PMS, Sedation Dentistry, and Dreamy Scents

October 17, 2008 4:16:00 PM PDT
One new study has a sweet-smelling way to pleasant dreams, while another may have a more natural fix for pre-menstrual syndrome. And it you'd like to sleep through dental work, do your homework ahead of time

The Scents of Sleep

What you smell while you are sleeping may become part of your dreams.

German scientists used different aromas to see how they would affect volunteers in a study.

When they used a positive smell, like the scent of roses, the volunteers had better dreams.

But with bad odors, such as rotten eggs, the snoozers reported having bad dreams.

Researchers hope one day, aromas could be used as therapy while you sleep - especially to help those with sleep problems.

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Easing PMS Symptoms

Doctors in Iran have found a "spicy" treatment for premenstrual syndrome - saffron.

Three-quarters of the women taking saffron capsules saw a major improvement in their PMS symptoms, including depression.

Doctors believe the saffron affects the activity of serotonin, a brain chemical known to be a key in PMS.

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"Sleep dentistry": Keep your eyes wide open

Going to sleep while you get dental work done may sound like a dream.

But make sure you go into it with your eyes wide open to the pros & cons.

First, patients aren't truly asleep.

Dr. Todd Thierer, of the University of Rochester Mdedical Center, says, "It can put you in a state where you don't remember exactly that's going on, you're not conscious of what's going on."

Sedation dentistry uses a variety of medications - usually short-acting ones, to make sure you don't "stay under" too long.

Dr. Thierer says, "I would say for people who are pretty severely anxious, 90-minutes to 2 hours is probably the time limit."

Another thing to consider - I-V medications are easier to control than oral ones.

"So if people are getting too deep, I can use the reversal agent to bring then out of it. That can't be done if you give something by mouth," Dr. Thierer adds.

Be sure to ask how your dentist does sedation before getting into the chair.


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