Make Your Smile a Priority in 2018

We have all made New Year’s resolutions at some point in our lives. Many of these

annual vows revolve around improving our health.  Typical resolutions may include losing weight, quitting smoking, or beginning an exercise routine, but what about our oral health? The New Year is also a good time to commit ourselves to better dental care.

Make 2018 the year you look to improve your smile. Some ways to help you meet this goal include:

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene – Daily brushing and flossing is a simple way to improve your oral health. For successful bacterial plaque removal, it is important to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once per day to remove bacterial plaque and food that has accumulated throughout the day. Daily brushing and flossing help to prevent gingivitis (gum disease), tooth decay and halitosis (bad breath). The daily use of antimicrobial and fluoride mouth rinses also helps to improve your oral health.
  • Watch What You Eat and Drink – An important part of achieving your dental health resolutions is making healthier food and beverage choices, especially for snacks. Frequent consumption of food and beverages containing carbohydrates and acids contributes to tooth decay.
  • Quit Smoking – Quitting cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use is important for improving your oral and overall health. There is no better time than the present to make a resolution to stop tobacco use. Consider free online tools, smoking cessation groups, progress-tracking apps and support from friends and family to assist you with tobacco cessation.
  • Use Whitening Products – There are several over-the-counter smile-improving products that you
    can use to whiten your teeth when you brush and floss. In recent years, tooth whitening has acquired enormous popularity because they can enhance the appearance of teeth by removing deep (intrinsic) or surface (extrinsic) stains.
  • Receive Regular Check-Ups – A resolution to make routine visits to the dentist may help prevent oral disease or reveal an existing disease in its early stage. Dental visits should take place every six months to allow your dentist and dental hygienists to monitor the condition of your oral cavity and develop an appropriate treatment plan to meet your wants and needs.

Some however might need to make more than a few lifestyle changes to address their dental needs. For those, a dentist or orthodontist can help. Make this the year you stop putting off having dental work done. An orthodontist can correct an overbite or straighten crooked teeth and a dentist can address your need for crowns, implants or fillings to preserve your tooth structure.

To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Dental Center, please call 718-206-6980.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

The Benefits of Joining a Support Group- Quit Smoking Today

Meeting Of Support Group

It is no secret that smoking can have a number of adverse effects on the health of a smoker and those they smoke near.  The journey to quitting smoking has evolved from quitting cold turkey, to smoking patches, nicotine gum and today, electronic cigarettes. A more interactive way to stop smoking is by joining a support group.

There are several benefits associated with support groups that will keep you motivated and focused on your goal. Smoking cessation support groups help you to identify the mental, physical, and social aspects of smoking. Participants are six times more likely to be smoke-free one year later than those who quit on their own. Also, statistics have shown that up to 60% of smokers have quit by the end of the program.

The journey to quit smoking can be difficult, but you do not have to do it alone. Jamaica Hospital’s smoking cessation team wants to help you develop a plan leading to your “quit day”.

Jamaica Hospital’s Medical Home Department has partnered with the American Lung Association to bring you Freedom from Smoking, a comprehensive and successful group-based smoking cessation program. Here you will participate in a series of sessions that prepare you for your quit day, provide lifestyle change tips, manage your stress, and help you stay tobacco-free for good.

Recently Jamaica hospital was recognized for its commitment to patient health and initiating comprehensive systems for identifying tobacco-using patients and linking them with smoking cessation resources. Additionally, the hospital earned the Gold Star Recognition from the New York City Department of Health’s- NYC Tobacco-Free Hospitals Campaign for its excellence in developing inpatient and outpatient tobacco cessation systems.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center has partnered with the American Lung Association to offer Freedom from Smoking, a comprehensive and successful group-based smoking cessation program.

Support group classes at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center are forming. For more information or to register, please call 718-206-8494.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

To Hookah or Not to Hookah?

Article by Jennifer Ceide,  AE-C, CHES, CTTS Jamaica Hospital Medical Center

Brunette with hookah

For my birthday, I am definitely going to a hookah lounge!” was excitedly determined by my cousin several years ago. As a developing tobacco treatment specialist, I wanted to proclaim my objection by saying, “Do you know that one sixty minute hookah session can be equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes?!” Luckily, we couldn’t find a lounge that was open. Besides hookah lounges, hookah is also offered at night clubs and restaurants; it’s almost impossible not to find an opportunity to smoke hookah.  So why the sudden burst in popularity, especially among never-smoked-a-cigarette millennials who without hesitation detest cigarette smoking?

So, what’s a Hookah?

Hookah is a water pipe used to smoke tobacco. Tobacco is burned at the top of the pipe, the smoke is then passed through water and the vapor is inhaled.

It’s safer…right?

