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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Brain cancer is a very serious form of cancer. Recently, Sen. John McCain revealed he has been diagnosed with a primary glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – the most aggressive type of brain tumor. GBMs originate in the brain; it does not spread there from another part of the body. The cause is not known. This tumor has no relation to melanoma, the skin cancer for which McCain was treated in the past.


GBMs are tumors that arise from astrocytes, the star-shaped cells that make up the supportive tissue of the brain. These tumors are usually highly malignant because the cells reproduce quickly and are supported by a large network of blood vessels in the brain.


According to WebMD, brain cancers are not common. However, when they do occur, about four out of five aren’t GBMs. Men are more likely to develop them than women. The chances of developing this type of cancer increases with age. WebMD notes doctors diagnose nearly 11,000 GBMs cases in the United States each year. Symptoms include constant headaches, seizures, vomiting, changes in mood or personality, double or blurred vision and difficulty speaking. With any of these symptoms, contacting your family physician is the first step in intervention.


Vigilance on the part of patients and family members is critical in

VIGILANCE FOR BRAIN CANCER

addressing this form of cancer early as new cases are expected in 2017, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. The medical community recognizes GBMs as grade 4 tumors, which means they grow fast and spread quickly. It is easy for GBMs to invade normal brain tissue. The tumors make their own blood supply, which helps them grow. Glioblastoma is treated like most cancers, so treatment may include surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible, then radiation and chemotherapy. Research in this area includes a number of bio-markers, or molecular signatures, that have the potential to contribute to diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of response to therapy for glioblastoma.


Sources and Resources


DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine and Department of Gerontology, College of Public Health, University of Kentucky.

more articles by Dr thomas w. miller