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Oral health is easily one of the more overlooked aspects in achieving good overall health. The reason behind this is that people tend to see it as a luxury rather than a necessity, and just another part of their life that does not directly or greatly affect their body. Obviously, this is wrong. While physical and mental health receives more focus, the importance of dental health is as significant as the two aforementioned.
The underlying fact still remains – good overall health is achieved only by receiving care for all the aspects.
Many still wonder what the true essence of good dental care is. As such, it is important to shed some light on the significance of having such, find the link between oral health and general health, and learn the steps one must take to achieve the best dental health possible. Here are 3 things you should know about oral health:
Oral Health Means Much More Than Healthy Teeth
Oral health touches every aspect of human life but is often taken for granted. One’s mouth is in fact a window into the health of the body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Systemic diseases, those that affect the entire body, may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems.
A thorough oral examination can detect signs of nutritional deficiencies as well as a number of systemic diseases, including microbial infections, immune disorders, injuries, and some cancers. Indeed, the phrase the ‘mouth is a mirror’ has been used to illustrate the wealth of information that can be derived from examining oral tissues.
With regard to the broadened meaning of oral health, the definition of overall health has eventually evolved. The standard definition of health, which is “freedom from disease, defect, or pain,” defines what health is not, rather than what it is. A more positive definition, one that the World Health Organization established in 1948, states that health is a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being, and not just the absence of infirmity.
As such, it follows that oral health has created a link with one’s well-being and physiological stability. Just as people now understand that nature and nurture are inextricably linked, and mind and body are both expressions of human biology, people must now recognize that oral health and general health are inseparable.
So often, many people do ignore the signs and symptoms of oral disease and dysfunction to their own detriment. Consequently, given the definition by WHO, this entails that oral health is in fact integral to general health. One cannot be healthy when oral health is taken for granted.
This is why oral health and general health should not be interpreted as separate entities. The former is a critical component of the latter and both must be taken into consideration in the provision and design of healthcare services and programs to every community.
The Link Between Oral Health and General Health
To better understand how the mouth can affect the body, it helps to first determine what can possibly go wrong when oral health is disregarded in the first place.
Bacteria that build up on the teeth make gums prone to infection. The immune system then moves in to attack the infection and the gums become inflamed. Later on, the inflammation continues unless the infection is brought under control.
Over time, inflammation and the chemicals it releases eat away at the gums and bone structure that hold teeth in place. The result is severe gum disease, known as periodontitis . Inflammation can also cause more serious problems to the rest of the body.
The working relationship between diabetes and periodontitis may be the strongest of all the connections between the mouth and body. People with diabetes have trouble processing sugar because of a lack of insulin, the hormone that converts sugar into energy. In this case, an inflammation in the mouth may serve as a sign that the body is beginning to lose the ability to control blood sugar.
Also, according to the Academy of General Dentistry people with chronic gum disease have a higher risk of having a heart attack. Researchers have learned that gum disease may contribute to heart disease because bacteria from infected gums can dislodge, enter the bloodstream, and attach to blood vessels and increase clot formation.
It has also been suggested that inflammation caused by gum disease may also trigger clot formation. Clots decrease blood flow to the heart, thereby causing an elevation in blood pressure and increasing the risk of a heart attack.
In line with symptoms evident in the mouth, doctors can actually collect and test saliva to detect other ailments based on a variety of substances that can be detected in the specimen. For example, cortisol levels in saliva are used to test for stress responses in newborn children. Fragments of certain bone-specific proteins may be checked, providing useful information in monitoring bone density in men and women who are prone to osteoporosis. Certain cancer markers and hormone levels are also detectable in saliva.
Routine saliva testing can also reveal the presence of illegal drugs, environmental toxins, hormones and antibodies indicating hepatitis or HIV infection, among other things. In fact, the ability to detect HIV-specific antibodies has led to the production of commercial, easy-to-use saliva test kits. In the future, saliva testing may replace blood testing as a means of diagnosing and monitoring diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cirrhosis of the liver and many infectious diseases.
Steps to Take to be Orally Healthy
Taking good care of a person’s mouth, teeth and gums is already a healthy measure in itself. Good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease—and can help one keep his or her teeth as they get older.