Wrong! Besides the delivery of the highly addictive drug nicotine, the smoke from hookah contains toxins that contribute to cancer and other diseases. The water through which the smoke passes gives the false impression of purification;  this process has not been shown to decrease any toxins associated with smoking. The vapor contains carbon monoxide, metals, and cancer-causing chemicals.

According to the World Health Organization, a hookah session can last between 20 to 80 minutes, one session can be equal to smoking 100 cigarettes.

When we consider the added risk associated with sharing a mouthpiece with others, the possibility of contracting communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, herpes, influenza, or hepatitis becomes a noteworthy threat.

To hookah or not to hookah?

From what we know so far the risks linked to smoking hookah should deter and not encourage. Because the popularity of smoking hookah is a recent trend, long term effects of the activity continue to be determined; however, we have enough evidence to conclude that hookah is not the safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. Hookah smokers are at risk for developing the same cancers and diseases that are linked to cigarette smoking in addition to the added risk of developing communicable diseases.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Diabetes and Your Oral Health

ThinkstockPhotos-78748368Living with diabetes can affect your entire body and your mouth no exception. The good news however is that by effectively managing your blood sugar and practicing good oral hygiene habits, you can avoid diabetes-related problems to your teeth and gums.
Diabetes can take a toll on your mouth in the following ways:

• Tooth decay (cavities) – When bacteria in the mouth interact with sugars and starches found in the food we eat, it creates plaque, which destroys the enamel on our teeth and creates cavities. There are more sugars and starches in the mouths of diabetics because they have higher blood glucose levels, and are therefore more susceptible to tooth erosion and damage.

• Gum disease (gingivitis) – Diabetes reduces our bodies ability to fight bacteria, such as plaque. When plaque hardens on the gum line, it creates tartar, which can irritate the gums and cause swelling and bleeding. Gum disease can advance to a condition known as periodontitis, which can result in your teeth falling out.

• Thrush -People with diabetes who take antibiotics to combat infections are more likely to develop this fungal infection of the mouth and tongue, causing a burning sensation. This fungus thrives on the high levels of blood sugar found in the saliva of diabetics.

You can do a lot to avoid these problems, including:

• Manage your diabetes by monitoring your blood sugar and keeping it within your target     range

• Take good care of your mouth by brushing at least two times per day with a soft-bristled brush and floss once per day to help remove plaque.

• Schedule regular dental visits and make sure your dentist is aware that you have diabetes and provide him with your doctor’s contact information.

• Look out for early signs of gum disease such as redness, bleeding or swelling. Also alert your dentist of loose teeth or mouth pain.

• Quit smoking as it increases the risk of serious diabetic complications, including gum disease. Ask your doctor about ways to quit if you need help.

If you have diabetes and are experiencing problems with your teeth and gums, make an appointment with your dentist immediately. Jamaica Hospital operates a full-service dental facility on its main campus. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-6980.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is Smoking Cigars Any Safer Than Smoking Cigarettes?

cigars 76755542Cigarette sales are beginning to see a decline while cigar consumption has been rising steadily.  This is partly attributed to the growing belief that cigars are a safer alternative to cigarettes.  Many smokers perceive cigars as having fewer health risks because the smoke is not inhaled into the lungs but is instead sucked and kept in the mouth for the taste. However, the most concerning misconception among smokers is the belief that cigars are safer because they do not have a Surgeon General’s health warning as cigarettes do.

Research has proven all of these beliefs to be untrue. Cigars do not require health labels because they are not as regulated as cigarettes. Furthermore, they contain some of the same hazardous chemicals such as arsenic and can have the same negative health effects.

Cigars contain high levels of the addictive substance nicotine. Nicotine can enter the body by being inhaled into the lungs and can also be absorbed through the lining in the mouth. Cigars are also known to contain more tar than cigarettes. Tar contains the carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) benzo(a)pyrene. Cigar smokers are at a high risk for developing cancers of the mouth, larynx and esophagus.

Cigar smoke has been linked to other health conditions such as oral, lung and cardiovascular disease. Chronic cigar smokers may be twice as likely to be at risk for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). They may also face a higher risk of premature death caused by aortic aneurysms and damage to the heart.  Cigars can also wreak havoc on dental health by causing tooth loss, bad breath and stained teeth.

The National Cancer Institute has determined that cigars are no safer than cigarettes and there are no safe tobacco products. There is also no safe level of tobacco smoke exposure. For this reason and others previously discussed, the best option for smokers to improve their health and prevent the risk of developing chronic diseases is to stop smoking.

If you or someone you know needs help in quitting smoking please contact Jamaica Hospital’s Freedom From Smoking program at 718 206 8494 or visit www.smokefree.gov for more information.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.