Archive for the ‘Medical Info’ Category

5 Amazingly Healthy Fast Foods

Monday, September 9th, 2013

They do exist!  Check out these fast food meals that take the guilt out of your lunch break.

In an ideal world, you would prep your nutritionally balanced lunch every day before work, but we are all busy busy people.  Time-strapped Americans eat out an average of 5 times a week.  Fast food does not have to be your nutritional downfall.  These 5 on-the-go options get the green light from doctors and nutritionist when it comes to “good for you” fast food.

1)  STARBUCKS:  the Protein Bistro Box contains a hard-boiled egg, cheese, bread, peanut butter, an apple, and grapes for only 380 calories.

2) McDONALD’S:  the Premium Southwest Salad (without chicken) is topped with tortilla strips, beans, cheese, and a light southwest dressing with lime.  This McSalad has only 290 calories.

3) CHIPOTLE2 Soft Corn Tortilla Tacos.  The best fillers are steak, lettuce, fajita vegetables, and green tomatillo salsa for only 292 calories.

4) 7-ELEVENCoconut Water and Almonds pair carbohydrates and protein for a sustained energy and 290 calories.

5) PANERA BREAD:  the Power Chicken Hummus Bowl is a delicious bowl of hummus topped with strips of quality, antibiotic-free chicken.  This lunch has 330 calories.

So the next time you need to grab a fast food lunch but are still trying to be good to you body, think about these 5 items for low calories and long lasting energy.



Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico, VA  23233



CSI & Dentistry

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Have you ever watched one of the popular detective shows like CSI or Criminal Minds?  If you have, you have probably seen an episode where Dental Records were used to identify a body.  Forensic Dentistry has been around for a long time, but it has just been in the last 50 years that it has become a dental / medical specialty.  From the view of a private dental practice, like the office of Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates, record keeping is one of the most important parts of Forensic Dentistry.  At our office, every new patient is given an hour and a half first appointment (if possible with the patient’s schedule).  This extra time is used to collect data and develop a patient base line chart.  This chart includes a Full Mouth Series (FMX) of x-rays or a panorex.  Which one is taken is usually decided on by the Doctor or Hygienist based on the patient’s needs at that time.  Both films will show all of the patient’s teeth and bone levels, but the panorex shows more of the bone relationships with the jaw bone / sinus / and nasal passage.  These films are usually taken every 3-5 years to note changes in bone and dentition.  Between these times, Bite-wing x-rays will aid in indicating any changes which take place in the mouth, such as new restorations.

Also part of the first visit is the Existing Oral Conditions.  When charting or drawing the existing restoration, we are making note of what the patient already has in their mouth on that specific date.  Our charting acts as a marker of what the patient’s teeth physically look like at that time.  A complete charting is redone every 3-5 years, but in between those markings, a list of new restorations is also kept to indicate any work done post the first visit.  Dates, the materials used, the tooth numbers, and sides of the restoration are indicated on the Treatment List.  Along with Existing restorations, we also indicated missing teeth, impacted teeth, root exposure, and pocket depths/defects that the patient may have.  All of these things are specific for that individual and, therefore, can help identify a person much like a fingerprint.

Records should also include thing in or around the mouth such as scars, tattoos, and lesions noted during a comprehensive extra-oral examine.  This is part of what is called the Head And Neck Exam.  Small moles, freckles, and unusual markings may be measured and noted in your chart along with the color and shape of the lesion.  Other oddities such as root morphology and evidence of previous oral surgeries are also noted.  All of this creates a specific record and image of the patient’s oral condition in case needed by a Forensic Team.

When are records needed for identification?  It is unfortunate that some patients do not pass away at home surrounded by their family.  Some people die in fires, car accidents, or are not found for a long time and are hard to identify do to decomposition of the body.  Sometimes it is foul play, but other times it is just an unfortunate circumstance.  At this time, if the police and the Medical Examiner believe they know who the John Doe is, they can call for their dental records.  Like a finger print, the exact arrangement of teeth / fillings / and other oral markings can identify a body, and give the police a name to work with.  Knowing who the deceased is gives the family peace of mind to move forward with arrangements for the body.

