DESIGNING A HEALTHY DIET FOR THE NEW YEAR

Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The majority of these resolutions focus on diet in attempts to lose weight and be healthier. A new year is the perfect time to jumpstart a healthy diet to make the changes you want to see for yourself throughout the year. However, research shows 80 percent of resolutions fail by February. Many people strive for unrealistic goals, which ultimately set them up for failure.

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EXERCISE HAS BENEFICIAL EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN

While exercise has long been known for its positive effects on physical health and its ability to heighten energy and help manage chronic health problems such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, exercise is now being lauded for its beneficial effects on the brain.   These benefits touch almost every aspect of life. Exercise helps sharpen short-term memory and improve long-term memory. This happens because exercise can reduce insulin resistance and inflammation and stimulate….

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GETTING STARTED AND STICKING WITH IT

As we kick off 2018, you may be thinking about resolutions pertaining to your health and fitness. It’s easy to determine some ways to improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being. However, it’s not always as simple to stay motivated and make the new commitments part of your lifestyle. Now is the perfect time to set goals, whether it be for the number of days you intend to work out each week, how many steps you want to take each day or healthy meals you want to prepare for your family.

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Your doctor will prescribe treatment based on the cause of your dry mouth. He or she commonly changes medications or dosages of drugs. The doctor may prescribe something to moisturize the mouth, such as Biotene, a mouthwash, or drugs that increase saliva production, such as Pilocarpine and Cevimeline. Your dentist can provide treatment to prevent or treat oral caries commonly caused by dry mouth. He might also prescribe a fluoride toothpaste that helps cut down on dental caries.


Here are some more tips for dealing with dry mouth:


1.  Keep water nearby and sip frequently.

2.  Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy.

3.  Breathe through your nose rather than through your mouth.

4.  Use a room humidifier at night to add moisture to the air.

5.  Use moisturizer to treat cracks in the lips.

6.  Avoid caffeine and alcohol as well as tobacco products, all of which may worsen dry mouth.

7.  Avoid spicy foods.

8.  Have frequent check-ups with your dentist.

Everyone has a dry mouth occasionally, but when dry mouth persists over time, it can become a problem. Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is fairly common and can range from being annoying to being a serious source of tooth decay. It can cause infection in the mouth and poor nutrition because of problems with chewing. It may also be an impediment to good overall health, not just oral health.


Symptoms of dry mouth may include a feeling of dryness and/or burning in your mouth or throat; thick saliva; bad breath; gum irritation; gum disease; and having a hard time chewing, swallowing and/or speaking. Another common symptom is hoarseness. Your sense of taste may change as well. Often in xerostomia, the lips become cracked, the tongue is dry and rough and occasionally there are mouth sores.


Dry mouth is likely due to a decrease in saliva. It happens when the glands in the mouth that make saliva are not working properly. The salivary glands could be impaired due to:


1.  Medications. There are over 400 drugs whose side effects include dry mouth. High blood pressure and depression medications, along with antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants and some pain medications are most likely to cause dry mouth.

DRY MOUTH A COMMON ORAL HEALTH PROBLEM

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

2.  Aging. This period in life does not implicitly cause dry mouth, but seniors are more likely to take drugs that cause it or to have other health conditions that lead to dry mouth.


3.  Cancer therapy. Both chemother- apy and radiation used in cancer treatment may cause dry mouth. They interfere with production of saliva by causing damage to the salivary glands.


4.  Other health conditions. HIV/AIDS and diabetes are two conditions that cause dry mouth.


5.  Smoking. Using tobacco products may cause dry mouth.


If you notice you have a dry mouth and it persists, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the situation. Your doctor will ask you a number of questions and also perform an oral exam. Sometimes blood tests are required or imaging scans of the salivary glands are taken.