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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Take care of yourself.

You’re likely suffering from your own heartache as you watch a loved one battle this disorder. When someone is depressed, he or she may say things that are hurtful or negative and your emotions are sure to take a hit. Your emotional health is just as important, and your loved one needs your positive strength to draw from. Keep doing things that make you happy. You may need someone to talk to as well. Seek support to work through your own thoughts and feelings about the situation.


Recovery is different for everyone who suffers from depression. Symptoms may only last a couple of weeks for some, but if left untreated, depression can last up to eight months. Understand recovery doesn’t happen overnight. Being persistent and patient with your loved are the best things you can do.  

Depression is a difficult diagnosis, not only for those who suffer from it, but also for their family members and friends. It’s tough to see a loved one unhappy and unmotivated, struggling with his or her mental state every day. You want to do everything you can to help him or her get back to his or her normal self and find the joy in life again, but what can you say and how much can you intervene without making things worse?


Where family members tend to get it wrong is in thinking depression is just a “bad mood” that can be fixed by “snapping out of it.” Depression is a disorder that is not easily understood and should not be underestimated in its seriousness. While this disorder can be treated, it takes time.


It’s common to feel helpless, frustrated, fearful, sad or even guilty when trying to help someone you love who has depression. Here are some things you can try to positively support your loved one’s recovery:


Learn about depression.

Part of the reason you may struggle to help your loved one is you haven’t experienced the illness yourself. You have no idea what is happening in his or her mind. Make an effort to understand what the person is going through. Understanding his or her thought process and feelings may keep you from saying hurtful things out of frustration.

SUPPORTING A LOVED ONE WITH DEPRESSION

MICHELLE CHALKEY

Michelle Chalkey is a Des Moines-based freelance writer specializing in health and lifestyle topics. She enjoys helping businesses communicate their messages through blogging and effective storytelling. Connect with Michelle on Facebook or check out her blog for helpful tips on the writing process and productivity.

more articles by michelle chalkey

Express your willingness to help.

Provide assistance in any way the person is willing to accept. You may need to help the person make an appointment with a doctor or therapist, and other times you simply may need to offer your ears. Always listen with no judgment rather than giving advice. It may take time before your loved one accepts your help, but your persistence will let him or her know you haven’t given up on him or her.


Encourage uplifting activities.

Physical activity is one of the best things to do to get the blood moving and possibly lift one’s mood. Offer to take a walk with the person or play a game of tennis. Invite him or her out to see a funny movie or join you at a restaurant. Again, be lovingly persistent.


Don’t place blame or shame.

Understand the person is not choosing to be negative. Someone suffering from depression is truly unable to access positive feelings. He cannot force himself to be happier. Blaming the person for not trying will only make her blame herself for what she cannot help and make her feel more depressed.