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Signs That You Need to Visit a Dentist

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Your teeth are important. Not only does everyone you interact with see them, but you use them every day to talk, eat, and smile.

Sometimes, you may have an issue with your teeth that requires that you seek dental health services. But if you aren’t sure what necessitates a dental visit – or if you’re worried about cost – you may put off calling your dentist.

However, some signs are clear that you need to see a dentist right away. Keep reading to discover examples of these indicators that it’s time to make an appointment.

Your Bad Breath Doesn’t Go Away

It’s normal to experience “morning breath” when you first wake up or to smell your lunch on your breath after eating. But if your bad breath doesn’t go away, even after you’ve brushed, flossed, and rinsed your teeth, then you may have an underlying issue.

Bad breath – or halitosis, as it is called clinically – could be a sign that you have an infected tooth, an allergy issue, or another serious medical condition. It’s important that you see a dentist to confirm the source of your bad breath so that you can get it treated right away.

You Experience Tooth or Gum Pain When Eating or Drinking

If hot or cold food or drinks send shooting pain through your teeth or gums, then you’re probably battling a sensitivity issue. Visiting a dentist can rule out other causes of this pain, and your dentist can give you tools to help ease the pain of sensitive teeth. These solutions could be as simple as using an over-the-counter sensitivity toothpaste!

You Have a Toothache or Bleeding Gums

If you have a toothache that nags you even when you aren’t eating or drinking, or if your gums are bleeding without clear cause, then you should make an appointment with your general dentist.

Toothaches can be caused by infections deep within the root of your tooth, and you may need a root canal to address it. Simple cavities also can cause tooth pain, and these are easily remedied with a tooth-colored filling – one of the most affordable dental treatments.

Bleeding gums could occur because you have a build-up of plaque at your gum line, or because you’ve developed a condition called gingivitis. Either way, a dentist can help treat the problem to help keep your teeth healthy and strong.

You Chipped or Cracked a Tooth

Perhaps you were playing sports and were hit with an errant ball. Or maybe you tripped and fell on a sidewalk on your way to work. Whatever the cause, a chipped or cracked tooth – sometimes called a fractured tooth, if it is severe enough – is a good reason to visit the dentist.

Your dentist may be able to repair the broken tooth in their office without the need for extensive visits. Or, they could evaluate the damage and make a plan to repair it with a future series of treatments. Contact your dentist ASAP to get a plan in place. If you wait too long, it could be too late to fix.

You’re Having an Issue with a Prior Dental Treatment

If you have a cap, crown, filling, veneer, or other previous dental treatment giving you trouble, make an appointment to see your dentist right away. Particularly those treatments that are done to prevent damage, such as a crown, should be fixed quickly. And if it’s an older treatment, you may find that newer technology and materials will give you a better result than before.

You’re Dissatisfied with the Appearance of Your Smile

If you hate the way your teeth look when you smile, you can visit your dentist to learn how to improve it so that you can feel more confident. Not all cosmetic dental treatments are outrageously expensive, and some can even be performed in a single office visit, such as bonding and contouring a misshapen tooth, or whitening your teeth with a take-home kit.

Of course, if you want dramatic changes, an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist could help you make a plan, too!

You Haven’t Seen a Dentist in More Than Six Months

The American Dental Association recommends that everyone receive a dental check-up and teeth cleaning no less frequently than every six months. A check-up ensures your overall oral health is good and helps keep your teeth in perfect working order. If you have dental insurance, it is likely your twice-yearly check-ups and cleanings are free, at no cost to you, so why wait to make an appointment?

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How to Test for Acne

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Acne is the most common skin issue in the United States, affecting an estimated 50 million people. Although most prevalent in teenagers and adolescents, adult acne is a problem affecting men and women throughout their adult lives.

So, how do you know if you suffer from acne, and how do you find out what is causing it? Let’s take a closer look.

What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition that predominantly leads to spots and oily skin. It most typically occurs on the face, back, and chest. Acne is often linked to a change in hormone levels during puberty but can start at any age.

Some people only experience mild symptoms of acne that do not require treatment, whereas others struggle with more severe issues.

What are the main symptoms of acne?

Although everyone’s skin is different, some of the most common symptoms of acne are:

  • Crusting of skin bumps
  • Cysts
  • Papules (small, red bumps)
  • Pustules (small, red bumps that contain white or yellow pus)
  • Redness around skin eruptions
  • Scarring of the skin
  • Whiteheads
  • Blackheads

The symptoms of acne most commonly occur on the face, although they can also manifest themselves on the shoulders, back, arms, chest, and buttocks.

