X-Ray Myths Debunked

x-rayMost people will have an x-ray at some time during their lives for medical reasons such as diagnosing and/or treating a health issue or injury. Having an x-ray may cause some degree of anxiety for many people because of the myths that surround them.

The use of x-rays has a lot of misconceptions and people begin to question their safety. Some believe that exposure to the radiation it emits can kill them. While it is true that there is positive radiation exposure while conducting x-rays, the fact also remains that radiation is technically everywhere in the environment. It is in the gadgets people use, the food consumed by humans every day, and even in the air.

One popular use of x-rays is for producing an image of the mouth and teeth during dental visits. For most people, especially the first-timers, the anxiety caused by a dental visit is aggravated by the possibility of undergoing x-rays. However, it should always be remembered that the whole procedure is being done by experts in their field, who are trained to provide safe and competent service, and have years of education to back up their skills.

X-ray imaging technique is the oldest type of imaging technique. Contemporary innovations make it now possible to use x-rays with lower levels of radiation exposure.

One of the most common fears of people concerning radiation from x-rays came from the fact that radiation is emitted into the air when a nuclear explosion happens. In addition to this, a lot believe that it can result to mutations and even increased mortality of people. Because x-rays emit radiation, people believe that the effect is same as that of a nuclear explosion. However, this is clearly not true. X-rays emit a very small amount of radiation, negligible enough not to cause damage. According to studies, one can be exposed to more amounts of radiation while on a flight compared to one diagnostic x-ray procedure.

Another popular misconception about x-rays is the belief that its harm can cause damage to the brain when dentists want to have a picture of a person’s teeth. This is based on the proximity of the brain and the teeth. However, the amount of radiation emitted by x-rays is too minimal to cause damage, no matter which part of the body it is exposed to. X-rays are done by dentists to get an accurate image of oral health. This is essential in managing dental problems correctly so as to avoid any complications. This is also used to evaluate alignment of the teeth as well as be one of the bases of patient education done by dentists to support patients in making informed decisions.

Lastly, it should be known that x-rays have no ill effect on breastfeeding women’s milk. In line with this, actual management of breastfeeding women includes undergoing x-rays to assess their overall health. This myth should be dismissed.

In conclusion, x-rays do not emit an amount of radiation that is grave enough to harm humans. Technological advances make it now possible for x-ray machines to emit even smaller amount of radiation compared to previous x-rays. This imaging technique is important for proper management of dental health and other health issues.

Best And Worst Sweeteners For Weight Loss

weight lossEverything tastes better if it’s sweeter, right? With so many people wanting to get healthy this year, Everyday Health answers the question “Which are the best and worst sweeteners for weight loss?”

First, it is important to note, that the American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day and 9 teaspoons for men. If you are going overboard on sugar, you are putting your health at risk.

According to Johanna Sakimura, of Everyday Health, small amounts of real sugar from natural sources is the ideal way to enjoy sweet foods. This includes cane sugar (table sugar), maple syrup and honey.  Adding a few teaspoons of any of these sugars to yogurt, oatmeal, coffee or tea (not all in the same day) is a perfectly reasonable approach. But since table sugar, maple syrup and honey are all true sugars, they can raise blood sugar quickly and make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight if eaten in excess.

Agave should be mentioned because it is higher in fructose than other natural sweeteners.  Fructose doesn’t raise blood sugars as much as glucose which means it has a lower glycemic index than other caloric sweeteners. But fructose isn’t regulated by insulin the same way as glucose and it is possible it can raise levels of blood fats called triglycerides.

High fructose corn syrup is processed in the body similarly to sucrose.  But high fructose corn syrup is usually found in processed foods that aren’t good choices for many reasons.

Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, and acesulfame potassioum don’t provide calories and carbohydrates so they don’t raise blood sugars the way real sugars do. Many people rely on sugar free foods and drinks to help them lose weight.  But more recent research suggests that artificial sweeteners may have undesirable metabolic effects.  Sakimura feels that the best approach is to reduce the total amount of sugar you eat rather than replacing sugary beverages and foods with artificial sweeteners.

Read about the last two types of sweeteners here: Best and Worst Sweeteners for Weight Loss | Everyday Health

Droplets From Coughs And Sneezes Travel Far

coughs and sneezesSince we were children, we have learned that we need to cover our mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.  This is to prevent germs from becoming airborne and spreading to others. Some new research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology proves this is more important than ever because the droplets from coughs and sneezes travel much farther than previously thought.  Up to 200 times farther.

The research found that droplets from the cough or sneeze travel through interaction with a gas cloud.  You can see a video of a person sneezing that shows the gas cloud carrying droplets as they sneeze here.

There is more research to be done, but for now, the most important thing is to remember to cover that cough or sneeze to prevent the spread of germs. To learn more read the full article from Medical News Today in the link below.

Droplets From Coughs And Sneezes Travel Farther Than You Think|Medical News Today

Trans Fat May Hurt Your Memory

trans fatIf you feel that you have more trouble remembering things than you used to, you may want to think about what you are eating. A recent study presented at the American Heart Association conference showed that trans fat may hurt your memory.

The study looked at the diets of about 1,000 working age, healthy men. They were shown cards with words on them and with each card was asked if the word was new or repeated. After testing their blood, scientists discovered that the men that had a lot of trans fat in their system remembered fewer words than those without.

While it is still unclear what the direct connection between trans fat and memory is, some speculate that it may be that consuming large quantities of trans fat causes a kind of cell damage. According to the American Heart Association, Americans should eat no more than 2 grams of trans fat a day.

Put Down The Doughnut: Trans Fat May Hurt Your Memory|CNN Health

Correct Posture to Avoid Frequent Headaches or Jaw Pain

correct posturePeople suffer from headaches and joint pain for various reasons. If you are someone that suffers from headaches or lower jaw pain, the cause could be in your facial muscles together with the ones close to the joint situated on both  sides of the head (the temporomandibular joint), which control the lower jaw’s movement. This muscular pain could be ultimately arising because of an imbalance in the position of the head on the spine due to either a curved or slumped posture. According to the dental experts, correct posture is important, yet few people are aware of how posture affects their oral health.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)

In case you are among those people who suffer from headaches and pain in their lower jaw from time to time, your poor posture is likely to be the culprit. The AGD (Academy of General Dentistry), which dedicates itself to continuing dental education, suggests that you consult your dentist about this condition which is known as TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder).

Poor posture puts the spine in a position that strains the jaw joint. Any time people stoop or hunch over, the lower jaw tends to shift forward. This causes the upper and lower teeth to not fit together appropriately and the skull moves back on the spinal column. This will cause a change in the bite, with the teeth unable to occlude appropriately any longer. The misalignment of the teeth will occur since the jaw joint is now under additional stress. This movement then puts strain on muscles, joints and bones. If this is not treated in good time, it may create pain and inflammation in the muscles and joints the moment the mouth opens and closes.

An oral support or appliance can be made to help to align the teeth so that they can fit together appropriately in a position that does not cause much stress on the facial muscles and the temporomandibular joint. When the muscles are stabilized, there will be a decrease in the adverse impact of the improper posture.  The steadying splint is helpful in the prevention of continuing harm arising from the teeth coming together in an improperly aligned manner. This scenario can be likened to a custom foot orthotic which is fitted inside one shoe to help ease muscular fatigue and encourage enhanced posture by ensuring the proper position of the bones in the feet including ankles and knees.

If you do suffer from frequent headaches or jaw pain, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist. An oral appliance may be just the thing to help you with your pain. There are things you can do to improve posture as well, such as yoga.