Total Health and Wellness Begins with your mouth!

27 01 2013

Morningside Dental Care

When was your last dental visit?  Have you noticed the difference?  When you go to the dentist you are no longer seeing a tooth mechanic, with the drill and other scary tools.  Today’s dentist is one of your primary health care providers on the front line of caring for your total health.  The dentists of today are:  concerned with relieving your dental pain; enhancing your overall appearance by performing cosmetic procedures; providing spa type experiences during your visits; and, also evaluating your diet and nutrition and overall condition of your entire body.

If the eyes are the windows to the soul then the mouth is the portal to everything else.  The German physician Reinhardt Voll estimated that 80% of all illnesses stems from the mouth.  Digestive problems, nutrition imbalances, diabetes, some cancers, and other systemic illnesses can be detected during a thorough dental evaluation.

Technology in the dental office has improved significantly in an attempt to improve the experience during your visit. Digital x-rays reduce radiation exposure by up to 80 or 90% from traditional x-rays.  Lasers are used to perform certain dental procedures with more predictable results, more efficiently, and, with less discomfort, such as periodontal gum surgery which in the old way was extremely painful.  The evolution of CAD/CAM technology has reduced the time and number of visits needed to make crowns, bridges, veneers, inlays and onlays.  These restorations look beautiful.  Braces used to be an unattractive proposition especially for adults.  However, Invisalign allows you to straighten crooked teeth and improve your appearance and they are barely noticeable.

So at your next visit, enjoy your regular, thorough cleaning. Whiten your teeth and enhance your smile.  Always remember, your dentist is one of your primary care providers who is committed to improving your total health and well being, as well as your overall dental experience.

Invisalign pictures CERECLANAP
 

 

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

 





The Most Important Meal of the Day

24 01 2013

Healthy breakfast choices for dental care

Have you ever really thought about what you eat for breakfast? Most people choose a hot or cold cereal, or some type of microwaveable meal. And some choose to eat something that is definitely unhealthy, like a muffin, doughnut or some other sugary delight while buying that morning cup of coffee. The unhealthy choices are usually made while running late for work or school, and this is definitely not the way you want to start your day.

Yes, grabbing junk food for breakfast is the easy way and we do it without thinking. But that is the point- Stop and think about how you want to start your day. A healthy smoothie (fruit/veg combo…but leave out the sugar!) or a meal containing protein would be a better way to begin a day that is, probably at some point, going to include some stressful situations. If you start with a breakfast that is healthy and nutritious, then you are going to have the right tools to fight with when it is time to deal with stress during your day. And as we all know, stress is not good for your health or your teeth; stress may make you clench and grind your teeth, often subconsciously.

We need to make better food choices for all of our daily meals, for both for our health and our dental care. So, set the alarm to give you a few extra minutes in the am, and make a healthy choice for breakfast tomorrow.
 

 

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

 





Letter from a Conscientious Physician

23 01 2013

Image

One of my patients who I hadn’t seen in a few years came in to see me for treatment.  She brought with her a letter from her physician of which I will share.  It goes as follows:

“RE: Pre-Transplant Dental Evaluation

Thank you for agreeing to evaluate patient______________ as you know, this individual is currently being evaluated as a potential kidney transplant recipient.  Because there are a number of well documented risk and potential complications associated with dental disease during post transplant period, this evaluation represents a critical component of our pre-transplant evaluation procedures……”

Finally it stated “Perhaps you could also reiterate our concerns regarding the importance of meticulous dental care after transplantation, and reinforce this with our recommendation for meticulous plaque control”.

I am upset that one of my patients has to become a candidate to receive a kidney transplant, however, I am always pleasantly surprised when physicians are aware and  understand the connection between the oral cavity and the rest of the body.  I know that this patient will be in good hands.

In this day and age, anyone who is going to be a recipient of any type of transplant or knee and hip replacement surgeries and the like, must ensure that part of the preparation for the surgery includes getting a thorough dental examination and treating for any infections in the mouth, lest they spread elsewhere and cause complications for the surgery.