How is acne diagnosed?

If you suspect that you may have acne, you can make an appointment with your doctor, who will be able to give you an official diagnosis. In most cases, they can do this simply by examining the skin without the need for any testing.

Alternatively, you could book an appointment with a dermatologist, although this is unlikely to be covered by your health insurance.

What tests are available for acne?

If you struggle with chronic acne and would like to find out more about what is causing your skin to break out, you might want to consider requesting a blood test for acne.

Although this can be carried out by your doctor, it would be better to work with dermatologists and skin experts who can administer an in-depth test to see what is going on underneath the surface of your skin.

There are lots of different biomarkers that can be checked to see what is causing the acne on your skin, such as:

  • Blood glucose
  • Kidney function
  • Electrolytes
  • Inflammation
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Liver function
  • Thyroid
  • Hormones including testosterone, estrogen and progesterone
  • Gallbladder function

It is highly unlikely that your doctor will check all these elements of your health when doing a blood test as it is expensive to do. However, this can leave you with even more unanswered questions. However, when you undergo full testing, you can find the root cause of your acne and make any necessary changes to your lifestyle, diet, and skincare routine.

You can order acne health skin care home test kits that are delivered directly to your doorstep, which require you to take a sample and post it back to the lab. Alternatively, if you do not feel comfortable doing this, you can make an appointment with a private clinic.

What triggers acne outbreaks?

There are lots of things that can trigger an acne breakout, including:

  • Hormonal changes such as puberty, menstrual periods, pregnancy, birth control pills, and menopause.
  • Certain medications, such as steroids and testosterone.
  • Birth control devices such as drug-containing IUDs.
  • Excessive touching of the skin.

Although many people believe that a poor diet can contribute to spots, there is little evidence to suggest that eating sugary foods such as chocolate and candy causes spots.

What are the best treatments for acne?

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, there are several treatment options available. For mild cases, it can be a good idea to start with a good skincare regime that includes cleansing, moisturizing and gentle exfoliation.

For more stubborn spots and blemishes, over-the-counter treatments that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can be effective. However, these can cause redness, drying, or excessive peeling of the skin in some people.

Lastly, for those who have severe symptoms of acne, there are several treatments that your doctor may be willing to prescribe, such as oral and topical antibiotics and prescription formula sulfur, resorcinol or salicylic acid.

Final thoughts

Acne, both in adolescence and adulthood, can have a seriously detrimental effect on your self-esteem. Fortunately, you do not need to suffer in silence as there are tests and treatments available, with options for all ages and skin types.

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When to Know Your Sore Throat Needs Urgent Attention

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Sore throats are incredibly common, especially in children, and, in most cases, are nothing to be concerned about. However, sometimes they are a sign of something more serious.

If you have a persistent sore throat or your child keeps complaining of having a sore throat and you are starting to worry, it can be a good idea to know when a sore throat requires urgent attention.

What are the most common causes of a sore throat?

Most colds are caused by a virus, such as the common cold or seasonal flu. However, there are other potential causes, including:

  • Allergies
  • Bacteria
  • Dry air
  • Exposure to pollutants, excessive dust or chemicals
  • Smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke

Could my sore throat be a sign of throat cancer?

In rare cases, a sore throat can be a sign of cancer in the throat, which affects around 1% of the adult population. There are several different types of throat cancer, including nasopharyngeal cancer, glottic cancer, and oropharyngeal cancer.

As mentioned above, it is very unlikely that your sore throat is a symptom of having throat cancer, although it is important to know that it could be. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of throat cancer include:

  • A cough
  • Changes in your voice, such as hoarseness or an inability to speak properly
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Ear pain
  • A lump or sore that does not heal
  • Weight loss

It is also worth knowing the factors that increase your risk of throat cancer, such as being a smoker or chewing tobacco, excessive alcohol consumption, viral infections such as HPV, and exposure to toxic substances.

Do I have strep throat?

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that makes your throat feel sore and scratchy. This infection only accounts for a small percentage of sore throats, however, if left untreated, it can cause issues including inflammation of the kidneys and rheumatic fever.

Strep throat is most common in children, although it can occur in adults as well. If you suspect that you or your child has strep throat, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

Some of the most common signs of strep throat include:

  • A sore throat
  • Chills
  • A headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

It is worth knowing that strep throat does not normally cause a cough, so if you have this symptom, you are more likely to have a viral infection.

