Proper Oral Hygiene for Better Health

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Story Updated: Mar 28, 2013

(NewsUSA) - Most of us know that oral hygiene is critical to healthy teeth, white smiles and first impressions. But not nearly as many are familiar with the extreme consequences of what can happen if you don't take care of your mouth.

Most individuals have some inflammation of the gums -- i.e. gingivitis -- that goes unchecked. A study published in the National Library of Medicine reports that 10 to 15 percent of adults will develop severe periodontitis, which is an advanced form of gum disease that begins to deteriorate bone, too.

"Gingivitis has always been a major concern for the public," explains Dr. Harold Katz, a bona fide dentist to the stars, who founded the California Breath Clinic in Beverly Hills. Katz, also a bacteriologist, has a legacy of oral care research, including creating the high-quality line of TheraBreath products (www.therabreath.com).

"But more studies are emerging that support the idea that dental health can reflect your overall health, too. Gum disease can contribute to an increased risk for heart disease, and it can worsen diabetes. Bad oral hygiene may even be a risk factor for dementia," Katz added.

According to Katz -- as well as mounting medical research -- poor oral hygiene can lead to many physical problems. The Journal of the American Geriatric Society just released a study showing that elderly people who brushed their teeth less than once a day were up to 65 percent more likely to develop dementia, compared to seniors who brushed daily.

Dental check-ups can also point out other areas of concern among pregnant women. A professor at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology's annual meeting suggested that gum disease can affect healthy conception much like obesity. Plus, pregnant women have a 65 to 70 percent chance of experiencing pregnancy gingivitis, where gums develop exaggerated inflammation and plaque buildup due to fluctuating hormones.

Expectant mothers with gum disease even suffer a higher risk of a premature birth. But oral hygiene can work toward prevention, too. Reuters Health just released findings that indicate pregnant women with gingivitis who use mouthwash have more of a chance of carrying their baby to full term.

Another study recently presented to the American Heart Association revealed that patients who received routine teeth cleanings had a 24 percent lower risk of heart attack than those who didn't maintain regular dental care.

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Dr. Dzwonczyk – Medical Director

Geriatric Medicine

NYS Veterans' Home at Oxford

Welcome to New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford
The New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford is a 242 bed facility located in Chenango County about thirty miles north of Binghamton NY. Situated on a sixty acre site, the Home has spectacular scenic views of rural countryland. We provide state of the art medical, nursing, psychosocial, and rehabilitative services to our residents. We also have several academic affiliations including the Upstate Medical Center College of Medicine/Clinical Campus at Binghamton.

About Us
The New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford is a long term care skilled nursing facility. We are located in Oxford NY, and we serve the Central New York Region. We provide care for veterans and their dependents. Our current building has 242 beds in seven different units, including our rehabilitation unit and our dementia unit. Our facility is clean and pleasant, and our staff is friendly and professional. We welcome you to a guided tour upon request!

Dr. Dzwonczyk – Medical Director

Dr. Dzwonczyk Receives Certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Philip J. Dzwonczyk, MD has been certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Dzwonczyk joins more than nineteen hundred fellow physicians to have achieved such certification.

Hospice and palliative medicine is the medical discipline of the broad therapeutic model known as hospice and palliative care. The discipline and model of care are devoted to achieving the best possible quality of life for the patient and family throughout the course of a life-threatening illness through the relief of suffering and the control of symptoms. Hospice and palliative medicine helps the patient and family face the prospect of death assured that comfort will be a priority, values and decisions will be respected, spiritual and psychosocial needs will be addressed, practical support will be available and opportunities will exist for growth and development. Hospice in the United States is an organized program that provides palliative care for terminally ill patients and supportive services to patients, their families, and significant others.

Dr. Dzwonczyk is the medical director of the New York State Veterans Home in Oxford. He recently completed the Harvard Medical School Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice and has worked for many years as an internist and geriatrician practicing in central New York. Dr. Dzwonczyk received his undergraduate degree from the University of Scranton and his doctor of medicine degree from Jefferson Medical College. He trained in internal medicine and psychiatry at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and holds specialty certificates in Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine. He has achieved Certified Medical Director status from the American Medical Directors Association and is a Fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the American Geriatrics Society. Dr. Dzwonczyk has directed the medical care of patients at the New York State Veterans Home since 1993 and has been active as a medical educator. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Upstate Medical University and is active as a member of the faculty of the Geriatric Medicine Clerkship of the Clinical Campus in Binghamton. In addition to his interest in palliative care, Dr. Dzwonczyk has an interest in the evaluation and management of cognitive and mood disorders of the elderly.

The American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine was formed in 1995 to establish and measure the level of knowledge, attitudes and skills required for certification of physicians practicing hospice and palliative medicine. Eligibility requirements for certification are significant. In order to be eligible to sit for the certifying examination, applicants must have received prior major specialty certification, practiced at least two years following residency, worked as a member of an interdisciplinary team for at least two years and have directly participated in the active care of at least fifty terminally ill patients in the preceding three years. Alternatively, applicants must have completed specialty fellowship training in palliative medicine. The fellowship training program must be at least one year in length and must meet the established voluntary standards for such a program.

ABHPM conducts its Certification Examination in Hospice and Palliative Medicine annually at multiple sites through the United States. Currently, 1908 physicians have been certified by virtue of meeting certification requirements, including successful completion of this examination. A listing of currently certified physicians may be viewed on the Boards website at www.ABHPM.org.

Information on the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine may be obtained from the website at www.ABHPM.org or by call (301) 439-8001.

Welcome to New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford