Dental decay happens to just about everyone eventually. It’s just a part of getting older, with a whopping 91 percent of adults between ages 20 and 64 experiencing some sort of tooth breakdown, from tooth decay to cavities.
The scary part is that studies have shown up to 27 percent of those people could have untreated tooth decay. Not treating tooth decay — and avoiding dental exams — only leads to more pain and discomfort and an even further decline in mouth health.
So, here are some basics for why you should get dental exams:
Prevent or detect mouth diseases
Cavities and gum disease are preventable to a certain extent. Getting dental exams twice per year is one of the best ways to ensure that your daily oral hygiene habits are healthy. If your dentist notices some signs of cavities or gum disease, he/she can give you recommendations for how to change your habits and improve your mouth health.
Check your overall health
Research shows that there’s a link between your mouth health and your overall health. For example, gum problems — bleeding, sensitivity — have been found to be linked to heart disease, bacterial pneumonia or stroke.
Clean your teeth really well — beyond what a toothbrush and floss can do
When you brush your teeth at home, you’re removing plaque, which is great! When you get your teeth cleaned during a dental exam, however, they’re removing the tartar from just above and below your gum lines and scrubbing away stains.
If you have a healthy mouth, then once a year is probably fine. If you use tobacco, currently have gum disease or are pregnant, you may need to go more often than twice per year. And hey, your frequency could change depending on the state of your health. Ask your dentist what he or she recommends.
Here are some signs that you should see a dentist as soon as possible. If one or more of these apply to you, make a dental exam appointment today.
How to update your Heads Up Health profile:
Navigate to the “Profile” section and scroll to the tile for “Routine Screenings.” Then add the date of your last dental exam.
Important: Be sure to also upload a copy of your dental exam into the “File” section. If you have a disease that could be related to or impact your mouth health, you’ll want to share your dental records with your primary care physician or specialist.
The personal challenge feature lets you structure a block of time within the Heads Up Health software to track changes in your body over the course of a specific health experiment. Examples of how this feature can be used include:
Giving yourself a challenge to quit a certain behavior or habit (e.g. smoking, consuming alcohol, consuming sugar etc.) and observing any changes in your health (improved sleep, lower blood pressure etc.)
Tracking changes in your body (e.g. weight, body fat or BMI) while testing a new diet (Paleo, Atkins, Vegan, Ketogenic etc.)
Tracking changes over the course of a vacation
Tracking the effects of a new medication or supplement
Setting up your own custom experiments and using Heads Up Health to track changes
Step 1: Create the challenge
Use the “Add Data” button and select “Personal Challenge.” In the example below, I’ve setup a custom challenge to track changes while I test aketogenic diet:
Figure 1: Create the challenge
The challenge will show up as a card on the dashboard (figure 2) and will count down the time remaining in the challenge.
Figure 2: Showing the challenge on your dashboard
Step 2: Track changes using the Analyzer
As you enter data over the course of the experiment, you can use the Analyzer to zero in on specific areas of investigation. In figure 3 below, I’ve set the date picker to show the 30 days prior (9/10/2015 – 10/10/2015) to the ketogenic diet experiment and my average fasting blood sugar was 91.5 mg/dL.
Figure 3: Changes in fasting glucose during ketogenic experiment
I then set the date picker to show when the ketogenic experiment started (10/10/15) and also show fasting glucose which has now decreased from 91.5 mg/dL to 80.3 mg/dL, just within the first week of the experiment (figure 4). The “Personal Challenge” displays a shaded area on the graph showing the duration of the challenge.
Figure 4: How the ketogenic experiment has impacted other health indicators
I can easily look at other health metrics that have changed as well such as weight, body fat, BMI or even blood chemistry (cholesterol levels, glucose, inflammation etc.). Sharing this information with your health care practitioner of choice can be very helpful when working on specific health goals.
The same techniques can be used regardless of the challenge or experiment. It could be as simple as tracking weight gain/loss over the course of a vacation or as advanced as tracking several variables as part of a new lifestyle change.
Currently it requires some manual work, changing date ranges and data sources to extract the information you want out of the Analyzer. However, in the near future we’ll be able to automaticallygenerate a report to tell you exactly what changed over the course of the experiment.
At Heads Up Health, we’re always finding new ways for you to transform your health.
Here’s the latest Heads Up Health feature:
Encrypted Document Sharing – At Heads Up Health we want to make it as easy as possible for you to securely share your important health records across your entire care team. Unfortunately sending documents via e-mail is not a secure solution. In fact, many doctors and health professionals will not accept medical documents via e-mail for security reasons.
To help work around this challenge, we’ve just released a new feature that will let you use the simplicity of e-mail while maintaining a secure and encrypted channel for sharing documents.
This is great if you need to securely share your medical files with a new health care provider or across your care team. It’s also useful if you’re managing health records as a caregiver or managing records for a child, partner or parent. In just a few clicks you can securely send a record, either through email or through a link.
Watch this short video to see how it works:
Here are the step-by-step instructions for how to use the Encrypted Document Sharing feature: