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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Just what is in the food we eat? Considering the food chain, did you know adding antibiotics to food dates back to the 1940s? Antibiotic use has led to a dramatic reduction in illness and death from infectious diseases, yet there is a downside to this practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others encourage health care professionals and patients to use antibiotics more wisely and seek education and understanding about both the risks and benefits of using them.


Nearly 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in the United States are used in meat and poultry production. The vast majority are given to healthy animals to promote growth or prevent disease in unsanitary conditions. The meat and poultry production industries argue there is no harm in this practice and insist they are in compliance with that policy from the past century.


The critical question is whether antibiotic use in animals promotes the development of hard-to-treat antibiotic-resistant superbugs that make people sick. Could current usage in animals pose a serious threat to human health? The Consumers Union has concluded the threat to public health from the overuse of antibiotics in food animals is real and growing. Humans are at risk both due to the potential presence of superbugs in meat and poultry and to the general migration of

ANTIBIOTICS IN OUR FOOD

superbugs into the environment, where they can transmit their genetic immunity to antibiotics to bacteria for which there are currently no immune capabilities.


Several health organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the Infectious Disease Society of America and the World Health Organization, have called for significant reductions in the use of antibiotics for animal food production.


Sources and Resources


DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emeritus and senior research scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut; retired service chief from the VA Medical Center; and tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.

more articles by Dr thomas w. miller