Why Do I Poop So Much?- VyWhy

Last updated on 2021-12-18 13:33:16

2022-09-26

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There is no clear cut rule that explains the number of times you should poop. What matters is if there is a significant change in the number of times you poop or if there’s a change in your stool texture.

If you have passed poop once daily for the past couple of years, a sudden increase merits some attention.

One good guide to know if your frequency is normal is this: if you poop more than 3 times in a day, that’s diarrhea, while if you poop less than 3 times in a week, you are constipated.

So, if you still think you poop too much, here are some reasons why.

Possible Causes

1. General Ill-Health

Your digestive system is a part of your body. When the body is performing sub-optimally, the performance of the gut is also reduced.

This means that the digestive process is often less accurate and the food is moved along the parts of the digestive system much faster than is necessary, causing you to poop a lot.

2. Intestinal Diseases

Some specific diseases affect the gut. In these disease states, digestion is hampered. Thus, food items are moved faster through the different parts of the gut.

In some cases, specific nutrients cannot be absorbed due to the disease condition. This leads to the passage of these food items in poop, relatively unchanged.

For example, in diseases affecting the production, transportation or action of bile, individuals affected are unable to digest fat. Bile is a greenish chemical produced by the liver for the digestion of fat. As such, fat is passed in stool relatively unchanged.

Some other diseases like Crohn’s disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome also affect your poop frequency and quantity.

3. Diet

Eating large and/or frequent portions of food can make you poop more. You may also pass larger amounts of poop as a result.

In cases where you ingest food you are intolerant to, you may also poop more often.  People with gluten intolerance (called celiac disease) often have problems digesting nutrients due to the nature of the disease. They also have other symptoms like weight loss and mouth ulcers.

Similarly, lactose intolerance causes you to poop more often when you ingest dairy products.

Additionally, poorly cooked food has an increased chance of being infected by viruses and bacteria. This may cause you to become sick.

If you have taken to eating more fruits and vegetables than you normally would in the past few weeks, you should expect to poop more. Fruits and vegetables contain dietary fiber which increases the bulk of your poop. It also causes it to become softer. Oily and spicy foods may also speed up the process of digestion.

4. Exercise

Exercising is a healthy way to live. Regular exercise causes your digestive system to hasten its processes and muscular contractions.

This reduces the time food spends in each part of the digestive system, leading to softer and more frequent poops. Additionally, your food or water intake often increases when you exercise more.

5. Medications

A common side effect of most drugs is a change in the way your gut would normally work. This may affect the frequency of your stools, meaning constipation or diarrhea. Some drugs may also affect the quantity of your poop, causing larger bulkier stools.

If you have recently started taking medications for any reason, you may experience changes in your poop frequency or amount.

Antibiotics, antipsychotics, chemotherapy drugs, antacids, laxatives, and some painkillers are drugs that may cause you to poop more. Antibiotics often upset the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. Typically, this resolves after the completion of the medications.

Excessive intake of refined sugars, coffee and alcohol may also cause you to poop more than you normally would. Coffee has a laxative effect while alcohol speeds up the process of digestion.

6. Stress

When stressed, your body may be altered in the way it handles processes. This may affect your gut too. The loss of balance created by stress leads to a quicker and less efficient digestive process, ending up as diarrhea. Anxiety and depression may also cause increased bowel movements.

7. Menstruation

In some women, their period is often accompanied by an increase in poop frequency. This is due to the effect of hormones on the digestive system. You may also notice an increase in pooping frequency days before and after your period.

When To See A Doctor

If you have a sudden change in stool frequency or you poop more than 3 times a day, you should discuss it with your doctor as soon as possible. Also, you should see your doctor if you have additional symptoms like:

  • Passage of bloody stools
  • Abdominal cramping or pain
  • Weight loss
  • Pain when defecating
  • Uncontrolled watery pooping
  • Frequent headaches
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating

Treatment Options

Treatment is tailored to the cause of the increase in poop. If unchecked, passing frequent or too much poop can cause you to become dehydrated. This may cause severe problems and in very severe cases, may even lead to death. Also, passing frequent stools leaves you malnourished, lacking important nutrients and minerals.

  • You may need to make a small change in your lifestyle or get medications to address it. Generally, you should endeavor to eat healthily, drink a lot of water, and introduce fiber into your diet. Exercising also helps in keeping your body healthy and fit.
  • If you are having watery stool, you will benefit from using an Oral Rehydration Solution. They are usually sold over the counter in many local pharmacies.
  • If you notice that your poop increases after taking coffee, soda or alcohol, you should limit your intake of these drinks. Similarly, if you are intolerant to a food type or have food allergies, avoid these items in your diet.
  • If you have recently completed antibiotic therapy, ask your doctor about probiotics. These can help you restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in your digestive system.
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How To Tell If You Have A Cavity

Stains/ Spots. As the enamel is further weakened, the hole may not be visible right away. Instead, you might see a grey, brown, or black spot. If left untreated, actual holes can develop. 3. Visible Holes. Sometimes cavities can develop on the chewing surface of the tooth. These cavities are easy to see.