Most of us forget that the area of the body laden with the most bacteria is the oral cavity, the mouth.  Often people who have bleeding gums, usually, they don’t bleed all of the time, but on occasion.  Also, when your gums bleed it doesn’t hurt, so we are inclined not to pay attention to it.  Unfortunately, the same areas that are bleeding are the entryway for the bacteria to enter the blood stream and cause problems and disease in other areas of the body.  Heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes,  lung disease, even premature low birth weight infants are linked to infections in the mouth.  Though we often fail to pay attention to the mouth, it really is one of the most important areas of the body to devote time to ensure it’s health.  The health of your entire body can stem from your mouth.

I feel comfortable that the patient made a very good choice choosing a conscientious physician who is up to date on the latest research and most importantly has her best interest at

heart
 

 

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

 





RIVETED!

22 01 2013

obamas inauguration

Yesterday, I was riveted for the entire day watching the inauguration ceremony.  The pomp and circumstance are amazing, and I just loved  watching all of the politicians dressed in their finest.  Yes, I too was waiting on pins and needles to see the dress Michelle Obama would arrive in for the ball.  She did not disappoint.  She looked gorgeous and elegant as usual.  The dress was stunning!  The red dress complimented her complexion beautifully, and the halter top, showed off her fabulous arms.  She and the president flashed those fantastic smiles throughout the entire day.  Not withstanding, what the day means to our country of hope, and new beginnings, and bright futures. Yesterday was truly a monumental day, so full of meaning.  I could not keep my eyes away from the television for too long, for fear of missing any cherished moments.

One thing that was apparent so frequently, but not appreciated enough, was the constant smiles that the president and first lady flashed so effortlessly.  I wondered who maintains their oral health?  Just who is the dentist who allows the first family to smile so brightly without concern and embarrassment.  I thought about the previous presidents, some who had dental problems that affected them in a public way.  George Washington’s wooden teeth were actually made of gold and ivory.  His clumsy ill-fitting dentures were what made the sour expression we see in pictures.  It was not that he didn’t like to smile.  He couldn’t.  Washington had no teeth by the time he was middle-aged.  John Adams lost his teeth and refused to wear false ones, that is why he spoke with a lisp.  Abraham Lincoln was so afraid of dentists from an earlier painful experience, that he brought his own chloroform to the dentist when he needed another extraction, put it to his nose, and instructed the dentist to come over when he felt sedated enough.  As you can see in pictures, Woodrow Wilson’s teeth were awful.  He had a stroke, and it was said that he had atherosclerotic disease which was in part due to his poor oral hygiene.  When the White House released the records of George W. Bush, they said he had extensive dental work and no wisdom teeth.  Ronald Reagan had to have cortisone injections for TMJ problems.

When thinking about presidents and history, there is a long history of their oral health that historians gather as well.  It makes you wonder  how their oral health affected their lives.  Well, to Michelle and Barack’s dentist, keep up the great work!
 

 

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

 





Candy Wrappers

17 01 2013

candy wrappers

I figured that before I post too many blogs giving my insight about dentistry and thoughts I have, I also must make confessions of my own and really divulge where my perspective originates from.  As a newborn, my son (who is now a teenager) was very ill.  He was a 2 lb 1 oz preemie who had to be hospitalized over 9 times during the first 2 years of his life.  He was placed on a ventilator to help him breathe many of those occasions and he even coded once.  Having been in the healthcare profession and with family members who were health care  practitioners and physicians, I felt the medical profession should be able to cure patients and make them better.   One of the times he was intubated ( on the ventilator) I asked the pediatrician “what is it we are going to do to make him better to fix him”.  Wonderfully, the physician explained that “the only thing we as physicians are able to do in this case  is to give him oxygen, support the airway and keep it open, the body has to do the rest”.  It was in that moment and while my son was healing that I began to truly understand just how fascinating and complex the human body truly is.  It is where I came to see that the key a long and healthy life is to keep the body strong and in proper shape.  It was also at that time that they were offering fellowships in holistic dentistry  with the Institute for Natural Dentistry.  I enrolled in the program right away and it truly opened my eyes to an entirely different world of wellness; mind/body/spirit interrelationship; energetic pathways; nutrition; and the list goes on… It really allowed me to truly understand that the teeth do not walk in on their own, but are attached to a body, and the interrelationship between the teeth and the whole individual.

