An t i - Ag i ng DENTISTRY MONTHLY NEWS
Understanding the Microbiome
A KEY TO BETTER HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Most people think of bacteria as a bad thing. The very idea of bacteria is distasteful. You wash your hands and brush your teeth with the intent of cleaning away bacteria, not wanting them on or around you. However, bacteria are an essential part of life. It’s estimated there are 100 trillion bacterial cells in the average healthy adult. Your body is comprised of about 10 trillion cells. So, it’s safe to say you’re outnumbered! Bacteria play a crucial role in good health. While most people associate bacteria with disease or infection, the truth is that most bacteria we come in contact with, or live with, are good bacteria. These are bacteria you need to live a healthy life. They make up your microbiome, and there are several different “microbiota” throughout the body, including the mouth, eyes, ears, nose, skin, birth canal, and gut. There are bacteria in your gut, for example, that help to synthesize biotin and vitamin K within your body. Vitamin K is an essential nutrient necessary for blood coagulation. It also helps your bones and teeth absorb calcium. Without these bacteria, your health and well-being would be severely compromised. Other bacteria in the body help stimulate the production of dopamine and serotonin, which affect mood. More research is coming out that has linked a healthy gut biome with reduced anxiety and depression. In other words, some people who experience depression may be able to link that depression to a disrupted gut biome. The mouth, another biome, is a critical one. The mouth is the gateway to the body, and roughly 80% of diseases are passed through the mouth. The other 10% are passed through breathing and the final 10% through sexual contact. If the mouth is the gateway to the body, why wouldn’t we want to protect it the best we can? Many people don’t understand how important the bacteria in their mouth really are. Here’s a startling fact: About 98% of the bacteria in your mouth are good bacteria. They’re crucial to your oral and whole-body health. This is exactly why we carefully crafted the Lumineux Oral Essentials products in such a way as to not kill the good bacteria.
The remaining 2% of bacteria in your mouth are harmful bacteria, the ones responsible for decay and infection. The problem is most people use oral care products that destroy all bacteria — the 2% bad and the 98% good. Most companies that produce oral care products don’t make the distinction between the good and bad bacteria. For marketing purposes, they claim all bacteria are the same: bad. As a result, these products kill the protective cells that contribute to our health and wellness. And the mouth biome isn’t the only biome that has been negatively affected. A lot of people overuse antibacterial soaps and detergents, which eliminate good and bad bacteria on your skin and hair follicles. When you eat meat from animals treated with antibiotics or fruits and vegetables treated with pesticides, you put your gut biome at serious risk. The best way to protect your microbiome is to be cognizant of what you eat and what skin care and oral care products you use. When you help your microbiome stay healthy, you keep yourself healthy. It’s a symbiotic relationship you benefit from every day of your life.
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PUCKER UP, BUTTERCUP
3 TIPS FOR HEALTHY LIPS
The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but your lips let people know how you really feel. A smile and a laugh invite warm conversation, whereas a sharp frown lets people know it’s not a good time to chat. Your lips do a lot of work, so make sure you’re taking care of them! Here are three rules to follow when it comes to maintaining good lip health. 1. Mind your own beeswax. Lip balm is a must, and not just for soothing chapped lips. Ensuring your
2. Make time to exfoliate. You know how your shower loofah sloughs away dead skin cells, keeping your skin soft and healthy? Your lips are also covered in dead skin cells that need to be gently removed. Don’t worry, you don’t have to buy a tiny loofah. Instead, whip up a DIY scrub to exfoliate your lips. Just mix 1 part honey with 2 parts sugar. Once a week, massage the scrub gently into your lips, let sit for 10 minutes, then remove with a gentle face wash. Regular exfoliation keeps your lips soft and smooth.
lips stay moisturized will keep them healthy and prevent chapped, split lips. But before you apply the lip balm that’s been collecting dust on your dresser, check the ingredients. A good balmwill have a base of beeswax, paraffin, and/ or petroleum jelly. These lock in moisture and don’t evaporate as quickly. When shopping for lip balm, avoid harmful ingredients. Salicylic acid, menthol, camphor, and silicone can dry out your lips, and while it’s fun when your lips taste like cherry, stay away from flavored balms. These can actually lead to chapped lips.
3. Don’t forget your sunscreen. Research from George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., found that the No. 1 area people forget to apply sunscreen is the lips. We tend to forget that our lips are part of our skin, which is troubling because skin cancer around the lips can be very dangerous. If you’re going outside, be sure to protect your lips with lip balm containing SPF protection of 30 or higher.
Why Certain Foods and Drinks Are So Good at Staining Teeth Acid and Organic Compounds
We all know the effects that coffee, tea, wine, and juices have on teeth. Over time, these beverages lead to staining and discoloration. But why is that? Why do these and other drinks, as well as various foods, leave stains on our teeth? There are several reasons why this happens. The most common reason has to do with chemical compounds found within the food or beverage. Many colorful foods and drinks, like tomato sauces, curry dishes, red and green smoothies, teas, and wines, have compounds such as chromogens and tannins. Tea is a good example of a beverage full of tannins. These molecules are astringent and can bind together with other organic compounds. This includes the surface of your teeth. Over time, and if you drink tea regularly, the color of your teeth — particularly your front teeth — will become stained.
It doesn’t end there. Acids are another major reason why teeth become stained. Acidic foods and drinks can slowly wear down the enamel on the surface of your teeth. Teeth with a healthy enamel layer should look very smooth. As enamel wears away, the microscopic pits and valleys on the surface of the teeth become bigger. The bigger they get, the more susceptible to staining they become. Thankfully, there are steps you can take every day to reduce staining and protect your teeth from enamel loss. If you love beverages that stain, such as coffee, tea, smoothies, or juices, using lids and straws can help decrease staining. You want to put a protective barrier between the beverage and your teeth without losing the flavor and enjoyment of the drink, so straws can serve as your first line of defense.
