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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•  Eat smart carbs. When choosing foods for a meal or snack, eat foods low on the GI index, such as blueberries with yogurt or strawberries and low-fat Cool Whip in place of that chocolate donut. Have a sweet potato for dinner instead of a white potato.

• Add good fats that also taste good, such as nuts, peanut butter and fish.

•  Shop wisely. Make a list that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables and a rainbow of fresh produce, plus dips for raw vegetables.

•  Find recipes for grain dishes such as polenta and quinoa.


You can eat well and stay healthy. It takes planning, the wise selection of foods and a bit of preparation, but the work is worth the reward. You’ll have more energy, be in a better mood, lose weight easier and reduce your risk of disease.

“If one simple thing could energize you within hours, soothe crankiness and fatigue within days, allow you to finally shed extra pounds and dramatically reduce risk of heart attack and stroke, you’d say it is magic, would you not?” This simple something is real, says Ann Fittante, MS, RD, in her book, “The Sugar Solution.” The answer, she maintains, is in taking charge of your blood sugar.


New research indicates each person in the United States eats the equivalent of a 5-pound bag of sugar each month — and most of that sugar does not come from the sugar bowl. It comes from the sugar in beverages and in processed foods such cakes, donuts and chips.


The statistics tell it all: 41 million people have pre-diabetes (above normal blood sugar numbers) and 21 million individuals have diabetes (the inability to metabolize sugar properly). Blood sugar, when allowed to soar time and again, interferes with your energy, impairs weight-loss efforts and puts you at risk for many serious health conditions such as heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, some cancers, blindness, kidney failure and more.


The body needs some sugar daily for health. Sugar nourishes the cells, allowing us to function and live. We get sugar from the carbohydrates we eat. There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Simple sugars are found in refined sugar often used to sweeten

SUGAR IN THE DIET – DELICIOUS OR DELETERIOUS?

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

often used to sweeten processed foods. Simple sugars are also found in fruits and milk. The difference between these two sugars is that the latter contains fiber. Complex carbohydrates are different because they are starches that must be broken down into sugar before being used by the body. Some starches have fiber.


One of the keys to overall control of blood sugar can be found in the glycemic index (GI), a measurement of the utilization of sugar. High GI foods speed through the digestive process, raising blood sugar to soaring heights. Then those levels swiftly drop, leaving you famished and grabbing more donuts and coffee. This leads to cravings, binges, fatigue and the inability to lose weight.


Slower-acting foods are low on the GI because they contain fiber that slows down the digestive process and makes blood sugar levels rise more slowly, avoiding spikes and sharp drops in blood sugar levels. You remain full longer and have fewer food cravings. You are satisfied, eat less and are better able to lose weight.


Fittante offers the following strategies to manage blood sugar levels: