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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Other popular diet plans include the Mediterranean diet, which features whole foods and allows for a chance at steady weight loss. The Dash Diet lowers sodium and is high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This diet works to lower blood pressure. The Flexitarian Diet is geared toward eating mostly vegetables and fruits, although some meats are allowed. The Mayo Clinic Diet lets you shape your own diet plan and emphasizes fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Other top choices are the Atkins Diet, the Biggest Loser Diet, the HMR program and Nutrisystem. Before starting any diet program, be sure to consult with your primary care physician.


Sources and Resources

http://health.usnews.com/diets

http://www.simplethriftyliving.com

Commercial diets have become all the rage, although they are systemized and often expensive.


Weight Watchers is listed among the best of these diets. Pros of this plan include the freedom to eat what you want. No food is off limits, so this gives you the flexibility to shape your own diet. One of the cons is participation can be pricey, though this program is often considered to be a good investment. The program gives every food and beverage a smart points value. Foods with higher saturated fats and sugar levels have higher points. Choices that are filling have the fewest points. A balanced diet is optimal. Meetings are optional or you can go solo and opt for online only. However, proponents emphasize the value of the support system. For an extra cost, you can have a personal coaching subscription at $54.95 per month. A mobile app offers personalized food and fitness tracking. Many Weight Watcher members stick with the program even after they have shed unwanted pounds.


In late 2015, Weight Watchers introduced its new Beyond the Scale Program, emphasizing eating healthier, having better fitness and learning skills that shift your mindset. According to the program, you can eat more fruits and vegetables because they are free foods. There are a set number of points for each day and an extra number for the week to use as needed or desired. Exercise is emphasized. Cost varies.

COMMERCIAL DIETS: WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

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

Go to www.weightwatchers.com/us/ to find out more.


The Jenny Craig Commercial Weight Loss Program is also considered safe and effective. It is consistently at the top of the list of best diet programs. This program emphasizes delivered prepackaged meals low in calories and fat. It restricts caloric intake to 1,200 to 2,000 calories per day. One of the cons with this program is that home-cooked and restaurant meals are discouraged. Also, it can be rather expensive at $100 a week. Jenny Craig customers have access to an online meal planner, progress tracker and food journal. There is also a mobile app that allows tracking on the go. Nutrition experts who tout this plan emphasize the importance of satiety. It includes the best energy-dense foods so you feel full longer. For example, before a meal, you might have a “soupatizer,” and you are free to add as many vegetables to each meal as you desire. Jenny Craig offers a variety of entrees running the gamut from new global flavors such as cheesy chicken enchiladas to desserts such as chocolate lava cake. Portions are small, but you eat three meals and two snacks a day. Exercise is tailored to your fitness level and requires about 30 minutes most days of the week. You get a personalized meal and exercise plan plus one-on-one counseling sessions with a Jenny Craig consultant.