It is important to always look for dental health professionals who are able to help you in deciding how to address any related health problems. Health Canada, a leading health authority in Canada, states that oral health is important at all stages of life. Seeking help from a Calgary pediatric dentist, or any other professional dental health practitioner, can mean the difference between a comfortable life and a sluggish day full of mouth related pains and aches.
Good dental health is a combination of proper daily maintenance (brushing and flossing) along with regular visits to dental care professional. People with crooked teeth, misaligned jaws and other problems with their mouth can often benefit from orthodontic procedures, such as braces or other techniques to correct the problems.
Braces – once for adolescents only – can now help people of all ages correct problems with their teeth and jaws. Not only do orthodontic procedures aid in improving the appearance, but it can also improve proper digestion (i.e. chewing of food) and even enhance speech problems, in some cases.
Researchers are also discovering more reasons to brush and floss. As stated, a healthy mouth may help ward off medical disorders. Consequently, an unhealthy mouth, especially if the person is inflicted with gum disease, may increase his or her risk of serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm labor.
Many dentists also suggest eating a healthy diet and limiting between-meal snacks. Various related studies show that, as a rule of thumb, one should: replace toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed, avoid tobacco use, and lastly, visit the dentist regularly.
It’s a common belief that you don’t have to go to a dentist if you’re not feeling any dental pain, and that white teeth is an indication of healthy teeth. Well, that’s not entirely true – nor is the fact that you don’t need to floss. To get everything straight, here are 7 myths on dental care debunked. You should keep them in mind so that you can fully take care of your teeth and achieve that perfect smile!
White teeth mean healthy teeth.
One of the most common myths is that having whiter teeth means that your teeth are healthy. Your teeth may be white, but this cannot really show if there is an infection or cavities between the teeth. Plus, not everyone can achieve the pearly white teeth advertised in TV ads. The natural color of teeth varies from one person to another, and people with healthy teeth could have more yellowish teeth than another person.
Moreover, teeth naturally become a little discolored as one ages. This is also the case with teeth when they begin to break down. As such, tooth discoloration has been associated with unhealthy teeth – but, again, it is not always the case.
Bleaching is dangerous for your teeth.
Bleaching has been practiced by dentists for years now, and it’s no longer dangerous to your dental health.
Bleaching is a popular service being offered in recent years, given the availability of the technology that allows patients to get whiter smiles faster and safer. However, prior to 90’s, the raw materials used to bleach teeth were acidic and would actually break down enamel. Nowadays, the bleaching materials have a neutral PH and do not show any evidence of damage to the enamel or root of the tooth.
When you are bleaching your teeth, you are simply oxidizing your teeth using carbamide peroxide so that light refracts more favorably off the enamel. What can be dangerous is aggressively using high concentrations of whitening gels that can traumatize or shock the teeth. Prolonged use of bleaching could cause sensitivity, but once you stop using any bleaching solutions, traces of pain should go away naturally.
Beauty salons are excellent places to get your teeth whitened.
Contrary to popular belief, beauty salons shouldn’t be a place to go to when you want your teeth whitened. It is illegal for beauticians to offer tooth-whitening treatments, and it is solely done by licensed practitioners of dentistry. This means that tooth whitening can only be legally performed by a dentist, a dental therapist, dental hygienist or a clinical dental technician working on the prescription of a dentist. You also need to see a dentist before you see the other dental professionals to receive the treatment.
The rules are there to protect your teeth and gums. Dental medicine practitioners train for many years to understand the ins and outs of dental medicine, to recognize disease and to know what treatments best suit which patient and how to carry them out. The same is true with teeth whitening procedures. Professionals in tertiary hospitals or specialized facilities like Hamptons Dental use whitening gels and high grade equipment just to make sure that the whitening in your teeth is done right.
Brushing teeth immediately after eating is the best way to go.
Brushing your teeth immediately after eating can actually affect the enamel of your teeth. Surely, it’s tempting to grab your toothbrush and scrub away at your teeth straight after a meal to get rid of any food particles. In reality, this can be detrimental to your dental health as it can do more harm than good.
Foods containing citric acid, like oranges, grapefruits and lemons, weaken tooth enamel. Brushing too soon after eating them can damage the enamel in its weakened state.
