Timely Tidbits for Presidents’ Day

The third Monday in February represents the combined birthday celebration of our first and sixteen presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, along with recognizing all former presidents.  Lincoln’s birthday is February 12th, and Washington’s Birthday is February 22nd. While George Washington’s Birthday was a federal holiday, Abraham Lincoln’s was a state-recognized holiday only. Presidents’ Day is still officially in the congressional book as George Washington’s Birthday.  Advertisers made the push in the 1980s to call it Presidents’ Day.

Here are some other interesting facts about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln that you may not know:

1.       Washington’s teeth were not made out of wood, but instead out of ivory, gold, lead, and human or animal teeth.

2.       Lincoln hated his nickname “Honest Abe.” His friends called him either Mr. Lincoln or Lincoln. (more…)

Lack of Sleep is a New Risk Factor of Colon Cancer

In a ground-breaking study, researchers from University Hospitals  Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have found that individuals who average less than six hours of sleep a night are 50% more like to increase their risk of  colorectal adenomas than those individuals who get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Adenomas are precursors to cancer tumors, and if left untreated, they turn malignant.

According to Dr. Li Li, the study’s principal investigator, this is the first study to report the association between sleep duration and colorectal adenomas. “A short amount of sleep can now be viewed as a new risk factor for the development of colon cancer,” Dr. Li explained. (more…)

Valentine’s Day Around the World

Have you ever wondered how other countries celebrate Valentine’s Day?  Love is a universal theme, but not everyone follows the American tradition of giving their sweetheart chocolates and roses.

Scotland:  On Valentine’s Day, a festival is held with an equal number of unmarried men and unmarried women.  They write their name on a piece of paper and put in it a hat. Both the men and women pull a name out of the hat.  It is rare that the names will match up, so it is usually expected that the man will partner with the woman that pulled his name. After the names are drawn and the couples are paired, the man gives a gift to the woman. The woman then pins the man’s name to her sleeve and they go to a dance. At times, a wedding ceremony will take place after the dance. (more…)

Maintaining Your Teeth for a Lifetime

In a 2006 report, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published,

“…the baby boomer generation will be the first where the majority will maintain their natural teeth over their entire lifetime.’

“Over the past 10 years, the number of adults missing all their natural teeth has declined from 31 percent to 25 percent for those ages 60 years and older, and from 9 percent to 5 percent for those adults between 40 and 59 years.’ However, 5 percent means a surprising 1 out of 20 middle-aged adults are missing all their teeth.”

The general improvement in tooth retention began with the fluoridation of drinking water in 1945. Today, more than 171 million Americans drink water with added fluoride. “Fluoridation safely and inexpensively benefits both children and adults by effectively preventing tooth decay, regardless of socioeconomic status or access to care. Fluoridation has played an important role in the reductions in tooth decay (40 percent – 70 percent in children) and of tooth loss in adults (40 percent – 60 percent),” the CDC reported.

I’m Dr. James Stewart, and I believe that patients are maintaining healthier teeth and experience less tooth loss due to keeping regular check-ups, eating healthier foods, and exercising regularly. In general, people are taking better care of themselves.

Technology advancements also allow dentists to save more teeth with root canals, crowns, and periodontal therapy. Fortunately, advances in dentistry have significant benefits for elderly patients. Oral sedation allows for even the most complex procedures while patients sleep. Less invasive procedures minimize recovery time. Even patient education has improved with new tools to help illustrate oral care techniques for both patients and caregivers.

If you want to learn about ways to maintain your natural teeth, contact my Livonia office at (734)425-4400.

Say No to Soda

There’s nothing like popping open a refreshing can of soda to quench your thirst! These sweet, tasty beverages come in hundreds of different flavors and colors, and can be a real treat for your taste buds. Unfortunately, researches have discovered why your teeth may not be as thrilled.

  • Soda is worthless to your body. Although it tastes great, soda is filled with sugar, calories, and nothing else, which causes it to have no nutritional value. Despite popular belief, diet sodas are just as bad.
  • Soda damages your teeth, plain and simple. As a dentist, I want to help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. Sodas, as well as other sugary treats, contribute nothing to your oral health. Plus, the sugar in soda coats your teeth and combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid. This acid wears away at your tooth enamel and can eventually lead to cavities and tooth decay.
  • Soda can harm your major organs. Consumption of soda has been linked to chronic kidney disease, development of metabolic syndrome, increased risk of heart health, and liver disease. Soda is also bad for your bones. The phosphorous and caffeine contained in soda might contribute to osteoporosis, and chances are, if you’re a soda drinker, your bones may be calcium-deprived since you aren’t drinking enough milk.

Your diet has a huge impact on your oral health. Making healthy food and drink choices is a small thing you can do that makes a huge impact.

For more information about how to eat and drink your way to a healthy mouth, please contact my office in Livonia, Michigan. I’m Dr. James Stewart, and my team and I look forward to hearing from you!

Proper Denture Care

Correctly caring for your dentures will increase their longevity and protect the health of your mouth.  I’m Dr. James Stewart, and I want to give you some practical tips for good denture care.

Handle them with care: When removing your dentures, stand over a folded towel or a full sink of water to avoid damage, in case you accidentally drop them. (more…)

AARP Volunteer Income Tax Assistance at the Livonia Civic Park Senior Center…

Trained volunteer tax preparers will be available to complete simple returns for low income residents, with an emphasis on those 60 years of age or older. Service is provided on a first come, first served basis. No appointment necessary.