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If you’ve never had a cavity, you might not know how to recognize one. Early detection and treatment of dental cavities are essential for good oral health.

A cavity is a hole in the tooth. It is one of the commonest reasons for visiting a dentist as it affects people of all ages. The holes are usually a result of tooth decay caused by bacteria.

The holes may or may not be visible to you, which is why you need regular dental check-ups to be sure if you have one or not. If left undetected and untreated, a cavity could get worse and cause problems in your mouth.

Cavity Symptoms

1. Tooth Sensitivity

This is one of the earliest signs of a cavity. It is an uncomfortable tingling or tickling in your teeth whenever you take something hot, cold, acidic, or sugary. It can also be described as a shocking sensation.

This feeling occurs because the acid produced by the bacteria wears down your enamel, which is the outermost layer of the tooth. This layer protects the nerves within your teeth. As that protective layer weakens, the nerves become exposed and become more sensitive.

2. Stains/ Spots

As the enamel is further weakened, the hole may not be visible right away. Instead, you might see a grey, brown, or black spot. If left untreated, actual holes can develop.

3. Visible Holes

Sometimes cavities can develop on the chewing surface of the tooth. These cavities are easy to see. However, cavities often develop on the sides that are not visible and difficult to see.

4. Food Stuck In Tooth

Food getting stuck in your tooth may sometimes be the only tell-tale sign of a cavity. This could worsen the hole and later cause pain.

5. Toothache

If your tooth hurts, then something’s wrong. At first, you may only notice pain when you bite on hard food. As the cavity progresses, you could feel pain even when you bite on something soft.

The pain usually starts as an ache that is stimulated by chewing. Over time as the cavity increases, the pain becomes constant and could also disturb sleep and daily activities.

6. Asymptomatic

In the early stages of a cavity, there may be no symptoms. This is the best time to catch and treat a cavity before it gets worse. This is why having a routine dental checkup helps.

What Causes Cavities?

1. Sugar

The major cause of tooth cavities is sugar. Although most people don’t like to think about it, you have naturally occurring bacteria that live in your mouth. Consuming sugary foods and drinks allows these bacteria to thrive.

When these bacteria feed on the carbohydrates (sugar) that linger on your teeth and in your mouth, acid forms. This acid produced wears off the layers of the teeth leading to tooth decay.

2. Plaque

This is a sticky film that coats the teeth and contains bacteria. It is usually removed by brushing the teeth. If it is not removed when soft, it hardens and becomes difficult to remove. This is called tartar or calculus.

3. Susceptible Tooth Surface

These are areas on the tooth surface that are more prone to food stagnation and plaque retention. These surfaces include the chewing surfaces of the molar and premolar teeth, smooth surfaces, and also margins of filled teeth.

4. Time

The plaque bacteria on the tooth surface feed on the sugars in the mouth to produce acid. This acid production causes the pH of the mouth to fall and leads to the breakdown and destruction of the tooth surfaces.

The acid remains on the teeth for about 30 minutes. So each time you eat a sugary snack, your teeth are vulnerable to damage from the acids for the next 30 minutes. It takes about 30 to 60 minutes before the pH of the mouth returns to normal.

5. Poor Oral Hygiene

Not brushing your teeth regularly allows plaque to build up and attack the tooth enamel.

6. Dry Mouth

Saliva acts as a self-cleaning agent of the teeth. It washes plaque away from the teeth. If you have a dry mouth with a very little saliva, plaque may build up more quickly. Dry mouth can also be a result of some medical conditions such as Sjogren Syndrome.

7. Medical Problems

Medical conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can contribute to a tooth cavity. This condition causes acid from your stomach to flow back into your mouth.

Also, conditions like Bulimia nervosa which is an eating disorder in which bouts of overeating are followed by under-eating, or self-induced vomiting increases the risk of a tooth cavity when the teeth are exposed to stomach acid during frequent vomiting.

In addition, some types of cancer treatment that expose the head and neck to radiation can promote a tooth cavity by changing the makeup of the saliva to promote increased bacterial growth. It can also cause dry mouth.

Diagnosis

Your dentist may ask you some questions so as to ascertain the correct diagnosis and proper treatment plan.

Your answers to these questions together with a proper examination of your mouth and teeth will help your dentist arrive at a proper diagnosis and enable treatment planning.

The examination may involve probing your teeth with instruments to check for soft areas and taking X-rays of the affected tooth/teeth to determine the extent of the damage.

Treatment

The treatment of a cavity is based on symptoms, severity, and disease progression.

1. Fluoride Treatments

If your cavity is fresh, a fluoride treatment may be applied on your tooth to help restore the outer covering. This can sometimes reverse a cavity in the very early stages.

Professional fluoride treatments contain more fluoride than the amount found in tap water, toothpaste and mouth rinses. Fluoride treatments may be liquid, gel, or varnish that’s brushed onto your teeth or placed in a small tray that fits over your teeth.

2. Fillings

This is the main treatment option when the cavity has progressed beyond the early stage. Fillings are made of various materials, such as tooth-colored composite resins, glass ionomer cement or dental amalgam- that is a combination of several materials. The tooth is drilled and cleaned before the filling material is applied to seal up the hole.

3. Crowns

For extensive damage or weakened teeth, you may need a crown — a custom-fitted covering that replaces your tooth’s entire natural crown. This helps to strengthen the tooth and it fits like a cap.

Your dentist drills away all the decayed area and leaves enough of the rest of your tooth to ensure the crown fits perfectly. Crowns may be made of gold, porcelain, resin, porcelain fused to metal or other materials.

4. Root Canal Treatment

When the cavity is extensive and reaches the innermost layer of your tooth (the pulp), you may need a root canal treatment. At this point, the tooth has become painful. This is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it.

5. Tooth Extraction

Some teeth become so severely decayed that they can’t be restored and removal (tooth extraction)becomes the only option.

Prevention

Just like everything else, prevention is better than cure. Here are a few things you could do to ensure you don’t get a cavity.

  • Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste and medium or soft textured toothbrush. This is done preferably after your breakfast and especially before going to bed.
  • Clean between your teeth daily with dental floss or interdental cleaners. These areas cannot be reached by your regular toothbrush.
  • Rinse daily with a fluoride-containing mouthwash. Some rinses also have antiseptic ingredients to help kill bacteria that cause plaque.
  • Eat nutritious and balanced meals. Limit the intake of snacks, sugary substances, soda, foods high in carbohydrates, and sticky foods, which can remain on the tooth surface. If they have to be eaten, brush your teeth soon afterward. Replace these sugary foods with healthy options like fruits and vegetables.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can also help in the prevention of cavities, especially if you can’t brush at that time.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for routine check-ups and professional cleaning which is also called scaling and polishing. It is recommended that you visit your dentist at least twice a year. These check-ups can help identify cavities on time before they cause troubling symptoms and lead to problems. If a cavity is treated before it starts causing pain, you may not need extensive treatment and this saves you a whole lot of money, time and stress.
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How Long Does It Take The Hole To Close After Tooth ...

The hole left behind after a tooth has been extracted is normal and usually closes up as the healing progresses. If you notice that the hole has not filled after about 6 weeks and it causes discomfort, a trip to your dentist’s office is very essential. Article Sources. Farina, R., & Trombelli, L. (2013, January 02).

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Although permanent teeth are designed to last throughout life, they could be extracted due to a number of reasons.

Extracting a tooth is usually the last resort, especially if the tooth cannot be saved. After a tooth has been extracted, a hole is left behind- the space that housed the missing tooth in the jaw bone.

The time it takes the hole to close depends on the tooth that was extracted and how traumatic the extraction was.

Healing Timeline

The time it takes for a hole to fill up completely after a tooth extraction depends on if the extraction was difficult, the size of the tooth, and the type of extraction.

A Single Root Tooth

If the tooth that was extracted was a small tooth such as a baby tooth or a tooth with one root such as the incisors, the hole should start to close up by the end of the first week.

By the second week, you can start to eat comfortably on that side without any fear of food getting stuck in the hole.

A Multiple Root Tooth

If a larger tooth was removed or a tooth with more than one root or multiple teeth along the same line were removed, the hole should start filling up by the third week but the indentation felt on the gum may still persist after some months before eventually smoothening out.

A Wisdom Tooth

For a wisdom tooth extraction, it takes about 6 weeks for the jaw bone and gum tissue to heal completely and close up.

This may also differ if the tooth was impacted in the bone or gum. If the tooth was deeply buried inside the bone and required bone removal, the healing time may be prolonged.

If gum tissue was stitched up after the extraction, the healing process is faster and the hole fills up much quicker.

Points To Note

The soft tissue usually heals itself and the hole closes up to the point where food no longer gets trapped in it anymore in about 3 weeks.
If the tooth was fractured during the extraction procedure and one or more roots were left in the socket, the hole will also take a longer time to close.

If you are on birth control pills that contain estrogen or progesterone or you are taking aspirin, these medications can affect the ability of the blood to clot or increase clotting time which, in turn, slows down the healing process.

If there was an ongoing infection before the tooth was extracted, the hole takes a longer time to close up.

Tips To Speed Up Healing Time

These tips are also called tooth extraction aftercare instructions.

  • Eat meals with lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid grainy foods like rice, foods with seeds like granola or hard foods so that they don’t get stuck in the extraction hole.
  • Do not blow, drink with a straw, suck or rinse your mouth vigorously as this action may dislodge the blood clot
  • Do not use an electric toothbrush.
  • Do not smoke or chew tobacco or take alcohol within 48 hours after the tooth extraction procedure.
  • Avoid chewing on the side of the extraction.
  • Warm water and salt baths should be done at least seven times a day starting 24 hours after the procedure.
  • If food gets stuck in the tooth hole, rinse gently with warm saltwater. Don’t use your fingers, tongue or any object to poke into the extraction site.
  • Ensure that you take your prescribed analgesics and antibiotics as at when due. This will help reduce pain and prevent infection.
  • If you notice any increased pain, swelling or any other concerns about the extraction that was done, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist immediately.

If the healing process does not go as it is supposed to, it could lead to the following complications.

1. Dry Socket

A condition that can occur about 2 to 3 days after the extraction. There is severe pain and it occurs when there is premature dislodging of the blood clot.

2. Numbness

Trauma to the nerve during wisdom tooth extraction can cause numbness in your lips and chin for some months.

3. Secondary Infection

The extraction site can become secondarily infected and this is more common in patients with suppressed immunity in conditions such as HIV and uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.

Summary

The hole left behind after a tooth has been extracted is normal and usually closes up as the healing progresses. If you notice that the hole has not filled after about 6 weeks and it causes discomfort, a trip to your dentist’s office is very essential.

Dr. Raksha Mane is a board-certified dentist residing in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from the School of Dentistry, University of California, Los Angeles.
She was raised in London, practiced dentistry in the UK and holds dental licensure from both the United Kingdom and the USA.
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How Long Does A Root Canal Take?

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A root canal treatment is a dental procedure where inflamed, infected or dead pulp is removed from a tooth. It is sometimes an alternative to tooth extraction.

Pulp is a soft material found right at the center of the tooth, it is made up of nerve and blood vessels that supply the teeth and keep them “alive”.

How Long Does It Take?

Simple or very straightforward cases could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. More complex cases could take longer, up to 90 minutes.

The duration of the appointment would depend on factors like:

  • what tooth is being worked on (teeth having one root canal versus teeth having multiple canals)
  • the anatomy or shape of the roots
  • patient factors (like difficulty sitting for long durations or difficulty keeping the mouth open for long periods)

Sometimes, you may need more than one visit to complete your treatment.

Indications For A Root Canal

Some dental conditions can cause injury to the pulp or cause it to become infected. Some of these conditions include the following:

  • Tooth decay or cavity
  • A chipped or cracked tooth
  • A tooth that has undergone multiple dental treatments

What Is The Procedure Like?

The procedure itself is quite straightforward and involves these simple steps:

  • Taking an x-ray of the affected tooth to examine if it indeed needs a root canal treatment.
  • Administering a local anesthetic to numb any feeling of pain in the area.
  • Isolation of the affected tooth with a rubber dam. This helps to facilitate viewing the tooth by itself, as well as keep saliva at bay.
  • Access is gained into the pulp chamber by creating a hole at the top of the tooth using a dental bur. The infected or dead pulp is then cleaned out from the pulp chamber and canals.
  • When cleaned and shaped, the root canals are filled. This material is safe and biocompatible.
  • Finally, the crown of the tooth is restored either with a temporary filling or a permanent filling.

Follow Up Treatment

Root canal treatment can be done in one day (referred to as a one-visit RCT), however, it is possible that the dentist may require a two-visit RCT, based on the assessment of the tooth. Both visits are usually spaced out by one week of each other.

The likelihood of having a two-visit root canal treatment increases if, at the time of presentation to your dentist, you are having tenderness, pain, and swelling of the affected tooth.

After undergoing a root canal treatment, you should take care of the newly treated tooth. It is encouraged that you avoid chewing on the newly treated tooth before a permanent filling or crown has been placed.

This is because a tooth still undergoing treatment is more fragile and more prone to fracture when compared to when it has been fully restored.

Saving a natural tooth when possible is a better decision, compared to opting for an extraction. When you save a tooth with endodontic treatment, you gain the cosmetic benefit of preserving your natural smile as well as maintain the function of the natural tooth.

Dr. Raksha Mane is a board-certified dentist residing in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from the School of Dentistry, University of California, Los Angeles.
She was raised in London, practiced dentistry in the UK and holds dental licensure from both the United Kingdom and the USA.
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Inner Thigh Pain: Causes And Treatment

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Pain in the inner thigh can be uncomfortable and may even affect your ability to walk properly. It is mostly caused by muscle strain and should get better within a few days. In some cases, other conditions like a hernia, a blood clot or a back or hip problem can lead to inner thigh pain.

You should see your doctor if the pain is severe, persistent or if you have additional symptoms.

Causes Of Inner Thigh Pain

1. Muscle Strain

A strain is an injury to a muscle or group of muscles. The muscles affected in this case are the adductors. A strain can happen from a sudden run, not warming up before a major activity, not stretching properly or overworking a muscle.

2. Over-Exercising

Overworking the thigh muscles can cause a lot of strain and may lead to tightness.

3. Muscle Imbalance

When there is a muscular imbalance, it means that some muscles are weaker than others. When this happens, the stronger ones compensate for the weaker ones, leading to stress and possible injury in the stronger muscles.

4. Osteoarthritis Of The Hip Joint

Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects the surfaces of bones in a joint. The cartilage that allows easy movement of the joints on each other begins to wear off causing inflammation at the joint and direct contact between the bones. This can cause pain to the surrounding structures like the muscles at the upper inner thigh.

5. Back Problems

This can cause pain in the inner thighs. The nerves that supply the thigh adductor muscles are the obturator nerve and the femoral nerve. These nerves arise from the back.

When there is any form of spondylosis or spondylolisthesis around the back, it can affect the transmission of signals to the thigh muscles.