If you really want to stimulate the sensation of brushing, it is more recommended for you to chew sugar-free gum – it stimulates saliva flow, cleans the mouth of food debris and neutralizes plaque acids. When you do get around to cleaning your teeth a little later, try not to be too aggressive with your brushing. Far better is to invest in a powered toothbrush that scientists have proven to be a better, kinder option for your teeth.
The more sugar you eat, the worse off your teeth become.
Surely, sugar is bad for your teeth, but it’s actually not the sugar that is hurting them. Bacteria in the mouth needs processed sugar to survive, but if you don’t consume sugar and have poor oral hygiene habits, you are still prone to the same decay. Also, if you eat a lot of processed sugars you are more likely to incur a certain amount of tooth decay.
Several species of oral bacteria feed on carbohydrates and produce acid as a byproduct through a process of simple fermentation. These bacteria live on the teeth in a biofilm called plaque. At this point, the acid slowly eats away at the tooth enamel, a thin layer of largely calcium that covers the tooth. The human tooth is in a constant state of mineralization and demineralization. Saliva helps neutralize acid from food to keep demineralization at a minimum. However, if the region gets too acidic, then demineralization takes over and rot sets in.
Nonetheless, maintaining oral hygiene through brushing and flossing regularly clears away food residue and starves the bacteria, keeping its growth in check. In the absence of brushing, the carbohydrates that linger the longest can cause the most damage.
Overall, the true cause of tooth decay is the combination of bacteria, sugar, and acid. Your gums can get irritated if sugar gets caught in between your teeth. It is important to brush or rinse after eating, especially after sweets, to get rid of the sugars and acids that can damage the enamel.
Flossing is not Important
Flossing is definitely important for oral health. Flossing is an extra step that a lot of people tend to skip after brushing their teeth which can lead to the buildup of bacteria. If you don’t floss, you are not cleaning almost 33% of the tooth surfaces that regular brushing can’t reach.
Brushing alone cannot clean the whole area around a tooth when there is another tooth beside it. Flossing completes tooth brushing by removing dental plaque and food debris remaining in the inter-proximal region (the area that is between two teeth). That region is a place where tooth decay commonly forms.
Also, if dental plaque that is found between teeth is not cleaned, it can eventually release bad odors from your mouth. This is a major reason why a person may suffer from bad breath (halitosis). In fact, Tooth decay and gum disease, also caused by dental plaque, are the usual source of a bad smell in the mouth.
“Fine”-looking teeth is enough of a sign to disregard your dentist appointment
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality does not apply to oral health; it’s mainly because you wouldn’t really know if something’s wrong with your teeth until you go to a dentist or when the situation has gone worse. This is why you should have your teeth checked up regularly.
Experts at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend that adults should be called for check-ups, depending on risk factors including alcohol, tobacco use and diet. It is recommended to go to a dentist every three months for those who are at high risk of dental problems, and every two years for those with lower risks.
It’s wise to visit your dental team regularly even if you are not experiencing any problems with your mouth or teeth. Having your teeth checked regularly helps you and your dentist, dental hygienist or dental therapist in keeping your teeth and gums healthy and pain-free.
If you’re looking for the best appointment software for your medical profession, you don’t need to dig any deeper through the internet – here are the top six websites that can provide you with the best appointment scheduling solutions.
Appointmentseasy.com is an online appointment portal that directly pinpoints the healthcare market, with an emphasis on European medical professionals. The service is free, and makes money through ads on the portal, optional paid features like SMS reminders, and an optional, ad-free premium version.
Appointmentseasy.com is available to health professionals, medical secretaries and patients for the management and optimization of appointments in the medical practice. It boasts of its simple search module through a 24h service, where patients can easily find their medical appointments at any time of the day. It allows doctors, practitioners, ophthalmologists, dentists, veterinary physicians and other medical and paramedical practitioners, as well as medical secretaries, to reduce the necessity of endless phone calls through its online platform. This gives the practitioners more room to focus on the management of the clinic without losing control on their agenda.
Then again, the User Interface (UI) may not be as slick as other physician appointment websites, and the focus on the European medical market may limit functionalities for professionals outside the continent.
