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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Are you a person with cancer who wants to create a safe, comforting place to express your feelings about dealing with the disease – a place where you can be yourself and find solace? Perhaps you want to write stories about your experience with cancer and how it is affecting you. Do you want to gain deeper insight into who you are and what this illness is about? For any or all of these reasons and more, a journal may be a satisfying and helpful instrument.


In rereading a journal, you will find proof you lived through situations that seemed unbearable. You looked around and wrote down observations. You may feel stronger and wiser when you look back on your former condition and admire the courage of your earlier striving.


Fear can be one of cancer’s worst side effects. For all patients, survivors and caregivers, it is a common companion. Expressive writing can be used to help you overcome your fears, because it uses your imagination – the very thing that generates your fears. By putting your experience in narrative form, you can begin to make sense of it. When you move beyond venting to create a story, either autobiographical or fiction, you incorporate vivid imagery that can bring you closer to your emotions.


Whether you write a story, make a list or simply journal your feelings, this type of writing is a way to manage emotions, cope with the

JOURNALING CAN BE AN IMPORTANT OUTLET WHEN EXPERIENCING CANCER

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

stressors of mental health issues and physical illness and keep a record of the ups and downs of daily life. It can open you up to a powerful portal for reflection, growth and healing, according to Good Therapy.org.


Research shows there are many benefits to journaling when facing life stresses. Feelings you would most likely bury are brought forward and put on paper. This activity is validating in a myriad of ways and may ease the burden of struggling to manage your feelings on your own.


Journaling can be like talking to a friend or a confidant or having your own ready made therapist available full time, there to listen to you and offer support. Some people maintain they do not have a place to go to express feelings or they do not want to worry friends and family, so their journal is a place where they do not have to put up a brave front. One journaler wrote: “All the possibility of my own death, my disappointment and anger at my own body, my grief over the loss of identity as a ‘healthy person,’ all went into the page.”


Whether you choose to write in a bound book or a notebook or online, journaling can help in your walk with this illness. For more information, check out www.goodtherapy.org.