6. Hip Impingement

This is also known as femoroacetabular impingement, a condition where the head of the femur (ball part of the hip joint) and the acetabulum (socket part of the hip joint) come in direct contact with each other. It causes pain that can sometimes be felt at the inner thigh area.

7. Hernia

This is when an organ slips out of its location through a weakness in the wall that keeps it in its place. Due to the close proximity of the abdomen to the thigh, there is a tendency of the small intestine to slip out and go through spaces like the inguinal and femoral canals into the groin or inner thigh region. This can cause pain in the upper inner thigh.

8. Blood Clot

Blood clots can be harmful when they occur in major blood vessels in the body. A blood clot located in the femoral vein can cause pain in the inner thigh.

9. Pubic Dysfunction

This usually occurs during pregnancy. The pubic symphysis is a joint that joins the two pelvic bones together. The joint is kept in place by ligaments and plays a major role during childbirth. Pregnancy can place a lot of pressure on the pubic symphysis, making the ligaments slack and cause the joint to become unstable.

This unstable joint can cause pain in the pelvis, affecting the inner thigh.

Associated Symptoms

  1. Muscle spasms
  2. Difficulty walking or a limping gait
  3. Swelling
  4. Joint stiffness

When To See a Doctor

Most times, thigh pain is as a result of muscle strain and may resolve after a few days or after using over-the-counter painkillers.

If the pain is severe or persistent or if you notice other symptoms like swelling, skin discoloration, increased thigh skin temperature or difficulty walking, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

Diagnostic Tests

Your doctor may recommend some tests to confirm the major cause of pain.

These diagnostic tests include X-ray, CT scan, MRI and sometimes a doppler ultrasound to look out for blood clots.

Depending on the results from these tests, the doctor will treat accordingly.

Treatment

R.I.C.E. Protocol

R.I.C.E. treatment protocol works for muscular injuries. The treatment acronym stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

Rest basically means the muscle should be given a break. No unnecessary movement should involve the inner thigh.

Ice can be used to relieve swelling and pain. Crushed ice in a damp towel or an ice pack can be placed on the inner thigh for 15 minutes every 4 hours.

Compression involves applying an elastic bandage on the thigh to reduce swelling that may arise at the inner thigh.

Elevation also helps in reducing swelling by placing the painful leg on pillows or on a high stool to help reduce swelling.

Medications

Painkillers like NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) can help with pain relief. Sometimes, muscle relaxants are recommended for muscle spasms. Blood thinners may be recommended if a blood clot is suspected.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy’s main goal is to relieve pain and ensure no complications arise while recovering from inner thigh pain. Pain can be relieved through the use of ice or heat depending on the cause of the pain and the duration of the injury. Ice is usually used for the first 72 hours from the onset of the injury.

The physiotherapist will assess the thigh, the back, and the entire lower limb as well. This is to confirm if the pain is associated with other parts of the body like a referred pain from the back to the thigh.

After the assessment, the physiotherapist will design treatment plans to achieve your goals. The goals are usually to relieve pain and strengthen the muscles.

Exercises

Exercises are prescribed by physiotherapists depending on how the pain relief improves and the severity of the injury. Some of these exercises target the adductors and other surrounding muscles. These exercises are:

Curtsy Lunges

A curtsy lunge is a curtsy twist to the typical lunge.

  • Stand with your hands on your hips and your feet apart
  • Take the right foot behind your left foot and outside
  • Lunge into this position which will look like a curtsy
  • Do this 10 times; 5 on each side

Inner Thigh Squeeze

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and hip-width apart
  • Place a ball or a pillow between your bent knees
  • Squeeze the pillow between your two knees
  • Hold for 30 seconds and release

Clamshell

  • Lie on your side with your knees bent and directly on top of each other
  • Open your legs like you are opening a book
  • Slowly return the raised knee to the starting position
  • Repeat 10 times

Hip Abduction To Adduction

  • Lie on your side with your knees straight and the affected leg on the unaffected leg
  • Raise the top leg, which is the affected leg, towards the ceiling
  • Slowly return the leg to its original position
  • Returning the leg works on the adductors

Sumo Squat

  • Stand with your feet apart with your toes pointing out to the sides
  • Bend your knees and move down towards the ground
  • Stand up and repeat 10 times

Hip Adduction

  • Lie on the side of the affected leg with the unaffected leg crossed over it
  • Lift the affected leg off the floor as high as you can
  • Return to the starting point

Side Lunges

This stretches the adductor muscles.

  • Stand with your feet apart
  • Step out with the unaffected foot as far as you can from the affected foot
  • Drop your hips down toward the unaffected foot and feel the stretch in the affected leg
  • Repeat 10 times

Surgery

Surgery is recommended depending on the cause of pain. An inguinal hernia repair is usually performed to treat an inguinal hernia.