However, in spite of its downside, the fact that this system was built with doctors in mind means it includes features that more general scheduling suites do not. This ranges from the ability for patients to select their health insurance provider when making an appointment, to a management tool for medical office secretaries.
Intrigma.com is clearly a great Physician Scheduling Software especially when it comes to its professional mix of functionality and aesthetics. Their website is easy to navigate, and the simplicity of the UI is something that anyone can appreciate.
One of the two main focuses of Intrigma is to enable clinicians to focus on patients. Intrigma’s core value is helping medical professionals achieve a better work-life balance so that they can better focus on their patients.
“We view clinicians as the front line and most critical resource in health care delivery.”
Another one of their mantras is “Obsession with Quality”. It is Intrigma’s belief that software in the medical field exists to serve clinicians and administrative staff. “We are quite alarmed at how often this is overlooked and healthcare staff are slowed down by technology. Our products have a unique balance of ease of use with sophisticated functionality. When this is achieved the clinicians can better focus on their patients.”
Intrigma boasts of their fast and organized collection of requests online, where medical providers submit their requests for each schedule online, allowing the scheduler to track and prioritize requests in one location as the schedule is built. Also, they have a “Centralized Scheduling” feature which allows users to manage schedules, requests, and provider contact information for multiple departments and/or hospitals within one system without having to switch back and forth between several paper copies of each.
Overall, Intrigma is one of the physical scheduling softwares that’s ahead of its time when it comes to technology.
Appointy is rather one of the more popular appointments scheduling tool on the market. it works on a plethora of different operating systems, and their services can be tendered through native mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows 8. The free version is ad-supported, and feature-limited, while paid plans start at $9.99 a month.
The main thing that made Appointy so famous is that they established a platform that can reach through almost anyone, such as providing access through Facebook, Blogs and even those without a website. Appointy can create a ‘tab’ in your Facebook page allowing customers to schedule their next appointment. Facebook visitors are 3x more likely to book their next appointment with you, because of the ease of scheduling.
You can also start accepting appointments on your website, since the Appointy website widget seamlessly integrates with your existing website. Plus, even if you don’t have your own website, Appointy provides a unique sub-domain that you can use to create your own booking page – for free!
The only downside with Appointy is that it could be costly for the uninitiated. The free option is fairly feature-limited, and doesn’t have recurring bookings, separate staff logins, or unrestricted Google Calendar linking. Then again, the free version does include unlimited bookings, a mobile version, and SMS reminders.
ClickBook is the solution that fully automates the menial tasks associated with managing customer appointments, and increases customer engagement through real-time, self-service booking and automated text and email reminders. By blending flexibility and functionality plus simple design, ClickBook fits perfectly into an extremely broad spectrum of businesses – including salons, home services, sports facilities, schools & universities, government services and even wellness professionals involved in the provision of appointment-based services.
ClickBook aims at the smaller-scale end of the market when it comes to appointment provision. It is free for one user and one physical address, and 50 or fewer current bookings. The free version, however, is supported by ads while paid plans start at $19.95 a month.
ClickBook is also one of the easiest to use, since its calendar-themed design gives you a lot of information even at first sight. Unfortunately the free version of ClickBook is limited to only one user. However, it does include free access to recurring appointments, email appointment reminders, and ‘smart scheduling’ that can coordinate with provider schedules.
DocMeIn.com is designed by doctors, for doctors. This free online scheduling service is a collaboration of developers and medical practitioners. The professional merger’s purpose is to create a tool that can deliver exactly what a Physician Scheduling Software should be able to address.
“Doctors don’t have to suffer because of our distractions and carelessness,” as DocMeIn.com says. With this website, you now have exactly the right tool to make sure that appointments are done seamlessly. Inputs to this website are automatically translated by the software into an appointment, which eventually provides a calendar – through computers, mobile devices or Web applications – and synchronized anywhere and anytime you need it.
Surely, you can still call your patients the old-fashioned way; but DocMeIn believes that they can help medical practitioners by having the website do the scheduling for them automatically with their superb text-to-speech and telephony technologies. You can even have DocMeIn send a reminder in the form of a text message to a patient’s mobile phone. Then again, in this fast-paced age, your busiest patients would still appreciate free email or mobile reminders so that they won’t miss any appointment.
