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IT’S ORAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH! HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, so I want to take some time in this newsletter to talk about what exactly oral cancer (aka mouth and throat cancer) is and how my team and I can help you keep an eye out for it. Oral cancer isn’t as common as some well-documented cancers, like breast cancer (roughly 898 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. each day, compared with 132 diagnosed with oral cancer). But it is actually more deadly than many of them. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, someone dies from oral cancer every hour, which is a really scary thing to think about. The good news is that if you get regular oral cancer screenings, which we provide to all our patients as part of their dental exams, then you can catch it early, and your outcome is better. According to the National Cancer Institute, early-stage oral cancer can be cured 83% of the time! YOUR ORAL CANCER 411 Oral cancer is the term used for cancer in the lips, tongue, cheeks, roof of the mouth, hard palate, soft palate, sinuses, or throat. A good rule of thumb if you find something odd in your mouth, like a lump or swelling, and it hurts, then it’s probably not oral cancer, especially if it goes away within 2–3 weeks. If it’s been there for more than 2 weeks and it doesn’t hurt, it’s a good idea to get it checked immediately. Especially if it has mixed colors, like red and white.
Many people think of oral cancer as a disease that only impacts smokers or people who drink a lot of alcohol, but that’s actually not the case. While smokers do have a higher risk, oral cancer can also be caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is sexually transmitted, often through oral sex, so a lot more people are at risk for oral cancer than you might think. In fact, the fastest growing age range of people being diagnosed with oral cancer are people 18–35 years old because of the HPV link. If you chew tobacco or betel nut, that might raise your risk too, and so can airway-related issues like sleep apnea and upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS). OUR HIGH-TECH TOOLS CAN HELP My team and I know how dangerous oral cancer can be, so our patients always get a visual oral cancer screening as part of their checkups. But we go a step beyond that, too! If we see something concerning, we have two great high-tech tools that we can break out to take a closer look:
A FINAL THOUGHT Cancer is a tricky, sensitive subject. Pretty much everyone has either battled cancer or has a friend or loved one working through it, and I’m no exception. Right now, I have multiple family members dealing with cancer, and I’ve seen it turn the lives of a lot of my friends and patients upside down. That’s why I think it’s so very important that we raise awareness about screenings, particularly for the cancer types that don’t get a lot of attention! In that spirit, if you haven’t been screened lately or you’re worried about a spot in your mouth, please call my office today to get an exam scheduled. That said, I don’t want you to worry too much about your cancer risk. Take precautions, but don’t let fear take over your life. If you do feel scared, remember that there’s no better place to be than here in the U.S. We have amazing cancer doctors and cancer treatment protocols here, and the treatment advances being developed every day are incredible! We’re all in this together, and our office has your back.
1. ViziLite PRO Oral Lesion Screening System
2. VELscope VS
If they sound fancy, that’s because they are! They’re the best tools on the market to identify oral cancer, and we use them when we need to because we take your health and safety seriously. Also, know that you can request these tests at any time.
To your great smiles and better health,
–Dr. Michelle Wedd le
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HOLISTIC METHODS FOR TAMING SEASONAL ALLERGIES LEARN TO BREATHE BETTER
The season of sniffles and sneezes is upon us, but you don’t have to let your allergies stop you from enjoying gorgeous April blooms and fresh spring breezes. Try these natural solutions to help combat your allergies and breathe a little easier this spring — though if your allergies are persistent, seek professional medical help. EAT THEM AWAY Food is often overlooked as a method to fight your allergies, but make no mistake: The nutrients in some foods can do wonders for your body! Use this to your advantage by choosing ingredients proven to fight the sniffles. Raw, local honey has the ability to soothe scratchy throats, which protects the airway passage from further damage. ( Warning: Children under the age of 1 should never consume honey.) Also on the sweeter side, the naturally occurring enzyme in pineapple, bromelain, has been shown to ease
inflammation and swelling, while quercetin, found in tea, red wine, and apples, can act as a natural antihistamine. If you’re looking for something more savory, spicy foods can light a fire under your mucus, break it up, and clear your nasal passages. POKE THEM AWAY Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment method that pinpoints specific pathways crucial to the flow of energy throughout the body and reopens them through strategic needle placements. While studies have yet to prove that acupuncture can serve as a stand-alone treatment for allergies, it has been shown to aid in symptom management. Acupuncture can also decrease pain and release built-up pressure caused by congestion. DRAIN THEM AWAY Have you ever just wanted to open your nose and flush out all of your congestion? With a neti pot, you can! Simply create your own saltwater
solution with filtered water — do not try this with unfiltered water, as deadly organisms can enter your body this way — and 1 teaspoon of salt. Some experts even suggest adding a pinch of baking soda to the mixture to soothe the bite of the salt. Next, pour the solution into the pot. Tilt your head to one side over a sink, pour the mixture from the pot into one of your nostrils, and let it drain out the other side. Repeat on the opposite nostril and feel the relief!
