As effective as proper oral care can be to the overall well-being of an individual, if you ask the average person when their last dental visit was, chances are it’s been a while. There are of course varying reasons as to why this is such a common occurrence, but are any of them really logical? After all, taking care of your health is more than just eating right and exercising on the regular basis. It’s also about making sure that you see the appropriate medical professionals periodically to ensure that everything is working as it should. Just as missing an oil change on the car could leave you sitting on the side of the road, missing a dental appointment could leave you in poor condition.

The question still remains, what is it that keeps so many people from getting the help that they need from the dentist? More importantly, what can be done to remedy this?

  1. Dental Anxiety or Fear

According to WebMD, approximately 5-8% of individuals will skip out on the dentist altogether simply because they’re afraid. Dental anxiety is a real condition and it affects many. Whether they have a horrible experience in the past, or have simply heard stories from others, many will shy away from seeking treatment just to avoid the experience.

For Patients: There is nothing to be ashamed of in this instance. If you have a real fear of going to the dentist, you should not let this keep you from maintaining proper oral health. The best thing you can do in this scenario is talk with your dentist about your fears. Many dentists are aware of the anxieties and phobias that are out there and will do whatever they can to accommodate your fears.

For Dentists: The best thing you can do to ensure your patients’ comfort level is to treat every patient as if they have a fear or phobia. Pay attention to their needs, communicate when necessary, and celebrate them for being brave. Sensitivity training for your staff is also beneficial as your patients will feel welcomed from the moment they walk in the door.

  1. High Out of Pocket Expense

Whether insured or uninsured, the price tag for a dental procedure is often huge; something as simple as an x-ray and a cleaning can cost hundreds of dollars. Many patients, especially those without dental insurance or on a tight budget, avoid going for fear of having to pay too much to get treated. Many dental offices require large upfront payments and only offer financing to patients with stellar credit – which in many cases is not many people.

For Patients: If you are afraid that the dental costs will be too high, it is best to look around for dentists that offer flexible payment arrangements or discounted services. Many dentists have options that allow you to make monthly payments, or even sign up for preventative care insurance for a low fee which would take care of your annual cleanings and basic dental needs.

For Dentists: Of course you can’t go slashing your costs as you do need to make a living, however, finding ways to be more flexible with your patients and dental costs is beneficial to your practice. Look for low cost insurance options, dental discount programs, or even offer flexible payment arrangements for higher costing procedures.

  1. Lack of Knowledge

Another reason people stay away from the dentist is because their misinformed. Many might be under the assumption that as long as they brush their teeth and floss twice a day that they never need to set foot inside of a dentist office. Unfortunately, this is not the case as some oral conditions don’t show any symptoms and can be detrimental to your health.

For Patients: The best way to stay on top of your health is to be informed every step of the way. Talk to your dentist about providing you with information on the importance of oral health and various oral conditions that need to be treated right away. Knowing the consequences for not seeing the dentist on the regular basis can easily provoke you to schedule an appointment.

For Dentists: Solution Reach, a company that provides technological solutions for medical facilities, suggests that the best way to build patient relationships is through patient education. By providing your patients with up to date information as it pertains to their specific oral health, you will encourage them to keep their appointments.

The bottom line is that oral health is essential to overall health. Both patients and dentists play a crucial role in making sure that the best oral health is achieved. Patients must learn to communicate effectively with their dentists about their fears, anxieties, financial woes, and lack of knowledge. Dentists on the other hand need to improve their level of sensitivity, provide flexible options for all economic backgrounds, and communicate effectively in providing pertinent information to their patients. In doing this together, it is almost certain that the “dentist office visit” will no longer be taboo.

 


Sex is a pleasurable experience that most people enjoy. Why is it that certain people become addicted to it? There are myriad of factors that can lead to sex addiction, including both genetic and environmental factors. The difference between a normal interest in sex and addiction are the destructive nature of the addiction. Consequences to actions are not taken into account prior to the act, though guilt or remorse may be felt after it’s over. This is similar to other addictions like to drugs or gambling.

What is a Sex Addict?

What causes sex addiction is not readily understood. There does seem to a biochemical component as antidepressants and psychotropic medications can help to curb the addiction. Sexual interests, food, and drug abuse, follow the same reward system in the brain. Drug abuse is a combination of genetic and environmental pieces, which can combine into a dangerous addiction. Since sex is closely tied with drug abuse in the brain, the components that can form into sex addiction could possibly share the same components.

The sex addict has a greater euphoric response to sex that goes beyond what most people experience. This is similar to many drug addictions where the dopamine system of the brain is exploited by the drug. Sex addicts are more likely to have come from dysfunctional families and/or have been sexually abused. This suggests that environment is a factor in the expression of sex as an addiction. They also have trouble forming strong personal bonds in a relationship. There is a tendency to have multiple partners, because they cannot maintain a long term relationship. Unable to manage their sex lives, sex addicts dive into destructive behaviors such as prostitution and one-night-stands.

Treatment/Control

Most addicts cut themselves off from their addictions, but this is not necessarily an option for a sex addict. Sex is a healthy and normal adult behavior, and abstinence is not considered a feasible treatment for most people. The sex addict must learn to distinguish between healthy and non-healthy practices. It is difficult to treat sex addiction, because if the addict is to maintain sexual relations it is like teaching an alcoholic to be a social drinker only.

There are support groups like Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sexaholics Anonymous that work very similarly to Alcoholics Anonymous. This provides a support network to help the addict keep from acting upon their urges.

