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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decades, according to the Mayo Clinic. Yet during the same period, cancer in the gastroesophageal junction – the area where the top of the stomach meets the lower end of the esophagus – have become more common. This is where adenocarcinomas usually develop.


The highest incidences of stomach cancer are in East Asia – Korea, China, and Japan – accounting for 60 percent of all cases. It is not exactly known why the rates are higher in there. One theory posits several cultures in East Asia and Eastern and Northern Europe still adhere to older forms of food preservation despite refrigeration. Preserved foods and salt cures, which may be eaten three times a day every day in these regions, may lead to a higher incidence of H. pylori.

Gastric or stomach cancer begins when cancer cells form in the mucus-producing cells of the inner lining of the stomach. These cells can grow into tumors called adenocarcinomas. The disease usually grows slowly over many years. Nearly 1 million cases of stomach cancer are diagnosed yearly, making it the fourth most common cancer worldwide, according to the National Institutes of Health. In the United States in 2016, about 26,370 cases of gastric cancer were diagnosed, representing 1.6 percent of all new cancer cases, according to Oncolink (www.oncolink.org), the first cancer information Web site maintained by a group of oncology healthcare professionals. According to the American Cancer Society, about 28,000 cases of stomach cancer will be diagnosed this year and about 10,960 people will die from it.


There are several suspected risk factors for gastric cancer. Diets with nitrates and nitrites and foods preserved through salting, smoking or pickling are associated with an increased risk of disease. The bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and certain of its subtypes can convert substances in some foods into chemicals that cause mutations in the DNA of the cells in the stomach lining. Long-term infection of the stomach with this germ may lead to inflammation, called chronic atrophic gastritis, and pre-cancerous changes of the inner lining of the stomach. People with stomach cancer have a higher rate of H. pylori infection than other people, although some people with the bacteria never

STOMACH CANCER RATES FALLING WORLDWIDE

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

develop cancer. Gastric cancer can also be caused by an autoimmune reaction, such as pernicious anemia, where the stomach doesn’t produce enough acid. Another possible pre-cancerous change is intestinal metaplasia, where the normal lining of the stomach is replaced with cells that closely resemble the cells that usually line the intestine.


Other risk factors for stomach cancer include tobacco use, heavy alcohol use (more than four drinks a day) and genes. A genetic link has been found in about 5 percent to 10 percent of cases, according to Oncolink. People with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, familial adenomatous polyposis and Peutz Jeghers syndrome are all predisposed to gastric cancer. It also seems people with blood type A are at increased risk for stomach cancer. There are still many cases with no clear indication of the cancer’s cause.


Demographically, stomach cancer is more common in men. There is a sharp increase in stomach cancer rates in people over age 50 years; most people diagnosed with stomach cancer are between 60-80 years old. Rates of cancer in the main part of the stomach body have been falling worldwide for several