Posts for: April, 2018
May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month
Have you checked your blood pressure recently?
In the spirit of raising awareness for what is considered one of the leading causes of death in our society, we're here to explain what blood pressure is, what causes high blood pressure, and how to combat the severe health risks associated with high blood pressure. Checking blood pressure regularly is an important part of keeping high blood pressure controlled. Also, many people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it. That’s why we want to persuade as many people as possible to get a blood pressure check this May.
What is Blood Pressure?
The easiest way to define blood pressure is by noting that it's the force that pushes blood throughout our bodies via our circulatory system. The force is created by our hearts expelling blood when it contracts during each heartbeat, and then gradually traveling through the smaller branches of arteries before returning.
Measuring Blood Pressure
Anyone who has ever been to a doctor's appointment before is more than likely familiar with having their blood pressure checked via the blood pressure "cuff" that is fastened around the upper arm of the patient and then tightened. Doing so allows a medical professional to accurately identify whether your levels are within a normal range or not. Your blood pressure reading will consist of both a systolic number and a diastolic number. Systolic pressure is the first number and the highest, and measures the contractions of the heart, while the diastolic pressure measures the pressure inside of the arteries during the pause between heartbeats.
Combating High Blood Pressure
While the risks associated with high blood pressure are certainly a cause for concern, there are many ways to keep your levels under control and your health in a positive state. Keeping your body weight at a suitable and healthy range for your height and age is a large factor, as is ensuring that you practice a diet that is rich in produce and low-fat protein. Regularly monitor your sodium intake levels to keep them as low as possible and be aware of how much alcohol you consume on a regular basis. Be sure to also engage in regular exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, as even a simple walk around the block every evening is enough to drastically reduce your overall risk levels.
High Blood Pressure Medications and Oral Health
Some high blood pressure medications interrupt normal saliva flow and cause a chronic dry mouth. Dry mouth is responsible for halitosis an increase in mouth lesions (canker sores) and oral fungal infections. Dry mouth also encourages growth of anaerobic bacteria, the primary cause of cavities and gum disease. We know the medication is imperative to your health and if you take medications for high blood pressure, the dentist or hygienist may recommend more preventive and frequent maintenance appointments to ensure that you are in good oral and physical health.
High blood pressure is often symptomless and can be a “silent killer” at any age — and the only way to know your risk is to have your blood pressure checked. This May, during National High Blood Pressure Education Month, do yourself and your family a favor:
1. Have your blood pressure checked and review the categories at www.heart.org/bplevels to understand what your numbers mean.
2. Be counted as someone who knows their numbers at www.heart.org/bplevels . Click on the “I’ve Checked My Blood Pressure” button!
3. Encourage the people you care about to know their numbers, too.
4. Visit www.heart.org/ccc to sign up for the CCC Tracker. All you’ll need is an email address and a campaign code: CHKCT.
For more information on high blood pressure go to www.heart.org/hbp or contact our office.
IS A KILLER HIDING RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE ??
Each year in the U.S. alone, approximately 48,250 individuals are newly diagnosed with oral cancer. Unfortunately at this time the majority are found as late-stage disease. This accounts for the very high death rate; about half those diagnosed will not survive more than five years. The Oral Cancer Foundations says that “while smoking and tobacco use are still major risk factors, the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, heathy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus. The good news is that a dentist or hygienist can see or feel the precancerous tissue changes which might lead to a cancer. The examination will only take 3 to 7 minutes of your time and is always done as part of a comprehensive, routine dental visit. Everyone over the age of 18 should be screened annually. The visual and tactile exam is inexpensive, painless and quick.
Who should get screened?
Every adult. Oral cancer can often be caught early, even as a pre-cancer. With early detection, survival rates are high and the side effects from treatment are at their lowest. Like other screenings you engage in such as cervical, skin, prostate, colon and breast examinations, oral cancer screenings are an effective means of finding cancer at its early, highly curable stages. Make them part of your annual health check-ups.
