Dr. Kourosh Maddahi April2018

An t i - Ag i ng DENT I STRY

Dr. Kourosh Maddahi

C O S M E T I C & A N T I - A G I N G D E N T I S T R Y

April 2018

Striving for the Best in Oral Health

3 MAJOR TRENDS HURTING OUR HEALTH — AND THE SEARCH FOR ANSWERS

A few years ago, I wrote the book “The Hidden Epidemic: Restoring Oral Health, One Smile at a Time.” It’s a book that continues to be relevant for many people today — especially for people who struggle with cavities, tooth sensitivity, and other dental issues. I was first inspired to write “The Hidden Epidemic” after I began to notice destructive trends among some of my patients. For instance, more patients were complaining of tooth and gum sensitivity. In this case, the trend followed the increased use of teeth-whitening products. More people were using at-home teeth whitening products because they were drinking more beverages that led to stains and discoloration. These drinks include coffee, tea, red wine, and a number of juices. This also goes hand in hand with juice-based diets and cleanses. Another trend I noticed was an increase in clenching and grinding. People were wearing down tooth enamel and experiencing sensitivity, headaches, and jaw pain. Much of this was caused by stress. But one age group was experiencing this more than any other: teenagers. Many teenagers feel stress from school and life in general, and that stress can manifest itself with tightening facial and jaw muscles. While asleep, instead of relaxing their facial muscles, they clench and grind. It’s remarkable that stress can do this, but it seems to have become a reality of modern life. The rise in the use of prescription medications has also affected dental health. Over the past 10–15 years, I have witnessed an increase of uncontrolled cavities and tooth decay. When I first began my career as a dentist, the rate of cavities was going down. In general, the oral health of my patients was improving. But that started to change. The positive trend had reversed, and I wanted to know why. I started asking patients questions that might lead me to an answer, and I found out that more medications now list dry mouth as a major side effect. This condition can have a detrimental effect on

the health of your entire mouth. Dry mouth allows bacteria to get a foothold, and the bacteria causes tooth decay.

Many people don’t realize their medications cause dry mouth. While a general feeling of dryness in the mouth is a common sign of the condition, many people carry a bottle of water with them wherever they go and drink water at night. Drinking water all the time can temporarily hide the feeling of dry mouth. But if you feel the need to drink water all the time, dry mouth will continue to be an issue. Water and hydration alone won’t help prevent cavities. It’s the lack of saliva that leads to cavities. Saliva contains natural antibiotics and helps create a barrier between your teeth and harmful bacteria. All of these trends moved me to write “The Hidden Epidemic.” In addition, I introduced the Oral Essentials line of products. Identifying an issue is one thing, but giving people solutions is what truly matters. These trends aren’t going to go away on their own. All of us need to be more proactive, either by using oral care products that are better for our health or finding ways to reduce stress in our lives. My hope is that one day we can begin to reverse these trends and strive for the best in oral health and whole-body health.

-Dr. Maddahi

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If you find yourself pressured to live up to the public lives of friends and family, or if you feel like you’re being bombarded with too much news and entertainment, consider a media detox. A detox doesn’t require you to unsubscribe from social media services or unplug your TV forever. Instead, think of it as a vacation from the overstimulation so many of us experience. Ask yourself which aspects of your media diet are causing more stress than they’re worth, and take a break from them for a little while. “In the same way we think about what we eat, we should think about what we read, what we’re seeing, what we’re engaging in, and what we’re interacting with every day,” Emma Watson told CNN in an interview about her selective social media use. If you’re not mindful of your media consumption and participation, it tends to pile up. When you detox, it’s a lot easier to identify which parts of your media diet are essential and which are only a burden. Another benefit of a media detox is that you’ll have more time to pursue new and dormant hobbies. Because most of us consume media in small chunks throughout the day, it’s easy to overlook how much that time adds up. All those hours you spend on Facebook could be used to start a garden, knit a quilt, or join a soccer league. Unless you have an unlimited supply of leisure time (and who does?), you need to be selective in the way you spend it. Remember, media isn’t the cause of all your ills. Used mindfully, it can actually increase happiness and satisfaction. The problem is that we are so mired in the media muck that we can’t get a perspective on how much is too much. A detox will allow you to reassess the media you’re consuming and build a better plan for the future. You can still keep up with your grandkids on Facebook, but it shouldn’t be the only way you interact with the world.

The Dangers of Overstimulation DO YOU NEED A MEDIA DETOX?