Prevention

  • Warm-up and stretch before and after any workout or sporting activity. Warming up prepares the muscles for any activity
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Wear the correct shoes while exercising and doing a sporting activity to avoid muscle overload.
  • Drink enough water
  • Listen to your body and do not overwork it
  • Be more active by reducing your sitting time and moving around more

Summary

In most cases, inner thigh pain is usually caused by muscle strain and does not take too long to heal. However, if it is severe or persistent or you notice additional symptoms, see your doctor for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

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Food Stuck In Wisdom Tooth Hole: What To Do

Never use a toothpick or dental floss because you only succeed in increasing the chances of infecting the tooth hole and it can also stimulate bleeding. To remove the food, the best option is to use salt and warm water rinse. Swish it around your mouth until the food is removed.

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Visiting the dentist to have your wisdom tooth removed may be a relatively smooth experience. It’s just that after the tooth extraction, you would notice a large hole in your gum and the bone beneath the gum where the tooth used to be.

In most cases, the hole may be stitched up by your dentist, but in the few cases where stitches are not used, you should expect food getting stuck in the hole. This usually leaves a very uncomfortable feeling.

How To Get Food Out

Do not worry or panic. Food that gets caught in the wound may be uncomfortable. It’s more important to avoid touching or probing the wound.

Don’t confuse a blood clot with food. A blood clot is formed when the bleeding has stopped after an extraction. They may appear grey and look like food particles. Cleaning too vigorously, in this case, may remove the clot and cause further complications.

Do not use fingers or any foreign objects to remove food. Don’t use your tongue to poke the hole either as doing this may introduce bacteria to the wound, and could disrupt the healing process.

Never use a toothpick or dental floss because you only succeed in increasing the chances of infecting the tooth hole and it can also stimulate bleeding.

  • To remove the food, the best option is to use salt and warm water rinse. Swish it around your mouth until the food is removed. The salt-and-warm-water rinse is prepared by adding a level teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water.  DO NOT USE HOT WATER. The solution is stirred and is used to remove the food debris. Be careful not to rinse too hard or aggressively.
  • Another option is to use water (room temperature) or mouthwash like chlorhexidine, Oral- B or Listerine. The mouthwash is usually sold over the counter. Ensure you dilute with water before use.
  • Use a plastic syringe if directed. This will help you control the flow of water and allow you to clean your wound more efficiently. However, if not used properly, it can dislodge the blood clot forming. Ensure you ask your dentist before you use one.
  • Fill the syringe with warm water. You may also use the warm saltwater solution described. Aim the tip of the syringe as close as possible to the site of your wound without actually touching it. Flush the site of the wound to thoroughly clean the wound and prevent infection. Do not push too forcefully.
  • A water pick, also known as an oral pulsating irrigator, is a device that aims a stream of water at your teeth. A water pick can help remove food particles from your teeth the way a toothpick would without causing harm to the gum. You can aim the stream of water into the area where the food is stuck to try to dislodge it without injuring yourself.

Prevention

Avoid chewing on the side of the extraction for at least 3 days after. This may not be comfortable so you may be advised to take only liquid food, semi-solid food or foods that don’t require chewing.

Avoid grainy foods like rice or bread because these foods have a high chance of getting stuck in the extraction hole.

From the second day after the extraction, the warm salt water rinse should be started and this should be done at least eight times a day, especially after meals. This is done to rinse out any food particles that may be trapped and also to keep the area clean.

Possible Complications

While any food particle stuck in wisdom tooth hole can be quite uncomfortable, it cannot cause an infection on its own. But if the food particles are not removed, it can provide a substrate for bacteria to grow. This then causes infection and really bad pain.

Once the wound begins to heal, the hole will be covered with a healthy layer of new cells to protect the deeper tissues from bacteria. When that happens, even if you have food particles go within the socket, it is unlikely that they can lead to infection.

The length of time taken for the tooth hole to close up is dependent on some factors.

If the tooth was removed with minimal trauma to the surrounding tissues (especially the bone), the hole should close up by the second or third day. The gum tissue usually covers the wound within 2–5 days.

If the tooth was surgically removed as a result of abnormal positioning, in such a way that it required removal of overlying bone and/or mucosa, it may take around 3–4 weeks to close up depending on how traumatic it was and the time taken to remove the tooth.

Underlying medical conditions like uncontrolled diabetes, anemia, and many other diseases can prolong healing.

If there was an infection after the removal, it may require more time for the hole to close up.

Once the hole has closed up, you don’t need to worry about food getting stuck in the hole again.

Summary

It is important to know what to do and not to panic when food gets stuck in the wisdom tooth hole. Also, ensure that the post-extraction instructions are followed strictly so as to prevent complications.

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Tooth Pain and Sensitivity After Filling: What to Know

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It is possible for newly filled teeth to become painful or sensitive after a filling.

The pain is usually for a few days but could last up to a few weeks after the filling. It typically is not a sign of any imminent danger to the tooth, neither is it always an indication that there is some further problem with the tooth in question.

What Causes It?

1. The Treatment Procedure

This is the most common reason why one could experience pain after a filling. During the treatment procedure, the tooth tissues could get irritated from all the excavation of the decay, drilling, and shaping of the tooth to accommodate the filling material.

This could cause some degree of inflammation in the pulp and nerves inside the tooth. The tooth, in turn, would respond by becoming sensitive to stimuli such as hot or cold drinks.

