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Health Q&A

Posted October 31, 2012 in Advice Column, Urbandale

Q: What is trench mouth?

A: Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, or trench mouth¸ is a painful form of gum disease that includes the destruction of gum tissue around the teeth and creation of crater-like ulcers in the gum that are filled with plaque and food debris. Other symptoms are a grayish film on the gums and a constant foul taste and breath. It is a rare disorder, brought on or exacerbated by factors including poor oral hygiene, poor nutrition, other infections in the mouth or throat, smoking and stress. The term “trench mouth” came from the condition’s prevalence among soldiers in World War I.

Your dentist may recommend a salt-water rinse to soothe sore gums and hydrogen peroxide rinse to wash away decayed gum tissue. If fever accompanies your condition, the dentist may also prescribe an antibiotic. The good news is that the condition normally responds well to treatment. Left untreated, though, the infection can spread to other parts of the mouth and jaw. Talk with your dentist about ways to keep your mouth healthy.

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

Q: What are some natural solutions to depression?

A: In the United States alone, more people are being diagnosed with depression than ever before. There are various medical options but many are now choosing an alternate route.

There are many causes of depression that range from being pain-related, physical or mental challenges, work/life balance, genetic illnesses, to hormonal shifts, etc. If looking for an alternate route, regardless of cause, I’m here to give you hope. Whether it’s for you or a friend or family member, let them know that nutrition, acupuncture, and/or chiropractic care may help.

Nutrition was discussed first and can play a huge role in getting your body the right “building blocks and tools” needed to function optimally. Just like a performance engine needs the right fuel, our bodies need the right nutrients or the performance of “our” vehicle suffers.

In addition, acupuncture treatments may decrease negative feelings and improve wellbeing in many individuals.

Chiropractors deal with the nervous system (brain and spinal cord). The explanation for why it helps with depression is twofold. One, chiropractic can help with decreasing pain which researchers have shown can decrease or end depression in some. Two, chiropractic can not only help with pain but alleviate stress, helping the mind relax and allow individuals to better manage their lives.

From nutrition to acupuncture to chiropractic care, no one is saying it will always cure depression on its own… but it can positively help individuals along the way.

If you have any questions and would like more information on this, please email us at

Information provided by Dr. Heather Yost, CACCP, Yost Family Chiropractic, 3993 100th St., Urbandale,

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