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Cavities, prescription medical foods

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May 10th, 2016

Q. I’ve always had strong, healthy teeth, but now I seem to have cavities much more often. Is there a reason?

A. Many factors can affect your teeth as you age. Your enamel wears down over time. You may not produce as much saliva, and many medications can also contribute to a dry mouth. You are more prone to gum disease. In addition, changes in your vision, muscle weakness, or arthritis may affect your ability to brush and floss as well as you used to. Talk to your regular doctor to see if you might have a health condition or a medication that is affecting your teeth. Pay close attention when you brush and floss and use fluoride toothpaste. Your dentist may recommend an in-office fluoride treatment to strengthen your enamel.  

Q. Are there prescription medical foods that can help Alzheimer’s disease? 

A. There are a number of alternative treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, including gingko biloba, omega-3 fatty acids, and caprylic acid. Some of these are marketed as medical foods, which are available by prescription. The main problem with medical foods is that they are not required to undergo the same type of rigorous clinical testing as drugs to prove their effectiveness. The Food and Drug Administration regulates them, however, based on their safety profile—they must be considered “generally recognized as safe.” Although manufacturers claim that these foods have been shown to improve symptoms in some Alzheimer’s patients, the Alzheimer’s Association’s viewpoint is that there is not enough scientific evidence to support these findings.  

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Robert Stewart, M.D.

Medical Director, Wind Crest

Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Dr. Stewart received his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University in College Station, Tex., and his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He completed his residency at Floyd County Hospital in Rome, Ga. Stewart is board-certified in family medicine. He joined Wind Crest in November 2013.

 

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