Alcohol Use & Periodontal Disease

According to Dental Health and Alcohol Use, alcohol consumption is associated with the irritation of gums, tongue and oral tissues. Periodontitis is a common, chronic disease affecting 50 percent of U.S. adults older than 30. It is a bacterial infection that causes the destruction of the supporting structures of the teeth. If it is not treated, it will lead to tooth loss. There have been only a few prospective studies on alcohol use and periodontitis. Waranuch Pitiphat found men who drank regularly were at an 18 to 27 percent increased risk of periodontal disease. The risk appears to be dose related.
According to Gyongyi Szabo, alcohol impairs the body’s primary immunologic defense mechanisms to fight infection. Consequently, bacterial overgrowth and increased penetration into gingival tissues can occur. According to Mine Tezal, consumption of 10 or more drinks per week results in higher periodontitis risk compared to those who consume fewer than 10 drinks per week. According to Sara G. Grossi, increasing alcohol consumption from five units to 20 units a week increases the risk of periodontal disease from 10 percent to 40 percent. Alcohol causes dehydration of the mouth, so bacteria are not washed away by saliva, and plaque formation occurs faster.
Periodontal disease is caused by three or more presumed disease-causing periodontal pathogens. The disease is categorized as mild, moderate or severe. It damages the bone and connective tissue that supports the teeth. When pockets around the tooth become 4mm deep on probing, the tooth is at risk for infection. When pockets are 6mm to 7mm or more and there is attachment loss, the tooth is at risk for falling out. The greater the number of teeth lost, the higher the extent of severe periodontal disease. Steve Offenbacher found people with gingivitis had low levels of prostaglandin E2 in gingival crevicular fluid (CF-PGE2), while people with periodontitis had higher CF-PGE2 levels. PGE2, an inflammatory biomarker, can differentiate between these two conditions. Gingivitis is a precursor to periodontitis.
Many factors influence the progression of periodontitis, including individual characteristics, social and behavioral factors, genetics, tooth factors and bacterial composition of the biofilm around the tooth. Children of parents who have periodontitis have been found to be 12 times more likely to have the bacteria that cause plaque and periodontal disease. Social and behavioral factors include cigarette smoking, lower socioeconomic status, poorer nutrition, psychological factors and excessive alcohol consumption.
Practice good home health care every day. Brush under the gums with an electric toothbrush, floss, stimulate the gums with a rubber-tipped stimulator, and gargle with Listerine antiseptic mouthwash. Limit alcohol consumption (five units per week) to decrease periodontal risk. Limit sugar in your diet to prevent bacterial overgrowth. Drink seven glasses of water per day to increase saliva to help clear bacteria and slow plaque production.
Scaling and root planning is the gold standard for plaque removal. Arestin (minocycline powder, 1mg) applied directly to periodontal pockets has been approved by the FDA as an addition to scaling and root-planing procedures for reduction of pocket depth in patients with adult periodontitis. Ultimately, surgery may be required.

