At-Home Teeth Whitening Leaves U.K. Man With Hole in Throat

Aug 24, 15 At-Home Teeth Whitening Leaves U.K. Man With Hole in Throat

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A 22-year-old man in the U.K. has been left with a hole in his throat after using over-the-counter teeth whitening strips he purchased in hopes of emulating the pearly whites of his idol, movie star Channing Tatum. Jake Barrett apparently had a severe allergic reaction to the Crest 3D White Whitestrips, which left him with a grape-sized sac of hydrogen peroxide under his tongue. The sac, according to doctors, could have burst and leaked peroxide down the back of Barrett’s throat. “If that had happened, I would have got peroxide poisoning and died,” he was reported as saying by the Mirror Aug. 11. He noticed the bulge soon after applying the strips, but thought that the penicillin he was taking for an unrelated problem would treat it. It was only after six days that he finally went to a hospital. He was then immediately rushed to a different hospital for a three-hour emergency operation to drain the sac. Although Barrett says he feels “lucky to be alive,” he won’t be giving up on his dream of emulating Tatum’s gleaming smile; he’ll just stick to professional treatments instead. More than 82% of dental patients say they see a noticeable difference after professional tooth whitening. “DIY beauty treatments are a complete hazard,” Barrett said. “I had no idea what was in the products or how to use them properly and the consequence was terrifying.” Proctor and Gamble, which owns Crest, released a statement saying that “We’re sorry to hear about Mr. Bartlett’s [sic] experience and wish him a full recovery,” but that “Whilst not sold directly by PandG in the U.K., Crest Whitestrips have been available in the United States for more than 10 years, complying with all relevant legislation including peroxide levels. They are safe to use when applied as indicated on the packaging.” The American Dental Association does recognize some tooth whitening products as safe, but recommends they be used only after consultation with a dentist. That advice is echoed by several other medical...

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The Danger of Forgetting to Brush Your Teeth

Aug 19, 15 The Danger of Forgetting to Brush Your Teeth

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If you’re one of the 25% of adults who don’t brush twice a day, you’re going to want to sit down and read this. The Guardian recently chatted with Francesco D’Aiuto, a senior lecturer at the Eastman Dental Institute in London, about how brushing twice a day isn’t just good for a patient’s oral health, but the whole body, as well. It’s what he calls the “mouth-body connection.” “The mouth is not disconnected from the rest of the body,” D’Aiuto explained. “People should not underestimate what the body senses when the mouth is neglected.” Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria and sugars that forms on the teeth. If it’s not cleaned and removed daily, it can form tartar — that hard, yellow material between teeth that causes inflammation and bleeding. Tartar, left untreated, can lead to gum disease and eventually to major damage to the gums and jaw bone. Although brushing can get rid of plaque, once a patient skips out too many times, the toothbrush won’t be enough to guard against gum disease. In fact, it might even make things worse. “When you have gum disease, the gums are effectively ulcerated inside, so they’re not forming a tight seal,” Francis Hughes, one of the King’s College London’s professors of periodontology, told The Guardian. “Every time you eat or brush your teeth, it pushes bacteria into the body and triggers inflammation.” As the bacteria gets pushed deeper into the body, the risk of some diseases increases. Studies have shown that proper dental hygiene is linked to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, unhealthy pregnancy, Alzheimer’s, and even erectile dysfunction. In order to prevent tartar buildup, make sure your brush has soft bristles, as rough toothbrushes can lead to abrasions. After breakfast, and dinner, you should brush for about two to three minutes. Flossing regularly helps, too, as does avoiding toothpastes with baking soda, which can wear down enamel and cause...

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Foodies Beware! Your Restaurant Kick May Be Making You Sick

Aug 09, 15 Foodies Beware! Your Restaurant Kick May Be Making You Sick

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Many people think that dining out at full-service restaurants is a healthy option compared to fast food or takeout. According to researchers, however, those people are wrong. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois reveals that full-service restaurant food is often more calorie-laden, and contains more cholesterol and fat per serving, than fast food options. Researchers believe this is because of the large portions offered at full-service restaurants, since fast food joints tend to give smaller serving sizes of food. Though fast food was deemed less unhealthy than full-service restaurant food, researchers were reluctant to call fast food a healthy option. For the study, the researchers surveyed 18,000 participants, asking them about their eating habits over a two-day period. In this survey, most participants reported eating at more full service restaurants than fast food restaurants. According to Inquisitr, authors of the study also believe that this commonly held negative perception of fast food is distorting Americans’ beliefs of what is “healthy” and “unhealthy.” While a full-service restaurant often guarantees a level of freshness that fast food restaurants cannot offer, there is no way to estimate or control the amount of sodium, oils, and fats that go into meals served at traditional restaurants. According to Time, researchers also surmised that people tend to eat more in restaurant settings because of their relaxing nature. Many restaurants, for example, offer outdoor patios; according to research, outdoor dining encourages 43% of customers between ages 25-34 to spend more money on drinking. This kind of relaxed atmosphere also promotes overeating. Researchers hope that the results for this study will be a call for intervention by public health officials, in order to educate the American masses on the truth about traditional restaurant dining. There are, of course, ways to watch your health while eating out. Always order meals that are vegetable-centered, and ask for sauce on the side. And it’s okay to only eat a portion of your dish! After all, leftovers are half the fun...