The tooth would remain sensitive until the inflammation subsides. This could be for just a few days or even last a few weeks.

2. The Type Of Filling Material Used

Tooth fillings done using amalgam may tend to cause sensitivity to that particular tooth. Amalgam is essentially made of metal, and one of the properties of metal is the ability to conduct heat or cold.

An amalgam filling in the mouth can effectively conduct hot or cold temperatures in the oral environment to the pulp, thereby increasing sensitivity. This is why sometimes when you take hot or cold drinks while having an amalgam filling present in the mouth, you may feel sensitivity in that tooth.

Another aspect to consider in relation to amalgam filling is its ability to contract and expand. This is another property of metals. When you drink cold drinks, the amalgam contracts, thereby pulling in on your tooth.

On the other hand, when you drink hot drinks, the amalgam expands. This expansion puts pressure on the tooth as well as on the pulp, which might already be sensitive if it is a new filling. This ability to expand and contract is another reason why a tooth can be sensitive after filling.

3. Improperly Positioned Filling:

When a dental filling is built up too high or is not sitting in the tooth properly, it could distort your normal occlusion, that is, the way your teeth contact each other when they come together in a bite.

Continuously biting down with an improperly positioned filling in the mouth could cause dental pain and discomfort. An ill-fitting filling may even crack or become loose, thereby causing pain or sensitivity.

If the edges of a filling are not shaped or smoothed down properly, the rough edges may irritate the nearby gums or adjacent teeth. The parts of the gum margin in contact with the edge of the filling could become inflamed.

Improperly shaped filling between teeth could cause pain and even decay because that area would be difficult to clean.

How To Care For Tooth Pain After Filling

  • Maintaining good oral hygiene is the first step to preventing tooth decay and could also help to reduce inflammation and irritation of gum tissues.
  • Pay attention to your food. Keeping your diet soft and avoiding hard or sticky foods can help to reduce the pressure on the filled tooth. Also, avoiding chewing on that tooth for the first few days could relieve your discomfort. It is also encouraged to stay away from foods that could trigger sensitivity such as hot or cold drinks, acidic drinks or sugary foods.
  • Using a toothpaste specially made for sensitive teeth can reduce sensitivity. Also, a mild pain reliever could help.
  • Warm saline mouth rinse is an inexpensive remedy that could relieve pain from the surrounding gum after a filling.

When To See Your Dentist

If you recently had a filling and the filling is still causing pain even after a week, it is advisable to see your dentist. If the filling broke or the whole filling came loose, your immediate action should be to remove the piece of filling from your mouth to prevent swallowing or aspirating it.

Treatment

Your dentist would assess the tooth and your symptoms. This would help him or her to reach a diagnosis and plan the appropriate treatment. The dentist would determine if it is only temporary pain or if it requires more treatment. Depending on the cause of pain, the following could be done:

  • Prescribe a painkiller or desensitizing toothpaste.
  • Adjust the filling if it is affecting your bite or not smoothened properly.
  • Replace the filling with a new one if the adherence is poor, if there is an electric response between two different fillings in contact, or if there is an allergic reaction to the filling material. A different type of filling material would be used in the case of allergy and electric response.
  • Perform a root canal treatment if the tooth is not in a healthy condition. The tooth may be crowned after the filling, especially if it was a very large filling.
Dr. Raksha Mane is a board-certified dentist residing in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from the School of Dentistry, University of California, Los Angeles.
She was raised in London, practiced dentistry in the UK and holds dental licensure from both the United Kingdom and the USA.
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Tight Lower Back: Causes, Treatment and Stretches

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The lower back is medically described as the lumbar region. This region is made up of 5 lumbar vertebrae (spine bones) and it is stabilized by muscles and ligaments. Sometimes, it could feel tight with some associated symptoms like pain, muscle spasms, and stiffness.

What Causes Lower Back Tightness

1. Prolonged Sitting

Sitting for long periods of time at work, in traffic, in the car or at home can cause a tight back. When you sit without back support for a prolonged time, your back muscles have to contract instead of relaxing, leading to tightness.

2. Weak Core Muscles

The abdominal muscles support the lower back muscles in stabilizing the spine. When these muscles are weak, it gives the back muscles a lot of work to do. This overworks the back and causes tightness.

3. Muscle Strains

A strain is an injury to the muscles. It can be from overstretching or overuse. This overuse can cause our muscles to go into spasms, an involuntary contraction of the muscle, which can be painful and lead to tightness.

4. Ligament Sprains

Ligaments are soft tissues that join bones together. A sprain is a ligament injury. It can be an overstretching, a partial or complete tear. When the ligaments are injured, the muscles overwork to compensate.

5. Tight Lower Limb Muscles

For easy movement of the body, there needs to be muscle balance. There needs to be harmony between the back muscles, hip muscles and the leg muscles.

Tight hamstrings and hip flexors can cause back pain. The hamstrings bend the knee and extend the hip while the hip flexors enable us to bring our knee towards our chests. When these muscles get tight, which is usually from sitting for long periods of time, the back muscles that support the movement of the thigh get overworked and in the process, cause tightness at the back.