Finally, DocMeIn allows unlimited patients, reminders, appointments, and recalls. Right now the whole service is totally free, but DocMeIn does plan to add premium features like text reminders, on a pay-as-you-go model.
With its free online appointment scheduler that can be added to your existing website, Sagenda.com can manage internal scheduling with its user-friendly system and innovative scheduling process. Sagenda targets a range of businesses, including medical practices, chiropractors, and naturopaths. The software is totally free, without even an upgrade option to a paid version, as Sagenda makes money though providing custom options to large, enterprise clients.
Sagenda boasts of its aesthetics and commitment to ease of use when it comes to their UI: they don’t have Ads and web banners on their website, their online booking tool is 100% responsive and can be accessed through a smartphone. Furthermore, they don’t spam your emails, and Sagenda is totally embeddable on leading websites such as WordPress, iWeb, and many other hosting and cms providers.
Sagenda is simple and clean, and integrates easily as a plugin into WordPress and iWeb websites. It includes email notifications and patient self-service.
The world of medicine and health sciences is profoundly dominated by the fields which reveal a direct relation to human health and providing a cure for diseases. Without a doubt, these prevalent specialties offer a higher salary for professionals, which is a good reason most people are motivated to take on the aforementioned fortes especially during these hard economic times.
Specialties like orthopaedic surgery, cardiology, urology, and oncology are atop the ranks of the best paying medical fields. More and more medicine students are inclined to take up these lines of study primarily because of today’s demand for improved healthcare. With that said, less people are taking up professions that do not explicitly involve human health.
One of which is the field of veterinary medicine.
Veterinary medicine as most people know, is a field of medicine that deals with health care for animals, animal diseases, and their treatments. From what people understand, it is just a study that deals with animals and their welfare. This is actually an incorrect generalization of the noble discipline of veterinary.
Taking a deeper look into the science, what does animal medicine really have to do with human health? Here are some facts about how vets and vet research can actually save people’s lives.
They Investigate and Test New Medicines on Animals
Two words: lab rats.
Professionals often study new drugs through animals. This comes as no shock, considering the fact that drugs tested on humans may not only cause significant effects to the human body, but can lead to fatalities. It follows that ethical and moral issues on human rights would arise and create chaos in civilization.
That is why it is established that animals can be exploited for testing. Then again, who are the professionals who have knowledge about animal medicine? That’s right: vets.
Medical publishing and research about veterinary care has been a major pathway for professionals to inform the public about these academic explorations. These publications also help pave way for other researchers to improve their studies. In fact, veterinary research can further be stemmed to a number of related fields which provides another perspective to the wide array of which type of vet can focus their research on.
There lays a direct correlation regarding animal behavior under drugs and human behavior under drugs. For instance, vets can research how probiotics for dogs with diarrhea can be correlated with people with the same digestive issue. Furthermore, they can research on the associative link between animal treatment and overall human health. This is how researchers study how a healthy dog (as man’s best friend) affect the overall mental health of an owner.
With those facts at hand, the study of veterinary medicine proves to be an important facet towards human health.
Vets Provide Safety For Our Food Supply
It is imperative that a good balanced diet is a part of a person’s lifestyle. One of the significant parts of a balanced diet is having protein from chicken, pigs and cattle. This is the logic behind the importance of professionals who safeguard the care and health of farm animals.
More often, veterinary experts are employed by national governments to act as food safety inspectors to test food supply for contamination and to check animal diseases (and treat them) before they are processed into food.
Simply put, vets make sure our food supply from farm animals are guaranteed safe to consume. With good reason, seeing the fact that unhealthy food can lead to an unhealthy person. Research provides that meat from stressed animals or ‘double dead’ meat can be a source of a wide array of diseases. Veterinarians attend to these issues on a large scale, even as far as a worldwide gauge to prevent any outbreaks of diseases.
Vets Cut Outbreaks To The Roots
In continuation with providing safety and research on animal pathology, there is deep connection of animals to pandemics that exist today.
Another thing to consider is the fact that most diseases are inflicted on animals first, and then later transferred to humans. Possibly fatal viruses like avian flu, West Nile virus, and even Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are in fact derived from animals. This makes it essential that professionals deduce what factors and circumstances allowed viruses to be developed. In addition, medically publishing these studies can help other researchers assimilate ideas in further explorations.
