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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This is the perfect time of year to appreciate the wonderful gift of health. Enjoy it and make the extra effort by committing to being healthy – now and all year long.

HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

TANIQUA WARD, M.S.

TaNiqua Ward is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by taniqua ward

fruits have natural sugars that can crush your desire for other sweets. Fruits and vegetables can be used to make pretty centerpieces for holiday celebrations, and they make great snacks.


• Control your portions. Be conscious of how much food you place on your plate and pass on the second helping. Eat smaller portions and eat less often. There are always more opportunities to eat during the holidays.


• Avoid sugary drinks; they are full of unnecessary extra calories. Choose water and low-calorie or unsweetened drinks instead.


• Choose indulgences wisely. Browse the food options first and only select the ones you really want. Your indulgence should be something specially made or unique to this season.


• Get up and get active. Bundle up and go outside to enjoy some fun outdoor family activities. Exercise can reduce holiday stress and prevent weight gain. Increasing physical activity helps keep your metabolism going, allowing you to digest and burn more calories, and it can offset the increase of your holiday appetite as well.

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.


One important thing you can do is try to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your main meals. Adults who receive less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day should consume one and a half to two cups of fruit daily and two to three cups of vegetables daily, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Individuals who exercise regularly should consume even more fruits and vegetables. However, CDC studies have found that only 13 percent of adults in the United States consume the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. You can create many different meals to get them. Here are a few tips to promote healthy eating during the holidays:


• Bring a healthy dish to gatherings. The party host will be grateful for your help, and some party guests will appreciate a healthy option.


• Keep your plate balanced by filling half with fruits and vegetables. Vegetables fill you up and make you less likely to overeat while