Hand Speed Exercises for Martial Arts

Developing fast hands is an essential part of most martial arts. Martial artists need to be able to quickly block oncoming attacks and counter with their own defensive strikes. Fast hand techniques can help martial artists win at tournaments. More importantly, fast hands can also save their lives on the streets. There are several hand-speed exercises that a martial artist can practice. These exercises can make a martial artist a more skilled and well-rounded fighter.
The key to developing hand speed for martial arts is to frequently practice punching fast. An exercise for accomplishing this is the back fist counting drill. A back fist is a quick strike that snaps out at a target and hits with the back of the fist or knuckles. To perform the counting drill, time yourself for 30 seconds and see how many back fists that you can do in the allotted time. You can repeatedly hit a punching bag or just hit into the air when practicing this exercise. Achieving more than 150 hits in the 30 seconds is considered exceptionally fast. Try to improve your score with each practice session. A jab can also be used when performing this hand-speed exercise.
Plyometric push-ups are good for building explosive speed and power in hand techniques for the martial arts. To practice this exercise, you begin in the down position of a push-up. Powerfully push up with your hands and try to thrust your body into the air. Your hands should leave the floor, then return to the floor for the next repetition. To make your hands work faster during this exercise, try clapping them together while you are in the air.
Speed bags are often associated with boxers, but they can also work wonders for martial artists. A speed bag is a small, air-filled punching bag that is connected to the ceiling. These bags bounce around quickly when they are hit. It takes a boxer or martial artist with some fast hands to keep up with the bag. You should start off slow when beginning to exercise with the speed bag. Once you are able to develop a rhythm with your punches, then you can hit the bag faster and harder. The speed bag is also good for exercising combinations of hand techniques.
Nunchaku, commonly known as nunchuks, is a traditional martial arts weapon. The nunchaku is basically two short sticks connected by a chain or rope. This weapon can do a lot of damage to an assailant, but it is also useful for building hand speed. Martial artists who are well-trained at the nunchaku can whip the weapon around their bodies at high speeds. Beginners should start slowly with the nunchaku and learn basic routines. Eventually you can tremendously increase hand speed and coordination by working with the nunchaku. Accidentally hitting yourself in the elbows or head a few times may encourage you to get better with the nunchaku.
A fun way to build up speed in your hands is to have a friend or fellow martial artist hold a coin in the palm of his hand. Try to grab the coin out of his hand before he has a chance to close his hand. It may take a lot of practice to be successful, but you will know that your speed exercises are paying off when you snatch the coin from his hand. This was a favorite speed drill of one of the fastest martial artists in history, the late Bruce Lee.

Pushing Sled Exercises

Pushing sled exercises are designed to strengthen your core muscles as well as improve your explosiveness and power on an athletic field. While weighted sleds are often used by football players and other athletes who engage in contact sports, using weighted sleds can help you improve your speed and quickness in finesse sports, such as sprinting and pole vaulting.
This pushing sled exercise is designed to strengthen your shoulder muscles as well as your quadriceps and hamstrings. Stand directly behind a weighted sled with both of your hands on the handlebars. Push forward on the sled with your back straight and your knees driving up and down to generate speed. Push the weighted sled in a consistent marching motion for 20 yards before resting. Repeat the exercise four times before completing your workout.
This pushing sled exercise is designed to increase your speed by gradually reducing weight on the sled. Start by pushing a 105-lb. weighted sled on a 50- to 60-yard straightaway. After returning to your original position, strip away a 35-pound plate and repeat the exercise. Returning to your position and strip another plate away. Continue to strip plates until you are left with just the sled. Push the sled as fast as you can before completing the exercise.
This pushing sled exercise will strengthen your chest muscles as well as your arms. Attach ropes to each side of the power sled. Rotate your body so the power sled is behind you and a rope is in each arm. Hold the ropes at shoulder height and begin to run forward. As you run forward, extend your arms out and away from your body. Continue to push your arms until they are fully extended. Bend them back and repeat as you are running.
This sled exercise is designed to strengthen your muscles while pushing and pulling your sled. Start by pushing the sled for 50 yards and resting for several seconds. From here, pull the sled back 50 yards to your original position. As you improve, add weight plates to the sled to make the exercise more difficult. Perform five repetitions in each direction before completing this push-and-pull exercise. This exercise will strengthen your core muscles as well as your shoulders.