I have been in practice 24 years as of September 2013, and in that time, we have only been involved with two (2) forensic identification cases.  Both of these men were long time patients of our practice, and although we were very sad that they passed, we were proud to be part of the process which identified them and brought closure to their family.   We are very dilagent about our record keeping.  Please know that this is why we need to take the time to keep YOUR records so up to date and accurate.


Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico, VA  23233



Everyone Needs Their Spit !

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Your saliva is one of the most important fluids in your body.  You many not know this, but people who suffer from Xerostomia (dry mouth) understand its importance.  Dry mouth is when the saliva glands reduce or stop in the production of spit.  This can occur for several reasons but the most common reason a person experiences dry mouth is due to a side-effect of medications they are taking.  Xerostomia can also occur as one gets older and is more prevalent in elderly patients.  Without a good saliva flow, these patients suffer from burning tongue, higher decay rates, and the aggravation of their lips and cheeks keep sticking to their teeth!  Your saliva protects you from a variety of issue such as these because it acts as a natural lubricant.

Saliva also protects the teeth by helping keep your decay rate low.   Through an antimicrobial functions, spit mechanically clears bacteria from the mouth.  This is why 4 out of 5 dentist recommend sugar free gum to their patients after meals.  By chewing sugar free gum, you help to remove small food particles from the surface of the tooth and stimulate high salivary flow to wash away excessive bacterial growth.

Saliva is the primary defense system against the bacteria and acids associated with dental caries.  Saliva provides the balance between demineralization and remineralization of the enamel surface. Your saliva is a “base” on the pH scale.  When bacteria sits on the enamel and absorbs simple sugars, it creates an acidic atmosphere which causes tooth decay.  Saliva helps to buffer these acids, reducing the pH levels in the mouth and thus reducing decay.   The most important functions of saliva are flushing and neutralizing.  The higher the salivary flow rate, the better the bacterial and acid clearance from the mouth.  Conversely, those with reduced saliva often have a high cavity rate.  This is especially true among the elderly with Xerostomia.  Hormones, changes in the body and general health also influence the production of saliva.

In summary, saliva helps us by:

  • Maintaining the pH level in the mouth as base
  • Keeping an active flow rate to wash the mouth.
  • Creates a layer on the tooth which interferes with the adherence of bacteria.
  • Lubricates Teeth and inter-oral tissue
  • Betters digestion


Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico,  VA   23233



How Are You Sleeping?

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

How are you sleeping at Night?  Do you wake up drained as if you have had no rest at all?  Do others complain about your snoring or “snorting” for air during the night?  If so, you may be one of the many people who suffer from Sleep Apnea.  Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a periodic disruption in breathing while asleep.  This disruption is breathing is due to the relaxation of musculature in the neck and throat region which collapses, cutting off the airway.  This disruption in breathing causes oxygen shortages to all parts of the body.  The cumulative lack of adequate oxygen as we get older causes blood vessels to narrow.  Eventually, the narrowing blood vessels in the brain can obstruct blood flow resulting in a Stroke.

A National Institute of Health study in April of 2010 concluded that Sleep Apnea increases the risk of stroke in middle-aged and older men and women.   The study showed no gender preference, but it found that the increased risk of stroke in men appears starts with mild sleep apnea and rises significantly with severity of the disease.  Notable in this report was that the increased risk was independent of other stroke risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, race, smoking, and Type II diabetes.   Most recent research also links Sleep Apnea to silent or mini-strokes in which there is death of some brain tissue without apparent symptoms.  Even those men and women with very mild sleep apnea were linked to having silent stokes.  The National Stroke Association reports that nearly two of every three stroke survivors have some type of sleep-disordered breathing, particularly Sleep Apnea.  Sleep Apnea is a growing epidemic in our country and it is public awareness that is our greatest defense.