FINDING MOTIVATION ON THOSE TOUGH DAYS TOP MENTAL STRATEGIES FOR YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE
STARTING YOUR WORKOUT What’s the hardest part of working out? For most people, it’s not the heavy weights or the long cardio sessions — it’s actually getting started. Sometimes, people will wake up and think that the gym or an at-home workout isn’t possible that day as they lay in bed. Some people will psych themselves out of working out because their time is limited, or they worry about how tired they’ll be after the workout (especially after or before a busy day). Instead of thinking of reasons you can’t or don’t want to go, focus your mind only on the task of starting. Stepping into your workout space will often give you the mental push to actually work out. It’s also best to leave the all-or-nothing mindset behind — a 45- or 55-minute workout
Whether your New Year’s workout routine is finally embedded in your schedule or you’re still trying to make it happen, always remember that your mind is just as important as your body. On some days, you may feel like anything is possible, and on others, it may feel impossible to even get out of bed. Don’t worry, that’s totally normal! There’s no reason to feel ashamed if you’re struggling with gaining steam and motivation for your workout. Here are some mental strategies to help you get firmly into your routine this year and the years to come.
isn’t required every single session. Life happens, and even if it’s a short exercise, your workout will actually energize you for the rest of your day. PUSHING YOURSELF TO THE LIMIT Studies have found that the most successful people share grit: the ability to work hard and endure even the most difficult times. Workouts will burn, and the motions may feel uncomfortable or even painful, so it’s crucial to have the grit to push yourself to the limit. Rather than give up, you should embrace the pain and see it as a sign you’re growing stronger. Adjust your inner vocabulary. Anything that seems “uncomfortable” should be reconsidered as “intense” but something you can work through. Of course, be careful of injury pains!
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GOOD OL’ GARLIC AND EVERYTHING WE LOVE ABOUT IT
Did you know that there are over 2.5 million acres of garlic in cultivation worldwide? It’s no wonder: Garlic boasts a fascinating history, has unparalleled health benefits, and is used in so many different types of cuisine around the world. Plus, garlic just makes recipes tasty! National Garlic Day is April 19, so here are some facts to help you brush up on your knowledge and celebrate it to the fullest.
worshiped the plant and even used it as local currency. It’s still loved by many today, though it is primarily used for cooking.
Throughout history, garlic has been used to treat wounds, cure asthma, combat diseases, and even fight gangrene. Today, its recognized health benefits are a little more practical but no less astounding. Garlic contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can boost immunity, reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, promote healthy hair and skin, and fight fungus and bacteria. The best way to take advantage of these benefits is by eating it raw, but if you can’t deal with the lingering stinky breath, following proper cooking methods can still yield healthy results.
eight weeks if the skin is unbroken, and around two weeks for individual cloves. Garlic works well in recipes that call for its relatives, like onions, shallots, and leeks. When cooking with garlic, the finer you mince and mash, the more flavor you’ll get. You should also let your garlic rest between chopping and cooking, and add it to the pan near the end of the recipe to better preserve its nutrients and flavor. Garlic breath can often be combated with a little bit of lemon juice, but if you’d rather let it linger and savor the flavor, your secret is safe with us! SESAME ZUCCHINI NOODLES Inspired by PaleoRunningMomma.com
Humans have been using garlic for a variety of purposes for over 5,000 years. It originated in central Asia and rapidly spread to many civilizations and cultures around the world. Its nutritional and remedial benefits quickly made it popular in recipes, medicine, and even magic potions. Its pungent aroma was thought to ward off evil beings like witches and vampires, and ancient Greek warriors ate it to instill strength and courage. Egyptians
When buying garlic, avoid shriveled or soft bulbs. Its shelf life is roughly
TAKE A BREAK!
