Fun facts about teeth

The enamel on the surface of the tooth is the hardest part of the entire body!  It is even harder than our bones.

No two humans have the exact same set of teeth.  The teeth are as unique as a fingerprint.

The average person spends 38 days brushing their teeth over their lifetime.

If you are right handed, you are more likely to chew food on your right side.  If you’re left handed, you are more likely to chew food on the left side.

The average woman smiles 62 times a day.  The average man smiles 8 times a day.

The first toothbrushes were made from twigs!

Dental plaque, or tartar, forms from bacteria that grow along the teeth when a person doesn’t brush.  Over time it builds up and causes tooth decay.

Severe dental plaque:



Can your skin tell you if you have a disease?

Can your skin tell you if you have a disease?

There are some conditions that show up as a skin problem. Any skin change should always be checked by your doctor.

A pink rash across the face that is butterfly shaped can be a sign of lupus:



White patches on the skin, called vitiligo, may occur for no reason, but are also linked to diabetes, anemia, hepatitis, and thyroid disease:



If you have high cholesterol or lipids (fats) in your blood, it can cause yellow deposits on the eyelids, called xanthelasma:



Chronic very dry skin can be a sign of thyroid disease, as can thickening of the skin over the shins:



Dark patches of skin near your underarms can be a sign of diabetes:



Yellow skin and itching can be a sign of liver disease:



How many people are waiting for a body organ right now?

Right now, there are 116,000 men, women, and children waiting on the national transplant list for an organ.

There are over 33,000 organ transplants performed a year.

Every day 20 people die waiting for organ transplants.

In the United States, 95% of adults support organ donation, but only 54% sign up to be donors.

The organs most people are waiting for include kidney (82%), liver (12%), heart (3%), and lung (1.2%).   Other types of organ donations include pancreas, intestines, and combination transplants.

There is new technology being developed to help patients with organ failure survive.  There are new machines that help patients stay alive until they can get an organ.  There are scientists doing research with stem cells that may help repair damaged organs in the future.  There is even research on transplanting organs from other animals such as pigs into humans (this is already done with heart valves from pigs).

You can sign up to be an organ donor at the DMV.  It is also helpful to be sure your family knows that you would want your organs donated.


What do the two numbers on a blood pressure reading mean?

We have all heard about high blood pressure, also called hypertension. High blood pressure usually causes no symptoms, and can lead to heart disease, stroke, and kidney problems.  A normal blood pressure is 130/80.  But what do the two blood pressure numbers mean?

The top number is the “systolic” blood pressure reading. When the heart beats, it squeezes and pushes blood through the arteries to the body. This force creates pressure on the blood vessels, and that pressure is what the systolic blood pressure measures.  A normal systolic pressure should not be higher than 130.

The bottom number is called the “diastolic” reading, and is the measurement of pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats. This is the time when the heart refills with blood. A normal diastolic number should not be higher than 80.

Most blood pressure monitors also show a third reading, which is a measurement of the heart rate, or pulse.

The average healthy person should get their blood pressure checked every two years.  If a patient has borderline or elevated blood pressure readings, they should get their blood pressure checked at least once a year.

blood pressure

Let us eat lettuce

Most of us were brought up eating iceberg lettuce salads.  But how healthy is iceberg lettuce?  While all lettuce is low calorie, iceberg lettuce actually has almost no nutritional value.  Here are the healthiest types of lettuce to eat by rank:


1.  Kale has vitamins A, C, and K, folate, protein and fiber. Kale has 33 calories per cup.


2.  Spinach leaves have Vitamins B, C, K, potassium, iron, calcium, and folic acid. Spinach has 7 calories per cup.


3.  Romaine lettuce has 80%of the vitamin A needed by the body in a day, and has vitamin K, C, folate, manganese, and fiber. Romaine has 8 calories per cup.


4.  Butter lettuce has vitamins A,  C, D, E, K, B, folate, iron, and riboflavin. Butter lettuce has 7 calories per cup.


5.  Chard lettuce has vitamins A, C, E, and contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Chard has 7 calories per cup.


6.  Endive has vitamins C, E, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron. Endive has 7 calories per cup.


7.  Leaf lettuce contains vitamins A, C, B, and has iron, calcium, and magnesium. Leaf lettuce has 8 calories per cup.


8.  Watercress contains vitamins A, C, B, D, and contains calcium, iron, and magnesium.  Watercress has 5 calories per cup.


9.  Radicchio lettuce contains vitamin K, copper, and folate. Radicchio has 9 calories per cup.


10.  Iceberg lettuce contains contains a very small amount of vitamin A, C, and iron. It has trace amounts of potassium, folate, vitamin K, magnesium, and phosphorus.  Iceberg has 10 calories per cup.



Is there a perfect food?

Is there a single food that you can live on without any problems?  Unfortunately the answer is no.  There is no single food (other than breast milk for infants) that can sustain all of our nutritional needs.

However, the potato actually comes closest to being a perfect food!   Potatoes have an unusual amount of protein and wide variety of nutrients.  However if potatoes were the only thing eaten, a human would still have nutritional deficiencies.

Potatoes have protein, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, and actually have 70% of the amount of Vitamin C you need per day!

Recently, an Australian man ate only potatoes for one year.  He included sweet potatoes to get more vitamins A and E, iron, and calcium.  He did reasonably well for one year and lost weight.  However researchers note that this diet would not prove enough B vitamins and zinc.


Can you get an MRI scan if you have a tattoo?


Tattoos can be a safety risk that can hinder an MRI scan depending on the ingredients in the tattoo ink, and can result in burns if an MRI is obtained.

An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a special x-ray that is used to locate tumors or other abnormalities within the body.  The MRI machine uses radio frequency waves to make protons in the body’s cells react.

There are currently no  FDA-approved tattoo inks.  Some colors may be more dangerous than others for causing harm by an MRI.  Red tattoo ink for example is more magnetic and can result in safety issues if an MRI is obtained.  The red dye can contain iron which can conduct electricity and can result in burns if an MRI is obtained.
In addition, if a tattoo is in the shape of a loop, it can act like an antenna, conducting heat and resulting in a burn.

Permanent makeup, which is tattooing around the eyes, is of particular concern and can result in burns, as can permanent eyebrow and lip liner tattoo.

If your doctor is planning on ordering an MRI, be sure to inform the technician if you have a tattoo or permanent makeup.


MRI burn from a tattoo:

MRI burn.jpeg


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