How to Get in Shape for Football

The living isn¡¯t easy in summertime for football players — but it¡¯s fun in its own way. That¡¯s because the offseason is when you get in shape for the gridiron. This time away from the rigors and fatigue of competition is when you build strength and hone your conditioning, working to be at your peak for the first game. It¡¯s hard work, but it¡¯s worth it when you are in your stance, trying to be faster, stronger, bigger and better than your opponents.
You can work in the weight room and on the field to get strong. ¡°In high school, it¡¯s a lot of squats and the sled push,¡± said Brandon Franklin, a certified personal trainer at the Mac Harbor East in Baltimore, Maryland, as well as a former high school football wide receiver. In addition, you do barbell deadlifts, power cleans and the Olympic lifts: the snatch, and the clean and jerk. You won¡¯t be doing isolations, such as the biceps curl — your focus is on whole-body work. A buddy can come in handy for tough exercises like the fireman¡¯s carry — where you carry a teammate down the field on your back. The farmer¡¯s walk is similarly no-frills — you carry significantly heavy dumbbells or plates in each hand, and trundle for a certain distance down the field.
It¡¯s no secret that the 40-yard dash is the basic distance for sprinting in football, hence its role at the NFL combine to screen the fastest players. You can work on your speed, and your speed endurance, by mixing up your speed training. Do 10 reps of 40-yard-dashes, as well as various reps of 100s and 200s, Franklin recommends. Also pair with a teammate to run routes, taking turns as both passer and receiver. This will give you a double carryover into games of both speed and skills if you are at a skills position.
Every position is a bit different. You want to make footwork on agility ladders a priority if you are a running back or wide receiver, Franklin notes. Alternatively, you can do five-cone drills in the summer, advises ¡°Complete Conditioning for Football.¡± Set the cones in a square with 10 yards on each side, and a final cone in the middle. Run in varied patterns, including a star, crisscross and little squares, running forward, laterally and backpedaling. If you are a lineman or a kicker, agility work is less important, Franklin states. Linemen need to perform specific drills that focus on blocking and hand movement instead.
You¡¯ll be busy three days a week in the weight room if you follow the recommendations of ¡°Complete Conditioning for Football¡± for offseason conditioning. Try for Monday, Wednesday and Friday for total-body strength workouts. Your running workout and agility training can be Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Your coach may test your strength progress on Fridays compared to benchmarks for your position.

How Big Is an Olympic Soccer Field?

The international association of soccer, FIFA, lays out the required soccer field dimensions for all international matches, including the World Cup, the European Championships, the Olympics and any qualifying games. For FIFA to recognize any international match, it must be played on a field the dimensions of which fall into the range laid out in FIFA’s Laws of the Game handbook.
The touchline of an Olympic soccer field must be 100 meters — 110 yards — to 110 meters — 120 yards — long and the goal line must be 64 meters, about 70 yards, to 75 meters, about 80 yards, wide. These dimensions apply to both men and women’s games. Wembley Stadium, where the men’s and women’s soccer finals were held during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, is 105 meters by 68 meters.

What Is the Difference Between a Pitch and a Chip Shot?

Learning how to execute in the short game is one of the keys to improving as a golfer. The short game consists of your approach shots to the green, plus your putting. Chipping and pitching make up a big part of the short game, and you’ll shoot better scores when you execute these shots properly.
A pitch shot is hit high into the air. A well-struck pitch shot will land within 20 feet of the pin and then stop or roll backwards, since the grooves on a wedge put backspin on the ball. Pitch shots can be executed anywhere from just off the green to a distance of 120 yards. The pitch shot should be hit over water hazards or bunkers. The chip shot, on the other hand, is a low, bouncing shot that is appropriate from 40 yards in. The chip shot is effective when there is no trouble on the way to the green, and the hole has an uphill profile that will help the ball come to a stop.
The pitch shot is often used as a second shot on a short par 4 or the third shot on a par 5. Often, there will be a bunker fronting the green on these holes, and a pitch shot will fly over the bunker, yet land softly on the green. A chip shot can be used in many situations. You may not want to take a chance on flying the ball over the green with a pitch; chipping the ball up to the hole can avoid this. Chipping also keeps the ball low, which can be key if it is windy during your round.
Golfers use a lofted club such as a pitching wedge, a gap wedge or a lob wedge when hitting a pitch shot. Some golfers also pitch with a sand wedge. A chip shot can be hit with any club, but chipping is usually done with less-lofted clubs like a 7-, 8- or 9-iron, which will keep the ball lower and provide more roll.
You need to be in the fairway or the first cut of rough to execute a pitch shot successfully. Pitching the ball is extremely difficult when you’re in the deep rough or in wooded areas. A chip shot is better for getting your ball out of these trouble areas. For example, if your ball is in the deep rough, chip the ball back onto the fairway with an 8- or 9-iron, so you can attack the green with the following shot. You should also chip the ball if there are hanging branches that will prevent you from pitching the ball high.
Chip shots and pitches will help a player become a more complete golfer, according to teaching pro Don Trahan. While one shot is high and the other is low, both shots require significant arm movement and hardly any weight transfer. “Chipping and pitching are like putting and involve good setup and swing technique to develop touch and feel, which everyone can do,” Trahan said. “The ball is played in the center of the stance. The weight is moved left (for right handers) to the forward foot with as much as 70 percent on the front foot and leg.”