What are the risk factors?
There are two distinct pathways by which most people come to oral cancer. One is through the use of tobacco and alcohol, a long term historic problem and cause, and the other is through exposure to the HPV16 virus (human papilloma virus version 16), which is now the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancers in the US, and the same one, which is responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women.
Signs & Symptoms:
* RED AND/OR WHITE DISCOLORATIONS OF THE SOFT TISSUE OF THE MOUTH
* ANY SORE WHICH DOES NOT HEAL WITHIN 14 DAYS
* HOARSENESS WHICH LASTS FOR A PROLONGED PERIOD OF TIME
* A SENSATION THAT SOMETHING IS STUCK IN YOUR THROAT WHEN SWALLOWING
* UNEXPLAINED NUMBNESS IN THE MOUTH
* EAR PAIN THAT OCCURS ON ONE SIDE ONLY
* A SORE UNDER A DENTURE, WHICH EVEN AFTER ADJUSTMENT OF THE DENTURE, STILL DOES NOT HEAL
* A LUMP OR THICKENING THAT DEVELOPS IN THE MOUTH OR ON THE NECK
Early Detection Saves Lives
Your dentist is your number one chance for early diagnosis of oral cancers. At each routine dental exam, we perform an oral cancer screening, looking for any suspicious lesions or melanomas. In the event we discover an area of concern, we will refer you to a surgeon for a biopsy to rule out cancer.
In honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Gargano Family Dentistry will be offering free oral cancer screenings during the month of April. If you have any questions about oral cancer or you have not had a recent dental exam, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Call 203-239-2356 or 203-239-0678 to make an appointment for your complimentary screening or to schedule your next comprehensive dental exam.
For more information about oral cancer, please log onto The Oral Cancer Foundation’s official website at www.oralcancer.org.
Dental crowns can help you in several ways. They can be used to conceal cosmetic imperfections, such as stains or discolorations. They also protect cracked or chipped teeth from worsening. Dental crowns even strengthen teeth that are damaged, weak, or worn down, and restore normal biting and chewing functions in those teeth. At Gargano Family Dentistry, Dr. Joseph Gargano and Dr. Theodore Gargano are your North Haven, CT, dentists for installation of dental crowns.
What are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns protect and restore damaged teeth. They are placed over the problem tooth like a protective outer shell and restore the tooth’s ability to perform normal functions, such as biting and chewing food. Dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, ceramic, resin, and porcelain fused to metal. Porcelain is commonly used because it closely resembles the appearance of natural tooth enamel. Once placed, dental crowns look and function just like natural teeth.
Dental crowns are used for several restorative and cosmetic dental procedures. They are often placed over a tooth following root canal therapy to ensure the tooth remains strong. Crowns are also placed over teeth with extensive areas of decay when significant portions of a tooth needs to be removed. The crown allows the natural tooth to remain in place, but strengthens and restores it to normal functioning.
When teeth are missing, crowns are used as replacement teeth in conjunction with dental implants. Crowns can also hold bridgework securely in place. A dental crown at each end of the bridge holds it firmly in place so there is no worry about your bridgework falling out. Cosmetically, dental crowns can conceal such imperfections as chips, cracks, stains, or discolorations.
Benefits of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns offer multiple protective, restorative, and cosmetic benefits. Your North Haven, CT, dentist can help you decide if dental crowns are the right choice for addressing your dental concerns. Benefits of dental crowns include:
- Replacing missing teeth when placed over a dental implant
- Protecting damaged and weakened teeth
- Concealing cosmetic imperfections
- Restoring normal tooth functioning
- Holding bridgework securely in place
- Looking and functioning like natural teeth
Whether your specific dental concern is to protect, restore, or improve the appearance of your teeth, dental crowns can help. To schedule an appointment with either of the Dr. Garganos, your dentists in North Haven, CT, call Gargano Family Dentistry at (203) 239-2356 for the Elm St. office or (203) 239-0678 for the St. John St. office.