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Health Q&A

Posted August 01, 2012 in Advice Column, Urbandale

Q: What is an oral pathologist?

A: An oral pathologist is a dentist who has gone on for further education and specializes in studying tissue from the mouth and teeth to diagnose disease and prescribe treatment. Oral pathology is one of numerous areas of specialty that some dentists choose to enter after completing their basic dental education. An oral pathologist is also called an oral maxillofacial pathologist.

When a general dentist comes across a condition in your mouth, he or she may choose to remove a piece of tissue — called taking a biopsy — and send it to an oral pathologist for examination. It is the job of the oral pathologist to determine if the tissue sample is cancerous or infectious.

All dentists go through four years of dental school, earning a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM). There is no difference in the degrees. Most dentists then go on for post-graduate training, either in a residency program at a hospital or in further education to become a dental specialist. Talk with your dentist about the various areas of specialty that are available to you if you need them.

Information provided by Des Moines Dental Group, 708 First Ave S., 967-6611.

Q: What are the benefits of massage therapy?

A: Everybody is different, therefore every body is different. To give you a brief overview, massage therapy is the manipulation of the superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue to help hydrate the muscles, increase muscle recovery and promote overall well-being. So, whether it’s a chronic issue or simply relaxing the body and mind for 60 minutes, massage therapy can be very beneficial. Today, it’s frequently utilized as a preventative, wellness therapy rather than a mere luxury.

    Here are just a few specifics of what massage therapy can help with:
• Improved mood and reduced anxiety.
• Muscle injuries.
• Automobile accidents and whiplash.
• Torticollis. (Twisted neck in which the head is tipped to one side, while the chin is turned to the other.)
• Pregnancy-related back pain and other discomfort.
• Prevents and treats sore or overused muscles.
• Rheumatoid arthritis. (Long-term disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It can also affect other organs.)
• Headaches/tension, migraines.
• Numbness/tingling in arms, hands, legs or feet.
• Neck and low-back pain.

(Correction: Last month’s article was incorrectly attributed to chiropractic student Erica Parlee. We regret the error.)

Information provided by Kelsie Knowler, LMT, Yost Family Chiropractic, 3993 100th St., Urbandale,

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