Can Ballet Lessons Improve Your Football Skills?

The skills required to master the game of football include strength, flexibility, agility and mental preparedness. Many football players exhibit strength, but may be lacking in other areas. This is where ballet enters in. Ballet lessons can improve your strength, increase flexibility and make you more agile, while providing a mind-body connection and reducing your risk of injury.
Strength is a key component of playing football. If you are not strong, you will not have much success in the game. Ballet provides a total body workout that targets muscles few other exercises use. For instance, ballet strengthens the muscles in your feet. Ballet lessons will additionally strengthen your back, legs and arms, with a great emphasis on strengthening your core muscles, which are useful while playing football. Working a variety of different muscles makes your muscles more adaptable, according to American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Being flexible may not seem like a key factor in football, but increased flexibility has many benefits to the game. Ballet provided the flexibility necessary for NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann to become famous for his graceful, entertaining and successful football career. Increased flexibility can also reduce your risk of injuries, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
In addition to making you a stronger, more flexible football player, ballet can make you more agile, moving quickly on your feet, changing directions with greater balance, stability and a greater range of motion. Ballet can also help increase your speed, as it did with Dallas Cowboys running back Herschel Walker. Walker credits his speed and agility to his diverse exercise routine that included ballet.
One of the most important components of playing football is concentration, another benefit Walker credits to his ballet experience. Dance lowers your stress, stimulates you intellectually and helps you recognize and deal with patterns, spacial issues and sequences, which are essential to football strategy. Dance also trains you to perform in front of an audience, an aspect that can frighten athletes into poor operation at game time. Dance stimulates a connection between your brain and your body that helps you do your best in all activities, including football.

Proper Attire for High School Graduation

The end of the school year is a time of celebration for high school seniors and their families. Graduation season can also be a hectic time in which parents and students often overlook major details. Before you send out graduation invitations or organize a party, plan ahead by familiarizing yourself with the most appropriate attire options for both graduates and guests.
There are two distinct variations of men¡¯s business attire: formal and casual. Emily Post notes that men¡¯s business formal attire typically includes a dark business suit, dress shirt, tie and dress shoes and men¡¯s business casual includes dress shirts, slacks or khakis, loafers and an optional tie. Graduating male students usually wear a dress shirt with a subdued tie, dark slacks or khakis and dress shoes. Guests should wear weather-appropriate clothes. If the ceremony is indoors, male guests might wear a blazer and tie, but if you expect to be outside for several hours in hot weather, they may opt to leave off the tie and jacket.
As with men¡¯s business attire, women¡¯s business attire can be either formal or casual. According to Emily Post, women¡¯s business formal includes suits, professional style dresses, skirts with blazers and heels, while women¡¯s business casual includes dressy pants or khakis, open-collar or knit shirts and dresses. Graduating students should strive for a neat, polished appearance. Keep in mind that your skirt should not reach below your graduation gown and your shirt should not be low-cut. If necessary, use your school’s official dress code as a guide. Guests should also have a tidy appearance and avoid flip-flops, sandals and spaghetti straps.
Men¡¯s dressy casual is strong potential option for crowded outdoor graduation ceremonies, particularly in extremely humid or hot regions of the country. Although dressy casual is not typically appropriate for graduating male students, parents and guests may wear dressy-casual attire. Men¡¯s dressy casual includes khakis, slacks and dark-wash jeans that are in good condition, a button-down casual shirt or dress shirt and loafers or other dressy casual shoes.
Women¡¯s dressy casual is a comfortable alternative for female guests, but should be avoided by female graduates. Women¡¯s dressy casual includes dresses, skirts with a nice blouse, dress pants or dark-wash jeans that are in good condition. Although heels are not necessary, your shoes should nevertheless have a clean, polished appearance — avoid sneakers, sandals and other athletic or casual footwear.

