All the information a reader would expect from a textbook on gum disease, lucidly explained.

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Ignore Your Teeth and They'll Go Away

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO GUM DISEASE

From warning signs to treatment options, this book provides a trove of useful and often surprising facts about dental health.

In this new fourth edition, Sydney (Periodontics/Univ. of Maryland School of Dentistry) gives a brief history of dentistry, describes oral anatomy and what frequently goes wrong, and offers practical advice for combating gum disease. The volume benefits from a clear layout, logical arrangement of information, and first-rate figures showing, for example, a tooth in cross section or the progression of periodontal disease. It begins with evidence of ancient civilizations’ teeth problems, swiftly bringing things closer to the present day by inserting short profiles of key scientists, along with amusing trivia, such as early attempts at tooth transplantation showing up in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. The top cause of gum disease is plaque, due to bacteria. Today periodontal disease affects 75 percent of adults worldwide, the author writes, yet all too often people are blasé about it. “Bleeding in the mouth…has been considered ‘normal’ for so long that this important early warning sign is being ignored,” he regrets. Discoloration and inflammation (gingivitis—the first stage of gum disease) are two other symptoms to watch for. Sydney emphasizes that dental health and systemic health are interrelated, though not as a simple cause and effect. Maintaining a healthy mouth is thus crucial for overall health and vice versa; poor diet and smoking can wreak havoc on teeth. The informal “From my files” case studies deliver a nice change of pace and style, and chapters detailing what to expect from a visit to the periodontist and the various types of surgery and dental implants available are well-suited to laymen. Perhaps the most helpful section of all provides step-by-step instructions and diagrams for brushing and flossing—not as straightforward as one might think. For one thing, Sydney advises first using a dry brush to remove plaque before flossing and applying toothpaste as a polish. Clip art and a few typos (for example, “Forcasting” in a chapter title) detract only slightly from the volume’s professional appearance.

All the information a reader would expect from a textbook on gum disease, lucidly explained.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9968121-0-8

Page Count: 162

Publisher: Devida Publications

Review Posted Online: April 19, 2016

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.

WHY WE SWIM

A study of swimming as sport, survival method, basis for community, and route to physical and mental well-being.

For Bay Area writer Tsui (American Chinatown: A People's History of Five Neighborhoods, 2009), swimming is in her blood. As she recounts, her parents met in a Hong Kong swimming pool, and she often visited the beach as a child and competed on a swim team in high school. Midway through the engaging narrative, the author explains how she rejoined the team at age 40, just as her 6-year-old was signing up for the first time. Chronicling her interviews with scientists and swimmers alike, Tsui notes the many health benefits of swimming, some of which are mental. Swimmers often achieve the “flow” state and get their best ideas while in the water. Her travels took her from the California coast, where she dove for abalone and swam from Alcatraz back to San Francisco, to Tokyo, where she heard about the “samurai swimming” martial arts tradition. In Iceland, she met Guðlaugur Friðþórsson, a local celebrity who, in 1984, survived six hours in a winter sea after his fishing vessel capsized, earning him the nickname “the human seal.” Although humans are generally adapted to life on land, the author discovered that some have extra advantages in the water. The Bajau people of Indonesia, for instance, can do 10-minute free dives while hunting because their spleens are 50% larger than average. For most, though, it’s simply a matter of practice. Tsui discussed swimming with Dara Torres, who became the oldest Olympic swimmer at age 41, and swam with Kim Chambers, one of the few people to complete the daunting Oceans Seven marathon swim challenge. Drawing on personal experience, history, biology, and social science, the author conveys the appeal of “an unflinching giving-over to an element” and makes a convincing case for broader access to swimming education (372,000 people still drown annually).

An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-61620-786-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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