A better option is to seek out in-patient sex addiction rehab for men or women. Such programs can require at least a 30-day commitment. The length of the stay might be tied to the fact that sex is a natural human instinct: the time required to teach the brain how to have a healthy sexual relationship takes longer.

As mentioned above, medication can curb the habits of a sex addict. Just as other addictions are tied to anxiety and depression, sex addicts also suffer from these ailments. A course of drug therapy can help both the addiction and the mental illness.

Untreated sexual addiction can lead to many undesirable results. The addict’s unchecked urges can lead to run-ins with the law either from prostitution, stalking, or indecent exposure. There is also an increased chance of contracting sexually transmitted diseases due to multiple sex partners. The emotional damage cannot be ignored either. An untreated sex addict is destined to be lonely as they try to get their next fix, and not try to build relationships. Sex addiction is a real disease, but there are ways to manage the addiction to allow the patient an opportunity to lead a normal life.

 


Many people don’t think about their health until an adverse health event occurs, but we should all endeavor not to take good health for granted.  Preparing for an eventual illness or injury isn’t as difficult as one might think. And, we really do need someone to look out for us when we’re well, too!

Medical Test ResultsHere’s an example from my own life that brought the matter very close to home for me and a loved one. Having lived with cancer for over a dozen years, it’s quite routine for me to examine every lab test, pathology and radiology report with an eagle eye. It’s not so common for most people to be that way. My habit of looking over diagnostic reports led me to ask a friend if I could read the radiologist’s report of a CT scan she’d had more than a year before.

When my friend suffered an acute appendicitis attack, she’d gone to an urgent care clinic, and the physician had ordered a CT scan.  The scan results showed an inflamed appendix. It also pointed out that there was another condition going on.  Something very serious, which, until I read the report, had gone unnoticed by every health care provider who’d had any contact with my friend — even while she was hospitalized!  What I saw in the radiologist’s report was chilling.  She mentioned that she saw a mass in one of the kidneys that was worrisome and required follow-up.  However, every single doctor who had treated my friend since then had missed it.

Upon learning of the finding, my friend immediately notified her primary care physician, who scheduled further tests.  He learned that the mass had more than doubled in size since that first CT scan. He made sure that my friend was seen by a specialist (a surgeon), and, within the brief timespan of a month, my friend had a diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma and had a radical nephrectomy to remove it.

What’s my point in relating this story to our readers?  I want to encourage everyone out there to READ their lab test results and diagnostic reports.  Have a friend or other loved one read them, too. If you have ANY questions about what the results mean, communicate that to your health care provider as soon as possible.  Don’t delay!

Get copies of all test results!  Read them!  Have someone else look them over with you!  Ask your doctor about anything that appears to be out of the ordinary, or anything you don’t understand!

Stay well!


It isn’t about teenage woes any longer: professional women, wives, and expecting mothers are becoming victims of eating disorder. The condition is a complex compulsion to start eating in a way that disturbs psychological and physical wellbeing. It may include normal eating with instances of purging and binging; or may include the ingesting of extra calories.

Women with eating disorders may consider food as the only way to cope with negative emotions. Those with binge eating disorders will consume a large amount of food in a short period and feel shame or guilt afterwards.

Eating disorders may affect an individual’s daily functioning in several ways. Factors to consider include:

  • Social: Thoughts about consumption of food may make you uncomfortable in a social setting; overeating or undereating in front of your peers can raise stress levels.
  • Coping: Is reliance on food is used for managing stressors or coping with life’s problems? Overconsumption makes it a challenge to deal with stress and body-image issues.
  • Concentration: Adverse eating habits may result in loss of concentration in personal and professional life. It may also impede performance at college or workplace.

Women can experience these issues in every type of eating disorder, but they pertain mainly to these three:

Bulimia nervosa

This disorder includes purging and bingeing of food, and includes the intake of an excessive amount of food in a short sitting, and then trying to burn calories via enemas, vomiting, or over-exercising. Symptoms include eating beyond comfortable fullness, extreme dieting over a few months, and increased concern about body shape and weight. The effect can’t be generalized because the condition in present differently in women due to the complexity of the biological system.

Binge Eating Disorder

Most sufferers binge in secret to hide their habits, and eat till they get uncomfortably full. Many victims feel powerless to put an end to eating and feel disgusted, but don’t attempt to reverse the affect as in case of the previous condition. Patients may not be overweight, but health problems related to obesity may arise. Sufferers are also at a risk of depression and potential cardiac problems.

Anorexia nervosa

This is an eating disorder that can negatively affect your health; because of the dread of becoming overweight or feeling disgusted with your body image, mealtime and eating can become an overwhelming affair. Thoughts about eating less and watching what goes into the mouth consumes a major portion of the day, leaving little time for other activities. The sufferer develops a relentless goal of taking extreme measures to lose weight.

Ways to overcome eating disorders

You’ll be glad to know that there are several ways to overcome this condition; the following are some effective treatment options:

Psychologists: An eating disorder psychologist may help treat the condition and is often a part of multidisciplinary teams providing patient care. After identifying and attending to important issues faced by the patient, they help patients to replace negative behaviors and thoughts with positive ones.

Peer and family support: You should know that you can’t overcome a condition like eating disorder overnight. So give time to recovery as you get support from friends and family, reminding yourself that you are in control of your eating and can overcome the condition. Although you are responsible for your own recovery, peers and family members can motivate you to take action.

Educate yourself: Many women facing eating disorders are not aware of the negative consequences of the condition, so reading resources and learning how such disorders can affect your health and wellbeing can motivate you to take steps to overcome them.