Why Your Feet Smell So Bad ¡ª And What to Do About It

Everyone¡¯s feet smell from time to time. But some people¡¯s feet go beyond stinky and into the category of, ¡°Throw your socks away and open a window!¡±
So why do some feet smell more than others? And what can you do to beat the stink? We reached out to top podiatrists to answer this oh-so-important question ¡ª and got their tips for odor relief.
The sweat glands on our feet are the most active of any on our bodies, according to podiatrist Albert D¡¯Angelantonio III, DPM, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Penn Medicine. ¡°As opposed to other areas, they are constantly excreting. Exercise, heat or activities such as walking can make them perspire more,¡± he says.
The bacteria that are always present on our skin create acid when they ¡°eat¡± the sweat on our feet. Have enough hungry bacteria on your tootsies, and you can clear a room by taking off your shoes.
¡°Odor so offensive it really knocks your socks off, so to speak, is known medically as bromhidrosis,¡± says Dr. D¡¯Angelantonio. A bacterial infection in the skin¡¯s outermost layer, called erythrasma, can also occur.
Either condition can require medical attention and treatment in extreme cases. However, if you find yourself conscious of your foot odor, there are some actions you can take in the privacy of your own home to ensure that the next time you take off your shoes, no one faints.
To keep bacteria in check, nothing beats bathing your feet ¡ª and the rest of you ¡ª thoroughly with soap and warm water. Afterward, make sure to dry between your toes, says podiatrist Ronald Lepow, DPM, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery, Baylor College of Medicine. This helps limit the dampness that bacteria need to proliferate.
Make sure you choose clean, breathable socks once your feet are dry, says Dr. Lepow. He prefers synthetic fabrics specifically designed to draw away moisture (an action known as ¡°wicking,¡±) while Dr. D¡¯Angelantonio prefers cotton. Your best bet may be to try a few options and find what works for you.
Wearing shoes multiple days in a row can retain moisture. So can the wrong material. ¡°Leather breathes. Plastic doesn¡¯t,¡± Dr. Lepow says.
Plastics include the synthetics used in many of today¡¯s athletic shoes. That¡¯s why Dr. D¡¯Angelantonio recommends always maintaining at least two pairs of go-to shoes regardless of material, so you can alternate wear days and give them a rest in between.
He adds that changing out your shoes when they become worn, looking to alternative materials like canvas, or freeing your feet with open-toed styles can also help to eliminate moisture and disrupt the bacterial breeding ground.
Your shoes themselves can breed bacteria if they retain too much moisture.
¡°Make sure shoes aren¡¯t stored in a cabinet or device where they don¡¯t get air. Shoes exposed to circulating air dry out better,¡± Dr. Lepow says. An old-school shoe tree or door rack can be a worthwhile investment.
Before you put shoes away, you can also remove liners and spray a light layer of Lysol in them to reduce bacterial growth further. ¡°You¡¯ll kill bacteria, fungus ¡ª all kinds of stuff that can cause problems,¡± D¡¯Angelantonio adds.
Black tea ¡ª the regular kind in tea bags ¡ª can be used as an antiseptic to help tame the bacteria on your feet, Dr. D¡¯Angelantonio says. Steep two bags in 16 ounces (two cups) of boiled water for about 15 minutes. Add about two quarts of cool water, then soak your feet for about 20 minutes once a day for a week.
If that¡¯s not your cup of tea, as an alternative you can try soaking in one part vinegar plus two parts water once daily for 20 minutes. However, it¡¯s very important that people with diabetes skip the vinegar cure, says Dr. D¡¯Angelantonio. ¡°Acid products on the skin can cause skin breakdown, which causes its own set of problems.¡±
So you live seaside? You¡¯re in luck! Saltwater helps to keep bacteria in check. Dip your tootsies in the ocean at least once a day, and you¡¯re all set.
If the ocean is your vacation destination and not your daily view, create your own sea. Add about one cup of kosher salt to a tub or bowl of warm water and soak for 20 minutes a day for two weeks. ¡°This will help get bacteria back down to normal levels,¡± Dr. D¡¯Angelantonio says.
Here¡¯s another reason to hit your yoga mat or find other ways to relax: Practices like yoga and meditation that have been shown to reduce stress can also help lower the sweat response in people who tend to be consistently sweaty, Dr. Lepow explains.
¡°There¡¯s a component [of sweating] that has to do with the nervous state of the individual. If you tend to be high-anxiety, you might sweat a little more in certain social situations,¡± he says.
¡°Being a little less stressed can affect the amount of perspiration that occurs on your hands, feet and under your arms,¡± he continues. Typically, less sweat means less stink ¡ª which is the principle behind commercial antiperspirant.
And, actually, antiperspirant can be a good idea. Since sweat is the primary source of food for odor-causing bacteria ¡ª regardless of where it originates on the body ¡ª the same sprays you would typically use under your arms can actually be used to help reduce foot sweat and the stink that results.
¡°Just spray it from about a foot or so away from the skin,¡± says Dr. D¡¯Angelantonio. ¡°There are also over-the-counter foot powders you can use after showering that have the same effect.¡±
If none of these actions seem to help, it may be time to see your primary care physician for a topical medication to help reduce bacteria growth and treat any accompanying fungal issues.
Which one of these strategies will you try? What else have you found that helps stinky feet? Do you have any favorite type or brand of socks that we should try? Share your thoughts and suggestions below.