• 4 medium zucchini • Salt, to taste • 3 medjool dates, pitted and softened in warm water for 5 minutes • 3 1/2 tbsp creamy, unsweetened almond butter
• 3 tbsp coconut aminos • 3 tbsp pure sesame oil • 3/4 tsp fresh ginger, grated • 2 cloves garlic, chopped • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 3 scallions, thinly sliced • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
1. If you have a spiralizer, use it to cut zucchini into noodles. Otherwise, use a peeler. Salt zucchini. Allow zucchini to “sweat” out water for 1 hour, wrap in a paper towel, and squeeze the water out. 2. In a food processor, blend dates with almond butter and aminos until smooth.
3. Add sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and vinegar and pulse until sauce is smooth. 4. In a pan, sauté zucchini noodles until heated and slightly softened. 5. Toss zucchini noodles with prepared sauce and top with scallions and almonds.
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1. COVER TITLE . BASICS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ORAL CANCER INSIDE THIS ISSUE 2. FIGHT THE SNEEZE WITH THESE HOLISTIC REMEDIES TOP MENTAL STRATEGIES FOR YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE 3. CELEBRATE NATIONAL GARLIC DAY SESAME ZUCCHINI NOODLES 4. LAUGHTER YOGA’S RISE AS A GLOBAL HEALTH MOVEMENT
LAUGHWITH ME! A LIGHTHEARTED APPROACH TO DECREASING STRESS
We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine, and it turns out that human physiology supports this claim. When we laugh, our body releases a flood of feel-good chemicals and neurotransmitters. Our blood flow increases, and our production of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, decreases. Oh, and laughing also burns calories! The feel-good, endorphin-inducing benefits of laughter are exactly what prompted Dr. Madan Kataria to develop laughter yoga in 1995. Laughter yoga incorporates breathing, stretching, clapping, and of course, laughing. Kataria developed the initial idea after coming across research into the benefits of laughter on overall health and well-being. He began to put the
research into practice by telling jokes to his patients, and after seeing the positive effects, he took his material to a local park. Parkgoers, who were initially skeptical, joined in on the practice, and the first laughter yoga club was born. The laughter meetup had everyone in high spirits — until the group ran out of jokes. Unsure of what to do next, Kataria found another medical book suggesting the group didn’t need jokes to laugh. Fake laughter is just as beneficial as the real thing because the body can’t tell the difference between the two. Collaborating with this wife, Madhuri, Kataria combined common yoga warmups and breathing techniques with facilitated laughter to create the
form of laughter yoga that is practiced worldwide today.
If you’re interested in trying laughter yoga for yourself, then you’re in luck. Laughter yoga clubs exist across the United States and the world. Videos on YouTube can teach the basics, but laughter yoga tends to be most beneficial in a group setting. Just think about the last time you found yourself in a fit of giggles with a group of friends or during a comedy show. Didn’t it feel great? Rather than wait for a silly situation to trigger laughter, use laughter yoga to promote laughter and alleviate stress on any day at any time.
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YOUR GUIDE TO STAYING SAFE THROUGH COVID-19 TIPS AND RESOURCES YOU CAN TRUST
What is Great Smiles doing to stop the spread?
If we determine that it is something that needs to be
• To protect our patients and staff, and to encourage everyone to follow the stay-at-home initiative, we have postponed all elective and routine dental procedures until the end of April. • If you have an appointment in April, please know that we will reach out to you upon our return, if we haven’t done so already. We are here for your emergencies! • Call us. We will schedule a telemedicine consult to talk to you face-to-face and look at the area of concern. • Many things can be done to help a dental concern without having to leave your home.
