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This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Obada Barry, DMD, oral surgeon, Bonn University.

In addition to what has been said before, these are a few of the basic medical facts that I think everybody should know about:


1. Normal vital signs in human adults:


  • Rectal (most accurate) / Aural (the ear) is 99.6 F / 37.7 C
  • Oral is 98.6 F / 37 C

Blood pressure: systolic (100-120 mmHg), diastolic below (80 mm Hg)

Pulse: normal resting pulse can range between 60-100 beats per minute. This number is decreased in athletes.

2. The immune system is very complex and can fight many diseases on its own.

3. Persistent headache is something that should encourage you to see your doctor ASAP.

4. Cleanliness and good general hygiene reduces your chances of getting sick. Hand washing is essential.

5. Medicine cannot cure everything, in fact, medicine helps relieve the signs and symptoms of a disease more often.

6. Patient-doctor relations are very important. If you don't feel comfortable with your doctor, try seeing someone else. Your doctor will most likely be not offended by this.

7. Psychological health is as important as physical health, and many of the diseases that we still don't truly understand may be caused by stress.

8. Sport is essential for the body and the mind. I cannot stress this enough!

9. Natural and healthy diet is vital for overall well being.

10. Many sources of medical information online are not very accurate. You must discuss any question with your doctor, and never feel shy about anything. A doctor's job is to never make fun of patients.

11. In case of an emergency, call for help. If the patient needs CPR, you can follow the steps here: http://depts.washington.edu/lear...More details here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health...


1. See your dentist at least twice a year. He can spot small cavities or lesions and eliminate the need for more invasive procedures, whether the problem is in the teeth or other parts in the oral cavity.

2. Plaque control is the most effective way to a cavity-free mouth; brush, floss and use mouth rinses that contain fluoride.

3. If you feel pain in your tooth, visit your dentist as soon as possible; you could still have your tooth fixed without root canal treatment if the lesion did not reach the pulp.

4. Diets that contain huge amounts of sugar will cause cavities. But most importantly, the frequency of consumption is of a greater impact. If you eat chocolate 5 times a day for instance, your teeth will have greater chance of becoming decayed than eating chocolate once.

5. Children should visit the dentist as soon they have teeth (around 6 months). Don’t wait until all teeth are erupted. Your dentist can help and show you how to take care of your child’s teeth while he/she still can’t.

6. Putting aspirin on a painful tooth will cause ulceration of the mucosa.

7. In case of teeth injury such as avulsion … do not wipe the tooth if it falls on the ground because you could damage root (PDL) cells. Leave this to your dentist. You have a golden period between 30-60 min. After that, chances of successful reimplantation of the avulsed tooth decrease.Many pharmacies sell ready to use storage medias that you can store the avulsed tooth in. Every house should have one of these.


1. Keep medication away from children.

2. No medication is completely safe; everything has side effects.

3. Following the instruction of each medication is vital for correct results.

4. Acetaminophen (paracetamol) should never be given with alcohol, this will damage your liver. [Never drink alcohol with any medication as a general rule].

5. NSAIDS (aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen...etc) can cause ulcers in the GI tract. Do not eat it on empty stomach.

6. Aspirin will affect blood clotting.

7. Adhere to antibiotic doses, and NEVER stop if you feel better. Finish the whole regimen prescribed by your doctor.

8. Antiviral medications are different from antibiotics. Antivirals are effective against viruses, whereas antibiotics are effective against disease caused by bacteria.

9. Don't experiment with herbal products without consulting your doctor; they may interact with your medication and cause serious side effects.

The information in this answer is just to a give you a general idea. If you have any personal questions, please ask your doctor or primary care provider.

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