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Health Groups Eager To Spread Awareness Of Uterine Fibroids, New Treatments

Jul 31, 15 Health Groups Eager To Spread Awareness Of Uterine Fibroids, New Treatments

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Around the country, women’s health organizations have been trying to raise awareness of uterine fibroids, the most common cause of benign tumors suffered by women of childbearing age. And as more women and healthcare providers look for solutions, healthcare companies are stepping up their investment in treating the condition. This July, Georgia is hosting “Fibroid Awareness Month” to highlight the millions of U.S. women who “suffer in silence” each year. Although uterine fibroids are benign tumors, they can cause pain and discomfort, extremely heavy periods (which in turn can cause anemia), constipation and frequent urination. In addition, they are the leading cause of hysterectomies, the surgical removal of the uterus. By some estimates, one in two U.S. women will suffer from uterine fibroids in their lifetime. Doctors have also recently discovered that uterine fibroids disproportionately affect African-American women. A 2013 study by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine determined that black women experienced an average of 9.9 fibroids, compared to 4.5 fibroids in white women. As awareness of this health problem grows, companies are investing tens of millions of dollars in non-surgical treatment options. The most common treatment for uterine fibroids are hysterectomies, an extremely invasive surgery that causes the early onset of menopause. Recently, radiofrequency ablation techniques like the Acessa method have provided a non-invasive alternative, an outpatient procedure that allows women to recover in five to nine days. In radiofrequency ablation treatments, doctors use a combination of ultrasounds and heat to shrink fibroids so they can be reabsorbed by the body. Such non-invasive radiofrequency treatments have proven so popular that this July, women’s healthcare company Gynesonics announced they raised $43 million to further develop their non-invasive treatment options. There are also medicines available to help manage symptomatic uterine fibroids. Some commonly prescribed medications include “gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa),” such as Lupron and Soladex. Uterine fibroids commonly affect women in their 30s and 40s, although they sometimes shrink naturally during menopause. If you suspect you may be suffering from uterine fibroid symptoms...

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New Shingles Vaccine Could Provide the First Effective Barrier Against the Virus

Jul 24, 15 New Shingles Vaccine Could Provide the First Effective Barrier Against the Virus

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“Having the chickenpox as a child is good,” they say. “It means your risk of contracting the pox again is very low — and you probably don’t even remember how bad it was!” What they don’t tell you, however, is that if you’ve contracted the chickenpox, you’re at risk for contracting the shingles virus for the rest of your life. The lingering varicella zoster virus is capable of hiding out for decades and then suddenly turning active again, causing a painful and blistering rash. PalmBeachPost.com describes shingles as “horrendous, causing a burning shooting stabbing pain that can linger even after the rash fades” — and this couldn’t be more true. In fact, many people suffering from shingles have such painful rashes that they’re completely unable to sleep or work. It may seem odd that this virus is still around, considering that there is a vaccine for it. As NPR recently reported, the current vaccine isn’t too great — but a new vaccine is being developed and could possibly hit the market as soon as 2017. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone over the age of 60 receive a shingles vaccine, health experts have acknowledged that the vaccine is ineffective more often than not. It only prevents shingles 64% of the time when it’s first administered, and by the time people turn 70, the vaccine is only effective 38% of the time. There are two main barriers with an effective shingles vaccination, NPR reports: the first problem is the cost, and the second problem is distribution. Unlike children, adults are on their own when it comes to scheduling vaccinations, and because the shingles vaccine isn’t recommended by the FDA for anyone under the age of 60, most insurance plans exclude coverage for the shingles vaccine until the patient turns 60 (if they cover the vaccine at all). However, there seems to have been an increase in adult vaccinations thanks to walk-in clinics and urgent care facilities, which have spread quickly...

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Endangered Snake Beats Skin Cancer

Jul 24, 15 Endangered Snake Beats Skin Cancer

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Skin cancer is all too prevalent among humans — considering the fact that an estimated one in five people in the U.S. will develop the disease in their lifetime — but snakes? According to officials at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, MedVet Medical and Cancer Centers for Pets has given a state-endangered plains garter snake a unique, radiation procedure to treat its skin cancer. Dr. Deborah Prescott, MedVet’s Oncology Specialty Leader and Radiation Oncologist, said that although it’s not unusual for animals to develop skin cancer, there’s little information available about melanomas in snakes, which created several challenges. For instance, veterinarians had to figure out how to keep the snake still while treating her. They couldn’t sedate her, as it would have been dangerous given her small size. They couldn’t hold her down, either, since nobody could enter the room during treatment. Eventually, they placed the patient into a tube, which solved the issue. “The snake would have died without treatment,” said Dr. Randy Junge, Vice President of Animal Health at the Columbus Zoo. “I’m proud of the length we are able to go for some of these smaller creatures that might not get the attention that an elephant or tiger would, but are no less important.” The procedure provided a way for the snake to continue breeding, and to help restore Ohio’s wild population of the garter snake, which is one of four garter snake species in Ohio, but the only one that’s endangered. The species resides in tall grass prairies, which have vanished by 99% throughout the nation. “In order to save the few prairies we have left in Ohio, we need to save the important animals that reside within these unique ecosystems,” said Becky Ellsworth. Assistant Curator. “The garter snakes fill the niche of preying on insects, worms, snails, slugs, amphibians, fish and small rodents. They are an important cog in the ecosystem wheel.” Luckily, the treatment was a success. Following her procedure, the garter snake gave birth to a live...

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