Does the Ball Have to Be All the Way Across the Goal Line to Score in Soccer?

One inch can mean the difference between a winning goal or a tied game. A soccer ball must be all the way across the line to score. Various rules apply to soccer scoring. For instance, the ball can cross the goal on the ground on in the air. As long as the ball completely corsses the line, the attacking team wins the point.
According to the International Football Association, a goal is scored when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, between the goalposts and under the cross bar. The outside of the goal is determined by the outermost edge of the goal posts and cross bar. If the ball does not fully cross the plane created by these three bars, a goal is not awarded.
During a soccer game, the head referee is responsible for determining whether a ball fully crosses the plane of the goal. In some games, a head referee is aided by linesmen who help advise the head referee on calls. Linesmen are especially useful for determining a goal because they follow the movement of the ball from the sidelines. Their position at the side of the field gives linesmen a perfect vantage point for seeing directly across the plane of the goal.
Another consideration for ball position in soccer is out-of-bounds calls. A ball is only out of bounds when it crosses over the out-of-bounds line completely. Often, out of bounds is a wide white strip of chalk or paint. The painted portion is considered in-bounds in soccer. The ball is only out when it crosses completely over the line. Furthermore, in cases where the ball is questionably out of bounds, the ball is only out of play when indicated by the referee.
At times, the ball’s direction is dictated by some sort of interference that can include hitting the referee, a corner flag or a goal post. In any of these cases, if the ball remains in bounds, it is still considered in play. If a ball headed out of bounds hits a referee and stays in bounds, play continues. If a ball headed into the goal hits a referee and is blocked, no goal is scored. And, if a ball hits a referee and ricochets into the goal, a goal is awarded.