Well around that time, you can say that I became a “food nazi”.  I really watched what I was eating, made sure my son only had organic, healthy food, no sugar, he took every vitamin supplement he should have, etc.  Well, or so I thought.  After a while, this toddler would find ways to spit out just what he didn’t like.  “Oh, no Mommy, I just won’t have that”, and he said it so politely.  I would try and hide the supplements in the food.  He would find it and spit it out.  It has become a never ending struggle.  As he has gotten older and in school with other children, the challenges have become even greater.  When you share your food with others and they share back, it’s when you really get tastes for sugar and other foods that may not be so good or healthy for you.  Then, the first time this happened I was shocked.  I went to make up his bed and found candy wrappers in the bed!  Not only was he eating the sugar, but he was leaving the sugar to bathe in his mouth all night long – a dentists’ nightmare!

We have had our moments.  We have had our struggles.   I have really, really relaxed my habits.  As adults, we have our challenges that we have to deal with ourselves.   At one point, I became frustrated and felt there was nothing I can do.  We went, as they say “buck wild”.  But there is no way you can be in the dental field, and see all of this sugar addiction and the health problems it causes and just do nothing.  These experiences have  really let me know how strong an addiction sugar really can be.  It has also let me know that in this society, and especially living in New York City, it is very difficult to control the environment and here children have access to so many things.  What I do know that is great is that as he is getting older, he is learning how do make some better choices.   That is my hope and shining star.  As parents it is our responsibility to always try and help them understand what is best for them, but also, not just leave things  and say it is hopeless, but just keep trying.  So that’s what I do.
 

 

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

 





Sugar, Sodas, Celebrities……

16 01 2013

Why Do Stars Think It’s OK To Sell Soda

Beyonce's Pepsi Advertisement

Beyonce’s Pepsi Advertisement

I read this article last week about Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Brittney Spears and their participation in ad campaigns  of sodas and other products that are harmful to our health, however, they create great profit to the celebrities who endorse these brands.  It makes me question what are our core beliefs as a nation?  Are we going to remain true to our core beliefs, or does that take a back seat when it comes to making money?  I understand that we live in the United States of America, in this great consumer driven economy, but, what if we stayed true to our core beliefs?  What if celebrities aligned their core beliefs with opportunities for making money?  I think our country would look a bit different now.  But to take that personally, what if we as consumers stuck to our own core beliefs and thought a bit deeper prior to making our purchases, to ensure that it aligned with what we know is healthy and good for us as individuals and for our families?   Imagine what our country, our nation would look like.  I think we would see less obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and a much healthier nation.  I think too often we make decisions because we see everyone else doing it, and quite frankly because of the convenience.  To take back our power and to improve our health, we must not always choose the easy way.  Sometimes should make harder choices and taking the more difficult road, which in fact, may take longer, make you more tired and can be quite lonely, but the scenery along the way is beautiful, and when you get to the finish line, it will be all the more rewarding!

Ok, that’s the philosophical portion of this blog.  What does this article have to do with teeth?  Well, it’s all about teeth.  Well, the obvious, eating too much sugar increases your risk of cavities.  Do you ever look at the perfect smiles of the stars and think well, if they were truly ingesting all of  the sodas they are selling, what would their smiles look like?  Probably a lot of holes, dark spaces, and red inflamed gums.  It would not a pretty sight.  A cosmetic dentist would be necessary to fix the broken teeth that were created by drinking all of those sodas.  What about the periodontal disease/diabetes link.  Are you aware that there is a high correlation between gum disease and diabetes.  Did you know that if you treated the periodontal disease, the diabetes improves.  Oftentimes, it is your dentist, your first line of defense who can spot that you may have a problem with diabetes.  Dentists are definitely crucial as they assist in managing the diabetes.

