Do you have an unstable chewing system?

Courtesy of Dr. Ken Schweifler
Dr. Ken Schweifler uses a dental articulator, also called a jaw simulator, to help assess the chewing system of one of his patients. According to Schweifler, the symptoms of an unstable chewing system can include the joints clicking and popping, as well as tension headaches and neck aches.

People lose their teeth to three primary processes: periodontal disease (gum and bone deterioration), tooth decay (or cavities) and unstable chewing systems.

Gum disease and dental decay are primarily caused by the presence of bacterial plaque. So plaque control is at the center of preventing these diseases. There is some risk beyond your control for the first two diseases because some people have softer, more penetrable enamel. Some people can also have a stronger immune response to the bacteria, and that reaction causes periodontal breakdown.

Foothill Boot Camp celebrates 20th year of early-morning workouts

Courtesy of Steve Smith
Participants in the Foothill Boot Camp work out pool-side on the Foothill College campus. Class members, who range in age from 40 to 70, work out five days a week at 6 a.m.

Waking up before dawn to attend a rigorous exercise class five days a week isn’t for everyone, but it certainly suits members of the Foothill Boot Camp.

For the handful of diehards from Los Altos who have participated in the class for more than a decade, it’s a habit. They actually prefer the 6 a.m. start time.

Pelvic floor dysfunction: Problems may be treated with exercises

Courtesy of PhysioFit
There is hope for men and women who suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction, according to physical therapist Kim Gladfelter. While many people believe there is no cure, and medical professionals may dismiss their concerns, Gladfelter emphasized that pelvic floor problems can be treated with pelvic girdle stabilization, internal manual therapy, biofeedback and/or exercise.

Pelvic floor health is an important topic that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserves.

We hear about core strength, back problems, spine health, neck pain and foot care, yet the pelvic floor goes ignored. Like so many other things, it’s not something that people think about until there is a problem – and then it’s the only thing they think about.

Tips for battling allergy season

Achoo! It’s the all-too-familiar sound that arrives at spring’s first bloom. With it comes the dreaded stuffy and runny nose and itchy eyes – allergy season has sprung.

“Things seem to really crescendo in March, April, May, and that’s the worst time of year for most people who live in Northern California,” said Dr. Steven Rubinstein, chairman of the allergy department at Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Mountain View location.

Ceiling breakers: Female surgeons at ECH own their profession against the odds

When Dr. Sari Levine began working at El Camino Hospital in 1991, something stood out to her about the operating room changing areas: The men’s side was labeled “Doctors,” while the women’s side was dubbed “Nurses.”

“I was raised by parents to be independent and outspoken,” said Levine, a urological surgeon. “Within about two weeks, I met the CEO of the hospital and said, ‘You know, it’s sort of interesting that we’re already in 1991 and I’m supposed to change in the nurses lounge. Why doesn’t it just say ‘Men’ and ‘Women’?”’

Is couples counseling possible if only one partner participates?

Romantic relationships nearly always begin well but often end badly. For example, the divorce rate in the U.S. is roughly 40 percent. Even the best of relationships can have serious rough patches.

There comes a point when one if not both partners in a troubled relationship begin to think they may need help. They start having thoughts like, “This is just not working.” “She is always complaining.” “He doesn’t want to spend time with me.” “I don’t know how to fix this.”

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