Getting Prepared Week 23: Where There is No Dentist

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Good oral hygiene is important.  We learned that when we were kids.  But as you prepare for a stressful situation, taking care of your teeth and gums becomes even more important, since a mouth in distress can lead to a myriad of health woes.  And if you are in an emergency or crisis situation, you need to be in tip-top form health wise.

So what can happen to your overall health if you have dental problems?    Studies show that poor oral hygiene can cause heart problems, diabetes, and respiratory infection.  Need convincing?

Not brushing teeth at least twice a day leads to gums inflammation which can be spread throughout the body.  Inflammation in the body narrows blood vessels, resulting in the decrease of blood flow to the heart, eventually leading to heart attack. Yuk.

Another effect of poor oral hygiene on overall health is diabetes.  Gum disease, which is a result of poor oral hygiene, leads to diabetes.  This happens when bacteria enters the bloodstream and triggers a reaction from the immune system that ultimately damages  the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, resulting in diabetes. 

Poor oral hygiene also increases the risk of getting a respiratory infection.  This happens when bacteria in the mouth that is generated from dental plaque is carried down to the lungs.  The resulting infection can cause pneumonia.

Oh yeah, one more thing.  There is also the social aspect of poor dental care: bad breath.  For sure that is something we wish to avoid. 

So, the moral of the story is to brush, floss and see a dentist once or twice a year for a good cleaning.  Enough said.

But what happens if there is no dentist?

I thought you would never ask since that is the real topic of today’s Getting Prepared post. 

There is a very useful book titled Where There Is No Dentist that is published by the Hesperian Foundation.  It includes lots of drawings and is useful in teaching laymen like us how to recognize, treat, and prevent common dental and oral hygiene problems.

Here’s a sample of some of the information that is included:

  • How to properly examine and diagnose dental issues
  • How to treat cavities, abscesses, infected sinuses, and more
  • How to prepare and insert homemade fillings
  • How to inject inside the mouth
  • How to safely and correctly remove a tooth
  • How to make useable dental instruments from common items
  • and more, lots more

Now of course you can go out and buy a printed version of this book for about $10 or, if you are smart, you will download it for free directly from the Hesperian Foundation.  Plus, if you download, you will be assured of getting the latest, 2010 version.  Here are the links:

While you are there, you might want to check out some of their other free, downloadable books such as Where There Is No Doctor (also updated for 2010).  And of course, after downloading be sure to store a copy on the flash drive you keep in your bug out bag.  (You do have a flash drive there with all of your other important documents, don’t you?)

Interesting Fact:  More people are taking care of their teeth in 2011

When I had my last dental checkup in May, I was told that whereas 2010 was a down year for the dental practice, 2011 has seen an increase – a double-fold increase – in the number of preventative services such as routine cleaning.  In addition, patients are coming in asking a lot of questions, wanting instructions on flossing, and other matters relating to maintaining a healthy mouth.

I was also told that fewer people had dental insurance (for example, I don’t) but they were seeking dental care anyway. 

Could it be that folks are preparing for the worst by taking care of themselves now?  If so, that would be a wonderful thing.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


Backdoor Survival Tip of the Day:  I have a great little freeware utility I use whenever the icons on my desktop get all messed up.  (And how does that happen anyway????)  It is called IconRestorer and what it basically does is place your carefully arranged icons back to their original location on the Windows screen.  I have been using this utility for about two months and it is truly free no nagware or anything.  You can download from the developers website here: IconRestorer Download.

From the Bargain Bin:  Amazon currently has my favorite little flash drive, the Kingston 4GB DataTraveler , priced at $7.95 with free shipping regardless of the size of the order.  That means you don’t need to purchase $25 worth of stuff to get free shipping.  I love this little guy – its perfect for storing copies all of my important documents (passport, drivers license, medical prescriptions, and yes, even my marriage license) as well as my preparedness lifestyle reference manuals.

The Lodge 12″ Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet is now $18.97at Amazon.  I plan to leave this link here until I see the price go up over $20.

Emergency Essentials is a great source of food for long term storage as well as supplies.  This is you last chance to get in on the June specials.

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Getting Prepared Week 23: Where There is No Dentist — 1 Comment

  1. You have such a knack for tabling issues that most people (myself included) don’t give nearly as much thought to as we should. Good oral hygiene is an absolute necessity–unless one wants to go ’round looking like Austin Powers. Groovy, baby!

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