IS THERE A CONNECTION BETWEEN ORAL AND MENTAL HEALTH

Mental health is linked to oral health, and vice versa. Good oral health can enhance mental and overall health, while poor oral health can exacerbate mental issues. Likewise, mental conditions can cause oral health issues. The connection between them is direct, cyclical and, when oral health is neglected, detrimental.

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DIABETES AND YOUR TEETH

Diabetes may cause serious problems with keeping your mouth healthy and having an attractive smile. The disease causes difficulties in the mouth, and problems in the mouth may cause trouble with diabetes. With diabetes, glucose is present in the saliva. When diabetes is not controlled, increased glucose in the saliva allows harmful bacteria to grow.   Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is the most widespread chronic inflammatory condition worldwide, says Dr. Wayne Aldredge.

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SMART APPS FOR DENTAL HEALTH CARE

Oral health is often taken for granted. The mouth is a window into the health of the entire 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.   Regardless of age, oral health is very important. Positive oral health leads to improved overall health. More Americans today are keeping their natural teeth throughout their lives.

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men dealing with alcohol abuse. During sessions with a health care provider,the client discusses his problem, habits and risk factors. The health care professional helps him set limits and develop coping skills, establishes support and offers further care if needed. Instead of total abstinence, the NIAAA recommends controlled drinking. Specialists are still looking at the idea of moderation for the person with AUD. They espouse it is healthier than going cold turnkey, does not lead to relapse as often and is more likely to fit the person’s lifestyle.


If you find yourself uncomfortable with your drinking, you probably need some form of treatment. It may include medications, counseling and support groups. Begin by talking to your health care provider.


Sources and Resources


•  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov)

•  Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.org)

•  Medline Plus (www.medlineplus.gov)

Here are a couple of important questions for men concerned about their health and wellness: Do you drink too much? Are you able to say “no” after having a few drinks?


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says excessive alcohol use is responsible for approximately 89,0000 deaths in the United States yearly. Men are more likely than women to drink to excess, and men have consistently higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations than women, according to the CDC.


The true alcoholic is generally unable to quit drinking once he gets started. In most cases, drinking directly affects his life in the form of lost friends, a marriage in tatters and/or a promising job decimated. The alcoholic may end up hitting rock bottom, but with proper help, he may be able to get past this difficult situation by practicing abstinence. This is the philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). With AA, the alcoholic finds “understanding, strength and hope,” a non-judgmental support group and the spiritual means to get his life back on track.


Alcohol use disorder (AUD) describes a group of people with alcohol problems who are only moderate drinkers. They may have two or three drinks a day for years never really getting drunk, but they are unable to quit drinking. It may also take them years to come to realize

ALCOHOL HAS A PROFOUND EFFECT ON MEN’S HEALTH

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines.

more articles by jean jeffers

they have an alcohol problem. Their drinking becomes more of a problem if they increase the amount of alcohol they imbibe. About 14 million Americans are affected by AUD; according to the literature, men are twice as likely as women to have it.


Research has shown a couple of drinks a day may help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The benefits lessen when someone has more than that. Excessive drinking increases blood pressure, overtaxes the liver, damages the immune system, increases one’s risk of developing various cancers and, most insidiously, tangles the brain. The longer a person is exposed to alcohol, the more serious and life-threatening the damage.


“Long-term alcohol use shrinks grey matter in the areas of your brain that govern learning, memory, decision-making and social behavior,” said George Knob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).


The NIAAA recommends a type of treatment known as brief interventions for