As your second line of defense, always brush, floss, and rinse shortly after consuming a staining or acidic food or drink. This will help reduce staining and keep your teeth looking great. Finally, use teeth whitening kits, such as the Lumineux Oral Essential Whitening Strips, which are designed with tooth sensitivity in mind.
However, it’s not just these chemical compounds that are the problem. While in the mirror your teeth may appear smooth and shiny, the true extent of the problem can be found with a closer look. If you look at the surface of your teeth under a microscope, you will notice many minute pits and valleys. Staining compounds become trapped in these pits and valleys and the end result is discoloration.
The Hidden Wisdom in Smiling
Did you know smiling more could mean living longer? People who smile more often are generally happier in life, work, and relationships. Numerous studies have shown a remarkable link between showing happiness through smiling and living a longer, more fulfilled life. How do you study smiles and longevity? In some studies, researchers have looked at the “intensity” of each subject’s smile. It’s important to note that researchers distinguish between two types of smiles. There is the “standard” smile and the “genuine” smile. The standard smile is a subtle smile, formed by the muscles around the mouth. A genuine smile — also known as the Duchenne smile — is more intense and is formed by the muscles around the mouth, up into the cheeks, and around the eyes. The Duchenne smile gets its name from the 19th century French neurologist, Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne. It was through his research into the smile that we learned what a genuine smile looks like. In the 21st century, Paul Ekman, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California, noted that the Duchenne smile “generates the physiology of positive emotion and the changes in the brain.” Beet, Goat Cheese, and Arugula Salad This crowd-pleasing dish is sure to be the biggest hit at your next gathering. And it’s good for you, too!
A separate study, published in the journal Psychological Science, showed a correlation of positive emotions and longevity, along with overall better mental and physical health. That’s because when you smile, your brain releases endorphins and serotonin, which work to improve mood and a general sense of well-being. On top of that, these neurochemicals help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Interestingly enough, some research suggests that the idea of “fake it until you make it” has real merit. This means that faking a smile is a legitimate way to lead a happier life. In theory, when you aren’t feeling your best but decide to smile anyway, you trick your brain into eliciting a chemical response, thus improving your mood (and your health). Psychology professor at Yale University, Marianne LaFrance says this succinctly. She’s concluded that smiling and happiness exist on a two-way street: When you’re happy, you smile. When you smile, you can achieve a new level of happiness. Refer a friend, get a brighter smile! That’s right, every time you refer a friend to Dr. Maddahi, you get one FREE teeth cleaning!
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 3 tbsp shallots, thinly sliced
6 cups fresh arugula
• • • • •
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped 1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries
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1 tbsp honey
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste
6 beets, peeled and quartered
1/2 avocado, cubed
2 oz crumbled goat cheese
DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 450 F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 2. In a mediumbowl, combine vinegar, shallots, and honey. 3. Gradually whisk olive oil into the mixture and season with salt and pepper. 4. In a small bowl, toss the beets in dressing until they are coated. 5. Place coated beets on baking sheet and roast them for 12 minutes. Set the beets aside and allow them to cool. 6. In a large bowl, toss arugula, walnuts, and berries with the remaining vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. 7. Top salad with beets, avocado, and goat cheese.
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Are You Doing More Harm Than Good to Your Microbiome?
Show Your Lips Some Summer Love
Why Do Certain Foods and Drinks Stain Teeth?
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The Hidden Wisdom in Smiling
Beet, Goat Cheese, and Arugula Salad The Best Locations for Spring Blooms
which features nature walks, art, photography, culinary experiences, and more. For a truly unique experience, you can even ascend the town’s titular Crested Butte to spot some rare alpine sunflowers next to the picturesque West Elk Mountains. Antelope Valley The California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California, is a 1,780-acre park that features sloping hills covered with fields of vibrant orange, yellow, and red poppies in the spring. Warm temperatures and heavy rainfall across Southern California during this time of year create a brief period of thick blooms as far as the eye can see. And while the poppies can be enjoyed from the comfort of your car, the best way to experience them is to walk the leisurely Antelope Loop Trail for a breathtaking, up-close adventure. Spring flora is gorgeous and naturally attracts large crowds of people every year. If you plan to visit any of these destinations, just remember that their ecosystems are delicate. Respect park signs, stay on designated trails, and do your part to make sure these flowers return year after year for future generations to enjoy.
See Spring Bloom In These Beautiful Locations
Spring is here, whichmeans beautiful flowers are finally showing themselves after a long winter. Here are some of the best places in the U.S. to see flower blossoms and welcome the season. Great Smoky Mountains The Great Smoky Mountains National Park stretches across North Carolina and Tennessee, and while its scenery is beautiful year-round, the park is especially alluring to nature enthusiasts during the spring. Through this season, miles of lady’s-slipper orchids, irises, cardinal flowers, and lilies dot its lush green landscape. It’s dubbed
“Wildflower National Park” throughout this time of year, and you can experience it by car or on foot. The park also offers expert-led tours that weave through the flowers during their peak bloom. Crested Butte Crested Butte, Colorado, is best known for its winter sports and summer hikes. But recently it has drawn the attention of flower enthusiasts for its unique pink, orange, and gold alpine wildflowers that appear in the spring. This natural phenomenon even inspired the creation of the annual Wildflower Festival inmidsummer,
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