Is a sore throat a symptom of COVID?

While a sore throat can be a symptom of COVID, it is not as common as a fever and a dry cough. However, if your sore throat is a result of COVID-19, it might feel:

  • Dry
  • Painful when you swallow
  • Scratchy or itchy

If your sore throat is accompanied by a fever, headache, and a dry cough, you may want to take a test to rule out COVID.

What symptoms indicate that a sore throat requires medical attention?

A viral sore throat should start to show signs of improvement within five days. If you or your child has had a sore throat for longer than this time and are not responding to over-the-counter treatments, it can be a good idea to book an appointment with your doctor.

However, if your sore throat has persisted for a long time, seems too severe or you have other worrying symptoms, it may require urgent medical attention. Concerning symptoms that require immediate investigation include:

  • Blood in your saliva or phlegm
  • Dehydration
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Excessive drooling, especially in young children
  • Joint pain or swelling of the joints
  • A high fever (over 101 Fahrenheit)
  • Chills and body aches
  • A rash or hives on your body
  • Earache
  • Hoarseness that lasts more than two weeks
  • Unexplained weight loss

Final thoughts

When it comes to any persistent or worsening symptoms, including a sore throat, it is always better to be safe than sorry and seek medical advice. If your sore throat is accompanied by any other worrying symptoms as detailed above, you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

In most cases, your sore throat will go away on its own with time and rest or you may require antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection.

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Navigating Senior Living: Strategies for Aging in Place

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As we grow older, the concept of “home” often evolves into a sanctuary of comfort and familiarity. For seniors, the thought of leaving their cherished abode can be daunting.

However, aging in place doesn’t come without its challenges. From financial concerns to adapting to changing health needs, there are numerous considerations for seniors looking to maintain their independence at home.

In this guide, we explore various strategies, including the sale-leaseback option, to help seniors thrive in the comfort of their own homes.

1. Understanding the Challenges of Aging in Place

So, what does “how to age in place” mean, exactly? Aging in place offers numerous benefits, including maintaining independence, maintaining familiar surroundings, and staying connected with the local community.

However, it’s essential to recognize the challenges that come with this choice. Seniors may face physical limitations, safety concerns, and financial constraints as they age. Moreover, managing household tasks and accessing healthcare services can become increasingly difficult over time.

2. Assessing Financial Options: The Sale-Leaseback Approach

One innovative strategy for seniors to unlock the value of their home while continuing to reside in it is the sale-leaseback arrangement.

This approach involves selling the property to a buyer who then leases it back to the seller, allowing them to remain in their home while accessing the equity tied up in the property.

3. Benefits of Sale-Leaseback for Seniors

Sale-leaseback arrangements offer several advantages for aging seniors:

  • Financial Flexibility: By selling their home, seniors can access a lump sum of cash, which can be used to fund retirement, cover medical expenses, or make necessary home modifications to accommodate aging in place.
  • Stability: The leaseback component provides stability, allowing seniors to remain in a familiar environment without the stress of relocating to unfamiliar surroundings.
  • Predictable Expenses: With a fixed lease agreement, seniors can plan for their housing expenses, providing peace of mind and financial security.

4. Exploring Alternative Housing Options

In addition to sale-leaseback, seniors can explore various alternative housing options to support aging in place:

  • Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs): Building a smaller, secondary dwelling on the property can provide independent living space for seniors while maintaining proximity to family members for support.
  • Home Modifications: Adapting the home to meet changing needs, such as installing grab bars, ramps, or stairlifts, can enhance safety and accessibility for seniors.
  • Community Support Services: Accessing community-based services, such as meal delivery, transportation assistance, and in-home care, can help seniors to maintain their independence while living at home.

5. Planning for the Future

As seniors age, it’s crucial to plan for the future and anticipate changing needs. This may involve establishing advance directives, such as powers of attorney and healthcare proxies, to ensure that their wishes are respected in the event of incapacity.

Additionally, having open discussions with family members about long-term care preferences and financial arrangements can help seniors to make informed decisions about their living situation.

Conclusion

Aging in place presents seniors with the chance to uphold their independence and quality of life within the familiar confines of their homes.

Through avenues like sale-leaseback agreements and diverse housing solutions, seniors can address the complexities of aging while safeguarding their sense of self-reliance and respect.

By meticulously strategizing and receiving assistance from both family members and community services, seniors can flourish in their domestic settings throughout their later years.Top of Form

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