• USA.gov/coronavirus — The latest COVID-19 news from our national government, touching on everything from Medicare and unemployment to food safety 3 Ways to Boost Your Immune System • Breathe through your nose and not your mouth • Eat nutrition-dense meals and avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates, which turn into sugar in our bodies • Get 7–8 hours of quality sleep encourage you not to go to the emergency room for dental-related emergencies. Please give our office a call for instructions on how to set up a telemedicine consultation so that we can have a plan for you before leaving your home. And the best part? Sometimes the plan doesn’t involve leaving your home. There are many ways we could talk to you through managing a dental concern. Please do not leave it until the last minute when your dental concern becomes an emergency. Let’s get ahead of it and talk about it before it gets to that level. For more information, please visit our YouTube channel and subscribe! addressed in the office, please know this: We only open the office for dental emergencies, and we will only be seeing one patient at a time. • There will only be one or two staff members in the office at a time to minimize contact. • We follow all state, national, and CDC guidelines for sterilization and disinfection and have put extra protocols in place to maintain a sterilized and disinfected environment. • We are wiping down doorknobs and common surfaces hourly when the office is open.
Talk to Dr. Weddle!
We hope you are all safe and well as we practice staying at home and
social distancing to help flatten the curve. I’d like to remind everyone
that we are here for you. Please call if you have any dental-related questions or concerns. We would like to make sure that
our emergency medical personnel could focus on medical-related emergencies. As such, we strongly
Your COVID-19 Resources: All of the Facts, None of the Hype • COVID19.NJ.gov — Everything you need to know about the state of New Jersey’s coronavirus response, directly from state officials • CDC.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html — Tips on how to protect yourself and what to do if you’re feeling sick, courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
*Read the other side for more details!
1. The mouth is for eating. The nose is for breathing.
We are all born breathing through our noses. People who are sick and who have allergies convert to mouth- breathing, and this could become a habit. The nose has natural filters
that reduce the dust, bacteria and viral particles that make it inside our bodies, whereas the mouth does not. To protect yourself during this time, consider gargling your mouth and throat with a mouthwash that has hydrogen peroxide. A 1-minute swish two or three times daily will help decrease the germs in the mouth to decrease the chances of these entering your body.
2. Eat healthy foods and decrease sugar intake.
Healthy foods are usually crunchy and durable and require good teeth and jaw muscles to eat comfortably. Many people who have discomfort in their teeth or jaw muscles when eating healthier foods switch to eating softer foods, sacrificing good nutrition for comfort. These softer foods tend to be heavy in carbohydrates, which turn into sugar in our bodies. Not only is it a risk for higher cavities, but this is also a risk for higher inflammation. Inflammation is the leading cause for chronic disease in our society, such as obesity,
heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. It can also complicate underlying conditions like autoimmune diseases such as arthritis. Taking in healthy foods with less sugar and carbohydrates will allow your body to function optimally.
3. Good Sleep is the best medicine.
should be a priority! Some signs that your sleep is not that great: 1. You do not get enough sleep time. Studies show that getting 7–8 hours is best for adults, 8–10 hours for teenagers, and 10–12 hours for children. 2. You grind your teeth or you have TMJ issues. 3. You toss and turn at night or are a light sleeper. Our dental team can assist with all of the above. Our goal is to partner with you to have great smiles and better health. Talk to us about your concerns at your next appointment. If you feel that your teeth and oral health may be hindering your optimal health and would like to talk now, we are available for telemedicine consults while respecting and encouraging the stay-at-home initiative.
Our bodies are born with the natural ability to heal themselves — during deep sleep. If sleep is not adequate in both quality and quantity, then optimal healing does not take place. This will not only prematurely age your body, but it will also negatively affect your body’s defense mechanisms — aka your immunity! Your immunity is important to your health, which means getting good sleep
We wish you all a safe and healthy April! To your great smiles and better health, –Dr. Michelle Wedd lePage 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6
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