Posts Tagged ‘dentists’

As dentists and dental hygienists have long known – there is a strong association between a ‘dirty’ mouth and systemic illnesses.  The link between dental infection and endocarditis (infection of heart valves) has been well-established.  (That’s why some people receive antibiotics before and after dental cleanings.)

Previous studies have shown that good oral care in hospitalized patients prevents the development of pneumonia – and recommend oral care (brushing etc.) every 4 to 6 hours while in the hospital.  (In ventilator-dependent patients – there are several protocols for aggressive dental care.)

Now scientists have identified new strains of a disease-causing bacteria in the mouth.

Patient information about dental prophylaxis

Most recent American Heart Association guidelines for antibiotics for dental and other procedures.

Additional References

Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jan;16(1):88-93.  Obesity, periodontal and general health: Relationship and management. Dahiya P, Kamal R, Gupta R.
Dhadse P, Gattani D, Mishra R.
Oliveira TF, Gomes Filho IS, Passos Jde S, Cruz SS, Oliveira MT, Trindade SC, Machado Ade S, Coelho JM, Santos CM, Cerqueira Ede M.
Cleve Clin J Med. 2011 Jan;78(1):36-8.  Q: Do patients with prosthetic joints require dental antimicrobial prophylaxis?  Gomez EO, Osmon DR, Berbari EF
Those antibiotics after joint replacement may be entirely unnecessary (and even potentially dangerous.)
Nurs Crit Care. 2011 Nov-Dec;16(6):295-302. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-5153.2011.00465.x. Epub  2011 Jul 26.  Chlorhexidine and tooth-brushing as prevention strategies in reducing ventilator-associated pneumonia rates.  Roberts N, Moule P.  [no free full text available.]

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is how I would rate my entire trip to Mexicali.  After making several previous trips to different parts of Mexico over the years – I had a lot of preconceived notions about Mexicali.  But despite being a large border city; I encountered few, if any of the tourist stereotypes that I expected (from visits to Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, and other tourist towns).  Instead of being treated like a ‘mark’ or a rich gringo, everyone I encountered went out of their way to be helpful, friendly and polite.  Strangers on the street offered directions – hotel staff gave friendly advice, and all of the medical receptionists I spoke with were exceedingly kind (which is not always the case.)  Much of the time, people on the street, in restaurants, and other locations assisted us in English.  Needless to say, it was a pleasant surprise – that my husband commented on several times.

Of course, some of the stereotypes about border towns were true; such as the occasional whiff of open sewer, poorly maintained sidewalks and pedestrian walkways but there were crosswalks at many corners and drivers did seem to yield to pedestrians.  Traffic was fairly smooth and uncongested in Zona Central.  Stoplights were present and functional, but the streets were not particularly well-lit at night, so I would advise taking the usual ‘big-city’ precautions.

The border crossings were easy (took about fifteen minutes to come back across to Calexico), and it seemed like even the American border patrol were more pleasant than usual.  (Unfortunately, I found in the past that they do look at you a bit sideways in Orlando after several months in Colombia).

I don’t usually recommend hotels and such (since I’m not ‘Trip Advisor’, after all) but in this case – I would like to recommend the Hotel del Norte for several reasons.  It’s a modest but attractive establishment, reasonably priced with friendly staff but more importantly, it’s one of few appropriate hotels in Zona Central, where most of the medical offices and hospitals are located.

There are quite a few gorgeous, and luxurious properties in Mexicali but most of them are located farther across town.  The Hotel del Norte is literally just steps away from the border on Francisco Maduro, which was very convenient for my needs. (I prefer to be in walking distance of the areas I am touring/ interviewing in.)  So – over time – as I move across town in my interviewing process, I get to see and know more parts of the city I am writing about.  I stayed in four different hotels while writing the first Cartagena book, for example.

I’ll bring you more news on my next visit..

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My readers may remember Dr. Richard Eljadue Martinez, DDS one of the dentists profiled in Hidden Gem.   He still maintains an active dental practice in the heart of Cartagena.

Dr. Eljadue also has a small hotel, Portal de San Diego in the middle of the historic district of the El Centro district.  (This is where I have been staying during my return visit to Cartagena – and as you should know by now, No – not for free – that’s not my style*.)

Portal de San Diego

Calle 2nd (segundo) de Badillo No 36 – 17

email: portaldesandiego@gmail.com

Portal San Diego is a charming hotel, a typical property with just a few rooms in the heart of one of the most interesting areas in Cartagena.  It is more than miles away from the high rises of Bocagrande and the modern, all access beach resorts lining the coastal highway – it is a world away.  The rooms are clean, comfortable and European in style – fast internet, hot water and air conditioning make it the perfect hideaway for a writer like myself with a myriad of nearby restaurants and cafes to supplement the complimentary breakfast.  It’s been such a nice place to relax and write while I’ve been here in Cartagena that it would be a crime not to mention it.

Since my first visit to interview Dr. Eljadue – he has added a small bar, Bar del Portal aside the hotel.  It’s a cozy, intimate sort of place, with a retro early 1960’s feel; everything is sparkling clean with crisp lines, and cool lighting.  Frank Sinatra or any of the Rat Pack would be perfectly at home in its relaxed atmosphere.  Normally the music is pure Colombiano – but for me, they’ve added a bit of Puerto Rican Reggeaton to the playlist.

One of the bartenders, Jesus (not pictured) looks a lot like the singer, Prince when he was younger and we joke about that as we sip Aguila and enjoy the evening.

Bar del Portal

*I do not accept gifts, payments or gratuities from any of the physicians or dentists profiled.  *

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