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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said. “Re-care means the oral health of each person is being emphasized with regular visits, starting from the first tooth.”


Regular visits and checkups are especially needed for children, whose teeth are growing and forming, causing constant change in the body. “The gum lines being our only constant opening through the skin, they are of course the place where bacteria can most readily invade the body, making hygiene and care all the more important,” Justice said.

It’s a real blessing to live in an age where competent dentistry is available to everyone. Poor dental hygiene accounts for many of our ancestors dying by age 40 years and, in many cases, in a lot of pain.


Pediatric dentistry has become its own specialty over the years. Infant through adolescent teeth have their own special needs and focus compared to their adult equivalents. Pedodontics, the original term for pediatric dentistry, begins an ongoing dental history from the appearance of the first tooth and has proven to be invaluable in treating patients as they moved past adolescence and into adulthood.


Dr. Laura Justice, who has been at the helm of Justice Dental in Lexington for many years, seeks to help her patients by teaching good dental hygiene and habits from the start.


“Educating people while they’re in the growth and development phase is key,” she said. “Children need to develop good oral habits as well as have comfort with coming to the dentist.”


With more education and improved techniques in dentistry, the old cliché of children running away in mortal terror from their regular dental checkups might be changing.

PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY HAS BECOME A SPECIALTY

CHARLES SEBASTIAN

Charles Sebastian is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by charles sebastian

“People are more educated today on proper care for teeth and the body in general,” Justice said.


More and more is being discovered about teeth and how they affect the overall health of the child or teen dur- ing these formative years. Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, a dentist in San Antonio, Texas, has some new and innova-tive ideas about pediatric dentistry that could change previously held thoughts about the specialty. Justice explained one of Rouse’s theories: “Some of the belief system now for kids is that if they’re grinding [their teeth] in their sleep, they may have an airway issue with adenoids and tonsils. The grinding is a way to keep the airway open. The maxilla and the mandible are affected in their growth.”


Prevention is the key to maintaining healthy teeth, along with diligent and sensible hygiene. Children and teens who visit the dentist these days are much more likely to have a diet full of refined sugar, carbonated sodas and processed foods. All of this adds up to a faster deterioration of teeth, gums and the body in general.


“The re-care system keeps people on top of things regarding their teeth,” Justice