BEFORE With the current trend of getting TV, social media, and news alerts sent to our phones, we have access to more media than we could ever consume. While constant connectivity is a boon for many aspects of our lives, researchers are discovering that too much stimulation is cause for concern. One study in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that too much social comparison, spurred by the likes of Facebook and cable news, can lead to an increased risk of depression. AFTER

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Good oral health is crucial to good overall physical health. The two are inextricably linked. Healthy teeth and gums can contribute to a healthier body. In many respects, the mouth is the gateway to the body; an infection in the mouth can increase susceptibility to infection elsewhere in the body. Oral infections are often a sign that our immune system has been compromised. A common example is periodontal disease. Periodontal disease has been linked to other conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Nearly 91 percent of people with heart disease also have periodontitis, according to a study featured in the Journal of Periodontology. The reason for the connection has much to do with shared risk factors. For instance, people who eat a poor diet are at greater risk for developing heart disease. By that same notion, a diet rich in carbohydrates, fats, and sugars greatly increases the risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay. The Link Between Oral Health and Whole-Body Health

Over time, poor hygiene can lead to other serious health issues. Poor oral hygiene will result in gum disease and tooth decay.

These risk factors can be mitigated by lifestyle choices. When we practice good oral health, our bodies reap the benefits. Here are three things you can do to bring your oral health and your overall health into sync: EAT RIGHT: Reduce your sugar and refined carbohydrates intake. Oral bacteria thrive on these false nutrients and produce toxins that cause decay and inflammation. BRUSH AND FLOSS: It can’t be said enough. A daily routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing is the best way to prevent gum disease and tooth decay — and to keep your smile looking great.

GET ACTIVE: Physical activity every day does wonders for the body and can help reduce inflammation.

If you practice these three fundamentals, you’ll feel great and have a beautiful smile to prove it!

Another major risk factor is poor hygiene. Poor general hygiene increases the risk of infection and inflammation within the body.

Mint PEA SOUP Ingredients

Have a Laugh

• 3 pearl onions, diced • 3 tablespoons olive oil • 6 cups fresh or frozen peas • 5 cups vegetable stock • 3/4 cup fresh mint, plus more for garnish

• 1 tablespoon agave nectar • Juice of 1 lemon • Salt to taste • Pistachios for garnish

Instructions 1. Place pot on stove over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add onions and cook until translucent. 2. Add peas and stock. Cook until peas are just tender and still bright green. Remove from stove and cool for 5 minutes. 3. Put the mixture in a blender. As you blend, add mint, agave, lemon juice, and salt. 4. Once blended, pour into a bowl, garnish with mint and pistachios, and serve!

This soup can be served hot or chilled depending on the weather and your preference.

Adapted frommynewroots.org

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Dr. Kourosh Maddahi

www.drmaddahi.com

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3 Major Trends Destroying Our Teeth

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Why You Should Consider a Media Detox

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Before and After

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What You Can Do for the Best Healthy You

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Spring Greens Soup

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3 Places to View Natural Wonders

Naturescapes organisms thrive in areas where salt water and fresh water meet, making the lagoon in springtime an ideal place to see them. Eco tip: To ensure this magical sight will remain for years to come, always go with a “pack it in, pack it out” mentality. Take all of your belongings with you when you leave and be respectful of the beautiful environment that is yours to enjoy. Northern Lights in Scandinavia One of the most elusive natural wonders, the aurora borealis, can only be seen on dark nights in the most northern parts of the world. That makes Sweden and its Scandinavian neighbors a great place to see the phenomenon. From December through April, you’ll have your best chance of seeing the northern lights. Sightings are dependent on solar activity, so it’s impossible to predict the exact timing and location, but they’re easier to see during the longer, darker nights of winter and early spring. Eco tip: Book your trip through a responsible travel company, such as those that practice a fair-trade policy.

ONE-OF-A-KIND If you’re lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, you might see rare magical sights — baby turtles scuttling toward water, glowing lagoons, or a shimmering sky. But when and where do you On Oahu’s North Shore, head to Turtle Beach, which gets its name from the many turtles that nest along its shores. During late spring and summer, the waves subside, allowing turtles to crawl onto the beach to lay their eggs. Baby turtles hatch at night and make their way to the water by the light of the moon. If you do head to the beach at night to see this spectacle, don’t use white light, as it can disrupt the turtles’ progress (that means no flash photography). Eco tip: Look, but don’t touch! It’s illegal to touch a sea turtle in Hawaii. Bioluminescent Plankton in Jamaica Imagine looking out at the water as the sky gets dark and seeing it turn a bright, glowing blue. That’s the sight you might be treated to at Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica, where dinoflagellates, microscopic organisms in the water, lend their glow to the lagoon. These tiny need to be to catch these natural wonders? Sea Turtles Hatching in Hawaii

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