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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The holidays bring joy – and sadness – to many people. On the positive side, the holidays boost health for about a month, making people feel better. The holiday spirit helps people rest, relax, improve sleep patterns, reduce blood pressure, strengthen relationships and live longer. They can even work wonders for the libido.


Now, in something of a first, scientific principles have been used to explore the extent to which holidays really do make people feel better. The results of a clinical research project found up to two-thirds of the subjects studied experienced positive results in their lives during the holiday season.


What about the other third? Holiday blues can affect individuals in a number of different ways. Those who find themselves suffering back-to-work-blues after their holiday break should take heart: Scientists found the benefits of a holiday break are physical as well as psychological and can last for a month after returning to work.


Indeed, the holiday season is a time full of joy, cheer, parties and family gatherings. However, for many people, it is also a time of self-evaluation, loneliness, reflection on past failures and anxiety about an uncertain future.




HOLIDAY HEALTH & WELLNESS: BEATING THOSE HOLIDAY BLUES

Many factors can cause the holiday blues, including stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, over-commercialization, financial constraints and the inability to be with family and friends. The demands of shopping, parties, family reunions and houseguests also contribute to stress and tension. Individuals who do not become depressed may develop other stress responses, such as headaches, excessive drinking, overeating and difficulty sleeping. Even more individuals experience a post-holiday letdown after New Year’s Day. This can result from disappointments during the preceding weeks compounded with the excess fatigue and stress.


Here are some ways to cope with the blues that may come your way during or after the holidays:


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 and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine and Department of Gerontology, College of Public Health, University of Kentucky.

more articles by Dr thomas w. miller