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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function and self-esteem by reducing anxiety, depression and negativity. Exercise improves chemical and emotional imbalances commonly seen in mental disorders.


Many complex factors influence mental health status. A healthy diet, a diverse microbiome and exercise are important to physical health. These areas are equally as important to mental health. A proper diet of vitamin-rich and high-fiber foods combined with exercise can help improve one’s overall mental health.


References


FIGHTING DEPRESSION?

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

This article was team written by graduate students in the Nutritional Sciences and Pharmacology Students Association within the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Kentucky and Dr. Sara Police.


Happy Bugs: Tools to Fight Depression

Nutrition can impact mental health through the gut microbiota, the trillions of bacteria inside the human gut. In fact, studies have shown that diverse, healthy gut microbiota impacts the brain by improving mood and decreasing stress and inflammation. Fiber is an important food source for gut bacteria. When we eat foods high in fiber (fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts), beneficial bacteria flourish. Probiotics are living beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut. When either consumed in the diet or as a supplement, they increase beneficial bacteria, too. By consuming foods high in fiber and probiotics, the gut microbiota is greatly improved, which can elevate mood, decrease stress and inflammation and improve mental health.


Mental Fitness = Physical Fitness

Doctors tell patients to exercise because it improves both physical and mental health. Research has shown stress hormones levels are elevated in various mental illnesses. Similar to medications, exercise has been shown to reduce these levels. Physical activity has also been reported to improve cognitive

If you were told to feed your mind, what would you grab? An apple, a book or sneakers? Grab the apple and sneakers. Eating healthy and exercising act as fuel and protection for mental health. But how do you decide what type of apple or which brand of sneakers to get? Similarly, mental illness comes in many varieties. There are over 200 types of mental illness. Sadly, one in five Americans will suffer from mental illness every year, while around 8 million Americans will have depression.


Edible Weapons of Choice

Depression is a serious problem. Its causes include work or academic pressures, environmental impacts, family history and disease/medication side effects, among others. Food can play a role in the prevention and treatment of depression. The disease may occur due to hormonal imbalances or vitamin deficiencies. To prevent these situations, shifting your diet to contain more vitamin-rich foods may be beneficial. For example, Brazil nuts, brown rice and seafood are high in selenium, an element that protects against free radicals and may decrease the likelihood of developing depression. Furthermore, B vitamins have been shown to help produce important chemicals in the brain that combat depression. Dietary sources of B vitamins include milk, bananas, leafy greens, eggs and clams. There are foods you may want to avoid, such as coffee or alcohol. Caffeine may keep your brain active, but it may also increase anxiety or nervousness, while alcohol may interfere with antidepressant medications and decrease their effectiveness.