These researches, which vets and affiliated fields perform, are vital to the field of medicine, since the first step towards any permanent solution to medical outbreaks is tracing the origin of the disease.
Vets Conduct Check Ups For Mother Earth
Animals provide a method to view how mother earth behaves. In fact, animals’ actions serve as symptoms for environmental health since fauna are the first ones to be inflicted with the effects of environmental changes. This comes as a logical approach for people to take a good look on earth’s wellbeing.
Veterinarians have made use of this logic and are actually monitoring wildlife. Evident in today’s scene, one way researchers validated climate change is by observing how animals migrate and how their health has declined because of it. Veterinary research and animal behavioral studies indicate that migration and overall health of animals provide proof that there are certain factors that can change their original biological niche.
This kind of environmental check-up is instrumental in providing a solution to the worsening issue of climate change. More so, it has provided a novel outlook with regard to how animals and the environment are directly linked.
The field of veterinary research tends to be snubbed in the field of medicine overall. This is because of the outstanding misconception that veterinary research only deals with the wellness and welfare of animals.
Come to think of it, people are animals. The main difference lies on humans’ capacity to think, and the capacity to be directed with that mental prowess. It is about time that people use that mental prowess to appreciate the wonders veterinary medicine can offer to them.
Veterinary research comes as an integral part of many medical findings. In pharmacy and pathology, drugs are initially tested on animals so that researchers can have a good look at what it can potentially do to a human being. Another important contribution of veterinary research is that it offers safety to the food supply which is vital to people’s lives.
With regard to diseases, vets are responsible for tracking down the root cause of viruses which are frequently of animal origin. Furthermore, the field also gives people another perspective on how mother earth is doing with all the tolls humans have given to her.
Overall, there is so much that veterinary research can offer. This is why people must start to recognize its noble discipline and the field of medicine to continue giving efforts to substantiate effective veterinary research. Furthermore, people who are inclined to the field of health sciences should be encouraged to take up this specialty given the countless things it can actually give to the overall knowledge of the human race.
After all, being a veterinary physician is as promising as it could get. Vet on that.
Regardless of the growth related to computer technology and medicine, many of the medical encounters are still being documented using paper records. Electronic medical records have a number of documented advantages, yet the use of it is still relatively sparse.
The Purpose Behind Medical Records
The main goal of medical records is to serve as a source for clinical observations and patient analysis. Any records with an interaction with a patient will usually start off with the medical history of the patient and then a physical examination. The history generally contains the patient’s main complaint such as a skin rash or chest or stomach pain as well as any other pertinent symptoms to the main complaint. The physical exam will contain a list of the physical findings like enlarged lymph nodes or abdominal tenderness. This process is then followed by assessments that will adhere to the direct problem and then a plan for a diagnosis or treatment will be put into place.
Issues Surrounding Electronic Medical Records
Various issues have been recently identified with EMR (Electronic Medical Record). Many of these problems have been related to computer down-time, lack in standards, increase in provider time and threats related to patient confidentiality. A specific amount of studies conducted have suggested that electronic-order entries increase on the time doctors spend on entering these orders. In other studies it has been suggested that residents in hospitals needed around 44 minutes extra every day when utilizing computerized entries. This has however, resulted in the development of methods to streamline these order entries.
Another real concern surrounding EMR systems would be computer down-time. This means that doctors may be faced with the threat of not being able to access the required information on a patient when it is needed. However, the increase related to computer reliability in computer systems is beginning to diminish these concerns.
A far more significant problem that is related to EMR systems is the lack-of-standards for interchanging information. Even though there are standards in place for aspects such as billing information, test results and diagnosis codes, there are no consensus in relation to the areas such as the symptoms and signs of the patient, procedure codes, test interpretations and radiology. The related issues to these standards are associated with a large amount of the clinical information that is “locked” in what is known as “narrative text.”
The last concern related to EMR systems is the issue surrounding patient confidentiality and security. However, this particular problem already exists and is independent from EMR due to the fact that much of the medical information that is abstracted from these paper records exists in the electronic repositories. A number of privacy experts have already documented threats on how this information is misused.