Assistance will be provided Monday, January 31st through Monday, April 18th. Center opens at 8:30am, preparers begin at 9:00am and will not see anyone after 2:00pm.

Having your taxes done by AARP Tax Aide? Take a few minutes for an AARP Foundation Benefits QuickLINK screening and find out if you can save money on food prescription drugs, health care, utilities and more.

You Must Bring The Following Information
1. 2009 State & Federal Income Tax Returns
2. Statements of All 2010 Earned Income (W-2), Pension (1099-R),
Investment Income (1099) and Social Security received
3. Amount of 2010 Property Tax (Paid or Unpaid)
4. Amount of Rent Paid
5. Total 2010 Heating Cost
6. Amount Paid Toward 2010 Health Insurance Premiums

Call (734) 466-2555 for additional information.

TMJ Troubles and Treatment

Have you heard of temporomandibular joint disorder? I know, it sounds intense. This disorder, also known as TMJ, is usually accompanied by headaches, migraines, earaches, and irritating conditions like a popping jaw. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s possible that you are one of the millions of Americans suffering from TMJ.

I’m Dr. James Stewart, and I’m optimistic that I can treat this problem. First, however, it is important for you to know what causes TMJ disorder.

The temporomandibular joints are the two joints that hold your jaw to your skull. A variety of factors, including injury, stress, heredity, and tooth wear, can lead to misalignment of these joints, which places additional stress on the muscles and nerves surrounding them. This can cause pain in the head, mouth, and jaw. Sometimes, neck and lower back pain can also occur.

I have been treating TMJ patients for a long time, so I know how difficult it can be to live and function when you’re in constant pain and discomfort. Luckily, I’m equipped to treat your TMJ disorder right here in my office in Livonia, Michigan.

To begin your treatment, I ask that you come in for an evaluation appointment. At this evaluation, I can determine if your jaw isn’t properly aligned. I will try to physically manipulate your jaw to see how your joints work together. I will ask you about your symptoms and check for tooth wear, as well. If you do have the condition, I will recommend an oral appliance to reposition your jaw to the proper alignment. This appliance will help to alleviate the stress on your jaw joints. With prescribed wear, this appliance will help you reclaim your life from your TMJ condition.

If you are ready to find relief from the pain you are experiencing, I encourage you to call my office at (734) 425-4400. My team and I are here to help you.

The Hidden Consequences of Sleep Apnea

Do you wake up several times during the night and have a hard time falling back into a deep sleep? Does this leave you feeling groggy and out of it during the day? Maybe you snore when you finally do fall asleep. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s possible you have sleep apnea.

I’m Dr. James Stewart, and I treat sleep apnea patients right here at my office in Livonia, Michigan. Sleep apnea is a medical sleep disorder that occurs when soft tissue in the throat or mouth block free airflow while you sleep. This causes you to take in too little oxygen to support normal breathing. If breathing stops for more than 10 seconds, your body will wake you to reinitiate normal breathing. This interrupts your sleep cycle and deprives you of the sleep needed to fully refuel and rejuvenate your body.

Believe it or not, your sleep apnea can affect more than just your nightly sleep. Sleep researchers at the University of Copenhagen and the Danish Institute for Health Services Research have examined the socio-economic consequences of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Patients with these disorders often visit the doctor more frequently than those who don’t have them. They also tend to have medical costs two to three times higher than healthier individuals. These visits to the doctor, as well as being groggy and unproductive at work, often cause sleep apnea patients to have to take time off of work, which can inevitably lead to the loss of a job, which in turn can lead to the patient being on welfare. As do other individuals who have health problems, sleep apnea patients can sometimes get extra welfare benefits to help cover the expense of medical care, which becomes a burden on the rest of taxpayers.

It is very possible for your sleep apnea condition to take over your life, but I am here to help you. I have years of experience treating patients with all variations of sleep apnea, and I want you to be next on my list. Take back your life and your health and schedule an appointment at my Livonia, Michigan office today.

You Only Get Better with Age

I’m Dr. James Stewart, and as a family dentist, I have the pleasure of treating patients of all ages. While caring for kids can be difficult sometimes, caring for elderly patients can present a whole other list of challenges.

My team and I understand these challenges that may arise as a person ages, and we strive to provide compassionate and proactive dental care that caters to the specific needs of our elderly patients.

I have had the pleasure of caring for more mature patients for quite some time, so I have come to learn what dental issues often accompany aging.

  • Inability to brush and floss properly: Arthritis and other medical conditions can make daily brushing and flossing a challenge. Brushing and flossing is the only way to keep your teeth and gums healthy between dentist visits, so when a patient cannot brush or floss their teeth, coming to the dentist is even more crucial. I recommend using a power toothbrush and other oral hygiene aids to make at-home dental hygiene practices more comfortable.
  • Dry mouth: Medications and various health problems can contribute to dry mouth. Sucking on hard candies is not the answer to this problem, for this can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Instead, I suggest frequent and thorough dental exams to help detect problems early. I can prescribe treatments and products that will help to restore moisture in the mouth. Also, drinking lots of water is a great place to start.
  • Dentures: The decision to get dentures can often be a difficult one. Luckily, dentures are an area of special interest for me. I will pay close attention to dentures at appointments to make sure they fit properly and are not causing any irritation. I will also check to make sure that the dentures are still in good shape, as most dentures need to be replaced every 7 to 10 years.

Growing older is nothing to be ashamed of. My team and I are proud to offer our patients top-notch care to make the transition as easy and healthy as possible. Please contact my office in Livonia, Michigan for more information.