularity and survival over the centuries is its different varieties of fillings catering to carious tastes across the globe. In Kazakhstan, for example, a somsa is typically baked and has a thicker, crumblier crust. Fillings generally range from minced lamb and onions, meat, and even pumpkin. The Hyderabadi luqmi, on the other hand, is strictly meat-filled and far crustier than the regular samosa consumed elsewhere in India and Pakistan. In our globalized world, the growing popularity of fusion food has witnessed the advent of the pizza samosa, chowmien samosa and the macaroni samosa. Dessert varieties inspired by western cuisine include the apple pie samosa, and the chocolate samosa.

Pizza samosa
image: http://freshdepo.in

“Samosa” is from the Sanskrit word meaning “the solution (to your hunger) is contained within”, so named because all the needed vegetables and spices are contained inside the samosa. 

 

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