What are your core beliefs pertaining to your health?  Take a close look at the sodas, juices and other sugary drinks you consume.  How many sugars do put in your coffee or tea and how often do you drink them?  Just by really evaluating your consumption of sugary beverages and making the choice to drink fewer  of these drinks, dilute them with water, reduce the sugars in your diet.  You are making a conscious choice to be healthier, your teeth will be protected and more beautiful.  It may be a bit lonelier as your co-workers are routinely consuming the unhealthy beverages, but it will certainly be more rewarding, starting with easier dental visits to improved overall total health!
 

 

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

 





52 Days and counting….

15 01 2013

20130101_005951_Terrace Dr

Crossing the finish line on New Years Day with the New York Road Runner’s Emerald Nuts Midnight Run was especially exhilarating for me because it represented a near completion of my commitment to work on myself for 52 days of exercise, education and enlightenment.  They say it takes 52 days to make lasting change in your life.  Crossing the finish line that morning represented 51 days of my new regimen.  I was almost there.  The next day, I would be done.

The feeling of accomplishing one’s goals in life at whatever moment in time and the sense of accomplishment it brings is awesome.  It opens up your mind to endless possibilities, opportunities in the world, and challenges you can overcome when you put your mind to something.  You basically start to feel invincible.

The New Year brings to us thoughts of setting new goals, opening up our minds to new prospects, new adventures, new challenges.  Sometimes, however, it can bring fears that may paralyze us from moving forward.  Many what ifs…what if I can’t make it, what if I do not finish, is this goal set too high for me to attain…  The overwhelming feeling caused by the exact date of January 1st and what it means, new starts, new beginnings, change .  That in itself may be what creates the obstacle, or may make one feel the bar was set too high.

What made my 52 day challenge more exciting, was the fact that it was a random day that I chose to start, it did not coincide with New Years in mind, or end on the 31st, or January 1st.  I had no unreasonable expectations or pressures that I put on myself.  It was just “get your butt out of bed a bit earlier and get outside.”  I would then strap on the MP3 headphones and go.  …After a few “weeks” 🙂 I even developed a need, you might even say a longing, to smell the fresh air, inhale the oxygen in my lungs, stretch my muscles, and allow the productive thoughts to flow.

Well 52 days became 53 days and counting…. I don’t feel like stopping.  Maybe I am even a bit apprehensive that this new-found energy and positive mindset may stop, if the exercise and enlightenment stops.  My mind has opened ideas and goals I have had, but never started, for a fear of not completing, or setting too high a hurdle.  After completing 52 days, I now am ready to take on other challenges.

Well, today, I am making that commitment, not a New Year’s goal, hey it’s January 15th.  That burden of the New Year is off, but the desire to make a change and make a difference is still here.  I have been so fascinated and impressed by the work of our First Lady, Michelle Obama and her quest to improve the health of our country through diet and exercise.  Her “Let’s Move” campaign is what our country so badly needs.  Our diets and lifestyle are so poor and we are now more susceptible to degenerative diseases than ever before in our history.  What I know additionally, is that many health care practitioners are now starting to understand that the majority of illness have a direct relationship to the mouth and oral cavity.  What we put in our mouths, our diet, how we care for or oral health,even the different materials used to restore our teeth, all have an impact on our total overall health.  Well, my blog is to let more people become aware of how the oral health relates to total health.  We use our mouths constantly from eating, speaking, it is how people make their first impressions of us.  I would like to discuss some of the new trends in dentistry, give information about diet and lifestyle and how just about everything relates to the mouth.  My obsession, the oral cavity in each of its facets is what I am passionate about.  So sharing information and focusing on our oral health is my Dental HealthStyles blog.

Day by day, running has gone from being a challenge, to a necessary part of my life.  Helping to improve the oral condition of people is what I do, and is just part of me and has been for over 25 years.  Now sharing this knowledge from a total overall health and wellness perspective by the way of a blog , a new challenge to myself, will first start out with me saying to myself “get your butt up and get started typing” , but then eventually, it becomes a necessary part of life just much as the great feeling I now have when I get  up to perform my exercise, education and enlightenment routine; getting the taste of oxygen into my lungs; stepping outside in the fresh air to run on a cold winter’ s morning.

Well, I am now on day 64 of running, but who’s counting anymore…………..

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Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.

 








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