6. Herniated Disc

An intervertebral disc allows easy movement of the vertebral bones on each other. They may slip out and compress nerves that supply the muscles. A slipped or herniated disc can cause muscles to go into spasm.

Symptoms Of A Tight Lower Back

  • Waist pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Waist stiffness when trying to pick up something from the floor
  • Tingling sensations in the leg

Diagnostic Tests

It’s good to see your doctor to be sure why your lower back feels tight. Diagnostic tests might be recommended to pinpoint the major cause of the tight muscles.

Radiological tests like an X-ray, MRI or CT scan might be requested.

Treatment

Medications

Anti-inflammatory pain relievers or muscle relaxants may be prescribed by the doctor to help relieve pain and relax the tensed muscles in the lumbar region.

Thermal Therapy

Ice can help to relieve the tightness of the muscles at the back and can also help relieve the associated pain. Ice can be crushed into a damp towel and placed at the back for 20 minutes. A hot water bottle can also be used to relieve tightness at the lower back. Care has to be taken not to scald the skin.

Physiotherapy

A physiotherapist will assess your back and other parts of the body including the legs because of the close relationship between the back, hips, and legs.

The physiotherapist will also educate on proper posture, suitable stretches that can be done at work and encourage you to have an active lifestyle. A myofascial release massage can be used to ease out tightness in the muscles.

Tight Lower Back Stretches

1. Cat-Cow Pose

This stretches the back muscles and the abdominals

  • Go into a crawling position
  • Your palms should be directly under your shoulder and your knees directly under your hips while maintaining the crawling position
  • Contract your abdominal muscles and let your entire back curve upwards and then slowly let your back sink in to form a “U”.
  • Repeat 10 times

2. Knee To Chest Stretches

  • Lie on your back
  • Bend your right knee and move it towards your chest
  • Use your hands to hug your bent knee to your chest
  • Hold for 20 seconds
  • Release the right leg and repeat on the left knee

3. Figure 4 stretch

  • Lie on your back on a mat
  • Bend both knees
  • Place the ankle of your right leg on the left knee joint. Your right knee will point towards the right
  • Place both hands behind your left thigh and pull your left thigh with the right ankle still on the left knee towards your chest
  • Hold for 20 seconds
  • Slowly release and repeat on the other leg.

4. Child’s Pose

  • Kneel on a mat
  • Place your palms on the mat so you assume a crawling position
  • Ensure your knees are hip-width apart
  • Move your buttocks to sit on your heels without removing your palms from where they are
  • Let your forehead rest on the mat
  • Stay in this pose for 30 seconds

5. Lower Back Stretches

  • Lie on your back
  • Bend your right knee
  • Place your left hand on your right knee and pull your knee over your torso towards the left
  • A stretch will be felt at the lower back
  • Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the left knee

6. Lateral Stretches

This exercise is done standing

  • Stand straight with your feet apart
  • Place both hands on your waist
  • Bend your trunk towards the right and then take your left hand off your waist, over your head and towards the right to increase the stretch
  • Hold for 5 seconds and repeat on the other side

7. Hamstring Stretches

This can be done sitting or laying down. Stretching the hamstrings will in turn stretch out the lower back muscles.

While sitting,

  • Move forward in your chair to sit on the edge of the chair
  • Stretch out your right leg and bend your left knee to 90 degrees
  • Bend your right ankle upwards
  • Bend slowly at your waist, take your right hand to your right toes and use your left hand to stabilize your left knee joint
  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other leg

While laying down,

  • Lie on your back and bend your two knees
  • Place your hands behind your right thigh and pull your right knee to your chest
  • This may seem similar to the knee to chest stretch but the difference is that as you pull your right knee to your chest, you gradually straighten your right knee joint and you will begin to feel the stretch in the right hamstrings
  • Go as far as you can with your right knee slightly straightened
  • Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side

Prevention

  1. Reduce your sitting time and go on stretch breaks. Try standing up and moving around after sitting for an hour. Stretches can be done within five minutes so it does not take so much time.
  2. Sit correctly or modify your sitting posture using pillows, a lumbar roll or a backrest at your back. A proper sitting posture involves:
    • Keeping your feet flat on the floor
    • Ensuring your buttocks are touching the back of the chair
    • Knees and hips flexed at 90 degrees
    • Contract your abdominal muscles
    • Ensure your upper back rests against the backrest
    • If the chairs at the office are adjustable, adjust them till you get the correct posture
  3. Lift properly by flexing your knees because poor lifting builds up tension in the lower back.
  4. Be more physically active.
  5. Sleep with an appropriate mattress. An orthopedic or semi-orthopedic mattress is usually recommended to provide support to the spine. Use enough pillows. When sleeping on your side, you can place a pillow under your neck and another one in between your knees. When sleeping on your back, pillows can be placed under your head, neck, and knees.

Summary

A tight lower back is caused by prolonged sitting, poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle. Taking a stretching break and making time for routine physical exercise can go a long way in reducing symptoms and preventing further pain.

If it persists more than a few days, you should see your doctor for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

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