While all of the research supports the debilitating nature of sleep apnea on brain health, the key point is the pressing need for qualified medical professionals to increase their efforts in screening and referring individuals to sleep labs for testing.  It is estimated that only 10% of individuals with Obstructive Sleep Apnea have actually been diagnosed, and only one of every four of those are being successfully treated.  Sleep professionals must collaborate and be certain that diagnosed individuals know their treatment options and follow through with the option that they can adhere to in order to manage their disease.  Current treatment options are CPAP (air pressure face mask while sleeping), oral sleep appliances worn over the teeth that reposition the jaw, or airway surgeries.  All of these treatment options are to enable adequate nighttime breathing.

At our office, both Dr. Freeman and Dr. Scott can treat patients for snoring and/or sleep apnea.  Dr. Freeman, himself, suffers from Sleep Apnea and uses a CPAP mask at home and an oral appliance when traveling.   After discussing the problem with the the patient and collecting any data available from a sleep study, we can go over the different appliances possible for helping the patient’s condition.  After deciding on the proper appliance, impressions are taken and sent to a special lab to fabricate the Sleep Apnea device.    It is important to remember that a CPAP mask and/or an intra-oral appliance does not cure sleep apnea.  It simply helps to modify the patient’s breathing during the night to lessen the negative effects Obstructive Sleep Apnea has on the body.  By using either air pressure with a CPAP or repositioning the jaw musculature with an oral appliance, air flows more freely to the lungs allowing a steady flow of oxygen to the vital organs of the body helping to lessen the event of a stroke in our patients.

For more information on Sleep Apnea and Snoring appliances see the occlusal guard section of our web page   


Home Remedies For The Cold Season

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

This time of year, Doctor’s offices are filled with cold and flu patients.  Here at the offices of Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates, we get calls daily from patients who need to change appointments due to illness.  As the temperatures bounce from winter cold to spring time warmth, our immune systems tend to weaken and can not handle the start of cold and flu season adequately.  To ward off sickness, many people use home remedies.  Though home remedies are generally inexpensive and safe when used appropriately, it is important to be careful.  Something as simple as taking the wrong dosage of a certain vitamin can lead to harmful interactions.  It is the best course of action to have a discussion with your doctor to ensure that your efforts will benefit and not hurt your health.

That being said, here are a few of the more popular home remedies that really seem to help!

shower with steamSTEAM  –  A steam shower can be effective in calming coughs.  The moist heat from the shower can provide relief to muscles strained from coughing.  The steam provides warm moisture to the respiratory system, helping to break up mucous and remove it from your system.





HOT SOUP  –  A warm bowl of soup, particularly chicken noodle or onion soup, can help with decongestion, providing moisture to the chest and sinuses while the warmth of the soup sooths the throat.  Soup provides a tasty means of staying hydrated, and ingredients like onion and garlic have antiseptic qualities, potentially helping the body repair itself faster.  At the same time, the sodium found in carrots and celery can help the body metabolize and absorb nutrients.




HOT TEA  –  Drinking hot green tea can also provide some similar benefits as soup.  The heat of the tea soothes the throat, and it is full of antioxidants which helps to strengthen the immune system.






ORANGE JUICE AND VITAMIN C  –  Orange juice is known for boosting the immune system.  A daily dose of Vitamin C as a preventive measure is important because the body does not naturally produce Vitamin C.  A 1000 milligrams dose of vitamin C  is recommended daily as a good preventive measure.





SALINE RINSES  –  Saline rinses are an effective way to reduce congestion symptoms.  Neti pots and saline mists physically remove debris and help you breathe better.  The body’s natural defense  is to flush it out any impurities.  This is why it creates mucus.  Rinsing out mucus and debris can help alleviate allergy and cold symptoms.





HONEY  –  Ingesting local honey every day to reduce allergies is a great help as long as you are not diabetic!  As bees gather nectar from plants to make honey, they are creating a homeopathic remedy for allergies.  This  provides a small doses of the allergen to the patient and builds up their resistance.  Mixing honey into hot tea, however, actually breaks down the enzymes.  It is recommended to eat honey directly from the spoon.



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